Amanda and Tom get into their ride before Tom has a chance to change out of his gear. He is confused, but due to their new relationship dynamic, he goes along with it. The entire ride to their destination neither one says a word. The driver knew where to go, as this had all been arranged beforehand. He started to get worried when her realized that she didn’t know the outcome of his match, but their destination was preplanned. So he knew this wasn’t a celebratory destination, but he did win, so it shouldn’t be a punishment either. He didn’t like this new dynamic, her new attitude.
They arrive at their destination, a simple nondescript house and the car pulls into the garage. The driver gets out, and opens Amanda’s door for her. As Tom opens his door, the driver moves into a position to ensure Tom heads in the directions he wants Tom to. Right now, that location is into the house behind Amanda. As she leads the two men into the house, Tom notices the house is sparsely furnished, indicating that no one really makes this home. Tom has learned enough at this stage to not to question Amanda about the plan. The plan is the plan, and no matter what he says or does, she isn’t going to deviate from it. Amanda has a seat at the kitchen table. Tom goes to join her, when the driver steps in and starts to lead him down into the basement. He doesn’t question, as it is not his place to question. He goes into the dungeon, as that is a more fitting description as to how the basement has been furnished. Tom’s blood pressure shoots up, as he knows this isn’t good for him. With Amanda’s desire to break him, this isn’t going to end well for him. He just hopes that it doesn’t end poorly for her or others.
The driver finally speaks. “Move to the wall and put the shackles on.”
Tom hesitates before he realizes that is would only be worse for him if he questions his instructions. He goes to remove the mask.
“That wasn’t your instructions. Keep the mask on, just put the shackles on. If you want, there is a bottle of water on the table over there you can drink before you put them on.”
Tom takes advantage of this opportunity and drinks the water. Once he finishes the bottle, he goes and puts the shackles on like a good boy. When he is secure, the driver checks the restratians to ensure they are properly secured. Once he is satisfied, he returns upstairs, closing the door, plunging the basement into darkness. After a moment or two, a few lights turn on, casting several eerie shadows in the basement.
After several hours, the room illuminates as Amanda and the driver make their way down. Tom not ready for the bright lights, closes his eyes in pain.
Amanda addresses Benji, “Well my good boy, how has your time been down here. I bet you are wondering why I have decided to chain you up like a rabid beast. Well, the truth is, I was disappointed in your performance.”
“What do you mean, I was victorious”
Amanda slaps Tom across the face. “I didn’t ask you a question. You should only speak when told to. I will answer your question though, as I was going to. It’s important that you know what I expect of you, and how I expect you to achieve my goals. The reason you are here isn’t because of the outcome of the match. Don’t get me wrong, seeing your hand get raised, and your name announced as the victor, that was a good feeling. You know what wasn’t a good feeling, seeing you trick your way into victory. You won with a small package. That isn’t what I want for you. That isn’t what I need from you. No, I needed you to beat that man into submission. I needed you to make it so that no matter what, he would not be able to get up even if he wanted to. I want, that at the end of the match, he will need assistance to stand. I want you to be able place your finger on him to get the three count. No, even better, I want every match to end with a ten count. I want your opponent to not be able to answer the ref. I don’t want to see just your arm raised in victory. I want to see your opponent’s arm fall in defeat. I don’t care if you win the battle, but I want your opponent to know they have lost the war. Do you understand what it is that I want from you?”
“Very good my pet. Now, to ensure that you actually understand this you are going to stay here for a while until I feel that you completely understand. Until you prove to me that you completely understand. So now I am not going to chain you to wall anymore. No, this room, this room will be yours to roam about. To do with as you wish, as long as you keep the mask on. Now, in terms of food, do you see the big red button over there, all you need to do is push that button. Now, each meal will not be without a challenge, except for breakfast. When you awake each morning there will be a protein bar for you to eat. Other than that, you will have to fight for each scrap. Sleep well tonight we shall see you in the morning.”
“But there is no bed? What am I supposed to sleep on?”
“Have a good night my pet”
Amanda and the driver turn, and leave the room, locking the door behind them. Amanda was going to unchain him, but after his questioning her, she decided to leave him hung up.
The morning comes, and Tom is awoke with a loud alarm. The driver brings a protein bar and a glass of orange juice. He places the tray on a nearby table, before unlocking Tom from the wall. Tom stretches his arms out, trying to work out the soreness from the match and being locked in an unnatural position. Tom tries to strike up a conversation with the driver, but he is ignored. Tom eats his breakfast and is left alone again. Left with his thoughts, which is not where he wants to be. The side that Amanda hopes to break out of him, lives in his mind. When he is alone, that is when it comes out and tries to take over.
When lunch time comes around, the driver brings down a tray with lunch. Lunch today includes a decent sandwich, apple, potato chips, salad and a sports drink. Tom takes a step toward the table, when Amanda enters the room.
“My pet, yesterday, I told you that you would have to fight for your meals. Our associate here is willing to fight you. All you have to do is beat him, and you can feed. If you don’t or can’t beat him, you will not get to eat this meal. Now remember the longer you go without food, the weaker you will get, making it that much harder to beat him.”
The driver gets into a fighting position, staying light on his feet. Tom goes sits against the wall. After a few minutes Amanda taps the driver on the shoulder, and they leave with the tray of food. This same series of events happens at dinner. This goes on for several days. Tom grows weaker but his hunger drives his desire for food. It becomes more and more of a struggle to resist fighting.
“Tom what are you doing? Why are you resisting and fighting your true nature? The nature that is going to make you successful? Do you think that Freddy Styles is going to sit back and let you decide when and how you are going to win? Hell no. He is going out there and take the victory. He won’t give a damn how he does it, just that he does. Everyone in the fed has that attitude. Everyone except you. You have the ability to be one of the best. You have that killer instinct. No, what you have is much worse than just a killer instinct. There is something inside of you that has you scared. That something is worse than what hides behind the eyes of everyone else. Its almost an evil, something that I have never seen in the eyes of anyone else before. That is what I need from you. When you put that mask on and enter the ring, I want Styles to be afraid. I want them to see your eyes, and that alone is enough to throw them off their game. I want Freddie to be scared before that bell rings from the monster behind your eyes alone. It has to be scary enough to intimidate someone who has seen it all. What else do I have to do to get this out of you?”
“There is a secret side of me, I never let you see but I keep it caged because I can't control it. So stay away from me, the beast is ugly I feel the rage and I just can't hold it. It's scratching on the walls, in the closet, in the halls if It comes awake and I can't control it. It hides under the bed, in my body, in my head Why won't somebody come and save me from this, make it end? Instead you want to draw him out. I feel it deep within, it's just beneath the skin I must confess that it feels like a monster. I hate what I could become, the nightmare's just begun it feels like a monster. My secret side I keep hid under lock and key I keep it caged because I can't control it cause if I let him out he'll tear me up, break me down why won't somebody come and save me from this, make it end? Instead of trying to bring it out. It's hiding in the dark, it's teeth are razor sharp there's no escape for me, it wants my soul, it wants my heart. No one can hear me scream, maybe it's just a dream maybe it's inside of me, stop this monster”
Tom lets the beast out, and attacks the driver. He beats him with such savagery that Amanda, who at first was excited that Tom has let it out. But as the beating continues, she begins to get scared at truly how savage this side of him is. She leaves the room, letting the driver fend for himself. When Tom has gotten control of himself back, he goes to the wall and sits, forgoing the food he just won.
The Game Warden sits alone on her throne. A look of smugness creeps along her face as she begins to speak.
“Freddie, I’ve done it. I have freed Benji from his chains of restraint. Benji is ready to take things to the next level, to a level man shouldn’t go, to a level man can’t. Man’s mind and body are not capable of handling the power. It is time to let the dog of war free. It is time to let the creature who can handle the next level and show the world the carnage that man’s best friend is capable of. It is time to begin the year of the Dog. It’s going to be a good year.”