Fuck all you hoes!
The crowd turns to the curtain as the opening to Kid Rock’s “Don’t Tell Me How To Live” erups from the sound system.
Detroit till I die Motherfucker!
Talking all that bullshit.
Ain’t nooooobody gonna tell me how to liiiive!!
Chad Kyle emerges from the curtain to thunderous apathy. He has a microphone in his hand and starts to make his way down the ramp as the opening verse continues. Kid Rock’s voice only seems to amplify the general irritated vibe of the arena.
The song makes it to somewhere around “I never been the smartest” before cutting off. Chad, for his part looks furious as he snaps his head back towards the curtain. The crows ceases leaving their seats, and those who had gotten up to make their way to the concession stand look curiously towards the ramp.
Hold up, hold up. Stop this right now.
The crowd goes absolutely INSANE as The Real Deal comes from behind the curtain. He gives a smile at the crowd reaction and shush them gently with both hands. The audience obliges waiting to hear what the fearless leader has to say.
Real Deal: Now, I’ve been in SHOOT Project for a long time now. In that time I’ve seen people stab others with screwdrivers, I’ve seen chest hair pull submissions, we’ve had soldiers killed, Hell I’ve even seen “ghosts” of deceased Soldiers. But even I have to draw the line somewhere when it comes to decency and what u will and won’t allow on my show.
Chad Kyle pulls the microphone to his face, visibly shaking either anger.
Tha Chadster: Now you listen…
Real Deal: That’ll be just about enough from you. First off, you’re from Toledo, not Detroit. And second, I’m not having this trash on my show. So go ahead, get in the ring, talk whatever nonsense that everyone still listening will forget before they even leave the arena, and get out so the real SHOOT Project Soldiers can get down here and do what they do. My patience is running pretty thin with “Tha Chadster.”
At that, Real Deal waves him towards the ring and shakes hands with a few lucky fans lining the entrance ramp. He turns to head back towards the curtain when Chad Kyle begins again. No music this time, but begin again he does.
Chad Kyle: Devil without a cause, you heard me scream it! And twenty years later I still fuckin mean it! Bucka Bucka, you ain’t never met a motherfucker like this!
Real Deal, still facing the curtain let’s loose a heavy sigh, cracks his neck, and sets the microphone on the floor next to him. He turns around and begins walking down the ramp towards Chad.
Chad Kyle: Kiss my ass! And you can suck a dick sideways! My way or the highway listen up! Ain’t nothing changed here, I still don’t give a fuck! So what Tha fu…
Real Deal absolutely LAUNCHES a Reality Check right into the jaw of Chad Kyle! Chad collapses to the ramp in a heap as the crows erups in cheers. Without making any other moves, Real Deal turns back towards the curtain and begins to walk back up the ramp. At the top of the ramp he leans down, grabs the microphone, and brushes off his pant legs. Without turning back around he pulls the microphone to his face.
Real Deal: Someone come out here and clean this trash up, please.
With that, he moves back behind the curtain to the backstage area. The crowd still cheering as Chad Kyle has yet to move on the ramp.
Blood Money Vs. Surf Express Bro
Black screen. A voice speaks that is unfamiliar to us: an elderly man, his tone measured and slow.
Head out of Vegas on a northern clip. North, north, north.
Well past the Valley of Fire.
Almost to Mormon Peak.
The camera follows the highway at night in David Lynch resplendence. The blacktop inky in it’s depth, the yellow of the lines cutting through electric. The roar of the engine is evident, and makes the driving vehicle to be something older. Something with that real chug and bubble, a real grunt and growl when the gas pedal gets depressed. A sign is passed: “GREAT BASIN HWY”. Soon another. “CRYSTAL SPRINGS 67 Mi.”
Soft life won’t survive.
Boiling days and frigid nights.
Evolve into a higher being or regress into something prehistoric. Something ancient.
With a mighty growl, the tach is obviously climbing. The vehicle begins to dart back and forth between lanes. Sometimes the turning isn’t precise and we hear the rumble of the dirt and rocks that buttress the highways before a quick course correction. The growl continues, nothing to keep it company or respond, the desert pitch black. But in the distance..a single light.
Go beyond where the neon glows.
Beyond where the money trades hands.
Beyond civilization and the wonders of nature.
The growl slows, a crunch under the tires of gravel and rock. All of the sudden it’s turning right. The lot is empty save for one car. A bare flood bulb does a poor job of illuminating the words “Arrow Diner” above the door in blistered, sun baked red. All of the sudden the motion stops. The view becomes obscured in a massive cloud of dust and sand. The engine cuts with these final words.
Beyond what remains.
Is the home of what remains.
Chadwick Kyle Vs. Bobby Dean
It’s that loading dock life. Last time we saw Mike, he was with his brothers. Now, he’s all by himself. Skeleton print hoodie with a neon skull in profile on either side of the hood, pulled up, like it’s street fashion from 2006. He’s a quarter viewing away from the camera, and though his speech necessitates movement, he’s backlit enough that we still can’t see his face. From his pocket he produces two of the keys to a higher level of consciousness: A pre-roll packed to the gills with a combination of sticky leaf and kief, and a disposable lighter. Filter to lips. Blaze that shit. Freeze on the first hit. Let it get in you before you exhale.
He looks up, breathing out an absolutely industrial plume of smoke. Takes a moment. Speaks with his rapid fire, accented, Dominican York vibe.
Mike: It’s not like I don’t got pity for you, Vic. I do. I look at you and I see…s’like you cant help yourself bro. I get that. I seen that. You think I aint seen a dozen like you, coming from where I’m from? Shit. You ain’t nothing but a common fiend. Just people who get bad off on that shit, you can see it on them. Clothes just a bit too shabby, cheeks sunk in, eyes deep. Keep moving, too. Can’t stand still.
He holds up a finger, wagging.
Mike: But you, Vic? No tell tales. Nah you got some stealth in you. Shiny suit, nice haircut, smooth talk–and credit where it’s due, you got a rap in you that could charm the panties offa the Virgin Mary.
Another big hit, exhales with a chuckle. The smoke almost forms a halo around the dude.
Mike: Problem is with a front? A front is exhausting.
Mike: And so you let it slip. Little bit at first. Then a lot.
He pops the cone into his mouth. Another big hit. Bone Boy is chiefing it, almost down to a half with expert efficiency.
Mike: And then you take my fuckin’ face. My face!! What, cause you thought it’d make me a better man? Cause you deadass care about me so much? Fuera. Aint trying to hear that. You liked it. Cause you got that disease deep in you.
His shoulder slump. He looks to the ground. Thinks for a moment, noodles on this. Finally looks up.
Mike: But that’s okay, Vic Thane. Cause I do too. You think I’m just in this business for the entertainment, the fans giving me pre-rolleds, the plump mamis? I mean…okay that’s mostly why ole Mikey de los Huevos brings the party. But you aint get too far in this game without knowing how to hurt people and digging it just enough to scare you a bit. Thing is? Mike de los Huevos knows that about Mike de los Huevos. And I aint sure you know that about Victor Thane.
He takes a mighty healthy drag from his raw cone. Big drag, inhale. Another, smaller srag. Inhale. The exhale has the effect of someone snapping a valve off a steam pipe.
Mike: Look around you, man. Look around me. This was some street shit, crew to crew. You made this personal. You kicked a man when he was down. You disrespected me on national television. You brought the fuckin’ thunder, my good bitch.
One more hit and he’s smoked it to the filter. He snuffs it on the concrete and turns to the camera, the hood and the backlighting leaving everything but his chin shrouded in darkness.
Mike: And now I have no choice…but to beat the fuckin’ brakes offa you.
Though we can’t see it, the motion of the muscles in his jaw make it apparent: Mike de los Huesos is smiling. He zips up. He chucks the deuce. He dials something on his phone–a text to Kit and Dave, likely–and walks off into the night. The camera holds there for a few moments before fading to darkness.
Doozer Vs. Robby Bingo
The name echoes through the Epicenter’s halls as the cameras catch up with Joshua Breedlove and Abigail Chase. Breedlove stands in casual dress, as he’s not in competition tonight, not that far away from Lindsay Troy and VALOR’s lockerroom.
Breedlove: To what do I owe this… oh, I guess we’ll call it a pleasure, Abby?
Chase bristles at the near-dismissal.
Abigail Chase: Just wanted to know if you had any thoughts as your casual dalliance goes up against a guy that you’ve referred to as the prototype version of you?
Breedlove: Well, heh… couple things. Yes, he is MOST DEFINITELY the prototype version of me. He’s the guy who tried really hard to be what I am and failed, so he had to try and get in good with the fans once again… As for Lindsay? She’s a potential competitor.
Abigail Chase: Potential competitor? What do you mean?
Breedlove lets out a large, audible, dramatic sigh.
Breedlove: I realize that most people in this organization aren’t several steps ahead like I am, but see if you can follow along…
He holds up his index finger.
Breedlove: I dethrone the World Fraudweight Champion, NEMESIS, at Master of the Mat. Then, who do I face next? Why… it could be one of two people. It COULD be the fraudweight’s daddy or it could actually be Lindsay Troy. See what I’m getting at? I’m a student at this game, and I need to study.
Abigail Chase: Seems like you do plenty of Lindsay Troy studying as it is. What do you hope to learn here?
Breedlove laughs aloud.
Breedlove: Cheeky, Abby. I love it. Almost reeks of jealousy, but not quite. To your question… I know what to look for with Lindsay Troy. I just want to see what happens if she gets pushed to her limit, I wanna see what happens if she somehow loses to my prototype. I want to fully take in the spectacle that is… Lindsay Troy. Fair enough?
Abigail Chase: Fair enough.
Breedlove: Back to you at the commentary booth.
We cut away…