Hours Before Rumble at the Rock
As the scene opens, we find ourselves just outside of solitary confinement, where EPU agents are pulling–nay, just about dragging–an angry Xander Azula toward one of the cells of the unit.
To his credit, Xander has been fighting back with a great deal of resistance every step of the way, shouting with a sense of rage at the hired guns of Lee Best as he tries to pull away from their grip, to escape what’s to come.
“What’re you doing, you pricks! I’ve got a match…no, a fight…to get to! I’m gonna tear Kyle McRae limb from limb like the piece of meat he is, just you wa–”
One of the agents shakes their head, speaking in a flat, gruff tone that’s muffled slightly by the mask on their face as they get ever closer to the cell.
“No, no you’re not Xander. Lee Best is not a happy man after what you two pulled, and has given the order to keep you and McRae locked up in solitary for twenty-four hours, so you have plenty of time to cool down and think about what you did. Think of it as an extreme timeout…something you deserve.”
Xander looks around, growing annoyed now as he fails to see his rival in the vicinity…something the EPU agent picks up on quickly, a slight chuckle emanating from that masked figure before they chime in again, a notable trace of sarcasm in the next statement.
“Don’t worry about McRae, he’s already been placed in a standard cell. You, on the other hand…considering your penchant for violence, you’re in need of something much more strict.”
Before he has a chance to respond, Xander is shoved into The Hole by the agents…and just as quickly, the door is slammed shut in the Fighter’s face, leaving him in pitch black darkness.
Xander starts slamming on the doors, shouting profanities at the guards with the last fleeting hope of escape…but the guards ignore him, leaving Azula to stand there alone in complete and utter silence.
But not within his mind, never in that headspace of his. That never quiets down.
If only these next twenty-four hours could actually give me some peace and quiet.
But no, my mind is all over the place…no time to settle down, not even in The Hole.
Being stuck in this pitch black void of misery makes me see things…hear things…smell things.
I can still see the looks on those fans’ faces when I tore into Kyle earlier today.
I can still hear them rooting both of us on, unaware that what was transpiring would take away something they paid good money to see.
And I can still smell the fear coming off of Kyle McRae as the EPU pulled us away.
It brings a smile to my face.
I can’t help but think back to when this all started, to when I made that fateful decision to step into sVo territory to stake my claim as a master of violence.
And out of all the men Jon Page could’ve sent to engage in this little war, he sent out a man more green than El Froggo’s wrestling gear.
Page could’ve had any of his champions, any of his returning Legends come and try their hand at shutting me up…but he let the relative rookie handle his business.
A rookie that should’ve been smartened up when I beat him in four minutes in front of his precious sVo fans.
I can’t stop thinking about that ugly face, the mug of a man who has tried to ruin everything I’ve been building up the past couple months.
A man who thought he could waltz into the Best Arena and make demands of me. He thought waving that PWA contract around would impress me…and all it did was get me mad.
So mad, in fact, that when I saw that ugly mug again at Alcatraz, I just couldn’t help myself. I knew exactly what I was doing, going after him hours before our match was set to take place…I wanted to really wear the Granite Kid down to dust.
I wanted to make good on my promise, to make an example out of him, to beat some respect out of the rookie…I just didn’t expect Lee Best to care so much that he’d send his Elite Protection Unit out to stop it.
Yeah, I get it now…Lee Best was protecting his investment.
Not me, certainly not Kyle McRae, but perhaps the Prison Yard itself…and that’s why he threw us into solitary confinement.
To make us think about what we did for twenty-four hours. To cool us down.
But I can’t cool down.
I’m too busy plotting and planning my next steps.
Figuring out what I need to do to get some revenge against McRae, and settle things once and for all. If he wants a piece of me so bad, he’s going to get it…right between the eyes.
As soon as I get out, I will get back to work…back to training.
And all the while, I will keep my focus on one thing and one thing only…violence.
Because after all this time, all this headache…it is time to bring this mess to an end.
It’s high time we finally settle this, Kyle.
And after what happened in Alcatraz, I’m making a judgment call…a pivot, if you will.
See, the more I think about it…the more I realize you don’t deserve the HOFC cage.
You don’t get to be a part of my story quite like that…you deserve to be a footnote.
So I will see you back in Chicago, back inside the Best Arena where you tried to ruin my moment…and I will ruin yours.
All your hopes and dreams about being one of the best in this business?
They will turn to dust in my hands, Kyle…because that’s what you deserve.
To be beaten from pillar to post, with the fans in Chicago and around the world finally seeing you the way that I see you…as a fraud, a failure to the people that look up to you.
And when it’s all said and done, I can finally set my sights on ICONIC…and make some big strides on the final steps of my path.
A path of unsanctioned violence, leaving you and the sVo behind for good.
Jon Page can deal with you however he likes, Kyle…I’ll be too busy gearing up for the next chapter of my career.
The part where I finally take back the respect that I’m owed.
The Next Day
Some time has passed since the door to The Hole was opened, allowing Xander Azula free passage back into society…and of course, his Eternal Circle brethren are the first to greet him. Handing him a coat to combat the sudden rush of cold air coming in, the group heads toward the dock to ship off back to the mainland.
Xander takes in a breath of fresh air as if learning how to enjoy such a luxury again after his little stint in The Hole…and stares off in the distance, looking at nothing more than the mere sight of the shore of San Francisco.
Eventually, his gaze drifts off toward the Golden Gate Bridge, and that’s when an idea strikes him…and he turns to his right-hand man, Vagn Dahl, with a smile and a cheerful tone of voice.
“As soon as we hit the mainland, we’re gonna ring up the B-Team. When I get my business with the sVo resolved, I need to plan on something big to end the year…and I’ll need all the help I can get to make this thing work.”
Dahl pulls out a phone, offering the device to Xander…but the Fighter waves it off with a smirk, shaking his head.
“No no, I need the rest of this trip to map out what I’m gonna do. Besides, you know I’m not that great with technology, Vagn. I have no clue if there’s any damn reception out here.”
The pair just chuckle at this, and Dahl puts the phone away as the ferry finally arrives. The group boards it, Xander smiling to himself as he takes a seat, enjoying the freedom to actually sit somewhere not made of concrete or stone for the first time in over a day.
He considers for a moment the plan of attack for Chaos 15, the method in which he plans to dismantle his rival once and for all…and his smile widens to a grin as the ferry departs, leaving Alcatraz and the disaster that took place in favor of the bright, shining hope that awaits.
Whatever he has in mind next, Xander knows the focus must stay on the task at hand, that he must put an end to Kyle McRae and move on…or else, his plans for the end of the year will be far from iconic.
This, naturally, draws another chuckle from the Fighter as the ferry lets out a loud horn sound, proceeding on its journey as we fade to black.