Title: Throwing In The Towel Author: brodiew Genre: regret, family, drama Characters: Ivan Drago, Viktor Drago, Ludmilla Drago, Rocky Balboa, Apollo Creed, Adonis Creed Summary: Ivan Drago reflects on his life, losses, and what he may yet gain. Author Note: This is a one short which covers events in Rocky IV and Creed 2. It is an introspection piece which I have written in Russian broken English. It seems to work for me, but if it is a horrible representation, please let me know. I hope you enjoy. Throwing In The Towel Ivan Drago was a bitter old man and he knew it. His wife was gone. Long time. And, he chases her still. He thought she had loved him. But she loved power more. Influence. For a time, he provided it. He was big time boxer in Russia. His trainers said he cut though competition life hot knife in butter. He was in peak condition. He was near perfect specimen for boxing ring or other sporting games. But, like the harsh winters of Motherland, Ivan was brutal. He punished. He pummeled. He left opponent with no ability to stand, much less fight. He was top boxer for USSR back then. Went to Olympics and brought home Gold. Ludmilla clung to him with lustful vigor. She liked his brutality. She liked his celebrity. Such as it was in USSR. It gave her privilege. His Gold medal brought offers for fights in other countries. She saw them for what they could do for her. More money. More power. More. More. More. Ivan was blind then. Stupid Ox. He saw same things and wanted them too. With her. He was full of rage and pride and…love. He would do what she wanted because he loved her. He did not see that she did not love him. At least, in the way he had given himself to her. She ‘loved’ him as long as he brought home bacon. Like Americans say. His Gold medal brought an offer that neither she, and, by extension he, could not refuse. It was exhibition match with American former Champion Apollo Creed. He was no longer champion. But money was good. Trip to USA was good. Ludmilla was over moon. She saw USA vs USSR bluster as sexy. Like Khrushchev, she expected him to ‘bury’ capitalist pigs. He would do so for her. Las Vegas had been victory for Ivan. Creed was butter to his knife. Folded like St Basil’s Cathedral of cards. Creed’s promoters must not have done homework. Ivan had no mercy, and pride goes before fall. Creed fell for last time. In that place, Ivan felt no remorse, no guilt, no pain for having caused death of Creed. For most part, it is same now. But LasVegas was only beginning. Champion Rocky Balboa could not just be sad for friend. He had to come for revenge. He had to make it big show. Ivan had nothing to prove, but fight with champion is more money. More prestige. Ludmilla would be very happy. Which meant Ivan would be happy. Balboa came to Russia for fight. Brought family. Little boy. See the world. See Papa fight big bad Russian bear. Ivan thought Balboa would be same as Creed. Pushover. Revenge is strong motivator, but sheer force of Russian will would not be overcome. Ivan sighs heavily as he recalls bout with Balboa. His height, reach, and density of Russian tree was weakness to little bee stinging over and over. Balbboa was fast. Faster than Ivan thought. No excuses. He is champion for reason. Ivan lost. Lost bout. Lost money. Big money, anyway. Lost confidence of Ludmilla. After bout, seeing Balboa wrapped in American flag, Ivan spits in ground and hardens his heart. This would not be end. He would see awe in Ludmilla’s eyes again. He would come back. It was dream that fueled him for a year. Two, three big fights. He won those bouts, but promoters say his fire is gone. No more Siberian Bull. More like Siberian Blizzard. Not as exciting. Cold. During that year, two things happened. Ludmilla turned sour. Like milk in ice box too long. Also, Ludmilla got pregnant. Two more years and she was gone. She left Ivan for politician. Power. Influence. He was left with baby Viktor. 20 years pass and Ivan has turned Viktor into mini-me. Younger, more powerful, more rage filled version of himself so many years ago. He has told self and son that what they must do to get mother back, to have wife come home. He has filled son with hate for USA, for Balboa, even for Russian establishment. He has trained his boy brutally. It was only way. Only way to regain Glory. There must be place inside Ivan that knows what he is doing is wrong, poisoning his son with lies. But that is bitterness. Sharing poison given to you with those around you, even those most precious. To make long repetitive story short, Ivan went to America with Viktor when he heard son of Creed was now Champion. Viktor was ready. History would be repeated. Creed would be crushed. It went like he expected. Little Creed was no match for Viktor. Total dominance. Creed was broken like his father. But lived. That’s ok. But Viktor made stupid mistake; arrogant, unfocused mistake. It cost him Title after fight was over. Disqualified. Ivan could have lost control. But he remained focused. If Viktor was Champion then even now Ludmilla might come back. No, Ivan knew there was no going back. But, it was enough to see pride in the name Drago again, even for a son she hardly knew. It took long time for Creed to recover. Long time for him think he might be able to win a rematch. It was false hope in Ivan’s mind. Viktor did not seem to care. He lived on his father’s words even when they did not make sense to him. He would crush Creed again. But the false hope was not in Creed. It ended up in Ivan. Same arrogance. Same blindness. Same inability to adapt. Viktor was a brute, as Ivan had been, but brute force could not extinguish the heart of man who no longer had a father; a man with an identity to forge. Adonis Creed had heart where Ivan had none and thus his son had none either. Balboa. Not Creed’s father. But the heart he needed. Ivan thinks he sounds like an old woman, now. Creed put beating on Viktor that may be equal to what Ivan had done to his father. But where Apollo Creed had been unwilling to relent, Ivan would not see his son dead for his own pride. He had thrown in the towel and conceded the bout. It was in the moments after his dear Ludmilla walked out in her son and former husband’s moment of need. If he could not have her, Ivan knew that his son would be all he would ever have in this life. He would beat this bitterness with help of Viktor. Or, other way around. Viktor will help him. One way or other, he will find new reason to live. Perhaps, even talk to Balboa on next trip to USA. Who knows?