Great State of Kentucky
24 hours after Friday Night Clash 12
The pristine 1991 white Chrysler Lebaron GTC turbo convertible that had once belonged to Sato’s manager Ivan Stricker pulled in front of an old country home somewhere in the fields and hills of bourbon country. As it rolled to a slow stop on the dirt road it was on, Takuma’s girlfriend shifted the car into neutral, and pulled the handbrake before shutting off the motor. Sato looked glum even though just 12 hours prior he’d defeated the legendary Valora Salinas in a tough submission match. A woman who’d only submitted to a handful of opponents in her entire illustrious career and yet even after adding his name to said exclusive list and winning the Submission Specialist championship it seemed as if the joy that he’d felt in the ring the night before had completely faded by the time he’d awoken in bed this morning.
Amber: You sure you want to do this? What happened wasn’t your fault. The therapist that Dr. Drake referred you to has told you that over and over again. Plus, you don’t know what kind of trauma this is going to awake in his family…
Sato turned away from the old farm house and bowed his eyes and head toward the dashboard in a depressed manner. In the distant background a young blond girl probably the age of seven years old was playing outside on the old wooden porch with some dolls and stuffed animals.
Sato: Yeah I’m sure… It’s the only way I’m going to find any closure. Also I want to give his X-wife this check to try make things right. Dwight Couch was a good man who didn’t deserve the fate destiny dealt him. If I can make a difference in the life of his daughter in order make up for her having to grow up in this world without a father then I’m going to do it.
Amber: Yeah I get that… but Taku, that’s a great deal of money that we just got from the settlement against Rupert Mudcock. We could use that money to start over in Detroit and you could reopen your father’s martial arts school under your own banner to help people like you’re doing with the Rebels. Plus I’m sure they got a sizeable settlement as well. Everyone did according to the lawyers… especially those who lost loved ones…
Sato opened the door, got out of the convertible, and turned around to face Amber. Their relationship had become more complicated since Sato had returned from North Korea, but Amber loved him more than anything. Sato had pulled her off the streets of Las Vegas, took her in, got her clean of heroin, and helped her get back on her feet. Now she was trying to help Takuma from going down his own dark destructive path and was struggling to keep her boyfriend from descending into a life of chaos.
Sato: Just wait here okay? If it goes really bad I’ll be right back. If goes well, I don’t plan on saying longer than half hour. We have to be in Texas at the Old Rasputin bar in Dallas for meeting with Ares and Valora. They said it was emergency…
Amber: Alright… that sounds bad… especially after what happened at the monument…
Sato nodded and then turned back around to face the old house standing ominously in front of him. As he walked into the front yard, flashbacks from the North Korean Death Sport tournament they’d been forced to fight in raced through his mind. All the twisted memories of the torture, the pain and suffering, all the gruesome deaths from the Emperors designed death matches had stayed with young fighter. All of the post trauma was now bubbling on the surface of his skin as he relived the moment he kicked Dwight Couch to his death into the spiked pit during their fight. A scene that had haunted him in the form of frightening nightmares since arriving back in America for months on end.
Taku’s flashbacks came to abrupt end as a middle aged bleach blond woman rushed out the front door in unflattering mom style denim shorts and a checkered flannel shirt while smoking a cigarette. Her abrupt exit from the house jarred Sato back into the present. The former Miss. Cherry Couch was clearly angry as she picked up her young child and then began screaming and hurling insults at Sato while consoling her.
Cherry: How dare you show your face on my property and in front of my daughter after what you did to her daddy! Who the fuck do you think you are? Marching up here like you were invited or something!
Sato: I came to say I was sorry! Sorry for what happened! Sorry for what I did to your husband! I didn’t have a choice! They had rifles pointed at us from all sides!
Cherry: Took you long enough! Guess what? I don’t care! My daughter no longer has a father because of you! That means no more child support checks! That means I’m the only guardian she has! You know what it’s like trying to find a husband with 7 year old daughter to take care of?
Jenny: Mommy why are you yelling? Who is this man?
Cherry: This is the piece of shit that the liberal media keeps calling a hero who murdered your father Jenny!
The little girl instantly started to cry terrified by Sato’s presence after fully understanding who he was. Sato’s attempt to mend fences with the family had gone up in flames much like Amber had feared. He was now caught in an extremely awkward situation with a woman who seemed angrier at Takuma than concerned about her daughters psyche.
Cherry: If it wasn’t for those lawyers winning our big case against the fat fuck Murdock I be financially screwed right now! I been struggling for months to put food on the table and keep clothes on her back so she can go to school!
Sato: Well I know this might be a little late… but I have a check here for two hundred and fifty thousand dollars. I wanted to give it to you so that you could put it away for when Jenny turns 18. You know like a college fund or something…
Cherry: Oh now you show up with some money! After the big settlement! You know what? Get the fuck out of here you Asian prick! You come back here and I’m calling the cops! We don’t need money anymore! Jenny just wants her Daddy back and ain’t nothing bringing him back from the dead!
Takuma stuffed the envelope he had pulled out earlier with the check inside of it into his right pocket before bowing before them. It was clear Sato was hurt by their anger towards him. He’d hope that they would have understood the circumstances he and the rest of the roster were under while being held captive in North Korea and that they would find it in their hearts to forgive him. Instead he found only anger, blame, and more guilt to carry on his already tired shoulders.
Sato: I apologize for coming here… it was wrong… just know that I never meant to cause you any pain.
Cherry: Well you have! Now go!
Sato turned around and walked to the white convertible he’d arrived in as Cherry to her crying daughter ran inside the house. Amber stared at Takuma with a somber expression as he opened the door and sat down inside the passenger seat before closing the door behind him. Amber nodded and without saying a word, she started the car up and shifted it into first gear before driving away from the country house. It was clear that Amber had been right, but she didn’t want to tell Takuma that she had told him so.
To be continued at Brawl at the Wall 2!