The half-orc grunted, but kept walking until he reached the loading platform. With a sharp breath he hefted the barrel or Badsider up and onto the loading platform. A row of barrels were lined up, ready for shipping. Each bore the Badsider logo, though there were several varieties of ale, including the original ale, the stout, and some of the ever-popular Broot. "What does he want to talk about? I'm kinda busy."
"Something about some interview with Melanie Rostol. Apparently she mentioned you, and they were looking for your response."
Jake wiped away a line of sweat from his brow and leaned back against the loading platform. "Why? She say something mean?" An amused chuckle, as if that would be something unusual.
"It sounds like she levels some accusations on you for not being around."
The orc shrugged and glanced around the brewery, and at the barrels of ale in various stages of preparation.
"Yeah, sure, send him back. I'll talk to him while I work."
"Mr. Thrash, any response to the comments made by Melanie Rostol?"
"What comments?" The orc made the reporter follow him. No point in wasting time. He could still be productive while answering questions.
"The interview recently released with Melanie. She levels a lot of accusations at you in particular."
The half-orc chuckles. "Does she?" Another dozen barrels to move out for shipping, and a like number of palettes of bottled Broot and Badsider. It was going to be a busy day. "What does she say?"
The reporter skimming through he notes. "I can read it back to you...
"All that, huh?""Who the f*ck knows? Maybe if he ever showed up to fight, that'd be nice. If he was ever here, maybe we could ask him, you know? I mean, maybe I'm wrong. but I thought holding a title meant something. I make myself available to fight every single night, every single fighter. The Opals and the Diamond are the face of the sport, but where is the highest ranking fighter? Never there. Aside from that? F*cking Beat Down? Come on, man. Stay on Bad Side. Myria came to see Terry, I did. Clarice did. Apple did. Where was the rest of the team? Who the f*ck knows? And that message from the Diamond on the standings? Get real, kid. If you won't make yourself ready to fight in regulation duels, here's a message. Pray to whatever God you have that we don't get matched up in the Diamond Quest, provided you can lower yourself to show up. Let us get matched up, champ, then you'll have a real reason not to talk, a broken jaw. I don't give a sh*t about a reputation or a record, let it be me and you in a ring. Way to turn your back on a team, champ. Good job. That's what I think about him, really. If he had some nerve, he'd get back in the ring. Until then, I'll offer this as a credited comment. And I quote. 'Get out here and fight us, Jake. Until then? Shut up up on the comments. Until you're willing, today and tomorrow, to back making a joke out of your so called team mate with fists, shut the f*ck up.'
The half-orc shook his head, and made a wry smile. Then heaved up the next barrel of ale and set himself before carrying it away.
"How do you respond to her comments about your not being around the rings?"
The response was delayed until the orc had carried the barrel over to the staging area and set it alongside the others. Jake shrugged. "Not much to say. I'm around when I can. This is a busy brewing season."
"You don't feel there's merit to her accusations?"
The orc chuckled. "I think she's an entertaining, and sometimes maybe a little confused, young woman." Jake wandered back in the direction of the palettes, requiring the cub reporter to follow after again. "She likes to goad people." The half-orc looked to the reporter. "Nothing new in that. The Crew talked trash. Harris talks trash on his radio show. It's part of the game."
Eyeing the palette for a moment, the half-orc continued to speak. "It's all part of getting inside of your opponent's head. It's just another part of fightin'. There's the physical stuff. The skills, the practice, the katas and all that." Jake slid a lift into the palette and slowly backed it up and turned it around. "Then there's the mental game. If you can get inside their head...sometimes you can win, even before the war...or duel...is fought."
Jake pushed the palette down the warehouse towards the trucks. "I'm a little old to be letting youngsters get under my skin like that. She can talk all the crap she wants." He set the palette in place and wheeled the lift back out.
"What about her comments regarding Beat Down, and visiting Terry King."
The orc made a face and shook his head. "She worries that I didn't visit Terry?" A wry chuckle. "Maybe she shouldn't spend so much time trying to injure her teammates. Then her teammates wouldn't have to BE in the hospital."
Jake rolled away the lift and ambled over to the side of the loading bay where a keg had been tapped and several mugs were available. He filled one for himself and then looked to the reporter who shook his head. The orc guzzled down some of the stout and continued. "I swung by at one point, but Terry was sleeping, I think. Something about visiting hours or some such thing."
"Still...like I said...maybe she ought to worry less about who visits, and maybe spend less time trying to hurt her own team. The Brawlers...we worked out hard. But, it doesn't make much sense to take out your own team, right? Save that energy for the opposing side."
The orc finished off his ale and put the mug back on top of the barrel.
"Mel's a good fighter. She's gonna keep getting better. As long as she doesn't wind up pissing off Harris, or Anubis, or someone that will just break her in the ring. I expect she'll earn her own Diamond some day. Probably soon."
The reporter was scribbling notes furiously.
"As for the rest?" The orc shrugged. "Right now, she's still trying to work out who and what she is. Mandalorian warrior? Model? Terror of the Outback?" Jake looked back towards the brewery and paused for a bit, perhaps reflecting on his own past. "She'll figure it out."
The half-orc nodded to the reporter. "Anything else? If not, I've got lots of stuff to do."