Vladivostok, Russian Federation
*The scene opens inside a small room. There are no windows inside and the only piece of furniture is a hospital bed. On it lies Aceldama, asleep and attached to a heart monitor. He is covered in a blanket and the only sound resonating from the room is the continuous beat of the heart monitor. He begins to slowly awaken. When fully awoke he finally becomes aware of his surroundings and becomes agitated. He tries to move but physically cannot, something is stopping him. He cannot see what is stopping him because of the blanket but when he tries to move his legs and arms he feels pressure against them, as if he has been restrained to the bed. He can hear the clanging of metal as he tries to wriggle free*
Aceldama– What the…?
*From the door comes in a familiar face to him, smoking at a cigarette. It is Vladimir. He is holding a newspaper and reading it as he walks in.*
Vladimir– Careful little piggy! I wouldn’t want to put that new heart of yours to the test too soon now.
Aceldama– What have you done to me?
Vladimir– Exactly what you asked for. You have a new heart and by looks of it the heart has taken well. Your problems are behind you now……well one of your problems.
Aceldama– What do you mean ‘one’ of my problems?
Vladimir– It would seem you are a wanted man in the United States. Your previous employer has put a bounty on your head. One million U.S dollars. Seems you left them high and dry.
Aceldama– And I suppose this is what the restraints are for? Your going to bring me back to him and collect that bounty?
Vladimir– What? Of course not Mr Bruggemann! We would never do such a thing! Anyhow, we have big plans for you now.
Aceldama– There was no discussion about any plans, you do this for me, you get paid and I will be on my way.
Vladimir– Oh Mr Bruggemann, you should always read the small print before you sign your life away. You see, we have been watching footage of you, quite the wrestler. You would make for a great attraction here in Mother Russia. You see we run an undergound prize-fighting rig, very exclusive, only the toughest allowed to apply. We aim to use you to keep the prize money within our ranks.
Aceldama– You know the second I get free from these restraints I am leaving here.
Vladimir– And how to you intend to do that Mr Bruggemann? Fly on the next flight out of here back to the land of the free? Might be very difficult…..especially now.
Aceldama– What do you mean? What have you’s done?
Vladimir– We have your passport Mr Bruggemann, we have also informed Civil Aviation that you are a flight risk. You will not be able to step foot on a plane without being arrested, and simply returned to us. Your assets have also been frozen as well, it would seem your payment to us for your little procedure bounced. It would seem this ‘Lee Best’ wants to flush you out. You have no options, you owe us, and seeing you have no money, no assets, nothing, we will take the next best thing, you!
Aceldama– You won’t be able to get away with this, I will be found.
Vladimir– And how? The flight you took from Chicago to here? We have had that record struck from the civil aviation records. As far as they are concerned, no flight ever left with you on board. Nobody knows where you are, you’re a ghost Mr Bruggemann.
*Suddenly Aceldama uses the pent up rage inside of him to rip the restraints from his arms and immediately goes for the ones in his legs. Upon seeing this Vladimir makes a move towards the door and instructs others to come in. Two men come rushing inside and grab Aceldama. Another man, a doctor, wearing a white jacket comes in holding a syringe. The two men manage to hold down Aceldama as the doctor injects something into his right arm. The rage and energy which was once there begins to decline as Aceldama becomes almost immobile. The two other men proceed to put his arms back in the restraints, without any fight from Aceldama*
Vladimir– Rest up now little piggy. We need that energy for the prize-fighting. The ‘German Boar’ will soon be making his debut and you will make us a lot of money indeed. If you refuse, I personally will rip that pig’s heart out of your chest and eat it in front of you before you get your last breath on this earth! You played the lottery of life Mr Bruggemann, and you lost it all.
**FADE TO BLACK**
Monday 6th February 2023
The Basement of the Best Arena
*The scene opens inside the large extension which was created in the basement of the Best Arena. Aceldama is sitting on a long metal bench, doing weights. Sean Maguire is standing with his boot on the bench, reading a piece of paper. He takes off his hat and begins to scratch his head*
Sean Maguire– I don’t understand this ‘Lethal Lottery’
Aceldama– What’s there to understand, you show up, you are randomly picked to wrestle someone, might be for a belt, might not, you do your thing, you leave.
Sean Maguire– Yeah, I get that bit, but who picks who wrestles who? What do they do? Spin a wheel? Draw straws?
Aceldama– How do I know? Does it matter? Are you going to stand there looking at that piece of paper pretending you can read or are you going to what you have been ordered to do and help me?
Sean Maguire– How do you know I cannot read?
Aceldama– The writing is upside down.
Sean Maguire– Ah……no I can’t read. What I was saying was, how can I train you to fight someone if I do not know who they are? Their fighting style, so on and so on.
Aceldama– You know something Sean, I still think this some sort of joke from Lee Best to get into my head because if it wasn’t for the fact I am stuck down here, no other option but to accept what comes my way, you would have been out of here a long time ago trust me.
Sean Maguire– Awk Wolfie, Ace, I thought we were becoming friends……
*With that comment Aceldama gets up off the bench, flings it upside down and grabs Sean and puts him pressed against the wall, raised off his feet, looking at him eye to eye. Aceldama looks enraged*
Aceldama– Lets get one thing clear here, we are NOT friends! You are here because someone else sees something in you, I don’t. You can’t teach me anything I don’t already know….
*He begins to choke Sean*
Sean Maguire– Oh really?……Did you….know…..this one?…..With an Irishman about….always…..guard your……bollocks!!
*Sean uses his flailing feet to kick Aceldama in the groin area which makes him release the chokehold and drop to his knees. Sean charges at Aceldama and knees him across the cheek, sending him to the ground. He climbs on top of him and begins to pummel him with vicious closed fisted shots to the face. Aceldama begins to fight back and manages to get Sean off him and swipes his legs sending him to the ground. He stands up with his fists raised, panting mercifully. *
Sean Maguire– You misjudged me. You thought I was a nothing but yet I managed to take you down. Is that what you are going to do come this Lethal Lottery? Misjudge your opponent? Think your better than them? These fellas have been wrestling for years! Most of them hall of famer’s like yourself, you barely got through your first match!
Aceldama– You only got me down because you played dirty.
Sean Maguire– So fucking what?! That’s what a brawler is all about! Always finding ways to get out of the predicament, using every dirty trick in the book. Fighting like your life depends on it! Thirteen years Wolfgang…..
*Aceldama enraged lunges at Sean and hits him square in the kidney region and then grabs the back of his head and pushes it against him*
Aceldama– NEVER call me by my first name, you show me some respect.
Sean Maguire– Fine fine! Whatever! But you have wrestled one match in the last thirteen years and you expect to go into the unknown this weekend and try and win a title! Your not prepared!
Aceldama– I don’t want any titles.
Sean Maguire– Jesus you didn’t read the memo did you? All the matches, albeit random are for titles, you could be up against the world champion!
Aceldama– I am not here for titles, I don’t want titles. I just want redemption, for people to remember me as the force I was. And for the record, the thirteen years I was away, I NEVER stopped fighting, I fought for my life every single day, you have NO idea what I have been through.
Sean Maguire– You and me, we are more alike than you think. Where do you think Lee found me? In prison, thirty years to life to murder. He found some technicality and got me out, basically to work for him, to wrestle for him for free, just like you are now. This room you stand in now….this was mine! But what Lee did not know about me was I could not wrestle….remember when I said these fists are banned in twenty two states before…..I was not lying. I am forbidden to take part in any form of armed combat. Illinois is one of those states, Best Arena, Chicago…Lee could not afford once he restarted the business to move it across states, so he kept it here. So I am basically a slave for nothing, until you came. Please…..give me a purpose again. Let me have MY redemption.
*Aceldama stares at Sean for what seems like an eternity, then finally, with head down brushes past Sean and then stops beside him, but his hand on his shoulder and without looking up, begins to talk*
Aceldama– It is late, we can continue this in the morning.
*He continues to brush past Sean and goes back into his small room, through the hole in the wall which has still not been fixed in any way, the rubble still lying on the ground. He walks over to his bed and sits upon it, then lays his head upon his pillow, turning away from the camera, against the bare concrete wall and looks to go to sleep*
Sean Maguire– I think I may have finally got through to him.
**FADE TO BLACK**
Unknown Location, Russian Federation
*The scene opens inside a dark basement, somewhere within the Russian Federation. It is bustling, busy and filled with lots of men in suits, the Russian Oligarch’s, some of the richest men in the world, sit at small tables with one another, drinking upon the finest of Russian vodka’s and smoking their imported cigars from Cuba. They are all here for one reason and one reason only, to witness the most exclusive prize-fighting challenge in the country and tonight is somewhat different. The Oligarch’s favourite fighter, one that has garnished them much money over the years, Anton Shevski, is about to face a relative newcomer to the game, but a name that many of the Oligarch’s have heard of, Wolfgang Bruggemann, also known as Aceldama.
It has brought one of the biggest crowds ever for one of these events, and albeit illegal is one of the countries richest’s favourite guilty pleasure. They all sit within their social groups, around tables which are all pointing in one direction, towards a large cage in front of them, about 15 feet in height. Inside the cage stands a man, seven feet tall, every inch of body muscle. His back is covered in scars and his forehead the same. He is bald headed but sports a long goatee which nearly goes down to his belly button. This man’s name is Anton Shevski, and for over five years, he has dominated the world of underground prize fighting. The crowd begin to chant something as we pan to the distance where Aceldama is seen approaching the cage.*
Crowd– SMERT’S KOSOY, SMERT!
*Aceldama standing beside Vladimir outside of the ring looks around him as the chant get’s louder and the men begin to bang their feet off the floor. He turns to Vladimir, confused by what is happening*
Aceldama– What are they saying?
Vladimir– Grim Reaper, death!
Aceldama– And why are they saying that?
Vladimir– Anton has been unbeaten in the last five years, he is the grim reaper, every person who stepped in there with him, met their death.
Aceldama– Death? What the? I thought you said I was here to BEAT that man, now your telling me he has killed every person he has fought against?
Vladimir– Of course Wolfgang, it is the rules of this prize tournament after all, two walk in, one walks out. Your odds are well….low, but they do not know that we have provided you with a little….help. Under the sawdust, far right-hand side, there is something that will help you. As long as you go for it right away and use it, you will be fine.
*Aceldama makes his way towards the cage door as someone opens it up from the outside and when he tries to get in Anton runs straight towards the door and slams it across the face of Aceldama. Climbing out of the cage, Anton picks up Aceldama like a rag doll and proceeds to throw him inside the cage. It is not a ring inside, but a combination of hard mud and sawdust, the impact is painful. Anton takes the plaudits of the crowd and he begins to slowly toy with Aceldama, kicking him roughly across the ribs, then picking him up by the head and throwing him against a metal pole. Aceldama is down on the floor as Anton sits on top of him and begins to deliver stiff shots to his face. He then stands up and walks towards the metal pole he threw him against and proceeds to remove it from the ground. Aceldama meanwhile is on all fours and moving towards a corner. Anton takes the pole and whacks it across the bare back of Aceldama who lets out a loud scream, Anton does not stop as he continues to beat upon his back. Aceldama is in a corner, trying to use the wire cage to pull himself up, another shot to the back of the head knocks him back down. In the corner he realises he is in the right-hand side, his face against the sawdust, he tries to rustle through it to find whatever it was Vladimir was saying was there. He can feel nothing. He keeps rustling until he can feel something, he takes it in his hand quickly as Anton kneels down in front of him and grabs his hair, but Aceldama pounces and lunges onto Anton who lets out a massive yelp. He falls to the floor, and immediately is holding his neck. Aceldama stands up and we notice what is in his hand. A large butchers knife. It is covered in blood, he drops it to the floor as Anton lies on the floor, trying to get his breath as blood gushes from his throat. Aceldama walks over to him, Anton still conscious but losing a lot of blood and kneels onto his chest and goes straight in front of him, leaning closer and speaks to him, in German, then also shouts it*
Aceldama– Ich bin das Sterben! (I am death)
*He then proceeds to pummel Anton’s face and chest with a non-stop barrage of heavy punches to the point that Anton’s breast plate collapses and his cheek bone nearly dislocates from his face. He proceeds to choke him but Anton is already dead as the crowd in the room sit in complete silence, complete shock on their faces. Aceldama looks at his hands, covered in the blood of Anton as he sits upright and begins to shout towards all the crowd*
Aceldama– ICH bin das Sterben!! I am your grim reaper now!
*Realising how much money the Oligarch’s has probably just lost this puts the crowd into a frenzy with some trying to get their money back by storming the small booth created to take the bets whilst a few attempt to climb the stage to attack Aceldama who, still sitting on the lifeless body of Anton sits laughing, goading them on*
Aceldama– You want to come play with the grim reaper too? Come on in…….
*Suddenly there is a large thud noise as the door to the basement is barricaded open and a multitude of heavily armed Russian police officers storm the room, forcing the Oligarch’s to run away. Thankfully there was safe exits made for such an occasion and many make their escape, others, more incensed about losing their money didn’t even notice the police entering and they are quickly taken and arrested. A team of officers open the cage door and notice Aceldama sitting on the dead body of Anton, they immediately take out their guns and proceed to shout at him in Russian, but he simply sits and laughs*
Aceldama– Smert’s Kosey, as you say?
*The officers tackle him to the ground and proceed to put him in handcuffs and his face is pressed beside the stone cold, bloodied face of Anton*
Aceldama– I will continue your legacy Anton, the grim reaper shall live on!
*The scene cuts as Aceldama is picked up and dragged out of the cage as some of the oligarch’s attempt to attack him as he passes them, he literally laughs it off and smirks all the way towards the exit*
Tuesday 7th February 2023
Basement of the Best Arena
*The scene opens with Sean Maguire being escorted down the lift by two guards. He looks haggard and down beaten, dressed in the same clothes as the night before. The door opens and is slid across as Sean exits and into Aceldama’s chambers, he walks towards his bed*
Sean Maguire– For someone who said we would pick this up tomorrow your still in your…..
*He removes the bedsheet and there is nothing*
Sean Maguire– Bed.
*He looks around the room but does not see any sign of him so he walks towards the hole in the wall and notices Aceldama is already in the ring, covered in sweat working through manoeuvres with what seems to be a very unwilling guard, who is struggling to keep his mask on him. He looks across the room and sees Sean standing*
Aceldama– Your late.
Sean Maguire– We never agreed a time
Aceldama– Well seeing you’re here now, you are excused.
*The guard upon hearing this news rolls quickly from under the ring and runs away through the gaping hole.*
Aceldama– What are you waiting for? I potentially have a date with a world championship on the line, every second counts.
Sean Maguire– Sure does
Aceldama– Who is the World Champion nowadays?
Sean Maguire– Christopher America
Aceldama– What? Excuse me but I thought you just said Christopher America there.
Sean Maguire– I did, I know me accent is strong and all but I thought I was as clear as day.
Aceldama– That little Captain America ripoff, he was about when I was last here! Is he still going around singing the praises of America?
Sean Maguire– Oh yes, but now hes World Champion he thinks he has a bigger platform to ship that propaganda.
Aceldama– Then lets get him off his soapbox, if the opportunity arises and the stars and planets align, luck can be on my side. Be a nice reunion after all these years, to take my world title back again.
Sean Maguire– I thought you didn’t care about the titles?
Aceldama– I don’t, but I know he does, so to take it off him, and basically just sell it on to the highest bidder.
Sean Maguire– Wait a second here, are you saying, that IF you win a title this Saturday, your basically going to pawn it off to the highest bidder?
Aceldama– To those champions, their belts mean everything to them, a symbol of status in this business, to take it off them and to remind them all how easily I could do it, that’s all I want to do. To remind everyone
Thirteen Years Away
They will all wish I remained away by the end of this night!!
*The scene begins to fade to black as Aceldama and Sean begin to spar in the middle of the ring*