Takuma Sato is a Martial Art’s savant trained in the combat style of Jeet Kune Do from the age of five by his now-deceased father. The technique was taught to Sato’s grandfather by an old Chinese master during his worldly travels and was then passed down to Sato’s father, and then to Taku himself. After his father’s suicide, Takuma was recruited by Ivan Stricker to join the Ultimate Wrestling roster under his managerial guidance. Sato agreed to help pay off the debt left behind by his father. Sato quickly became a rising star in America’s number one sport of Professional Wrestling.
Sato was well on his way to pulling himself and his mother up by his bootstraps and save their home in Detroit from foreclosure until he was framed for a crime he didn’t commit. He was sent to jail in Fort Worth Texas penitentiary and in the process lost the house he’d been fighting to save. It was there while imprisoned where he became recruited and then radicalized by the “Red Vest” movement also known as the Rebels of Society. An extremist socialist group fighting against the wealthy 1%, fascism, racism, and the corrupt man sitting in the White House…Ronald McStrump.
Sato was released from prison after agreeing to be part of a half-cocked spy mission to North Korea with the rest of the roster under the guise of putting on a Friday Night Clash episode for the Emperor. The mission was doomed from the start. As soon as the roster landed the entire plan went awry. Rupert Mudcock’s Vice President of Operations Robert Eltiestios was shot and killed by the Emperor himself and the roster was immediately imprisoned. There would be no Friday Night Clash, instead, the Ultimate Wrestling roster was forced to participate in a barbaric tournament called “Death Sport” where opponents battled to the death in sadistic match types.
Sato escaped the tournament with his life unlike many of his fellow roster mates and was part of the group that helped put a stop to the Emperor’s planned nuclear missile onslaught of the United States. Sadly the hero’s returned home to an America with a Vaporized Los Angeles and Seattle. The first two missiles of a planned dozen were launched before Valora Salinas and her comrades could put a stop to the launch. Much to Sato’s surprise the tragedy united the country, but only for a short while. Once again the evils inside and outside of the country began to move in on the weakened beacon of democracy that was America.
Even worse still his mother was missing having left for Japan during his incarceration leaving now contact information or forwarding address. While Sato’s life outside the ring has become ever more complex and difficult, his life in the ring has been going well. With recent victories over the current Franchise Champion Huckleberry and his personal rival Valora Salinas for Submission Specialist Championship.
Sato’s role within the Rebels of Society grew to elite status. He and Ares defaced a McStrump hotel in Detroit and participated in a street brawl in front of a confederate monument against Neo-Nazi’s. After successfully defending his Submission specialist championship title at Brawl at the Wall 2 he participated in an insane mission with Valora Salinas and R.O.S leader Ares Metaxas to free women and children who were being held captive and abused at an I.C.E detention center.
During the mission Sato was shot in the back with tranquilizer darts and blacked out during their fight against a masked start spangled vigilante named the Reaganator. Valora Salinas was able to defeat the Reaganator and carried Sato unto a specialized bus which the Rebels then used to smash their way through the border wall. However, the mission was not a total success as Ares Metaxas the leader of the R.O.S was left behind bleeding out and was later found by federal agents. Ares has now been imprisoned without trial in Guantanamo and has been labeled a domestic terrorist by President McStrump.
Sato now awakens from his drug-induced slumber…
I woke up cloudy and disoriented to the sound of Spanish being yelled by female voices coming from the room next door. I was lying in a bed with a wet rag on my forehead with no recollection of how I’d arrived in this strange place or what had happened while I was unconscious. The last thing I remembered was the sharp pain I felt in my back when Valora’s tranquilizer darts missed our masked enemy and struck me in the back. Questions raced through my mind as I sat up and removed the damp rag from my forehead. Had we been successful in our mission to free the Hispanic prisoners held in the I.C.E detention facility? Was Ares okay? How did I get here? Where was Valora?
Sato got up out of bed and slowly made his way over to the door being mindful of his balance. The martial artist’s liver was clearly still working the tranquilizer drug out of his system. He slowly opened the door and walked out into a quaint, but a timeworn living room with an old television that looked like it been purchased sometime during the late 1980s. Two Mexican ladies were standing in front of the box arguing with each other in Spanish as they watched the international news coverage of what looked to be the aftermath of their mission. From what Sato could gather from his limited Spanish it looked as if he and his Rebel friends had been successful in freeing the imprisoned women and children.
There was a little girl on the couch across from the television sitting there playing with an old looking etch a sketch that also harkened back to the ’80s. When she noticed Takuma she yelled out something in Spanish and pointed at him which caught the attention of the women who had been watching the news. The woman instantly bombarded Sato with an onslaught of rapidly spoken Spanish before grabbing him by the arm and forcing him back into his room and onto the bed. Sato knew that if he was going to figure what had happened and where Valora was that he was going to have to try and communicate in whatever broken Spanish he still remembered from his sophomore year of Spanish 101.
Takuma: Who are you people?
Lady # 1: Mi nombre es María, soy la prima segunda de Valora. Tienes que recostarte de nuevo. Valora me matará si te pasa algo.
Takuma: Sí. Si Valora! ¿Dónde está Valora?
Lady #1: Valora estaba extremadamente estresada por lo que estaba sucediendo en Estados Unidos. Ella quiere comprar una botella de tequila para calmar sus nervios.
Takuma didn’t understand the majority of what the woman had said to him, but once he heard tequila uttered in the sentence he figured Valora had gone out to feed her addiction. He laid back down and closed his eyes, his mind a little more at ease having understood something about them being Valora’s extended family. Suddenly an email alert sound came from his smartphone that was on the nightstand next to the bed. Sato picked up his phone and opened an email from Vice President of Operations Allen Anderson. Sato would be fighting Valora and Jeremiah Vastrix at the next show in Mexico City. Sato then opened an older email from an angry Rupert Mudcock proclaiming that Ultimate Wrestling would be holding shows in Mexico for the foreseeable future until “The Salinas” situation was resolved.
A deep sick feeling came over Takuma as he began to realize that things may not have gone as smoothly as he’d hoped. He spastically closed his email applications and went straight to his news feed where he was bombarded with news article after news article proclaiming Valora a wanted terrorist. Further frantic reading filled in the rest of the blanks for Taku. Ares had been left behind and captured by the United States government. The only reason Valora wasn’t in chains in a prison cell with Ares was that she’d made it across the border and was being protected by the Mexican government. Rebels of Society members wearing “Red Vests” in public were clashing with police and being arrested all over the country. Things were a mess and the anger that Sato had been trying to suppress through meditation and exercise for months was beginning to bubble over. Without any warning, Sato hurled his smartphone at the brick wall of his room shattering it. His heavy breathing and frustration was interrupted by Valora who was now standing at the doorway to his room with a bottle of unopened tequila in her hand.
Valora: Well someone’s having a bad day… Guessing you just learned about what’s happened…
Taku: Why did you leave Ares behind!?
Valora: I didn’t have a choice! Federal agents were on their way to the facility and he told me to take you! I couldn’t carry you both and get all the migrants on the busses in time!
Taku: You should have gone back for him damn it! I would have!
Valora: There wasn’t enough time and you know that!
Taku: Fucking God damn it! ahhhhh!
Valora: Just calm down and come have a drink with me at the dinner table… when you’re calm that is. Don’t scare these people, they’re important to me. They're the only real family I have left…
Valora slammed the door shut and opened the bottle of liquor on her way to the table. She instantly poured herself a large glass into a rusty looking tin cup. She downed the entire glass in one go and then wiped the leftover residue from her lips with the sleeve of her black long sleeve hoody. The door of the room Sato had been in opened and the Asian American fighter slowly made his way over to the table and sat down with a depressed look on his face.
Valora: Have a drink.
Taku: I don’t drink.
Valora: Well you do now.
Valora poured Sato a large glass of Tequila and then slammed the bottle on the table. The rest of the family had left the house and for a walk at the request of Valora. It was clear Valora was growing tired of her millennial comrade’s moodiness and attitude.
Valora: Ares is rotting in a prison and I’m stuck in Mexico quite possibly forever! No one even knows you were part of that mission, so as far as I can see you’ve got nothing to fucking complaint about! ¡Así que deja de ser una pequeña perra!
Taku: I don’t speak Spanish V! I don’t know what that fucking you’re saying!
Valora: It means stop being a little bitch! This was Ares and your idea! Ares came to me for help! We did what we could, but we all knew there were risks involved! All of you in R.O.S new that day one when you joined and if you didn’t then Ares was taking advantage of all of you!
Taku: What do we do now? How do we help Ares? I need to get back to America.
Valora: Wrong. What you need to do is drink that Tequila and then listen to what I have to say! Now drink up and fucking man up!
Takuma looked down at the tin cup Valora had pushed in front of him. The older and wiser Latina raised her glass into the air and then made a toast.
Valora: To Ares! He was a good man fighting for a good cause!
Sato lifted his glass up off the table and knocked tin cups with Valora before they both downed the alcohol. The younger Sato made a funny face but kept it together in front of Valora. The only alcohol Sato had drunk before was Sake and he didn’t often partake. The last time he’d drank was after his father’s suicide. He felt the substance slowed his reflexes and made him a less effective fighter. However Valora had disproven this logic throughout her entire career, but Takuma was convinced that Valora could have been an even greater wrestler in her prime if it wasn’t for her substance abuse issues.
Valora: Listen to me, Sato. I’m not your mother, but I’m almost old enough to be. I’m going to give you some advice and I want you to listen closely…
Sato sat up in his chair as some of the tension he’d been feeling dissipated. It was clear he was feeling the effects of the liquor in his system mixing with the traces of the tranquilizer that was still in him. The buzz was intense and calming, but Sato knew that it would only be temporary.
Taku: Yeah what’s that?
Valora: This whole playing the hero thing, it only leads to misery and your eventual demise. I’ve tried to make a difference in this world my entire life and I’ve got nothing to show for it.
Taku: How can you say that? We saved the entire country…maybe the entire world!
Valora: Yeah sure when we came back from North Korea we were treated like the fucking Avengers, but did you see how long that lasted? I’m public enemy numero uno now and M.O.X News has been putting your name through the mud for the past twenty-four hours for being publicly affiliated with the Red Vest movement!
Taku: So what you’re just going to give up? Let the world go to shit? Let the McStrump’s and the Putin’s of this world destroy any hope for future generations? Sounds like something Gen X’er like you would say…
Valora: Kid I hate to break it to you, but this world was a shit hole long before even I was born! You and your Rebel friends aren’t going to change that. In fact, you’re probably going to make it worse. Lord knows thing’s I thought I was doing around the world was helping to make the world a better place, but I was proven wrong overtime over and over again.
Taku: Then why did you agree to help us with freeing the migrants?
Valora: Because I couldn’t live with myself knowing that those poor people were being treated like animals, but that was my last stand kid! I’m done playing the hero! It hasn’t gotten me anywhere good in life! My island home has been raided, my bank accounts have been frozen, my friends are being held for questioning by the CIA, and my back hurts so bad I can barely sleep at night.
Taku: So that’s that then…
Valora: Yup, I’m tying up two loose ends and then spending the rest of my days in the wrestling scene here in my ancestral home until it’s my time to pass on from this fucked up world. However, you’ve got your whole life ahead of you! You’ve got a chance to be one of the greatest fighters the world has ever seen! Hell, you beat me in a submission match Taku! I can count on one hand how many people have been able to do that throughout my career!
Valora: So don’t throw that all away for some crazy extremist group hell-bent on starting a fucking civil war! Don’t end up like Ares! McStrump’s approval rating is at a record low, and once he’s out of office hopefully the country can heal both emotionally and physically!
Taku: You don’t know that! He could win a second term! No one thought he’d win before and look at what’s happened since!
Valora: Listen. Vastrix just sent me footage he filmed at a military base in Ashland Nebraska. He found where all the migrant men were being dragged to. Apparently, he was forcing them to work hard labor without pay to build some kind of riot control drones and robots. Once the liberal media gets ahold of the video footage they’ll be even more pressure for impeachment from the American people. No President could ever get away with something like that…
Takuma Sato sighed, He was clearly exasperated, but he knew some of what Valora was saying made sense. He had a woman who loved him, a manager that respected him as an athlete and cared about his career, and a mother he cared dearly for that was missing.
Taku: So you think I should lie low here in Mexico for the time being…
Valora: Yes, the last place you need to be right now is America. McStrump is going to be desperate once he’s outed for this. Desperate animals are dangerous and if you’re within his grasp he may try to lock you up on false charges like he did before.
Taku: I’m surprised Mudcock is moving Ultimate Wrestling down here just because of this… You’d think he’d love seeing both of us out of work and locked up.
Valora: Hah! Are you kidding? Haven’t you noticed the thinning roster? He can’t afford to lose us! Were two of his top fighters! Without us, on the card, all he has is Huckleberry and Jeremiah! This is a brutal sport and with everything that’s happening the world today, there aren’t a lot of athletes willing to subject themselves to the dangers of professional wrestling. Most people have more important things to worry about and there are safer lines of work to put food on the table that doesn’t involve getting your skull cracked.
Taku: I guess you’re right…
Valora: Of course I’m right. So promise me no matter what happens in the States you won’t go back to try to help the Rebels. Promise me!
Taku: I… I promise.
Valora: Good. Now get the fuck out of here.
Valora: Get the fuck out of this house! I don’t want to see you again till our trios match with Jeremiah! We might be friends outside of the ring kid, but come Friday Night Clash will be fighting for the Number 1 contender spot for the Franchise Championship and I want my belt back!
Taku: Where the hell am I supposed to go? I don’t even know where I am?
Valora: You’re about 4 hours away from Mexico City. There’s an old dirt bike full of gasoline with the keys in it waiting for you. Find a motel, get in touch with that cute girlfriend of yours, and then get your head on straight because I’m coming for you this time!
Sato knew Valora meant business. He sat up from the table and walked toward the front door before opening it. He then turned around to speak to Valora one last time.
Taku: Thanks for carrying me to the bus and not leaving my ass behind.
Valora: You’re welcome.
Sato closed the door behind him and walked out onto the front patio. The morning sun was just beginning to rise over hills as he made his way over to the motorcycle Valora had gifted him. He sat on the bike and then fired it up before driving it out of the dirt driveway and onto the desolate side road that the property sat parallel to. Takuma knew he had to try to block out all the terrible events that had transpired and get his life together. Valora was right, the world was a harsh reality and him trying to make a difference in it was only going to lead to a life full of unhappiness, prison, or death. What Valora didn’t realize was that this was a price Takuma was willing to pay if it meant really making difference. Only time would tell if he’d really listen to her or follow his heart and keep fighting the good fight against the evil forces in the world.