Title: On The Trail
Featuring: Nathan Paradine
Date: 06/11/2019
Location: Companion, Minnesota
Show: Evolution 71

There's a flash of garish neon lights as Luther Graves steps into the dim confines of a strip club, looking distinctly uncomfortable as he pushes past several drunken men dressed in ill-fitting business suits and waves off the advances of a young blonde who pouts at him before moving on to another customer. He approaches the bar and glances around before ordering a beer and taking a small sip before motioning the bartender back over.

Luther Graves: "Hey, I'm looking for a guy. Tall, shaved head, Australian accent. Probably wearing sunglasses."

The bartender shrugs and thinks for a moment before pointing at a row of booths marked "Private".

Bartender: "He could be in there. You'll have to wait for him to come out."

Luther Graves: "Right..."

Graves leans against the bar and takes another mouthful of beer as, almost as if on cue, one of the "Private" doors swings open and Nathan Paradine emerges accompanied by a young brunette. Graves wipes his mouth with the back of his hand and approaches the Australian Submission Machine who is preparing to take a seat in front of the small, cramped stage at the front of the club.

Luther: "Nathan!"

Paradine turns his head in surprise.

Nathan Paradine: "Luther? What the hell are you doing here?"

Luther Graves: "Can we talk somewhere else?"

Paradine glances around and motions towards the empty seat next to him. Graves shifts from foot to foot nervously.

Nathan Paradine: "Does this place make you uncomfortable, Luther?"

Luther Graves: "I have a girlfriend who'd be pretty mad if she knew I was here, sir."

Nathan Paradine: "I guess if I had have been more like that maybe I wouldn't be twice divorced. C'mon then, let's go."

Paradine stands and both men walk out of the club and into the cool night air. They walk away from the bouncer near the entrance and come to a halt next to a motorbike that apparently belongs to Luther, as he kneels down and begins to rummage through the saddlebags.

Luther Graves: "What were you in there for anyway?"

Graves looks up at Paradine, who raises his eyebrow.

Luther Graves: "Not that it's any of my business, you can do whatever the hell you want."

Nathan Paradine: "Research. I'm headed to Mexico to wrestle a woman named Phoenix Lestrange this week and after witnessing her in the ring, I thought I'd better come prepared. She has a very... unorthodox style."

Luther Graves: "Think she'll be a threat?"

Nathan Paradine: "Nah. She's a character, but I don't think dry-humping the ring has done her any favors yet."

Luther Graves: "Right, right..."

Nathan Paradine: "So, uh... what did you come here to see me for anyway? Since you're not up to see the offerings of Companion's finest, and only, fine gentleman's establishment?"

Graves stands up and hands Paradine a sheet of paper. Paradine examines it closely, sliding his sunglasses down to the tip of his nose as he does so. The only thing on the paper is a scrawled address."

Nathan Paradine: "What's this meant to be?"

Luther Graves: "I found him. Simon Marks. Well, I didn't find him, it was my girlfriend. She jumped on facebook and found him in like, ten minutes... he's back in San Francisco now."

Nathan Paradine: "With our damn money I bet. The son of a bitch even took my dog! Shit."

Paradine stares at the address for a moment and then lowers his arm.

Nathan Paradine: "I've got a lot on my plate at the moment. The Battle Academy, going to Mexico to wrestle, this bullshit with Thaddeus whatever the hell his name is... Marks is going to have to wait. Rest assured I will get him, and I will get our money back, but it'll be when the time is appropriate. Thank you for this though, I appreciate it."

Graves shrugs and gives Paradine a nod.

Luther Graves: "Yeah I know. I just thought it might be of some help. Sabrina and Elric were looking too. We knew you were busy, so we gave it a go."

Nathan Paradine: "Thanks, kid. And if you see them tell them I said thanks too."

Luther Graves: "You need anything else?"

Nathan Paradine: "Nah. You get out of here, tell your girl she's helped me out a lot."

Luther Graves: "No worries. She was glad to help."

Nathan Paradine: "Hey, kid..."

Luther Graves: "Yeah?"

Paradine opens to his mouth speak, but thinks better of it and waves his hand instead.

Nathan Paradine: "Shit, nevermind. Go and get home, it's late. I'll speak to you soon."

Graves climbs onto his bike and turns the engine over, and Paradine steps back and he fastens his helmet to his head. With a small half wave he backs the bikes out of the lot and drives away, leaving Paradine standing alone in the dim light with his thoughts as the scene comes to an end.

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