Directly After Refueled XXXVIII
A man sits high up in the bleachers, directly across from the center of the ring. This birds-eye-view shows him to be in the second-last row. Why the second-last row? No one is sure. The man calmly leans forward, feet up on the chair in front and head resting on his fists as he stares down towards the empty wrestling ring and the silence surrounding him.
As the scene pans closer, it’s Conor Fuse, in his lime green Adidas track pants and “8-BIT BADASS” High Octane Wrestling branded t-shirt. He seems eerily relaxed by his standards and doesn’t say a thing until his hulking henchman paces up the stairs to meet him a few seats away.
Conor doesn’t bother looking over, he knows who it is. “Take a seat, my Mini Boss.”
The Game Boy is almost too big to get in any of them but fits into one a couple of seats away from The Vintage. The deemed Protector spreads himself out.
“I don’t believe it.” Conor mentions, still not taking his eyes off the ring. “Maybe HOW isn’t for me, ya know?”
The always stoic Game Boy is a difficult man to read under the mask, let alone his non-existent body language. His mask sports two red dots for eyes and you’d have to be in real close to see where he’s looking. Otherwise, there’s no ability to read the expression on his face whatsoever since none of it is visible. The hulking man doesn’t move, either. Instead, TGB just sits there as Conor continues to stay in silence, only to speak at the odd time, ensuring there’s either a believable (or make-believe) telepathic link between the two of them. Likely, it’s probably all in Conor’s head.
“She got bulldozed.” Conor states, only to go quiet again for another minute or so. “Absolutely bulldozed.”
Fuse stands up and cracks his back. His knees pop pretty good too, leaving the impression he has been sitting there for some time. Then, with a deadpan expression, The Vintage readjusts his track pants and sits right back in the same chair, with his feet on the one in front and his hands being used as a resting place for his chin.
Suddenly, he spins to The Game Boy, a face stricken with fear.
“That’s her Game Over. That’s it. She’s done. No Continues.” Conor is almost pleading with The Game Boy, making Fuse question if the comments he says are even true. It doesn’t seem like he wants them to be. “Erin Gordon, goodbye. Game Over. No Continues! Looks like you’re starting from… the beginning.”
“She had blood. BLOOD.” Conor’s eyes go wide and he runs a nervous hand through his hair. Once again he spins back to face the ring and goes into the same pose for the third time now.
“Red blood.” He states softly, as if there was some other colored blood in the human body, too and red was considered the worst one.
Meanwhile, The Game Boy has maintained the same posture this entire time. Sprawled out, barely being able to fit inside the chair, his muscular tone almost breaks the plastic arm rest beside him. After all, these are the nosebleed seats. (Red nosebleeds, for the record.) However, in this next moment The Game Boy decides to readjust his mask. It’s like this small motion communicates a completely different message to Conor Fuse, forcing Player One to stand up again and go on a tirade.
“Yes, Game Boy. I know this place is a TOUGH game to play! I know I said I should get to Level Eight quickly. I know I displayed a ton of confidence to all the Gamers and Gamettes that sit in these chairs. I know my podcast and live video feed, Re-Fused, has gained tons of subscribers who are chomping at the bit to get their latest update from yours truly! None of that has changed. I’m still super confident! I’m still dripping with charisma! I’m still convinced it’s only a matter of time!”
Fuse pauses and looks directly at The Game Boy. This time, the hulking man glances up at his partner.
“When I said ‘maybe HOW isn’t for me’, I didn’t mean it like that.” Conor remarks. “There’s just so much sour grapes here, man! What did Erin Gordon do to Eric Dane to deserve such a brutal beating!? Seriously! She was just a chipper folk, from the South I think. I don’t know, I don’t remember the details of her manual [scouting report] that closely. Anyway, the beating… it was uncalled for! Dane lost to Lindsay Troy, not Erin Gordon. He tapped out to a move Linday Troy put on Eric Dane and then Eric Dane used that same move! He copied Troy’s combo! Down, Down, A-Button plus a Left Trigger!”
Conor runs another uneasy hand through his messy blonde hair. He takes a deeeeep breath.
“What a mean, angry guy!” Fuse looks to be in soul searching mode, perhaps wondering if he can go to that place, reading the writing on the wall… “Mike Best. Eric Dane. Max Kael. RICK. These guys are bad, bad Bosses.”
Conor mumbles something in the line of “Bad to the bone” and then shivers.
Needing to reset, Conor walks over to The Game Boy and hops past him. He gets to the flight of stairs and starts running down them at a very quick pace. Once at the bottom, he exits into the concourse but comes rushing back out and into a full sprint all the way up the flight of stairs to the top of the arena. He touches the wall and says “one” and then races back down to the ground level again. Not even close to being out of breath, Conor goes for “lap” number two. Three. Four. Five. Etc. Basically, a montage can speed this segment up.
“Fifteen!” He says, reaching the top, this time completely out of breath. If The Game Boy could clap, he probably would. Conor, however, looks at his henchman and sighs. “That did nothing for me.”
And then a light goes off in Fuse’s head… or more like being hit by a freight train. The Vintage looks rattled beyond belief.
“Then there’s like [heavy breath] this Jatt Starr BOT [heavy breath] who’s all into my deal and nonsense [heavy breath].” Conor scratches his head while still sucking for air. “And he’s got some… Switch with him.”
This immediately grabs The Game Boy’s attention as he snaps his head to Conor on the staircase.
“Yeah, I know.” Fuse mentions. “The Switch.”
The Game Boy is still looking directly at his partner.
“I don’t know what Switch means. Sadomasochistic type of stuff? Don’t look at me, man! I got a job to do. I gotta get ready for my game with Zeb Martin! What if he’s like Eric Dane, huh!? What if he cracks my fragile little skull open and spills out all my cheat codes? That would NOT be a good thing, my Halo From Hell! That would be a bad thing! Yep, a very bad thing!”
Conor decides he needs to do five more sprints, no matter how tired he may be. After they are completed, he leaps over top of The Game Boy and finds the exact chair he started in.
Unsettled, Conor decides he can’t sit in the empty arena anymore. “Okay, Game Boy. Let’s go home.”
The Game Boy nods slightly and gets up first. He marches down the stairs while Conor lags behind with a half-playful, half-serious composure.
Once into the concourse, Conor stops cold in his tracks, coming across a collection of HOW promotional posters. There’s a poster of High Flyer, Dan Ryan and Cancer Jiles. Then… Conor takes a deep gulp. He stands in front of an Eric Dane poster.
Seeing himself in the reflection, Conor remains in hard concentration. The Game Boy has finally realized Conor’s not behind him anymore so he turns to head back.
“Can I?” Conor asks out loud, looking over the image of himself and trying to align it with Eric Dane’s. “Can I go to the dark places you went to and end someone’s game?”
Conor tilts his head and begins to question this idea. “She didn’t deserve it. She was a good person. We were supposed to become best friends. We were supposed to CoD together! Can I, can I truly go to the darkness?”
Finally, The Game Boy appears in the poster’s reflection behind Conor Fuse. Suddenly, Conor’s demeanor changes completely. A small, sadistic smile starts to cross his face. “Of course I can! I hated Erin Gordon! She deserved it! Well done, my Level Seven Boss who I haven’t met yet. Well done, indeed.”
Fuse walks up to the poster and “rubs” Eric Dane’s head. Then he turns around and rubs The Game Boy on the head as they stroll off down the concourse and eventually, out of the Best Arena.
“Okay. Zeb Martin. What do we have on this guy? Likes eggs. Big fisher. Wears a white undershirt to work. Now he’s definitely from the South!”