"This City is rotten... brought down by neglect and left to Decay by those who didn't care enough to save it... but I care."
"My name is Maria Kannelis Bennett and I will save KO City"
And it is this mission statement that has brought Maria here tonight, to Little Korea, a district on the Eastern side of KO City. A place where tonight she must walk alone down grimy alleyways, passed leftovers of discarded restaurant food until she comes to a set of steps that lead down toward a basement. A flashing neon sign above it shows letters written in Hangul but Maria neither knows nor cares what it says, all she cares about is making it inside and even before she does, she can hear the sounds of the person she came to see.
"What do you want?" Jade says, turning sharply to her visitor, her blue tinged hair flailing behind her.
"That's an impressive workout" Maria says. "Then again, I would expect anything less from the Champ."
"Oh Jade" Maria sighs, "I can't fool you can I? Even when you were with the Dollhouse I knew you were the smart one.. and the strong one... and the prettiest one... and that, I suppose, is why i'm here. I want to make you an offer Jade. I want you to help me make KO City great again. You see I have a vision, I see a City that can rise up from the ashes that others left behind. You see, most of the has-beens have left the City, sure there are a few left but you can help me get rid of them and then there will be nothing stopping us from bringing this place back to where it should be, there is a whole new generation of women just waiting for their chance to shine and I want to give them that chance, I want to give you that chance Jade and nobody will shine brighter than you, you will be my Emerald from the East."
"Uh-huh, well, the thing is Maria, i'm already Knockouts Champion. So why exactly do I need you?"
"Because being Champion isn't enough for you. You want to be great. You want to be the greatest Knockout of all time and the only way you can do that is by ridding this City of Gail Kim. I can help you do that and in the process, you can help me make KO City great again"
"And what do you gain from this Maria?"
"Me? Nothing. I just believe that I have been put here for a purpose and that is to bring the Knockouts Division back to prominence. Some say it'll take a Miracle, I prefer to think it just takes a Maria"
Jade gives a smile before going and picking up her Knockouts Championship. Even in the dim of the basement the gold still shines.
"I think you should go Maria," Jade warns. "I'd hate for your husband to have to come rescue you"
Jade turns and leaves with her Championship, leaving Maria alone in the quiet of room but Maria smiles her own smile, knowing that if Jade had wanted to, she could have kicked her like she had the bag hanging from the ceiling. The fact that she didn't may say plenty about where her loyalties could lie.
Later that night, Maria stands on the balcony of her penthouse apartment overlooking the City. From behind her, Michael Bennett approaches with a glass of Champagne.
"Well, how did it go?" Mike asks.
"Great" Maria says, taking the drink.
"So what's the plan now then?"
"The plan?" Maria says. "The plan is to use and abuse every last woman in this place to get what I want and that is to turn KO City into a Kingdom... a Kingdom of Knockouts, and I... I will be It's Queen"