The soft ray of light traveled diagonally from the overhead lamp and bathed the perfectly-made hotel bed with its glow. A low hum penetrated the floorâ€¦ reverberated throughout the room as the comforter fluttered â€“ the only bit of motion in the unnerving calmness of the room. As the hum began to increase into a clamor, more of the room exhibited signs of the incoming disaster. Soon, the obnoxious noise was right outside the door. A beep. A turn of the room handle. Miss Karla burst through the door, dropping three large bags from some of New York Cityâ€™s biggest fashion houses.
â€œOh Lord.. that was EXACTLY what I needed!â€
A towering row of boxes entered the room after her.
The voice belonged to â€œSimply Sensationalâ€ Sean Edmunds. He dropped the plethora of boxes on the floor.
â€œWhen you said letâ€™s celebrate, I thought you meant, go out for a drink.. not buy half of the Fashion District.â€ He wiped the sweat from his brow.
â€œFocus, Sean! Focus!â€ She ripped open one of the bags and flung the wrapping paper inside around the room. â€œAhhh, perfect!â€
Karla pulled out a black and white, fur-covered purse.
â€œAnd itâ€™s the perfect size to hide,â€ she glanced at the camera, â€œI mean, contain .. all
â€œI donâ€™t know how well theyâ€™ll do you in Siberia, Karla.â€ Edmunds watched as she pulled a mink coat out of another bag. It, of course, matched the purse. â€œI mean, Siberia isnâ€™t exactlyâ€¦â€
â€œOh, itâ€™ll be fine, Sean!â€ She interrupted as she twirled in her new coat. â€œIâ€™ve got my coat, my boots, my gloves, and my new purse. Iâ€™m fully-prepared for the weather .. and youâ€™ll be fully-prepared for MDK.â€
Edmunds rolled his eyes. MDK.
â€œWell, I got through Terry Marvin and Michael Callahan. I got through Ingram, Evans, Masahiro and Hannahâ€¦â€
â€œSee,â€ she interrupted again, â€œCallahan and Marvin were drops in your bucketâ€¦ and you never faced either before. At least weâ€™ve been acquainted with MDKâ€™s â€¦. talent â€¦. before.â€
Edmunds nodded as Karla tossed the mink coat on the chair in front of him.
â€œI wonâ€™t be going into this blind, thatâ€™s for sure.â€
â€œPerfect.â€ Karla kept digging through the bags. â€œHmm.â€
â€œHmmm?â€ he inquired.
â€œWhere did I put that negligee?â€ She looked up at him, a glint of deviousness in her eyes.
Edmunds, without saying another word, grabbed the mink coat off the chair and draped it over the camera â€¦ causing the camera to fade .. to .. black.
A shoddy wooden stool sat in a darkened room, its legs groaning under the weight of a small, black and white television. The screen full of static, the television set looked to be a relic of the Cold War ages. Suddenly the image on the screen began to twist and turn; the static giving way to solid waves, solid waves giving way to a grainy image. The piercing sound cut through the darkness.
â€œI canâ€™t believe this place!â€
Karlaâ€™s screech jarred the television set so that it rattled on the top of the stool.
â€œThis is NOTHING like New York! NOTHING!â€
On screen, in between the wavy lines, â€œSimply Sensationalâ€ Sean Edmunds walked up behind Karla.
â€œYouâ€™re right, Karla.â€ Edmunds turned to the camera. â€œThis is what weâ€™ve been waiting for.â€
She nodded with frustration.
â€œShould it come as any surprise,â€ Edmunds began, his voice echoing off the empty room, â€œthat I am here in Siberia, whereas the likes of Maverick Jones and Scott DiBiase are not?â€ He smiled broadly. â€œIâ€™ve gotten quite used to be the sole survivor
of the VWF in Experts events.â€
â€œAnd itâ€™s sad, you know, because this time we even tried to help one of our own,â€ Karla stifled a scowl, â€œBut Maverick Jones proved to me, proved to Sean, proved to the entire world that he is a lost cause.â€
Edmunds nodded his head in agreement. â€œThatâ€™s the LAST time I ever, EVER
offer my assistance to anyone. Out of the goodness
of my heart, I trained Maverick. Out of the goodness
of my heart, I offered Miss Karlaâ€™s ringside cheering. Out of the goodness
of my heart, I tried to place Maverick on a pedestal so we could go one-on-one and show the world that we belong to the greatest promotion in the world .. an all-VWF final in the Extreme Tournament 2012.â€ He shook his head in disgust. â€œAnd what do I get? What do I get?! Maverick Jones stepped into the ring with MDK last week, and rolled over on his back like a dog begging for a damn bone. All of MY
hardwork tossed out with the trash.â€
â€œHe did it on purpose!â€ Karla railed against her former talent. â€œHe knew how much it would mean to us to have an all-VWF final, and he couldnâ€™t have cared less.â€
â€œItâ€™s fine, Karla. Itâ€™s fine.â€ The television set cut to static for a second before tuning back into Edmunds. â€œâ€¦.cause when it came down to it, we all knew there was only room for ONE
VWF superstar to move on in this tournament.â€
â€œHeâ€™ll get whatâ€™s coming to him. Forget about ending his career. Weâ€™ll gladly take the VWF World Heavyweight championship from him â€¦ and then watch him fade away.â€
â€œSpeaking of fading away,â€ Edmunds smirked, â€œScott DiBiaseâ€™s run in the Extreme Tournament has ended early once again.â€
â€œSome would say prematurely.â€
â€œPrematurely would suggest that he belonged
in the quarter-finals. But unfortunately for DiBiase, that just wasnâ€™t the case, now was it? You see, Scotty just didnâ€™t impress that much did he? He didnâ€™t impress me. He didnâ€™t impress the idiots in the Code Red Arena .. and apparently, he didnâ€™t impress Mum E. Fresh.â€
Edmunds winked knowingly at the camera.
â€œBecause Mum E. picked her favorite in New Yorkâ€¦ and once again, Scotty turned out to be the red-headed step-child. Always yearning for that attention that his more talented, better-looking brother got.. always ending up just short.â€
â€œBut, hey, at least heâ€™s used to it!â€ Karla chirped.
â€œOne can only wonder what mischief heâ€™ll get himself into now that heâ€™s been relegated to second fiddle once again.â€ Edmunds shrugged. â€œBut listen, Scott DiBiase is a big boy. Heâ€™ll find some way to latch on to whoever it is who wins this thing.â€ His voice becomes tinny as the television starts to spark. â€œIf thereâ€™s one thing DiBiase is good at, itâ€™s keeping his name in the spotlightâ€¦ even if his time has passed several times over.â€
A spark flew from the back of the television set, burning out before it hit the ground.
â€œSo here we are again,â€ Edmunds lifted his arms in the air and spun in a circle in the enclosed space. â€œSean Edmunds. The ONLY
VWF superstar remaining in the Extreme Tournament 2012. The ONLY
VWF superstar WORTHY of heading into the depths of Siberiaâ€¦ and the ONLY
VWF superstar who has the talent, the dedication, and the determination to walk out of the Extreme Tournament as the True Expert
Edmunds raised an eyebrow and smiled.
â€œI am here in Siberia. I am ready to burn through the competition to bring the True Experts Championship home to the VWF.â€
â€œWhich is something that Maverick and Scott will NEVER do,â€ snarled Karla. â€œNot this year, not next yearâ€¦ not EVER!â€
â€œRival Factions introduced â€˜Simply Sensationalâ€™ Sean Edmunds to the world. High Stakes gave â€˜Simply Sensationalâ€™ Sean Edmunds his first taste at potential Experts Championshipsâ€¦ and now,â€ his eyes flashed with the reflection of Jack Benevolence, â€œthe Extreme Tournament 2012 will be â€˜Simply Sensationalâ€™ Sean Edmundsâ€™ coronation.â€
Edmunds ran his hand down one of the jagged walls in the Siberian Facility.
â€œOur first week in Siberia,â€ Edmundsâ€™ eyes traced down the wall with his hand and settled back on the camera, â€œand I couldnâ€™t have been given a better opponent.â€ A flash of white. â€œEM. DEE. KAY.â€ His smile turned into a sneer. â€œI suppose it is only fitting that I end your run in the Extreme Tournament after you stole
the victory and the Tag Team championships from J-Reb and I at High Stakes.â€
â€œThis time he wonâ€™t be so lucky,â€ Karla rubbed her hands together, a plot already forming in her mind.
â€œThereâ€™ll be no Juan Ramirez to back you up. Thereâ€™ll be no Ian Credible for you to zero in on and pull a fast one over.â€ He slowly shook his head. â€œNo, MDK. This time, itâ€™ll be you,â€ he smiled widely, â€œand me.â€
Edmunds planted his hands on his hips and beamed confidently into the camera.
â€œIn a Siberian Street Fight.â€ Edmunds ran his hand over his mouth and down his chin. â€œYouâ€™ve been here before. It was only a year ago that you stepped into the ring with Adrien Specter. It was only a year ago that you came in third place in the Extreme Tournament.â€
He paused and cocked his head to the side.
â€œThird place.â€ He slowly nodded. â€œDonâ€™t get me wrong, MDK, thatâ€™s mighty fine workâ€¦ but I wonder whatâ€™ll bring more disappointment. Third place last year â€¦ or a Quarter-Finals exit this year.â€ A wink. â€œBecause youâ€™re not stepping into the ring with Marko Flins. Youâ€™re not stepping into the ring with Adrien Specter. Youâ€™re sure as hell not heading into the Siberian Street Fight against another Maverick Jones.â€ He puffed his chest out, â€œYouâ€™re stepping into the ring with the future
of the Experts. Youâ€™re stepping into the ring with a man who DESTROYED
SCCW with a flick of his wrists.â€
â€œAnd a sturdy pair of knucks,â€ Karla chuckled under her breath.
â€œYou see, weâ€™ve both made it this far. Weâ€™ve both proved to the world that we are head and shoulders above forty-five of the other competitors that have already made their exits in this tournament. You and I both barreled through the Group Stage rounds undefeated.â€ He rested his pointer finger just under his nose and thought. â€œBut,â€ he began pointedly, â€œthe world knows what to expect from you in the Extreme Tournament, MDK.â€
He brought his hand upwards in a slow, slightly curving arch before it apexed and â€œcrashed downâ€ .. with Edmunds whistling it along.
â€œThey expect you to fail
â€¦ just like you did against Kurt Noble.â€ He smirked. â€œBut I,â€ he paused again and looked himself up and down, â€œIâ€™m a different story. Iâ€™ve done everything
Iâ€™ve promised, MDK. When Hannah Rickman stepped into my path claiming that I was a fraud, I mowed her down.â€
â€œAnd shut the bitch up, thank GOD.â€ Karla huffed.
â€œI promised Week 1 that Iâ€™d come out on top of Group I, and I did. I sent two competitors in a downward spiral that they never recovered from. I sent Rex Evans back to his mobile prison with dashed hopes of ever making it to the Elimination Rounds.. and when the former Phoenix Wrestling Heavyweight Champion stepped into the ring with me .. I made him look like a child
.â€ His face contorted with contempt. â€œEveryone claimed Masahiro Chono was going to run away with the Extreme Tournament..â€ huff. â€œHe ran, alright, he ran back to PW with his tail tucked between his legs, courtesy of Sean Edmunds.â€
Edmunds looked around the dank hallway in which he stood.
â€œAnd now Iâ€™m here, in Siberia, ready to make my moveâ€¦ ready to cement
myself in Experts history by taking out one violent man.â€ He curled his upper lip. â€œYour name might fall off the tongues of weaker men .. men who are afraid to step into the ring with youâ€¦ you might strike fear into the hearts of more nobler men,â€ another smile crossed his lips as he continued without missing a beat, â€œbut when you step into the ring with â€˜Simply Sensationalâ€™ Sean Edmunds .. your name will be an afterthought .. the fear you command with clenched fists will dissipate amid the vapid airâ€¦ and your time in this tournament â€¦ much like your hopes and dreams of ever being the True Expert Champion, will expire.â€
Not even the black and white television could contain the fire that burned in Edmundsâ€™ eyes.
â€œMurder,â€ a smug smile. â€œDeath,â€ an eye-roll. â€œKill.â€
He slowly shook his head.
â€œEnjoy the aura of fear while you can, MDK. Because after I am done showing the world that I BELONG
among the elite in the Experts â€¦ the only thing youâ€™ll have left .. is..â€
A broad smile.
The camera did a quick cut to just Edmundsâ€™ face. He stared through the television screen, his face contorting with the wavy lines.
â€œDonâ€™t adjust your television sets,â€ the television briefly cut out, replaced with static. It came back just in time. â€œI am
The shot slowly zoomed out from the television set .. Edmunds smug smirk filling the screen of the small television .. soon, the static took over .. and finally, the light above the stool burnt out.
Her voice cut through the mists and Edmunds snapped back into reality. He stood just outside the Siberian Facility.
â€œSean?â€ she asked again, growing impatient with his mental detour.
â€œYea, letâ€™s roll.â€ He responded.
Sean Edmunds had waited for this exact moment in time. Throughout the Extreme Tournament 2012, Edmunds had waited for Siberiaâ€¦ to be one of the few people to ever experience
itâ€¦ and to be here now .. to be here undefeated? It almost seemed like a dream.
But it wasnâ€™t a dream.
â€œIâ€™ve come too far,â€ he muttered under his breath, â€œIâ€™ve come too far for you to take this away from me â€¦ again.â€
Edmunds remembered the sting of High Stakes â€¦ to watch as MDK and Juan Ramirez retained their belts at the expense of Ian Credible and Insomnia. But he knew that there was little he could do. He couldnâ€™t carry Johnny Rebel and
Ian Credible. He couldnâ€™t carry Johnny Rebel and Insomnia, and Ian Credible, and the entirety
of the VWF. He was, after all, only one man.
man, but only one man.
But tonight wasnâ€™t about carrying anyone. He didnâ€™t have to worry about carrying Johnny Rebelâ€¦ and after last weekâ€™s debacle, he no longer had to worry about carrying Maverick Jones.
Sean Edmunds only had to worry about Sean Edmunds.
Just the way he liked it.