LESSON THREE – No Distractions

Sean Taylor rushes to the make-up room, gasping for breath soon as he heard the news. He enters the room to find it full with officials and medics, who are tending to a bruised Staci Seymore. He looks around and finally tries to approach Staci when he’s stopped.

“What the hell did you do now?”

Nero steps in between Sean & Staci, obviously irate at what’s happened as much as Sean is.

“I don’t have time for this Nero. Where’s Kandi?”

“Don’t know, don’t care. All I know is that someone gets a kick out of beating up ladies, and last I checked Texas Lightning is gone. And since you’re here after the stunt you pulled last night…”

Taylor grabs Nero by whatever piece of his shirt he could grab, as Nero’s fashion sense has never included collars or sleeves, “Listen you ingrate, be thankful I don’t make an example out of you right now!”

“Oh yeah, like you did last night with Waring?”

“It wasn’t him.” Both Nero & Taylor look at Staci, who’s started to regain herself and speak. “It was someone, I don’t know who. He was dressed in black and had paint on his face. Like soldiers, when they go in camouflage, only his paint was black. And he had brown hair.”

“Great, that really narrows it down huh?”

“He said something about taking out Waring, but he was so fast. He took me out first, and then knocked out Kandi and took her.”

“Took her?! Took her where?”

“I… I don’t know. I’m sorry Sean, I tried to stop him.”

Taylor is angry, but not at Staci; not after what happened here. There was nothing she could have done. But whoever did this, whoever was responsible; there would be hell to pay. Taylor is thinking as he looks around the room when he spots it: the engagement ring he gave Kandi on the dresser. He picks it up and clutches it in his hand as he walks out of the room. He’s contemplating and wondering just what to do next when Nero brushes past him.

“Where are you going?”

“Get myself a sammich or find that b@$tard; Pick one! I’ll find that lowlife who did this and give him a piece of my mind. Don’t worry; I’ll leave you a few scraps after I’m done with him.”

Nero charges off as Taylor scoffs, “Not before me you’re not!” and heads off in the opposite direction of the corridor.

——————————————————————————————-

Wandering around the arena, Sean Taylor has one purpose on his mind, to find out just who is it that’s been responsible for turning his life upside down. Till only an hour ago, he had everything he could hope for. Now, he’s being accused of aggravated assault and the love of his life is missing with no telling what condition she’s in. He’s almost exhausted roaming around the halls when he spots a familiar face.

“Silver! Thank God. Look I talked to Staci, she knows the guy who took Kandi and he also got to Waring. We’ve gotta find him and fast.”

“That won’t be too hard, have a look.” Silver says as he brings Sean Taylor to a TV monitor. Taylor is aghast when he sees Nero in the ringing pummeling on a stranger just like Staci described. “Nero found him near his room and they both started duking it out. Eventually Nero got the upper hand and that’s where they are now.”

Taylor looks intently at the screen as he watches Nero stomping away at the stranger. He watches as the stranger does not show any hints of pain on Nero’s onslaught, and is simply staggering.

“He’s bluffing.”

“What?”

“I said, he’s bluffing!” Taylor quickly runs off leaving Silver behind.

——————————————————————————————-

Inside the ring, Nero has the stranger on the ropes as he pummels him with right hands. While Nero has only operated with a single minded agenda most of his time in the EUWC, assaults on women are something he does not take kindly to.

“NOT SO TOUGH NOW WHEN YOUR OPPONENTS HIT BACK, HUH?!” Nero screams as he kicks the stranger down.

You’re a distraction.

“Say WHAT?!”

Suddenly, the stranger gets back up and spits black mist at Nero’s face, blinding the flamboyant superstar. Nero clutches his face and screams in agony while the stranger watches him repulse in pain.

You do nothing to benefit HIM. You only make him lose focus.

Nero is blinded. He can’t see anything, not even the clothesline that takes him down.

You’re irrelevant, you don’t factor into his greatness. You’re just an annoyance, a cockroach!

Nero makes the mistake of getting back up, as that just leads him to a belly to back suplex all the way outside of the ring! Whoever the stranger is, he’s taking out another former champion superstar in just 24 hours with superb prowess.

You don’t help him like I do. You can’t even imagine doing what I do. You don’t contribute to his growth. You’re worthless.

Blinded and in pain, Nero is picked up by the hair.

“Www—why?”

Like I said, you’re just a distraction.

The stranger grabs Nero and delivers a thundering Jacknife powerbomb into the steel chairs at ringside. Nero is motionless.

You won’t get his attention again.

Just then, the stranger is taken down as Sean Taylor finally arrives. Taylor emerges from the audience and flies off to take down the man that’s caused him so much misery with a shoulder block.

“Well you got mine now you @$$hole! WHERE’S KANDI!?”

No! Not now, not so soon.

“Stop yammering. Simple answer. Where is Kandi Reed…? TELL ME NOW!!!”

What is a lover?

“Wrong answer!”

Taylor hits the stranger with a roundhouse kick, delivering all his fury & frustration to the stranger’s neck!

A lover makes one complete. A lover cares for one which one can’t for oneself. A lover gives joy, happiness, and so much more!

“What is it with you!?” Taylor is irate as he kicks the stranger in the chest.

But the one thing a lover must do above all else, is protect. Protect from all dangers and evils there might be.

Taylor has had enough as he grabs the stranger up by the shirt.

You are about to fail as a lover.

“What?”

The stranger kicks Sean Taylor in the gut and hits him with an uppercut that causes Sean to bleed from the nose.

You failed to protect her. You WILL fail to protect her now.

Taylor instinctively tries to fight back as the stranger grabs him and hits a Russian leg sweep. Taylor appears dazed as he can’t figure out exactly what’s going on around him.

Just like you failed me.

“Who… are.. you?” Sean can only mutter as he grabs the stranger’s face and tries to rub off the face paint.

Who else? I’m the one you left behind all these years.

Despite the haze and confusion, Sean’s expression can tell just who he’s looking at as the face paint is removed.

“Brett??”

You remember.

The stranger grabs Taylor by the arm and whips him into the steel steps near the ring. Taylor writhes in pain and agony as he recoils from the impact.

Come on Sean, you were trained better than that! I should know.

“You can’t be Brett. He’d never do this to me. Brett Force was my friend!”

That’s right Sean. I’m your friend.

The stranger, revealing himself to be Sean Taylor’s friend and mentor; the legendary Brett “The Crippler” Force, simply watches as Taylor staggers towards him, staring at him in disbelief.

“How dare you! Brett Force is dead. How dare you defile his memory?!”

Believe what you will. I’m only here to help you be better.

Taylor tries to go for another attack but he can feel his movements are too strained, as if the confusing state he’s in is affecting his motor functions. Trying too hard to make a move, Taylor is too slow for Brett Force, who grabs him and hits a DDT.

I’ll help you Sean. Like they can’t. Like Waring can’t. Like Nero can’t. Like SHE can’t.

Its only when he mentions it does Taylor realize there’s too much to process. Events happening since last night are overwhelming his mind. First Waring, then Kandi, and now his dead friend & mentor is here in front of him, ruining his life.

You abandoned me Sean; I’m not holding it against you. But you abandoned her. There’s a price to pay.

Its only when the crowd surrounding them reacts in awe when Taylor realizes something is wrong. Taylor manages to get up and look towards the universatron when he looks in horror. Right next to it above the stage, a wooden cage hangs with an unconscious Kandi Reed inside.

“NO! GET HER DOWN FROM THERE!”

You can still save her Sean. You can still try.

Taylor musters up all his remaining strength and runs across ringside towards the ramp. He tries to be fast enough, but can only watch in horror as the cage is released and it crashes down below the stage in a heap of wooden crates!

But you won’t.

Taylor is too late to try and save Kandi from her fate, as she fell from at least 20 feet with wood breaking around her. As Taylor removes the debris from around her, he falls to his knees in devastation of the sight before her. EMTs arrive to carefully and slowly pick up the battered and bruised body of Kandi Reed, as she is in a mess. With broken shards and splinters of wood all around her, she’ll live but it will be a while before she can be conscious before even move. Taylor looks completely hopeless and has no idea what’s happening around him when Brett starts choking him from behind.

You were supposed to protect her. You left her to get caught. What did you think was going to happen?

Taylor tries to struggle out of the chokehold but Brett has him caught pretty hard.

You leave her exposed to any threat. You should be there for her always. You’ve got to learn such carelessness has consequences.

Brett releases the hold and turns Taylor around to grab him by the throat.

Here’s something else you don’t know. She didn’t stop me when I took the ring off her. Why do you think that is?

Taylor’s eyes are a boiling pot of emotion. Rage, sorrow, fear, hopelessness; he really can’t keep them altogether. Brett releases his throat but hits Taylor with the ultimate embarrassment, the Bloodrush. The crowd falls silent as they witness the coup de grace to such a horrifying experience.

No friends. No lovers. No distractions. But I’m not done with you yet!

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