The scene opens in the departure lounge of the Melbourne Airport, a place that Nathan Paradine is certainly no stranger to. The Australian Submission Machine himself is laying across several chairs despite the disgruntled looks of several nearby travellers sitting on the floor, his sunglasses covering his eyes and a set of headphones cancelling out the hustle and bustle of the airport. He yawns loudly and scratches his head, and several of the onlooking travellers begin to mutter amongst themselves.
Traveller: "What a prick. Acting like he's the only one here..."
Paradine suddenly turns his head to look at the group, his sunglasses sliding down to the tip of his nose as he does so.
Paradine: "Oi, I heard that."
He holds up his phone and the screen blinks to life, displaying the Spotify application.
Paradine: "It's paused. I just like to sit here with the headphones on. You'd be surprised what people say when they think you're not listening."
The group exchanges looks with each other before gathering their baggages and moving away. Paradine shrugs his shoulders and sits up, swinging his legs forward and throwing his phone and headphones onto his own bag in one smooth motion, just in time to see the same traveller that spoke previously turn around.
Traveller: "You're the actual worst, you know that?"
Paradine: "Yeah yeah mate, I've heard it all before."
The group moves away from Paradine, who leans back in his chair and crosses his arms over his chest. He looks around at the other people waiting for their flights in the lounge and sighs. This is a trip that the rest of the CWF has already taken; Paradine has remained in Melbourne an extra week for the latest Hostility show. Jet lag will just be another thing he has to deal with when he finally arrives in Phoenix for the next episode of Evolution.
Woman: "You're Nathan Paradine, aren't you?"
Paradine is distracted from his reverie by the sudden appearance of a young woman next to him, who previously had been several seats away. He sighs again and leans forward, knuckling his forehead as he does so.
Paradine: "No, you're mistaken."
Woman: "No, I'm definitely right. I saw you at the MCG, I was there with my brother. He's a big fan."
Paradine: "I've heard that one plenty of times."
Woman: "Oh, I mean... not a fan of you, more just a fan of wrestling."
Paradine turns his head and fixes her with a glare.
Paradine: "Of course. I've heard that one plenty of times as well."
The woman opens her mouth to speak again, however Paradine holds up his hand to cut her off quickly.
Paradine: "Look lady, I don't really do autographs, or fan photos, or shit like that. So please, just don't even bother."
Woman: "Are you this rude to everyone you talk to?"
Paradine turns to look at her, but instead of anger she has a grin on her face, evidently not put off by his brusque attitude.
Paradine: "I try to be, so people will leave me alone while I'm sitting in the goddamn airport waiting to catch a flight."
Woman: "Unfortunately, I'm not most people. My name is Lindsay."
Rolling his eyes, Paradine throws his arms up in surrender and leans back in his chair, a scowl on his face.
Paradine: "Well you already know who I am. You see, this is exactly why I hate Australians sometimes."
Lindsay: "What do you mean?"
Paradine: "We're not a people easily deterred or put off. I mean, it's obvious that I don't want to talk to anyone, yet you persist in speaking to me. It's a tenaciousness you wouldn't find in an American, or someone from Europe. You just won't fucking leave me alone, so here we are now, having a conversation."
Lindsay: "I think the big strong tough guy is just an act. You're not really as grumpy as you act."
Paradine: "Tell you what; you'd be surprised. I get to deal with you, and then fly back to the states and deal with another pair of Australians who will probably be an even bigger pain in my ass. And it'll be alongside a guy I'm pretty sure killed someone last time I saw him."
Lindsay: "Uh, what?"
Paradine: "I know right! One moment I thought we were just going to give him a beating, next minute the lights went out and he's lying there in a puddle of blood with this guy standing over him-"
Lindsay: "No, what do you mean about those other Australians?"
Paradine: "Oh. Uh, right. You were at the MCG. Did you see the Lost Boys? They won the tag team titles."
Lindsay: "I kind of remember. My brother is a lot more into it than I am."
Paradine: "Right, well, they're a tag team that have returned after a bit of an extended hiatus. Kind of like me, actually, but that's not the point. The point is, they're brash, they're skilled and most importantly, they run like a well oiled machine. Now it wasn't all that long ago that I was the CWF Tag Team Champion, but that was with a partner I'd known for a long time. This time around... Trent Steele? We're united by a common cause. But I've never tagged with the man, and quite frankly he scares the fuck out of me."
Lindsay: "How tough can these guys be, really? I remember you took on a huge guy at Confliction-"
Paradine: "Scott Dann was bigger than me, and stronger than me. I beat Scott Dann because I'm a better wrestler than he is. This time around I'll be going up against two men who function as a cohesive unit, who almost know how to function as if they were one mind."
Lindsay: "Do you have any kind of strategy at all?"
Paradine sighs and rubs his face with his hands.
Paradine: "Keep 'em seperated. Try and wear Sam Braxton out, he's the dangerous one. It'll be a tough scrap, but Sam's wild and overconfident. If we can use that against them and take Braxton out of the equation, it shouldn't be too hard. That's the problem when it comes to tag teams like this; they spend so much time counting on their partner, they forget how to fight one-on-one. But it works the other way too, I need to know I can count on that spooky fucker Trent Steele to have my back."
Lindsay: "You don't think you can trust this guy?"
Paradine: "The Hostile Elite are united in their goal, but... divided when it comes to its members. It's pretty average, but it's true. If Trent helps me get the job done, he'll have my trust. Until then though... well, they don't call me The Nomad for nothing. I'll move on to something different. Maybe I already have."
Paradine shrugs, eliciting a small laugh from Lindsay.
Lindsay: "You're funny. See, I knew the grumpy old man was just an act."
Paradine: "Hah, well, I don't know if I'd go that far..."
Lindsay: "It's true! You know it's true."
Paradine: "Where are you flying to, anyway?"
Paradine: "Have you been before?"
Lindsay: "Actually, I live there. I'm just here visiting family."
Paradine: "Well, I love London. Let me tell you..."
The scene comes to an end with both Paradine and Lindsay in deep conversation. With the challenge of the Lost Boys still on the horizon, can the Hostile Elite manage to regroup and recover enough to make a serious claim for the CWF Tag Team titles?