Title: Face.
Featuring: Reinhardt Hoffman
Date: Months ago.
Location: The UK

Months ago.

Reinhardt Hoffman looks immediately out of place in the dingy little pub he finds himself in. He’s been in the UK for a week now looking for someone, his best friend in fact. An erratic, emotionally unhinged man who he’s indebted to beyond description. Hence finding himself scouring a series of pubs and clubs across northern England and Scotland that somehow, one after another, get nastier and the clientele more reprehensible as his search goes along. Hoffman’s icy blue eyes scan the variety of violent looking oddballs and fringe clientele of this particular establishment. His square clefted jaw visibly unchelching as he spies an obviously familiar stocky figure hunched over a glass of scotch near the end of the bar all by his lonesome.

Reinhardt shakes his head and starts over towards the end of the bar only to be stopped by the bartender who waves Hoffman over to him, a worried expression on the barmans face. He starts in in a hushed Geordie twang.

“You don’t want to go over there, mate. That fella there’s out of his blasted mind I tells ya.”

Hoffman looks back over the bar with a knowing grin. “Oh? Do tell… “

The grizzled old barman launches into his story like it’d been bubbling behind his eyeballs for days. “This bald prick comes saunterin’ in here couple days back and posts up right the fuck there on that stool ALREADY drunk mind you and starts orderin’ glasses of the best scotch whisky I’ve got in the place. CLEANS ME OUT day one… he been sittin’ there complainin’ about my second best scotch and gettin’ in bloody FIGHTS almost like bloody clockwork.” The old man just shakes his head and gives the bald troublemaker a long hard look. “He a friend of yours?” He narrows his eyes begrudgingly at the well dressed German standing across the bar from him. Hoffman smiles weakly and tosses a roll of money down on the bar before strolling slowly towards the end of the bar with a quiet sigh.

“Friend is such a strong word.”

Hoffman pulls out a stool and sidles up beside the violent bald man at the end of the bar. His once sheared head now overgrown, his natural male pattern baldness still short but quite visible. His trademark mustache has been lost in what’s now a full grown beard… so different yet still instantly recognizable to any wrestling fan on the planet as the Original DEFIANT, the Bombastic Bronson Box. Reinhardt pulls out his smart phone and shoots off a quick text before breathing a deep sigh and addressing his friend.

“Ironic that you disappearing for months on end would bring so many together.”

The former DEFIANCE Ace gives Reinhardt a slightly inquisitive sideways glance before returning to the deep abyss of his glass of the barmans second best scotch whisky. The Gentleman German continues unabated.

“Spud reopened the Conclave. Same concrete shithole in Utah, for some ungodly reason. He’s taking students again. Rhys, Gin, myself, Adler we’re all helping train. It’s been dare I say, nice.” The barman places a glass of water and a fresh bowl of pretzels in front of Hoffman. He nods a smile before turning back to Boxer.

“He asks about you all the time, Spud.”

Spud Collins was one of the original British tough guy journeymen of professional wrestling. Original trainer and surrogate father to Boxer back when he was just a scruffy little troublemaker named Hollis. A boy with a massive chip on his shoulder out on parole after an armed robbery gone sideways. The prison system took his youth, but the old man took a genuine interest… saw something in him. And over the years chipped away to reveal the man we’ve known as the Bombastic Bronson Box. The man who once called himself STARMAKER ignores the mention of his beloved trainer taking a long sip of his drink before finally opening his mouth to speak.

“Nothings changed.”

Another long sip of scotch.

“I’m used up, Hoff. I’m done.”
 
His once bellowing, commanding voice is low and hoarse. He’s tired.

“Go home… an just let me fookin’ die for Christ sake.”

And obviously quite depressed.

There’s a really long silence between the two. It’s obvious Hoffman is searching for the right words, ANY words to help ease his friends' pain. It’s Box who breaks the silence though, in a weak attempt to brush away the awkwardness of his last comment and move on to a new topic he actually brings up the one thing he’s desperately tried to stay physically and mentally as far away from as possible… DEFIANCE. 

“So I hear tell Cayle’s been a right twat lately.”

Hoffman smiles.

“You’ve been watching the show, have you?”

Boxer’s face twisted in disgust.

“The star of that particular fookin’ show is sitting here marinatin’ if’n you haven’t noticed. You don’t keep watchin’ Newhart if Bob is off trying to quietly drink himself to death for months on end, Hoff. It’s a canceled series at that point my boy.”

The Gentleman German sighs and nods along with his compatriots statement. 

“Mmm, the world and indeed DEFIANCE moves on unabated. I suppose it should warm your heart that two of your greatest nemesis are carrying the banner forward. Cayle and Troy both represent the heart of DEFIANCE as well as anyone I suppose. Lots of new blood like Scott Douglas, he was just getting started when last you left wasn’t he? They really don’t need you anymore… “

Boxer’s twisted, gnarled right eye starts to twitch.

“Lindsay Troy, ye’ say.”

Reinhardt nods and turns the knife.

“The face of DEFIANCE.”

Box quietly echos Hoffman’s words to himself and nobody in particular.

“The face of DEFIANCE.”


Twitch twitch.



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