In Pursuit of Perfection, Grayson’s crowning achievement was born of the perfect storm of sweat, ability, and luck. Each week the magnetic chef stood in front of the lights, the cameras, and the adoring crowd to create the perfect dish. He was one of the lucky few who loved their lives. It was nearly impossible not to. He spent his off time romancing models, driving expensive cars, drinking fine wine, and eating food that would take most people to heaven. That was if he wasn’t already busy skydiving, attending parties, and checking off the bucket list of the average American. His work life was more unreal than his personal life. He was paid to do what he loved and there was never a day that he resented getting up and putting on his apron. By design, his show lent most creative control to him no matter how much executives tried to interfere. In Pursuit of Perfection was a cooking show that defied cooking shows because Grayson never knew exactly what his recipe was going into the show. As the name would suggest, he would innovate and experiment to create the perfect dishes. Fresh off of making the perfect plate of spaghetti and meatballs, Grayson dove head first into his viewer suggestions for his next quest.
Network executives began to breathe down his back as he toiled away for weeks, narrowing down the recipes he would be airing on his show. He’d never worked this hard in his entire life and this dish was becoming more elusive the more he worked. Grayson began to feel like his quest would never end. Icarus had finally flown too close to the Sun and there was no way he could get out of this maze. He continued with his apparently Sisyphean task out of a dogged determination when lightning struck. He had hit that critical threshold and narrowed it down to only a few ingredients. He was finally ready to announce his next project. Executives were thrilled at the prospect of being able to start another season of the show, with a queue of perfect “dishes”. Only one mattered to Grayson, the rubicks cube he was so near to solving. “It’s been too long my fellow perfectionists! I am happy to announce a new season of In Pursuit of Perfection where I finally create the perfect pizza.” Media was ablaze with comments, from joy to disbelief to conspiracy. The fans screaming their anticipation were met equally by those questioning the subjective standards of perfection. Amusingly, Pizza Hut seemed to be unable to turn down this pizza related publicity and purchased a handful of advertising slots to air commercials on repeat every time an advertisement for his show graced the airwaves.
As the day of his show approached, nobody knew that Grayson had continued his experimentation. As much as he tried, he couldn’t resist the temptation. He had already created the perfect pizza. He would be going through the motions of discovery on the show, but he knew where he needed to end up. At least he would be going through the motions if the show had not been inexplicably canceled. Outrage exploded from nearly every corner, with Grayson leading the charge. Protesters lead by the former television chef marched the streets of the network demanding an explanation and demanding the show be reinstated. The protests were met with predictable silence but then followed by unpredictable gunshots. Grayson Rochard had been shot.
It had been 7 years since that fateful day. The public mourned quickly and moved on quickly, his time in the limelight had ended. Once a beloved hero, Grayson now lived in the shadows. In the seven years that followed the assassination attempt, he had survived several more from who appeared to be various government agents. Several dictators had demanded his recipe book and they apparently aimed to collect from his corpse. The US Government seemed to be quite willing to believe he was dead. All the while, Grayson couldn’t imagine how a television chef’s recipes could have attracted so much attention. He must have stumbled on another more dangerous discovery in the course of his experimentation. No matter, he would never let his creations get into the hands of someone that could abuse them. They were all he had left. All he had of his life, his love, and his legacy. He would die before he saw them stolen and twisted to anyone else’s purpose.
Grayson heard the soft sounds of footsteps ringing against the stone down the long corridor of sewer he now called his home. He thought he had found the perfect place to hide, always migrating through the extensive underground systems. Nobody would think to look down here for a former celebrity and even if they did, they would have a harder time finding him. He hid into the shadows and drew his hunting knife to prepare an ambush for whoever had the misfortune of stumbling on him. A man wearing night vision goggles and brandishing a semi automatic machine gun stalked carefully down the sewer corridor. The sound of shots bounced off the wall, magnified by the acoustics of the tunnel as he was ambushed by a knife wielding chef who had apparently learned other skills to keep himself alive. He grabbed the fallen agent’s weapons only to look up and see another adversary, this one in a red coat with a crimson red large brimmed hat. Grayson raised the pistol he had hastily taken from man he had just killed and leveled it mercilessly at the new intruder. He pulled the trigger several times but what he saw afterwards couldn’t be explained. What he saw was a man in a large red brimmed hat effortlessly dodging the bullets. Grayson tossed the pistol and scrambled to get the machine gun only to find his assassin had already closed the distance. He felt a blade to his throat and looked down to see a pizza cutter. His eyes widened in confusion at the unorthodox weapon a man that could dodge bullets was wielding. The man in red began to press the sharpened pizza cutter to the former chef’s neck and as he sliced Grayson’s jugulars, gave the man the explanation he so truly deserved. “You were warned. Nobody outpizzas the Hut.”