The scene opens on the desolate training area of the Hostility Battle Academy, the training mats themselves rolled up and placed against the wrestling ring that takes up the lions share of space while the various weight and training machines have been pushed to the far wall. Although the overhead lights are on they are dim, and the predominant source of light in the room comes from the wide-open front door even obscured by the frame of Nathan Paradine who stares aghast at the sight in front of him.
Nathan Paradine: "What the hell has happened here?"
The Australian Submission Machine steps into the room and throws down both his suitcase and a loaded sports bag, evidently having come straight here from the airport. There's a flicker of movement from above and a face peers out from behind the door frame of his office; it's Sabrina, one of his students, who lets out a surprised squeal at the sight of him.
Sabrina: "It's Nathan! Guys, come on!"
Sabrina quickly bounds down the stairs, followed closely by Elric and Luther, two more of Paradine's students. They come running to a halt in front of Paradine who removes his sunglasses from his face and tucks them securely into his shirtfront pocket.
Nathan Paradine: "What's going on? Where is everyone?"
Elric: "Well, after you disappeared-"
Elric: "It's true! He did disappear!"
Nathan Paradine: "Whoa whoa whoa."
Paradine waves his hands quickly to silence the bickering students, who are eying each other off testily. He folds his arms over his chest and points at Sabrina.
Nathan Paradine: "You. Speak. I've been on bloody tour in Europe, Simon knew that. You all should have known that! Where is the bugger?"
Sabrina takes a step forward and clears her throat.
Sabrina: "Well. You left, and it wasn't really communicated to us where you'd gone. We knew you were doing your tournament but it was only every two weeks, so I guess we thought you'd just fly back and forth between tour stops-"
Paradine's mouth dangles open in disbelief.
Nathan Paradine: "You think I can bloody afford to just jet set back and forth from Europe every two weeks to train you lot?"
Sabrina: "Other wrestlers do it! I've seen them on the TV!"
Nathan Paradine: "It's a television show, girl! We don't all live like that! What, you think I'm some sort of millionaire from professional wrestling!?"
Elric: "... aren't you?"
Nathan Paradine: "NO! I bloody wish, mate. I mean I've got a fair bit of money, but it isn't from professional wrestling. Well, mostly anyway. I made of lot of money in Japan when I was young, and then you know what I did when I retired the first time around?"
Elric shakes his head.
Nathan Paradine: "I made the smart financial decision to invest it, and that's where I get my money from. If I had have known you were in this business to get rich I would have sorted you out with the truth right from the get go."
All three of the students exchange uneasy glances.
Sabrina: "We're not just here for money, we want to learn from you. That's why we stuck around."
Nathan Paradine: "Alright, now tell me just what the hell happened here."
Luther: "The first course ended while you were gone, which was fine. Simon started collecting money for the second round of training which all the students paid. Then on the first day of class we arrived and he was nowhere to be seen. We came back each day for around a week, then we found a note in your office to say he'd gone back to California."
Nathan Paradine: "And he took the bloody money with him?"
Luther: "I mean, I guess so? It's definitely not here. After that, gradually the students just stopped turning up. Except for us, Sabrina had a key to get in so we've just been practicing the same drills you taught us before you left for the last two weeks."
Paradine raises his hands and gently massages his temple as he tries to process this information.
Nathan Paradine: "Goddamn, this isn't something that I need right now. I've got a huge match against Freddie Styles coming up and I don't have the time to try and piece all this back."
Elric: "Well what do you want us to do? Do we keep training, or what?"
Sabrina: "I mean, we did pay our money."
Paradine lowers his arms and glances back at this three remaining students.
Nathan Paradine: "Do you three of you know what it's like to bloody struggle for something over and over again and continuously get knocked back? This school was meant to be my big opportunity to give something back to the pro wrestling world, and instead most of my students have abandoned me and my co-trainer has run off with all the money. It's a little bit disheartening, is what it is."
Luther: "Look, Nathan, we can get this place back up and running again. You've got a match to focus on this week? Let us help you."
Nathan Paradine: "Help me?"
Paradine takes a step towards his students, who all instinctively take another step back.
Nathan Paradine: "Mate, I like your attitude, but do you know who Freddie Styles is? He's one of the most well put together competitors in the CWF today! He's run completely roughshod through the Alpha and Omega Tournament, and you think that you three can help me prepare for him?"
Paradine sighs and indicates towards the training equipment.
Nathan Paradine: "If you're going to stay, we need to get that equipment set back up. Go and take care of that, and then I'll run the three of you through your drills and see if Marks managed to teach you something before he pissed off."
The scene comes to an end with a dejected Paradine helping Sabrina drag a weight machine back to where in previously sat on the training floor. With the issues concerning the Hostility Battle Academy mounting, can Paradine remain one hundred per cent focused going into his match at Evolution? Or will Freddie Styles continue his dominant run and claim Paradine as yet another victim?