Title: Meet me at the mountain top.
Featuring: The Conclave
Date: Days following DEFtv 149
Location: Utah.

Bronson Box is feeling a lot more like himself lately.

A sharp hard cut to the parking lot of his pro wrestling training camp up in the hills of Utah. A large ranch he’d purchased years ago and converted to his own uses with the earnings from his first run. Mostly it's for privacy, and to give new arrivals to the camp the feeling they might legitimately be being led off to the slaughter. Miles of empty in every direction. Scream all you want, you’ll just make yourself hoarse. Boxer stands dressed in his classic nines. His old school brown and grey pinstripe three piece and blood red tie. From his speckled brown retro Ray-Bans to his polished brown oxfords The Original DEFIANT is a dapper sight to behold.

We can tell by his more than confident demeanor he’s really feeling himself this morning.

He closes the door to his flawless red Series 1 Alfa Romeo Spider with a careful little thud. He takes a long look over his school. Possibly the thing he’s most proud of… and most ashamed, considering the tiny amount of time he’s dedicated to the place over the years. Hogwarts it is not. Several plain, square cinder block buildings, minimal signage, minimal windows. Minimal everything, really. A dreary little spot hidden for miles in freshly planted trees and newly reintroduced wildlife. A place away from the world to concentrate on the one thing that hasn’t as of yet made him want to crawl back in a bottle.


A few confident strides later he’s in the front door. The unmistakable sounds of human meat on canvas, the grunts and cries of combat. The room is full of life. Not yet noticed he picks out his Conclave compatriots immediately.

Big barefoot German ring general Gunther Adler and his friend and training partner Reinhardt Hoffman running drills with a group of nameless newbies on the mats. Flushing out the weak, putting them all through their paces in the way only two Germans with anger management issues can. Virginia Quell, Gin. Bronson’s ex and one hell of a wrestler in her own right. A scrappy little brawler that’s as or more mean than Bronson himself. She’s in one of the rings with several recognizable, younger BRAZEN talents having what looks to be some sort of promo class. All sinew and long lanky limbs, ring technician Rhys Collins stands with his arms crossed side by side with his uncle, the man who plucked Boxer from obscurity and trained him in the grappling arts… Spud Collins. The Collins boys look out over the whole operation, the first to spy the dapper Wargod still lurking by the front doors with a satisfied little grin on his gnarled face.

He finally steps forward and speaks loud enough for everyone to have the chance to notice his presence.

Bronson Box:
This a fookin’ daycare or a bloody wrestlin’ school, aye?

Reinhardt leaves Gunther to continue the drills, Rhys and Spud make their way across the room. Quell noticeably just rolls her eyes and continues her class. Definitely something there.

Rhys and Reinhardt both shake Bronson’s hand like a couple of real life buddies just genuinely happy and excited to see their friend back in the land of the living and not drowning in a pub somewhere. Spud graps Boxers hand like a father and a son. The grizzled old wrestling journeyman lets a deep sigh fill his chest fully, as he lets it out and vigorously shakes The Wargods giant mit.

Spud Collins:
So you ready to get back to work, ya bastard?

Bronson Box:
Aye, I believe I am.

We cut sharply again. This time from Boxer’s confident, besuited little smile to him getting bounced across the ring in his gear and into the corner with a hearty, bruised sounding laugh. The massive barefoot German Gunther Adler steps into frame over The Wargod.

Gunther Adler:
I told you, didn’t I?

The Original DEFIANT shakes his head in agreement to the unheard statement as Gunther reaches down and helps Box to his feet.

Bronson Box:
Aye, ye’ fookin’ did ya’ big prick.

He suddenly drives the heel of his boot down across Adler’s bare arch. Gunther immediately falling back onto his ass and cradling his bruised foot.

Bronson Box:
Now put on a pair of boots for Christ sake.

The gathered humanity around the ring laughs together, we pull back to reveal all the aforementioned students and green horns all perched around ringside. All the members of Boxer’s Conclave are in the ring. Bronson returns the favor and helps Gunther to his feet.

Gunther Adler quietly:
You’re an asshole.

Bronson Box with a mischievous grin:
Just a receipt, ye’ prick. Lighten up.

He gives Adler a little open hand pop across the chest and he backs up against the ropes between Rhys and Hoffman. Bronson turns to face the gathered humanity looking to sit under his learning tree. Looking to find a pathway to the sort of permanence, the sort of promotional cornerstone status Bronson enjoys as he walks the halls of the WrestlePlex. None of them thought they’d actually get the chance given Boxer’s long absence.

But here he is, and in quite the mood no less.

Bronson Box:
Well, quite the mornin’ of work, aye lads? I’ll tell ye’ what. Why don’t we…

The Red Queen hops down suddenly from the turnbuckle she was occupying and takes a few confident, Bronson-like strides towards The Wargod.

Virginia Quell:
What gives you the right to walk in here and hold court? Mm?

The stocky little redhead stands toe to toe with Bronson as she asks the question. Boxer raises his one unscarred eyebrow silently. He doesn't make a move, he doesn't utter a word. He could tell she was pissed off about something from the minute he walked through the door. Out of all the long term acquaintances in the room, Gin is the… closest. That ship has thoroughly sailed though. The romance bit. Bronson never has been good at the romance, on any level whatsoever. He keeps his mouth shut and lets her vent.

Like he has a choice in the matter. 

He still finds it in himself to needle her a little.

Bronson Box:
Other than ownin’ the place ya’ mean?

The look she gives him could melt steel. If you’ve ever been in a long term adult relationship of any stripe or classification and now have an ex-partner you still mix company with you know the look I’m referring to. They know you far too well. They don’t really care about your feelings anymore, so they’re not afraid to use that intimate knowledge to really get their point across. You and your precious ego be damned.

Gin’s been watching him hold court all morning and now? Now she wants to take Boxer down a peg or two. In front of goddamn everyone.

It’s for his own good, really. Gotta keep the big man on his toes.

Virginia Quell:
You done preenin’ for this lot, sunshine? Because if you are, I’d like to remind you for the better part of this place's existence it’s been me, Spud and the rest of the Conclave makin’ it tick Keepin’ the ties to the WrestlePlex, to BRAZEN alive and well. You think I like livin’ in bloody Utah doing your fucking taxes you arrogant prick? The people standin’ in this ring are the people who’ve made your life continue to lurch forward whilst you’ve been out killin’ yourself… 

Uncomfortable isn’t the word. It hangs in the air like a fog. Rhys, Reinhardt and Gunther all have their lips pursed and their eyes averted. From his stool in the corner Spud looks on silently over his hands laced together perched on the head of his walking stick. Boxer hasn’t moved. The look in his eyes almost… thoughtful? Regretful, maybe? He takes a moment, a quiet little sigh, then he looks at Gin in her eyes. Then he looks out over the student body now stewing in the “family” drama unfolding in front of them.

Bronson Box:
She’s right.

Some murmurs start to burble around the room.

Bronson Box:
I am a miserable, vicious, mentallly unwell prick. I been dropped on my head so many times I’ll probably be an invalid when I’m an old fella’... if I ever get there. I’ve built my legacy and the legacy of the company I helped mold the reputation of on broken promises, broken friendships and so many countless broken bones. It’s truly astoundin’ I have as many people on my side as I do. But that’s the trick not just in this company or this business but in fookin’ life, lads. You make yourself, your work unde-fookin-niable.

He looks back at Gin.

Bronson Box:
Good, bad or indifferent you leave a mark. It’s a risk. It’s the risk. Find a cause or a meanin’ that rings true and ye’ plant yer’ feet firmly on it. Rage for it. Cross lines for it. If you're not enough it’ll probably swallow your life whole. But if you stand firm and you’ve actually got the goods to deliver? Got what it takes to fold your world up into the shape YOU want? You end up findin’ out a little bit of what immortality tastes like, boys and girls. In a business like this one that place is where we all want to be. At the very least we want to be near it… ‘aint that right, Quell.

Thoroughly rebutted Gin nods and retakes her place atop the nearest turnbuckle.

Virginia Quell quietly to herself:
Cocky twat.

Boxer looks out over the crowd. Felton Bigsby, Walter Levy, CAGE, all four members of the Viking War Cult, Rosevelt Owens, the Brandt Brothers, among a handful of other faces we recognize and manage to pick out here and there. A lot we don’t though. A small sea of humanity hungering for what Bronson Box has. For the ability to just walk back onto DEFtv, hurt someone and not only be back in the company and the Faithful’s good graces. But to be able to walk right back in the door and pick up right where he left off, with the champion and his challengers names in his mouth from jump street and have not one person question it.

Importance fits The Original DEFIANT like a goddamn glove.

Bronson Box:
We all now call the fans of DEFIANCE the Faithful as a blanket term, aye? Way back when, when I was told I needed a “gimmick” I decided to channel my dear old pa when I was an abused little tike and spew quotes from the book. I’d end every promo with a heartfelt and ominous soundin’ amen. I’d call the fans that’d cheer me despite my inclination for harmin’ others my Faithful. The term got co-opted on commentary by that prick Keebler to refer to any pathetic neckbeard walkin’ around in DEFIANCE merch. A lot of those true Faithful from the early days have grown up… some of them might be right here in this room. Havin’ trekked all the way up here to the crack ass of nowhere for even a chance to learn how to tap into that. Even not knowin’ if I’d even be here… yet here you all are.

Spud finally pipes up from his place of honor.

Spud Collins:
If’n you lot are doin’ mewin’ at one another we’ve still got a whole day o’ work ahead of us.

The sound drops out of the scene as Boxer steps off his pulpit. The Conclave begins their training session again in earnest. We see Boxer join Rhys, Gunther and Reinhardt and share another genuine moment between friends before they all four turn their attention to some of the more advanced BRAZEN tenured students. The rest of the day is practice matches, drills and more drills. The sort of muscle stretching joint twisting training you’d expect from this lot. 

Glorious coordinated violence making so many young fighters so much stronger.

Hell… for old times sake.   Amen.


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