Kansas City, Missouri
April 16th, 2019
The scene opens with the closing moments of the tag team match from Evolution 48. Johnny Graves continues to direct traffic with a shit eating grin plastered on his face as the rest of his crew enter the ring. Both McVeigh and Kennedy position the chairs back to back in a seated position as Bishop clutches on to Nathan. Looking menacingly out to the jeering crowd then to Graves, Johnny nonchalantly gives him the thumbs down signal and Kingston sends Paradine crashing spine first onto the chairs with his patented finisher known as The Debt!
Jim Gunt: Where's security when you need them?
Mia Rayne: Nathan landed awkwardly on those chairs guys, his spine could be totally jacked up right now..
Mike Rolash: That was incredible..
Graves smiles out at the booing fans as “Bank Account Remix” kicks in again and all four members of disOrder go to separate turnbuckles to pander to the jeering fans. They all hop down and make their way towards the back as medical personnel come rushing towards ringside. A wheelchair is wheeled out by one of the personnel as they carefully place an agonizing Steel into the chair and gently push him up the aisle. Meanwhile a few more medical staff members are checking on Paradine, who clutches at his back. The scene comes to an end with a shot of Paradine's pained face as the medical staff approach him...
... only to resume a moment later as Paradine is helped up the ramp following the match, his expression one of horror as "Princes of the Universe" by Queen begins to play. The next several interspersed shots are clips of the sudden attack from Xander Daniels, culminating in a brutal punt kick to Paradine's head. The scene suddenly cuts to black at the exact moment Xander's boot makes contact with Paradine's head.
May 4th, 2019
The sun overhead beats down on the white sand and blue water of Miami Beach, flocked with hundreds of people enjoying the weather. The camera pans over the beach, finally coming to rest on a single person reclined on a beach chair, wearing only shorts, an unbuttoned shirt and flip-flops, the sunlight reflecting off his tinted sunglasses; of course it's Nathan Paradine. He leans back, his head cushioned in his hands, and sighs contentedly.
Paradine: "This is the bloody life."
This IS the life, away from the rigors of the CWF; No Lindsay Troy, no disOrder, and definitely no Xander Daniels. Nothing at all the worry about... except for the shadow that is suddenly cast over Paradine as someone steps in front of him. Paradine slides his sunglasses down to the tip of his nose and scowls.
Paradine: "You're blocking the goddamn sun."
The shadow has been cast by Leigh Boetticher, who has to be reconsidering allowing Paradine to put him on retainer. He looks down at the Australian Submission Machine, his hands on his hips, unbothered by the warmth despite the suit he is wearing.
Boetticher: "Yeah? Well you're a real pain in the ass to track down, you know that? Where the hell have you been?"
Paradine: "Look around mate, I've been right here."
Boetticher: "You know what I mean! That hospital in Kansas City... you checked out after two days, and then you vanished. I covered for you with Evolution 49, and they had the womens event for Evolution 50... but it's time to come back."
Paradine raises his eyebrow.
Paradine: "You know, I've thought about that, and I've decided against it. I think I'll slip quietly back into retirement, maybe work on my tan a little bit, finally learn to play the guitar properly like I've always wanted to do-"
Boetticher: "As your lawyer I'd advise against it. The new contract you signed has a clause that involves you paying an extraordinarily high fee should you break it. We're talking seven figures here, easy."
Paradine: "And as my lawyer, isn't it your job to make sure I don't sign something like that?"
Boetticher: "I didn't think you'd do something so stupid as to try and break out of it a month after you signed it!"
Paradine whips his sunglasses off and knuckles his forehead, processing the information that Boetticher has just given him. He sits up on the chair and sighs, suddenly looking a great deal older.
Paradine: "They evaluated me at the hospital and I was fine. No damage from the tag team match, and no concussion from that punt kick thankfully. There was no reason for me to be there anymore, so I just checked myself out. And then... I jumped on my bike and started riding. Because wherever the hell Xander Daniels is, that's the opposite of where I want to be. Fuck Lindsay Troy, or any of those other CWF jokers. I'm not wrestling there if Daniels is around."
Boetticher nods and takes a seat on the sand next to Paradine.
Boetticher: "What the hell did this guy ever do?"
Paradine: "It's a long story. Regardless of that, I'm not coming back, so get the paperwork ready and I guess I'll get ready to clear out the old bank account, eh?"
Boetticher reaches into his jacket and fishes out a white envelope. He passes it to Paradine, who peers at it closely before tearing it open with this thumbnail.
Paradine: "What the hell is this?"
Boetticher: "It's what you'll be missing out on if you walk away, because while you were out here laying on the beach I was actually doing my job and negotiating for you."
Paradine pulls out a sheet over paper and glances over it quickly, his hand on his chin. His eyes widen as he reads, and he lowers the paper to stare at Boetticher.
Paradine: "This is a contenders contract."
Boetticher: "That's right, a triple threat match for Twilight of the Gods against Lindsay Troy and Zack Van Owen. Should be a walk in the park for you, but there's a contingency..."
Paradine: "Which is?"
Boetticher: "You have to wrestle a tag team match this week on Evolution. You and Ataxia versus The Shadow and Van Owen.
Paradine rolls his eyes and tosses the sheet of paper down onto the crowd. He unhappily crosse shis arms over his chest and considers his position; the chance of becoming a world champion again versus having to co-exist with Xander Daniels. Finally, the desire for gold wins out and he throws his arms up into the air in defeat.
Paradine: "Of course there's a bloody catch. Fine, Leigh, whatever. I'll come back. Right into a tag match, you reckon?"
Boetticher: "I'm glad you've decided to see some sense."
Paradine: "Shadow and I still have some unfinished business from a few weeks ago, but the other two... Ataxia and Shadow have their own problems going, and it'll be good to get a measure of the Van Owen kid before Twilight of the Gods. I mean, I already know I can beat Lindsay Troy, how hard can it be to put some greenhorn down too?"
Boetticher: "Xander Daniels is still going to be around too, you know."
Paradine falls silent for a moment.
Paradine: "Yeah, I know. But maybe this is the kick in the ass I need. I've spent years running away from him, and what he did to me. Hell, maybe it's time I stopped and confronted him once and for all. And if I have the opportunity to win some more gold in the interim, why not take it?"
Paradine springs to his feet, scattering sand over Boetticher's pants. He extends his hand to help his disgruntled lawyer to his feet, and then throws his arm around his shoulder.
Paradine: "Come on, buddy. Lemme go and buy you a drink, it's the least I can do after you managed to wrangle this one up for me. And I'll tell you about the Xander Daniels thing, you see it all started back in the Hostility days..."
The scene comes to an end as both men walk across the beach, the setting sun casting long shadows over the now-empty beach chair.