The scene opens in the middle of a large warehouse that in obviously in the middle of extensive renovations; the walls are half painted, the floor has been swept and large gym mats thrown down and in the middle of the room, one full size wrestling ring and another laid out ready to be put together.
This is the start of the Hostility Battle Academy.
In the corner of the room, whistling to himself, is the Australian Submission Machine Nathan Paradine. He’s occupied laying down a fresh coat of paint on the wall, right beneath an old South of Heaven banner. With a final flourish he tosses the paintbrush down into the paint can and takes a step back to admire his handiwork.
Nathan Paradine: “Now, it’s all starting to come together.”
For the last several weeks the creation of the Battle Academy has been the sole focus of his attention. Now, with the grand opening only a few weeks away and already several students prepared to start classes, he’s been working night and day to get everything ready. But, as always, whatever can go wrong... will go wrong.
Leigh Boetticher: “NATHAN!”
Paradine’s long suffering (at least, suffering for the last few months) lawyer bursts into the room brandishing a leaflet of papers almost like a sword. He glances around until he finally lays eyes on his client, distracted by the sudden interruption.
Nathan Paradine: “Eh? Leigh?”
Leigh Boetticher: “How many times do I have to tell you? Answer the goddamned phone!”
Paradine gestures around at the warehouse, inviting Boetticher to appreciate his handiwork.
Nathan Paradine: “I’ve been a little busy, in case you didn’t notice when you came in. I’ve been getting the Hostility Battle Academy ready for my first class.”
Boetticher glances around wild-eyed.
Leigh Boetticher: “The Hostility Battle Academy? Nathan... don’t you realise what’s been going on? It’s been weeks since you’ve shown up to work. Weeks since you’ve needed to show up to work even! Didn’t you realise?”
Nathan Paradine: “I guess that kind of got away from me while I was busy with this. What happened?”
Boetticher waves his hands rapidly.
Leigh Boetticher: “The what doesn’t matter so much as the what now. A lot of things have happened and as a result I’ve renegotiated your contract with the CWF. You’ve got a sizeable pay increase, and well as a nice little bonus for me. You’ll have the time you need to work on this place, but the best thing about all this? There are events in motion that are going to see you rise back to the top of the professional wrestling industry.”
Now that DOES grab Paradine’s attention. He rubs his chin as he muses over Boetticher’s words, suddenly thoughtful.
Nathan Paradine: “What could you possibly have done to orchestrate that?”
Leigh Boetticher: “Ah, you’ll find out on Evolution this coming week. I can’t believe you didn’t even notice that your match against Starlight never happened... either way, I’ve got you something nice and cushy for your first match back. Silas Artoria, how does that sound?”
Paradine’s lip curls and he crosses his arms over his chest, giving Boetticher a small shrug that is the universal sign for "not bad I guess".
Nathan Paradine: “I’ve beaten Artoria before, and Lindsay Troy beat him for the Paramount title. And since I beat Lindsay Troy, that kinda means that I’ve beaten him twice really doesn’t it?”
Leigh Boetticher: “I don’t really follow your logic, but hey, if it makes you feel better then sure!"
Paradine nods, half to himself.
Nathan Paradine: "Well, if I'm booked... I'd better get to work double time on getting this place up and running before I have to leave for Evolution. Grab that paint Leigh and give me a hand with this."
Paradine brandishes the paintbrush at Boetticher, whose eyes widen in disbelief as the scene comes to an end. Can Paradine overcome Silas Artoria for a second time, or will the distraction caused by the Hostility Battle Academy prove to be his undoing?