Post by Izzy Anders on May 22, 2020 15:15:55 GMT -5
Spencer Burke walks the hallways, knowing his next route on the Afterburn tour. He stops at a slightly ajar door, where the sounds of medical personnel greet the camera. He patiently waits until one leaves, giving him the clear to go inside. As he does, the camera fixates on the Mindkiller, sitting against a locker with a medical staff member, checking the back of her head. The man looks up, taking note of the arriving production team. He asks Izzy if she’s okay to talk to them, and she nods weakly. Not exactly confident in her statement, the doctor tries to press the matter, but to no avail. Knowing he doesn’t have much sway over the Grand Slam Champion’s actions, he takes his exit.
Spencer Burke: Izzy, I know that this might not be a good time, and really, I want to ask if you’re okay? You took a nasty chair shot to the back of the head. If you don’t want to talk, then I’ll--
Izzy puts her hand up to stop him from speaking.
Izzy Anders: It’s fine, Spencer.
Spencer Burke: We know that it was Johnny Karma that did it. You two have a storied history, and it seems that you’re on track to clash again.
Izzy peers up a little at the camera, her piercing irises striking from behind her hair.
Izzy Anders: Of course, it had to be me. I won’t act like I know his exact reasons. I have a good idea, but I rather not go into that here. I rather say it to his face. He’s brazen enough to interfere in affairs he has no business, so I can only hope that he’s brave enough to look his demons in the face.
A heavy sigh from off camera catches the attention of Spencer, the cameraman, and The Mindkiller. As the camera moves over to see the source of the disturbance; the glint of light off the faceplate of the FGA championship telegraphs it.
Fujiko Mine leans against the wall a foot away, her arm and shoulders wrapped in ice and Saran Wrap. What should be a look of joy and accomplishment does not exist on the Blissbringer’s face. There lives only disappointment and sadness.
Fujiko Mine:: Izzy…
She looks not at the subject of the scene, but at the ground.
Fujiko Mine: I feel like I owe you an apology. I don’t know.
Izzy shakes her head.
Izzy Anders: No, you don’t owe me anything. None of us knew that was going to happen.
She starts to pick herself off the floor. Spencer offers a hand that she takes. The Mindkiller offers him a quiet thanks before moving to Fujiko.
Izzy Anders: I can’t fault you for anything that happened. If anything, I’m glad that you still got that.
Izzy motions to the championship.
There is a sad smile that crosses Fujiko’s face as she says that.
Fujiko Mine: James put up a hell of a fight. He tried to break my ribs. I’m not sure if he succeeded in that venture or not. But yeah.
She shakes her head, wincing as a small tear squeezes its way past her defenses and rolls down her cheek.
Fujiko Mine: I just came by to say that. And to say that I was pulling for you tonight. Because I would’ve loved to get to defend this against you again. Maybe some time it’ll happen again anyway.
She moves her torso as much as she’s able to, in a facsimile of a shrug.
Fujiko Mine: But if you need me, just say the word. I’ll do what I can to help you.
Izzy’s expression softens a bit from a fractured smile.
Izzy Anders: No, I can’t--
The Mindkiller reaffirms her more stoic demeanor, taking a sharp breath. She places both of her hands gently on the World Champion’s shoulders.
Izzy Anders: I just need you to keep doing what you do. Keep winning. Keep carrying that gold better than I did or anyone else. Keep being the beacon for everything right in FGA.
Her voice is a little shaky, but she grits her teeth and continues.
Izzy Anders: This? What Karma did? It’s because of things that I did. Cherry said something that haunted me tonight, and I realize something else about this whole situation. It’s something that you don’t need to be a part of. This is because I was--no, I am a horrible person. I have done terrible things to people like Karma. People like you. You don’t need to find yourself in the scope like me.
She lets a moment of silence fall between them.
Izzy Anders: Where I’m about to go is somewhere you shouldn’t ever follow, okay? You’re too good for all that.
Ever-so-gently so as not to hurt the champion, Izzy gives Fujiko an embrace.
Izzy Anders: I love you. You’re a wonderful person, a great friend, and an even better champion.
When she lets go, Izzy full breaks away.
Izzy Anders: I’m sorry for what you’re going to have to see.
Fujiko opens her mouth to say something, but her jaw hangs open long enough for us to see that her brain has supplied nothing for her. She gives up and nods.
Fujiko Mine: Okay. Just.
She looks at Izzy in the eyes for a moment, but then draws her gaze away.
Fujiko Mine: Just be careful.
Fujiko looks up at the ceiling, then at Spencer, and then down at the ground. She winces as she takes a step back, and then turns to leave. Two steps into her exit, she pauses, as if she finally had something, but then slowly limps off, leaving Izzy and Spencer alone. Spencer comes up to Izzy, who hasn’t turned her gaze away from where Fujiko left.
Spencer Burke: What do you mean by “what she’ll have to see?”
Izzy lets out a humorless chuckle.
Izzy Anders: That nasty side of humanity we all hate.
Spencer looks as if he was going to pry, but he knows the look that Izzy gives him. Accepting what was offered, Spencer leaves the Mindkiller alone. The camera lingers on her as she puts her back against the locker and slides down it.
This particular assignment on the afterburn is in the opposite side of the previous one...deep in the locker room. The door is cracked open and Spencer Burke has hustled to the opposite side of the building showcasing he might have some of the best cardio in all of professional wrestling by not being overly winded by this trek. Spencer enters the room and notices that it’s almost completely empty aside from one of the most isolated and probably disliked professional wrestlers on the planet yet again after the stunt he pulled. Some time had passed and he had just finished putting on the tie to his three piece black and white suit that you often see him wearing. But there isn’t any sense of joy or celebration on his face. Hell, his face looks stern, serious, even a little...grim. As soon as Seth eyeballs Spencer he just gestures over calmly but Spencer isn’t exactly the happiest man at the moment.
Spencer Burke: Seth...as much as I want to congratulate you for notching that last part of your legacy, I have to ask...what the hell was that?
Seth raises an eyebrow at the interviewer as he ponders how to answer that question for a second.
Seth Iser: Living up to my word.
Spencer blinks at Iser for a moment as if he can’t believe the answer he just spoke but Seth isn’t giving him a chance to retort.
Seth Iser: Eyes and ears open, Spencer. Every trick in the book was open. Every single one of them. I’m not a damned liar. This might have been one of my last shots at glory. Everything I’ve ever learned from a young boy paying his dues...all the way to working in sweatboxes in Japan to becoming the most hated man in England all the way back to fine tooling how to be a professional in professional wrestling back home. All of that knowledge on how to do something to get what I...needed. The absolute last notch for my accomplishments and that’s a win in the tournament.
Spencer has this scowl on his face not liking the answer.
Spencer Burke: I guess my first question was...why the DDT off the top? You screamed about the risks with Tyler then do something like that.
Seth Iser: There wasn’t a choice in the matter. Lowri would’ve had me beat otherwise. I give her an opportunity to take the wind out of me on that 450 and my dream is over. I couldn’t risk that. She scouted the superplex earlier as well so I had to go back to something I picked up in my days of Japan. It was the only opening she gave me at the time and the element of surprise was in my favor. I always keep a few tricks under my sleeve for when I need them...and turned out Spencer...I needed that one.
Spencer then blinks for a moment processing all of this.
Spencer Burke: And then you interfered in the match between Izzy and Neal.
Seth Iser: Considering the number Silk & Cynide did on both of them that made what I had to do next obvious to make my chances of winning greater. I wasn’t fighting this tournament with honorable intentions solely to test what I was made of; I was looking to do whatever I had to do in order to get my hand raised and walk out with the prize. Neal, Izzy, and Lowri all have more years ahead of them than I do. Two of the three will probably forgive me for what I pulled...Izzy?
Seth lets that name hang for a moment as he pauses, there’s a neutral but knowing look on his face. He almost visualizes something but keeps his composure when he closed his eyes for a moment.
Seth Iser: Well...I already know what’s coming from her. You see Spencer...we all have to pay for everything we’ve ever done in this industry. I learned that lesson a while ago. I paid the price when I lost my first major job in this industry because I couldn’t get out of my own damn way with the drugs. I lost YEARS of my career Spencer...YEARS because I have this ability to piss off people like Owen Gonsalves. And Izzy has a similar gift to me in that aspect...we’ve made our fair share of enemies in our wrestling career. I gambled thinking someone was going to want to make Izzy pay for her own sins if I couldn’t score the blow. It was a reasonable assumption to make...but it was still a gamble. Nobody wants to willingly piss her off unless there wasn’t a choice left. I didn’t have that choice anymore; I was committed to the plan.
He has a scowl on his face as he states all of this.
Seth Iser: So I did what I needed to knowing full well I’m going to pay the price later. I accept the consequences of my actions. Because there is one more glory I need to achieve...and that’s one more top championship. I’ve made no secrets about that. I’m Wrestling’s Greatest Mind. My plans worked for all three matches even if the second one was as much of a gambit as it was a plan. But I’m also one of the most devious men to ever play this game, Spencer. You name a rule and I’ll tell you how liberally I’ve broken it and gotten away. People think that’s dirty and that you shouldn’t study it. That’s an excuse. You don’t have to play with those tricks but you need to learn how to defend yourself from being taken advantage of by some of the most devious wrestlers in the game. And who is better at that aspect of professional wrestling than I am?
There’s a quiet look from Spencer as Seth continues stating what is going through his mind.
Seth Iser: And I’m all in on being THE champion. I’m all in on having the one true reign to represent myself, the sport, and the company the way it should be. As much as I’d love to just pursue the personal avenue...that’s not what will determine my decision in any form or fashion. I didn’t come this far just to throw all of it away you know. Why? Because if I want to be the man...if I want one last chance to show off how great I’ve always been in that ring, I am not going to screw this one up. And again...that means whoever I pick...I’m keeping every trick of the trade I’ve ever learned from my thirty-nine years of life wide open when I pursue the championship I pick.
Spencer Burke: But which title are you pursuing?
Seth shakes his head when the question is asked opting not to answer that directly.
Seth Iser: It’s not about revealing that right now, Spencer. Sometimes it’s more beneficial to play your cards right away. Right now...I’m doing the same thing that won me this tournament...I’ll tell you all the cards on the table but I’m not revealing my hand nor am I revealing how I’ll play it. You’re waiting just like everybody else. But 2020 I said I was going to be the man one more time. It might bleed into 2021 a little bit but everyone will truly remember the name Seth Iser when I’m done.
And still without the hint of arrogance as he sneers down at Spencer who is uncomfortable with this approach from Iser.
Seth Iser: And there won’t be a damn thing anybody on this planet can do...to stop me.
With that last statement Spencer looks like he wants to ask one more question but Iser starts walking away. He’s done answering and he’s going to leave to ponder things through.
A long, heavy sigh. It’s audible before we can see anything in front of us. For several seconds, we’re just left with the sounds-- the rustling of bags, the squeak of a sole against the floor tile, and finally an exhale as the bags are lifted up.
We blink into color as Evan Envi pushes his dressing room door open, stepping out into the dully-painted and brightly-lit corridors. Adjusting his Adidas sports bag on his shoulder, he closes his eyes for a moment, frozen in place as he takes another breath. Absent is the typical swagger or confidence from the former two-time World Champion. Instead, his shoulders hang even as he looks straight ahead. He takes a step forward--
??: Do you think it’s over?
Evan stops. He turns his head slightly, just enough to see Spencer Burke approaching. Perhaps he’d been standing outside the door the entire time. His arms are crossed and he is clearly not poised to carry out a prolonged interview, not even bringing his own microphone to the scene. Envi nods for a moment before turning to face Burke fully.
Evan Envi: Yeah. I do.
Spencer Burke: The Good Guys are over then. Where do you go from here?
Evan shakes his head a little.
Evan Envi: Haven’t figured that part out. I d…
Envi clears his throat. He looks away from Spencer, and away from the camera for just a second.
Evan Envi: I didn’t think of much past this. It took everything I had to work myself up to tonight.. y’know?
The Chief shrugs his shoulders.
Evan Envi: I guess the important thing is figuring out where I stand right now and how I do that without-- without someone behind me or even beside me. It’s not the first time, but it’s always… I dunno… an adjustment.
Evan clears his throat a second time. Breathes in.
Evan Envi: It’s… it’s crazy. I’ve lost partners before. I’ve lost friends. This business brings out the worst, man-- the worst in people. At the core of this thing we love is this… terrible… thing. You think you can beat it. You think you can, like, outrun it, but it always catches up with you. I’m realizing that.
Spencer Burke: Yeah?
One last deep breath. Evan adjusts the bag on his shoulder and nods.
Evan Envi: Stay safe, Spence. It’s gettin’ weird out there.
Spencer Burke: You as well, Evan.
Envi continues in his original direction. He continues for a few seconds until stopping at another closed dressing room door… clearly marked “FUJIKO MINE.” He narrows his eyes, pondering, contemplating… before shaking his head to himself and turning, continuing toward the exit.
Until he stops, just before rounding the corner. Envi taps his foot for a few seconds-- before finally pivoting, letting his bag slide off of his shoulder and down to the floor before marching to the door, raising his fist, and knocking.
Silence follows the echo of the knock for a few moments. There is no sound to indicate that someone is coming towards the door, or that someone was moving in the room at all...at first. But then, footsteps begin to approach the door. The metallic sound of the handle moving, and then the door swings open to reveal the surprised face of XENA. The surprise lasts for about the length of a lightning flash before it is replaced with her trademark scowl.
She takes a moment, an eyeroll with a side of an exasperated breath...before placing her hand on the doorframe and looking at Evan. The look on her face belies that she is struggling with some sort of given request or order as she looks at The Chief.
XENA: How...can I help you.
She bares her teeth in an aggressive smile, punctuating the statement to keep it away from sounding like she intends to be actually helpful. For a moment, Envi stands, perplexed… before the tiniest glimmer of a smirk crosses his face as he observes Xena’s body language-- the clearly-requested restraint.
Evan Envi: Oh, man. Look at us, right. This is… this is a real groundbreaking moment in our relationship, you know. Me, standing here. You, keeping your hands to yourself and not giving me any lip--
There is an audible growl that rumbles forth from XENA’s throat, unhindered by her bared teeth.
Evan Envi: Alright. Alright.
He calmly raises his hands in self-defense.
Evan Envi: Fujiko in there?
XENA: No. Turn around.
XENA points past him, without breaking her eye contact on the former two time FGA World champion.
Evan Envi: Wh…
Evan looks dumbfounded for a moment, then dejected… and finally frustration as he glares at her.
Evan Envi: And here I was, thinking we’d grown past that. Nope. Man, I should’ve known you wouldn’t change. Like-- it takes a real special kind of person to hold a grudge this petty, but you’ve accomplished it! The rest of the world moves on with their freakin’ lives but you just can’t get over it! You don’t even remember why you hate me!
XENA presses her thumb and forefinger into her eye sockets, pushing out air in exasperation.
Evan Envi: If you don’t wanna be cool, that’s fine. But Fujiko is her own person. You don’t have to sit here and talk down to me too, you freaking--
XENA: IDIOT. Turn around.
Evan Envi: Wow! And she interrupts too. You know--
The voice behind The Chief is soft and inquisitive. As Evan turns, he sees the exhausted face of the current world champion, who holds the belt tightly to herself as she looks up at him. Evan’s eyebrows arch in surprise. He does a double-take, looking at XENA, then to Fujiko, cheeks subtly growing red.
Fujiko Mine: What...I thought you left? What are you doing here?
Fujiko avoids eye contact with both Evan and XENA for a moment, before she does the math in her head and looks over at XENA. There is an almost imperceptible change in her expression, and suddenly XENA takes a step back, and closes the door; Leaving Evan and Fujiko alone. Uncharacteristically, Evan doesn’t hesitate— doesn’t fumble with words. He spares a quick glance toward the door, as if skeptical, before his posture softens and he turns back to the champion with a smile. His dominant hand gestures slightly to the belt.
Evan Envi: Brought it back just like you said. I didn’t doubt it for a minute.
Only for a second, recalling the events of the night, Evan’s eyes suggest that his mind has traveled for just a second— before he talks himself out of it, perhaps not giving Fujiko a chance to respond to the comment.
Evan Envi: Congratulations, Fujiko. I know it’s one of those things that you just kind of expect to hear so it doesn’t mean a lot to everyone but— but I liked hearing it when I was… a champion, so, I just like to say it. When I mean it anyway.
Fujiko smiles to herself, her glance falling on the championship that she took from Evan over a year ago. She only lingers there for a moment, before looking back at him.
Evan’s smile is faint, but still distant, brain fixated on one thought until—
Evan Envi: Do you— are you hanging around town for a while after this? I mean—
Evan Envi:I would like to do something. Would you... like to do something? Like, in tandem. Theoretically.
Fujiko takes her time, her brow furrowing as a reaction to the request laid in front of her. She chews at the inside of her lip for a second, and afterwards she fixes her mouth to answer the question. She shifts her weight, and then moves past Evan to her door. She knocks on it thrice. The door to her locker room opens up and XENA pokes her head out.
Fujiko Mine: I know you were listening. What do you think?
She looks from Fujiko, over to Evan, and then back to Fujiko again.
XENA: Fuck it. The guy has been wishing for a sequel to that kiss for over a year at this point.
Evan's eyes drift directly to the lens.
Evan Envi: I mean…
Fujiko puts her free hand over her mouth,trying to cover the blush that came across her cheeks.
Fujiko Mine: Oh god…
Envi takes in a breath, that same small smile never leaving his face.
Evan Envi: Sweet, I’ll wait for your DM then.
It’s all said with a humorous air, but as he moves back toward his previously-dropped bag and maneuvers it onto his shoulder, he turns to look at the champion once more.
Evan Envi: You pick when-- I pick where? You know. In the interest of fairness. And gives me some time to figure out which establishments Xena’s banned from.
XENA: I HEARD THAT.
Fujiko puts herself between the two of them, with her back to XENA. She pauses a second, as if she were truly considering what saying ‘yes’ means, before…
Fujiko Mine: Okay, yes. I’d...like that.
Fujiko takes a step back, unable to hide a smile that crosses her own face.
Fujiko Mine: I’ll message you later.
She deliberately leans into XENA, not taking her eyes off Evan until she is pulled inside by XENA, who pauses to point her fingers at her own eyes, and then at Evan in a “I’m watching you” gesture. She then closes the door. Evan briefly frowns at the thinly veiled threat, but it passes a second later and the smile returns to his face.
Evan Envi: ...word.
The Chief tightens his grip on the strap of the sports bag and walks out of frame, leaving us to fade on the closed door of Fujiko Mine and the muffled, indistinct chatter from inside.
The night has wound down tremendously. Though the spark of electricity can still be felt in the air, the atmosphere has calmed greatly now that the show is long over and the thousands in attendance have trickled out of the venue. Spencer Burke is still on the watch however, waiting to get a word with one of the few superstars who hasn’t already hightailed it from the arena. Stationed in the corridor leading towards the parking lot, he knows it’s only a matter of time before someone rounds that corner.
The faint echo of footsteps can be heard in the not too far off distance. The camera pans around to catch a long shot of the hallway, only to find the FGA International Heavyweight Champion, Cordelia Stevenson, turning into the corridor. No longer in her ring gear, the champ is casually dressed in a Bebe’s dot and lace bodysuit and a pair of leather block-heel boots. She looks rather refreshed, sure enough the after effect of a nice relaxing shower. The FGA International Heavyweight Championship rests comfortably on one shoulder, while her designer duffle bag hangs from the other.
Cordelia Stevenson: Well hello there beautiful people.
Her words are warm and sincere. A soft smile crosses her lips as she slows her stroll and gives Spencer and the camera crew an acknowledging wave. Spencer smiles back and nods his head in greeting.
Spencer Burke: Cordy, would you mind?
Cordy lets out a sigh, pretending as if Spencer is being a nuisance.
Cordelia Stevenson: You know, one day, I’m gonna say no and it’s gonna shock the hell out of you.
Cordelia gives a light hearted laugh but quickly waves the comment off.
Cordelia Stevenson: Nah Spency. You know you’re golden. Whatcha got?
Spencer steps into the shot now alongside Cordelia, positioning himself properly for the camera.
Spencer Burke: Cordelia, first off, allow me to say congratulations on your successful title defense here tonight against Ashlyn De Luca. After the constant back and forth between you two; the sneak attacks that you’ve endured, certainly it must feel good seeing Ms. De Luca get her comeuppance.
Cordelia Stevenson: Thank you on that, but first, allow me to tip my hat to Ashlyn De Luca. Granted, she’s a pest. Granted she gets on my ever loving nerves. But our favorite track star left the running shoes at home tonight and you know what, she actually came to fight. Just like I knew she could. I commend her for that and I commend her for the effort she put forth. Unfortunately for her, it wasn’t enough. But I’ll tell you this, not for one second do I think we’ve seen the last of her. If nothing else, Ashlyn De Luca is persistent, and having been this close to her endgame—
Cordelia holds her thumb and pointer near each other.
Cordelia Stevenson: —I can guarantee you that she’s already crawling back to the drawing board and trying to figure out her next way to get another shot at this.
Cordelia taps the title resting on her shoulder.
Cordelia Stevenson: It may not be soon. She may bide her time licking her wounds for a bit, but eventually she’ll find her way back. People like Ashlyn don’t stay down for long. They always come back stronger and even more annoying than ever, and when she does, I’ll be ready and waiting. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I don’t think Ashlyn necessarily gets the credit she deserves as a competitor because of the stunts she likes to pull. But when she puts her foot in the ground and gets to the nitty gritty, she’s crafty and she knows how to maneuver around that ring. She may have thought I was being dishonest or disingenuous when I said that before; but here we are after the war and I’m still saying the same damn thing. Maybe she’s just not used to people acknowledging her as being something more than a pest —-
She holds up a finger.
Cordelia Stevenson: — Granted it does take a special kind of patience to see past the constant annoyances, but as a competitor, she’s as tough as it gets. But tonight she found out that so am I. And I’m the International Heavyweight Champion for a reason.
She glances down at the belt on her shoulders and utters two simple words.
Cordelia Stevenson: And still….
She raises her gaze towards the camera and gives it a playful wink.
Spencer Burke: So what’s next for the champion? Certainly there were quite a few events that occurred here tonight that peaked your interest.
His voice trails off a bit, but Cordelia doesn’t necessarily take the bait. She adjusts the title on her shoulders as she shifts her weight from one foot to another before giving a casual shrug.
Cordelia Stevenson: Was there?
Spencer shifts a bit uneasily now under her gaze. Cordelia looks clearly amused.
Spencer Burke: Well I would think so, with Seth Iser winning the Lethal Lottery tournament. He has to choose which champion he wants a shot at and it could very well be you, Cordelia. Surely that is something you’ve got to ponder over. There’s also Savannah Taylor…
Cordy’s eyes widen a bit.
Cordelia Stevenson: She’s alive?
Spencer’s brows raise now.
Spencer Burke: Yes.
Cordelia tilts her head in disbelief.
Cordelia Stevenson: She survived?
Spencer nods. He tilts his head now, unsure of whether or not Cordelia is messing with him.
Cordelia Stevenson: I didn’t get the chance to see her match. I was in the medical bay and then I hit the showers.
Taking her word for it, Spencer nods.
Spencer Burke: Well, yes — she survived. Technically. Page did deliver quite the beatdown to her after she tried to attack him with a chair.
Cordelia purses her lips at the mention of the chair.
Cordelia Stevenson: Typical.
She inhales sharply.
Cordelia Stevenson: —but interesting nonetheless.
Spencer nods in agreement.
Spencer Burke: If her victory tonight has truly pushed Jimmy Page into her rearview, one could easily assume that she’ll set her sights on you and trying to win back that.
He points to the International Heavyweight Championship. Cordelia follows his finger and her gaze lingers on the belt before a sly smile spreads across her lips.
Cordelia Stevenson: What will be, will be.
She raises her gaze back towards Spencer.
Cordelia Stevenson: Seth Iser is an incredible talent with a remarkable story. A hardened soul looking for one last hurrah at the top of the mountain, and Savannah… Well, our history speaks for itself. There’s no love lost there. I’ve got no preferences or prejudices. I just roll with the punches and punch back when it’s time to. Either way you look at it, I’ll be running into a formidable opponent. No matter who it is, I just hope they’re ready. As a matter of fact, that goes for anyone that feels they’re ready to challenge for this title. That goes for anyone thinking they’re ready to try and take it away. Whoever wants the fade is more than welcome to run it, because I’m ducking no smoke over here. When all's said and done, I’ll do the only thing I can do, and that is make sure I’m prepared for whatever comes my way.
Cordelia Stevenson: Either way, I’ll be here. And I’ll be ready. For now though? I’m just going to try and duck The Rona. I’m definitely not trying to… get familiar.
Spencer Burke: Thank you for your time, Cordelia.
Cordelia flashes a bright and radiant smile.
Cordelia Stevenson: The pleasure was all mine, and please stay safe out here.
She gives a final nod towards the camera and blows it a kiss before making her way past towards the exit.
Our scene slowly fades into color in the parking deck area. Nothing in particular seems to be focused on for a few quiet seconds-- until we finally hear the faint scuffling of shoes against pavement. They steadily grow closer until a figure passes by the lens, slinking through the parking deck, toward a black Land Rover parked toward the farthest end.
First only identifiable as a woman, dressed in sweats and a jacket, strangled, messy hair obscuring her face beneath a green hat decorated in gibberish kanji. She stops, dropping her bag to the ground, tilting her head back to loudly groan in frustration.
The camera operator repositions themself to get a better look-- and it’s clear that the subject is Ashlyn De Luca. De Luca exhales deeply, paying no attention to the camera or the person behind it. She closes her eyes for a few moments, taking another deep breath before she hoists her bag off of the ground and continues her journey toward the vehicle.
We follow in silence. No interviewer rushes forward to capture a thought. The person wielding the camera barely seems to breathe. Ashlyn says nothing-- and then she pauses again as she reaches the driver’s door of the Land Rover. De Luca starts to turn to look toward the arena one final time… but decides against it.
A huff. Her jaw tightens.
And she pulls the driver’s door open, launching the bag inside the vehicle. With a dull thud it hits the passenger door panel before sinking to the floor. Ashlyn climbs into the driver’s seat and slams the door shut. The camera operator upon catching her reflection in the window takes a few steps back, suddenly aware of their proximity. De Luca pays her no mind though. Her gaze remains focused ahead… but even through the glass, with no other lights other than the lamps atop the parking deck, it’s clear that De Luca’s cheeks are growing redder… and redder…
Until finally she grips the wheel with both hands and shrieks at the top of her lungs.
Startled, the cameraperson takes another few quick steps back. De Luca pounds a fist on the steering wheel, earning a nice MEEP out of the vehicle before she buries her face in the wheel, screaming again. The muffled obscenities are quick to follow.
Without a word, the camera operator turns, making their way back toward the arena, having seen everything she needed to see-- cringing once more as another ear splitting shriek rings from De Luca’s SUV. The cameraperson picks up her pace, hurriedly ending our scene.