WOMAN: So... let me get this straight...
The scene fades in on a closeup of the dark-skinned woman from the underground arena, staring forward into the camera. Her face is one of puzzlement, with narrow eyes, knitted brows, and a slight frown tilting the corners of her pursed lips downward.
WOMAN: You want me to compete in these fighting rings. Something I am already doing, mind you.
The scene shifts to Chelsey in a similar framing. Her painted white and black face a stark contrast to the natural hues of the other woman, she maintains the dissonance by wearing a massive, toothy smile on her lips. Her red eyes are wide and inviting as she nods enthusiastically. We return to the first woman, still maintaining the expression of confusion.
WOMAN: But. Now. You want me to... wear makeup like you do?
The scene continues to shift in this manner between the two conversationalist. Chelsey similarly maintains her excited gaze, nodding again rapidly. The woman simply stares at her for an interminable period of time.
WOMAN: Because you want people to think that the you that is... and please, tell me if I’m wrong here, wrestling professionally on Netflix...?
Nod nod nod.
WOMAN: ...is a false you. And that I, who would BE a false you, is truly the real you?
Nod nod nod. Nod nod nod! Chelsey’s excitement increases visibly upon her face.
CC: YES! Exactly! I knew I made the right call here, you’re just as smart as you are hot!
The woman tilts her head slightly at this, but quickly regains composure. She does, however, remain silent again for an extensive moment, considering her options.
WOMAN: And you think this is going to work?
Nod nod nod!
WOMAN: Feels a bit racist, innit?
Chelsey scrunches her face up, leaning in a bit to scrutinize the woman’s features, trying to determine if she was joking.
CC: I don’t see it.
WOMAN: Putting a black woman in whiteface?
Chelsey blinks a few times, and leans back, shaking her head defiantly in response.
Chelsey continues to shake her head furiously.
WOMAN: Not even a little bit?
Chelsey finally stops shaking her head and regards the woman with a newfound, deadly seriousness.
CC: No, of course not. It can’t be racist, I’m not even from this planet!
This seems to be the last straw for the woman, who releases an exasperated sigh and slaps her hands to her knees, standing up and surveying their surroundings.
As she does, the camera pulls out in kind, zooming out and panning to reveal what appears to be a run-down training gym of some sort. The two women are situated inside a boxing ring, with two chairs and an upturned milk crate that holds a plate of various cheeses and crackers. The ring is ratty and worn, full of darker spots of blood and sweat never properly washed out. The ropes still hold some cobwebs between them, and one turnbuckle is missing any dressing whatsoever, simply a pole holding sets of naked cables together at an angle. Outside the ring is a similar story: weight lifting machines that are missing their cables or seats, a weight rack possessing only about a third of its weights, a torn-up bench press, a deflated punching bag with a hole in it, still hanging limply from the ceiling.
The woman steps around behind her chair, a basic metal folding chair, and runs her hands through the mass of frizzy hair atop her head. That completed, she claps her hands together and regards the painted woman still seated before her. That woman simply looks up at her expectantly, almost puppy-like in her demeanor.
WOMAN: Right. And you expect me to just believe that, then.
Chelsey stares at her, seemingly dumbfounded by the reaction. Then she starts suddenly, opening her mouth and smacking herself in the forehead. She leans back and shakes her head, laughing a little at the realization.
CC: Oh yeah! You probably didn’t read my first roleplay!
The woman’s eyes get a little more wide as she stares over her still-pressed hands.
Chelsey finally stands up herself, kicking her chair back and over as she rises to her feet, stepping over to the woman and gripping her gently by the wrists with each hand.
CC: It’s okay, I’ll get you a link. Long story short, I’m a terrorist from space.
The woman freezes, unsure if she should pull away, wondering what sort of reaction that might bring about.
WOMAN: A space terrorist, you say?
Chelsey releases her hold to lift her hands up, palms toward the woman in a placating gesture.
CC: I mean, I prefer space activist...
Her hands go out to each side, palms up, and she shrugs.
CC: But we are what the headlines say we are, aren’t we?
WOMAN: I gue-
CC: And the headlines are going to say “The Chain Resurfaces, Authorities Investigate”!
As she says this, her hands come together, then spread apart, as if displaying this headline to the woman.
WOMAN: And I want this to happen because...?!
CC: BECAUSE when the authorities DO investigate, you’ll be able to say “Who’s The Chain? I am just a mild mannered pit fighter named... uh... named...?
The woman sneers a bit, blowing a loose frizz of hair away from her eyes.
WOMAN: Been wonderin’ when you’d ask. Name’s Kayna. Kayna Alleyne.
At this, Chelsey’s eyes go wide and starry once again. Her grin deepens and she drops to her knees, lifting her fists to the heavens.
CC: YES! THANK YOU!
Kayna backs up this time, now surely starting to feel concern for her mortal well-being. She leans against the ropes of the ring, as far away as possible from Chelsey without completely exiting the ring and/or building.
KAYNA: The fresh hell is this, mate?
Chelsey’s eyes go from gazing longingly at the heavens to, instead, resting happily upon Kayna’s.
CC: You have such a fancy protagonist name! I wasn’t sure if this was going to work out but, with a name like that, you HAVE to keep showing up in these!
KAYNA: These what?!
CC: Nevermind all that, we have so much to plan out if this is going to wor...
Chelsey’s words are cut short by the creaking sound of a door opening, and a shaft of light intruding upon the otherwise dimly-lit interior. Both women immediately react, leaping out of the ring on either end. Kayna ducks out of sight behind the ring, and Chelsey lands in a crouch, staring at the source of the noise and light.
As the door opens more fully, a man in a baseball cap and a coat steps in and glances around.
MAN: Hello? I got a call that some people were sneaking in here? If you just leave now I won’t press any ch-
He is interrupted by the high-pitched shriek of Chelsey’s warrior scream. She takes a running start, not at the man, but towards a duffel bag she had brought inside with her. The man, responding to the shriek, begins to shout and scream in turn, not expecting the greeting that he received. Chelsey, upon reaching the duffel bag, grips it firmly in her hand, spins, and hurls the entire thing in the direction of the new entrant.
The bag jangles a bit as its trajectory rapidly shifts from stationary to mobile, and the man’s screams are cut off just as suddenly as they begin as the bag crashes into him. He goes down hard, the bag clanking from the impact and landing with a heavy thud. Both man and bag hit the ground, ensuring yet another round of rustling clanks from the bag as it does. The scene smash cuts to black.
The darkness is split, exactly down the middle, and the silence replaced by the sound of a duffel bag unzipping. Kayna’s face is revealed as the zipper opens, looking towards the camera into what is presumably the duffel bag.
KAYNA: I take it this has something to do with that whole ‘The Chain’ thing...?
CC: Shut up and help me here!
Chelsey’s face and body shove themselves into the frame, pushing past Kayna and reaching into the hole towards the camera’s view.
The next shot is of the man, very similar to the close-up views of Kayna and Chelsey earlier, only his countenance paints a much different picture. His eyes are full of fear, and his mouth, full of duct tape. He grumbles and strains against the lack of verbalization, grunting into the adhesive side of the tape as he struggles. The camera pans out to see that he has been chained to an inclined bench press machine. He is mostly unable to move, though his hands have some sort of camera taped to them. We cut to the view of that camera.
Chelsey stands in frame, but way too close, staring into the aperture. Her red eye fills the screen, or at least when the ‘cameraman’s’ unsteady grip keeps it there. She frowns and steps back, regarding him with a serious expression.
CC: So we understand each other, right?
The camera shakes up and down once, signifying an affirmative.
CC: You keep me in frame, and you walk out of here with all your parts?
The camera shakes again affirmatively. Chelsey quickly leaps to the side, trying to escape the frame. She manages to for a second, but the camera jerkily pans to reframe her. It overcorrects slightly but stills itself, while the muted sounds of the man panicking can be heard throughout the entire exchange. Chelsey, for her part, is giggling like a madwoman, leaning forward at the waist to put her whole face into the frame.
CC: I was just testin’ ya, silly! Gotta keep those reactions quick!
With that, she tumbles forward, moving out of frame entirely. The camera tries in vain to pan to her new location. Since that location is now somewhere behind the chained-up man, however, he is unable, resulting in just a few moments of typical ‘found footage’ shaky-cam madness. Finally, he rests the camera on the ring. There is silence, apart from his muted, labored breaths.
Chelsey’s head pops in from the top of frame. The camera changes to a wide view, showing that Chelsey is, somehow, perched upon the incline press’s weight bar, bending down from above to look into the camera. The man elicits a mumbled scream, and the feed reverts back to his own camera, the shaking threatening to give lesser-stomached watchers a bad time. Chelsey hops from the bar, twisting in mid-air to land in frame once more in a crouch. Her head flicks up and she smiles darkly into the camera.
CC: There you go, hold right there. I’ve got a few things I need to say.
There is mostly silence, once again leaving nothing but the cameraman’s muffled breathing. Finally, Chelsey speaks up once more, lifting herself sinuously into a standing position. Her tone is completely different as she speaks, more serious-sounding and lower in pitch.
CC: Many people are wondering what my angle is. Who am I? Why do I do what I do? What am I getting out of hurting the Triumvirate one day, and helping them the next? Well that’s simple, really. The answer...
Chelsey begins to stalk forward towards the camera, staring into the aperture as she does. Almost as quickly as she begins, however, she stops, and a smile lights up her face.
CC: Is it’s FUN!
This is spoken in her usual, playful tone. Her smile widens, beaming teeth towards the camera.
She lets out a breath and leans forward, reaching out to grab the camera and hold focus on herself as she resumes that darker tone of voice.
CC: It’s also history. The Triumvirate and me, we go way back, back to the WOW. You see, those three like to claim their total domination over the scene there, but guess what? The Chinese like to keep their media contained, so you’ll never get to see the truth of the matter. It’s convenient though, isn’t it? All we have to go on is their word. A three-woman unstoppable force, unable to be held back as they conquered the entire federation. Just those three, against the world, and nobody would ever be able to stop them. Except...
Chelsey shakes her head, spitting off to the side in disgust.
CC: There never would have been a Triumvirate if not for me! Not Solace, not Katia, not Lien, not one of them could have risen without my laying the ground for them. You see, before the Triumvirate, there was the Chain Gang. And the Chain Gang, we laid waste to any Warrior who came across our path.
She smirks, releasing the camera and stalking back away, pacing to the side. The camera follows dutifully.
CC: But my gang? We didn’t care about glory. We didn’t care about titles and accolades. All we wanted, and all we wrought, was destruction. So when the Triumvirate came around, there was nothing left of WOW. Just the fallen bodies of those who crossed us, and the lesser competitors who were beneath our gaze. But, belts have to go somewhere. The Triumvirate simply stepped up to the fill the whole I created.
Chelsey snorts, waving a hand dismissively before looking back towards the camera again.
CC: And you know what? I let them have it. I had to fade from view, and frankly, better them than me. As far as I’m concerned, a title belt is just another useless accessory. It’s not even a chain! But then, I heard their boasts! I found out they were all here, in England, working for the IIW and telling everyone just how unbeatable they were in China. And that? That just wasn’t going to stand.
She rubs at her nose, her lips turning into a distinctive sneer as she stalks up to the camera again.
CC: You want to hog the glory? That’s fine by me, ladies, but don’t think I won’t let your lies go without response. You may have come to some renown in your new backyard, but I’m here to blow the truth wide open, just like I always have. You’ll all be exposed for the second-rate talents that you are soon enough. But... will it be this week? That’s for me to decide, I suppose.
Chelsey chuckles darkly, stepping away once more, this time remaining facing away.
CC: You are up against a so-called Coven. Wielders of the mystic arts, modern mages for modern ages. But here’s the thing about magick, ladies...
Chelsey looks over her shoulder towards the camera, the corner of her lips upturned into a dark smirk.
CC: It’s all based on belief. And the only thing I believe is that there isn’t an ounce of real power between any of you!
She whips around to regard the camera fully.
CC: Coming around with your broomsticks and bad attitude, thinking that you have any semblance of control when really, you’re just another group of lost souls, floating along the river of doubt. You reach out to grasp at forces you cannot control, desperate to find a strength outside yourself that you lack within. And frankly, ladies? It shows. You may have tricked yourself into the treat of main event matches, but I have a feeling that this week, it all comes out in the wash.
Chelsey shrugs and grins at the camera.
CC: And if you’re unsure? Come on out of the ring and see what happens.
She winks, and palms the camera, pushing the camera, chair, and the human upon it over backwards. There’s a shout and a crash and a smash cut to black.
A few moments later, the scene slowly fades back in. Instead of the handheld camera, we instead have a shot of Kayna and Declan, who had come into the gym at some point during the proceedings. She is looking on, eyes wide in a mixture of horror and shock, while Declan also observes, somewhat more casually.
KAYNA: So you uh, you been with this bird long?
Declan shakes his head, just watching the happenings silently.
KAYNA: Is she... always like this?
Declan just nods.
DECLAN: Just be happy she doesn’t have it pointed at you, love.
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