A LINK BETWEEN WORLDS (technically 2)
High Octane Asylum – Dream Sequence
Stronk was a nice touch, I gotta give myself credit. The day of rewatching our match was quite the pick-me-up but it’s not a total reprieve.
The truth is I continue struggling. Nowhere near the extent as yesterday but I’m only 50% back to regular form.
I move through my typical dream sequence, as I am obsessed with war against my enemies. When I take a step back and look at things critically, I need to know my battles matter. Going through the High Octane Asylum helps.
It’s not about one-offs. It’s world building, it’s finding a history between you and your opponent and connecting to it.
Breathing off it.
Surviving off it.
In other words, living your best wrestling life.
The enemies I make are my friends. As Batman needs Penguin, Riddler, Two-Face and then some… as Link needs Ganon and Ganondorf… and Mario fights against Bowser… I could go on and on… well, Conor Fuse didn’t join wrestling to wander around aimlessly. He definitely didn’t join one of the most prestigious promotions to fuck about and leave.
Feed off opponents.
On a continual basis.
Leading me to my depressive state of mind. I roam down the HOA penitentiary, past many others I’ve gone to battle with. They are housed here. Even the ones who had a brief stay – names likely to be forgotten – such as Jason Storm, my second HOW match. Kevin Capone, one of my first 97 defenses. Or Erin Gordon, OG Vintage’s first contest in the Lee Best game.
At the end of the hall, typically lies my greatest threat. Like Superman has Brainiac, General Zod and Bizzaro and Spiderman has Shocker, Rhino and Sandman, every hero has their KEY villain. For Superman, it’s Lex Luthor. Spiderman is tied to The Green Goblin.
The most famous is Batman and Joker.
Conor Fuse has to have a main villain, too.
But in HOW, it’s been a revolving door.
At first I thought it would be Erin Gordon, although she bounced out hard and fast. I was foolish to believe such a fate would come quickly. I didn’t know this is a game where most of the talent can’t hack it, and only a select few live past a couple of levels.
Then, for sure, it would be my childhood hero, High Flyer who’d take The Joker mantle. But he was at the tail end of his career.
Finally, Cancer Jiles had promise. Significant promise. Nevertheless, he couldn’t keep the HOW pace. He bounced to the land of Lindsay Troy, so I recently had to infiltrate that game.
PWA2, it’s got my mojo going.
HOW, however, does not.
Because once Cancer Jiles left, it went downhill even faster than before.
Sutler Reynolds-Kael was the highest level of promise I ever had. We had a great feud over the summer of 2021. I was never closer to believing he was THE ONE. I have no doubt in the world, if he decided to stay, we’d grow to be the best of enemies and friends. I would’ve gone to his dark side, and he also would’ve seen the light.
We’d be playing this game until the day we retired.
Next up was Mike Best, who for no fault of his own was looking to retire. I was no main enemy for him. Rather, a footnote.
Enter my last prayer in High Octane: Christopher America.
Legend. Major player. Might be better than Mike, which is a huge statement. Nobody but Chris and Mike have beaten me in singles matches in almost two entire years. Therefore, I had to stun the champ. Defeating America meant I’d solidify our battles for another few rounds.
I did not live up to this dream.
I continue to walk through the HOA. Yet I can’t help but think, was I wrong to believe losing to Chris means we can’t fight forever? WarGames gives me this same opportunity to take his belt.
But as I come to the end of the Asylum, the prison at the conclusion of the hall, the dungeon that’s housed the aforementioned names I just went through…
When I reach the nameplate to signify who’s on the other side of the doubled plated glass wall… which is meant to give me serious Hannibal Lecter-Clarice Starling vibes…
The unit is empty.
There is no Gordon, Harmen or Sutler-Kael, no Best or Cecilworth thereafter. Most importantly, America’s cell has moved to a different location. He still resides here, no doubt. He plays a significant role.
Not THE role.
This is why I am crushed. This is the heart of the matter when I say “fuck HOW.”
I want my fight forever rival.
And I have no one to blame but myself.
— — — — —
From the outside looking in, there’s a lot going for me. My youth, personality and skills. None of them have diminished significantly, if at all. I earn title shots, respect and I never back down from a challenge.
Sports are a funny game, aren’t they? I can watch athletes from other areas, ones who should have no worries whatsoever, but they fall into slumps, lose interest or overall deteriorate, never to reclaim the fire inside again.
I am one of those athletes ATM. I hope the spark returns.
I need the main supervillain. This is what I deem progress. I’ve done everything else.
I would be happy- I honestly would be content, if I never won a championship again.
The rest of my life takes a tumble as well. I spent six months inside a homemade prison, my own personal, realistic HOA, to channel a side of me unforeseen. Now that the cell has been torn apart, I no longer live within the Dearness Living Community. I’m back in stupidity, a boring adult land. A fourth floor apartment a little outside Wrigleyville. Sure, there’s baseball games to attend. I like baseball. I have a sick video game setup. Lots of extra space.
It was never about these things.
I love video games. I greatly enjoy sports. The obvious, though…
I like wrestling the most out of EVERYTHING.
This current life sucks. I already watched Conor Fuse vs. Stronk Godson approximately three-hundred times yesterday, trying to relive the same moment until I latched on to a different perspective. Like Majora’s Mask, where Link is asked to live the same day over and over again, in order to make small changes to his environment, I did the same.
It worked, no doubt. I have a small glimmer to feed off for WarGames.
End Stronk Godson FOR GOOD.
But Stronk does not reside at the end of my High Octane Asylum, either. He’s somewhere in the middle. He does nothing for me in the long run, he’s of no high interest. I would never want to end my main enemy’s life. I’d want him to LIVE! I’d NEED him to stick around for eternity.
That’s the fucking point.
Today, however, I’m back to doing jack shit. I spent an hour sitting proper on my couch, an hour or two sprawled out and then even a couple of hours hanging upside-down.
No fucks given, not a kick in the ass, let alone a nudge.
My eyes feel heavy. If I go back into my dream world, I will only torment myself further. Knowing I’ll fall deep within the HOA walls again and reach the same finish.
Fuse doesn’t have what he wants.
And what should I do with my life past this? I can’t see myself living here long-term. It’s not going to inspire me.
I check my phone. Jace sent me a text message and wants to meet up in Denver. I’ll level with you – I don’t hate Jace. I don’t think I ever did. I could simply see the writing on the wall, knowing he will get the boot from The Board and eventually come crawling back to my side of the game.
I heavily sigh, pick up my phone and briefly text him back. I let him know I’ll jump on a flight when I can.
I guess it is something.
On the other hand, Bobbinette and I seemingly don’t have much of a maintaining friendship. She’s grown extremely weird. One minute she’s wielding a hockey stick in her hands (I’m not complaining) and the next she’s going by Nette and stirring the pot in her coy little way (this is the not-so-cool part). I’m alone now, so Jace reaching out isn’t hated. Jatt’s also been friendly but we are on opposite sides. I don’t just mean WarGames, I’m talking about The Final Alliance.
Okay, so I have plans with Jace. Great. Amazing. I’m feeling sleepy and indifferent already.
Here we go again…
— — — — —
High Octane Asylum – Dream Sequence
The march throughout the hallway mocks me. I pass enemy after enemy, knowing none of them account for my purest rival. When I reach the end of the unit, the last dungeon will remain vacant and I will have the nail driven deeper into my heart. A terrible dream, a NIGHTMARE it’s become. What did I do to deserve this?
I’ve never steered HOW wrong. I have been the most committed wrestler outside of Darin Zion and Jatt Starr since I pressed start. The rest of the roster page has gone MIA here and there, some longer than others. After WarGames last year, I went missing, too. Granted, it was to heal from injuries and it was for two-and-a-half months, but everyone else has stepped away for drawn out periods of time.
What I’m trying to say is High Octane is extremely important to me.
But now that I’ve put in the work, I’m not getting what I want.
I am near the end of the dungeon for what feels like the three-hundredth time today. A few more prisons to go and then I’ll hit my sobering reality.
WarGames gives the entire roster an opportunity. I’m not selfish, I enjoy a large clusterfuck of opponents. It’s Smash Bros. Line ‘em up, I’ll take ‘em down. I can comprehend this is the period where many doors are open. Last year I threw down against an entire team, including my own, who were out to get me. It was fun, for its time.
I’d much rather be out of this match altogether. Do what Mike did last year, have a singular match not in the WG. I demand a focus. A bullseye.
Which reminds me, I’m at the end of the HOA, looking at the empty cell, wishing for magic to happen and for my true counterpart to be staring back at me.
“Fuck this,” I say in a rather quiet huff. Hands on my hips, I tilt my head back and try calming down.
I don’t wanna.
My heart pounds. I am frustrated. I continue to gaze into the empty lot… the names of everyone I thought could reside here, running through my head. Brats who couldn’t hang here for various reasons… Gordon, due to not having enough skills. Harmen, because he lost his skills. SRK, for having all the skills in the world but no sense of resiliency.
I could go down the list, it won’t do me any good.
I grit my teeth and scream.
“FUCK HIGH OCTANE WRESTLING!”
I charge, much like how I once charged at the helpless Stronk Godson with the 50lbs weight on his chest. This time, I throw my right shoulder into the two-way glass-
I don’t break through, the material is extremely thick. I bend it, though, temporarily… before it bends back and sends me flying to where I came from, crashing to the ground.
I don’t think that IS glass.
I make another run. This time I leap sooner, throwing my shoulder further across my body.
Back to where I came from and flat onto the ground.
I look up; I’m breaking through. I dunno why… yet I’m determined.
I find a nearby chair, likely for one of the security guards. I pace towards the former Christopher America prison and I start hammering the chair against the window.
The thick plastic bends but it always snaps back into place.
Huffing and puffing after I can’t fucking blow this barrier down, I hurl the chair against it for one final attempt.
I have failed. Again. Again and again and again. I fall to my hands and knees, resting on all fours. I’ve given up. I’ll enter WarGames, I’ll wrestle like it matters and, yes, I’ll attempt to murder Stronk Godson for the second time in a short period. It’s still not exactly what I require.
As soon as I say those words, I hear a creak to my right. I slowly cock my head and see that while I didn’t break the glass window… I jarred the padlocked door open.
Merely a crack, if nothing more.
I collect myself, remaining on all fours. I slowly stand upright, dusting my knees and carefully making my way over to the unlocked door.
I’ve never been on the other side…
I’ve never been… the inmate.
My hand rests against the large metal doorway, blocking my enemies from me and me from my enemies. I close my eyes and give the door a slight pushhhhh…
I open my right eye. Darkness lies ahead. I can’t see shit.
“Here it goes…”
I slowly place my right foot into the darkness and wait. I want to say thirty seconds pass when I realize my leg hasn’t been taken away from me, so another foot enters. Soon enough, I’m engulfed in the darkness completely.
“Hell-oooo?” My voice echos, otherwise, I don’t get a reply. I walk deeper into the darkness, deeper and deeper, way down.
Finally, the first thing I’m able to see is a tiny flicker of brightness up against the far wall. I walk to it, almost like it’s calling me and I am now possessed. The underbelly of the final prison, what kind of torment it had to have been, barely being able to see when residing inside.
Now I understand why none of my Rogues’ Gallery ever spoke back. Doubt they knew I was here to begin with.
I reach the spotlight and notice something extraordinary.
A descending staircase.
I didn’t think these cells had more than one floor. That’s bullshit, they’re supposed to be incarcerated. Limited space. LIMITED.
Nevertheless, I want to see where this leads. After all, it’s my dream and this specific prison has been abandoned.
I walk down the stairs, gingerly. The rubble underneath my feet is cracking as I do. It’s like not one soul has been down here in centuries.
Bottom of the stairs, my eyes go wide with excitement.
My sight does not deceive me. It’s another wing of the HOA. There are a number of prisons.
Is this my new “main villain”? Numerous villains at once?
And then I see the sign hanging above the unit, etched through the stone ceiling.
“HIGH OCTANE LEGENDS”
I can barely breath but in an extremely good way. My heart is pounding, my fists have tightened. Not with anger…
I take a few steps forward and only go as far as the first prison unit. I glance at the 64-bit rendering and nameplate beside it.
Is this what it’s come down to? I don’t need a main villain when HOW legends from years prior come back to the company. The history of this promotion can play opposite to The Vintage.
I feel my eyes bounce around Ward’s 64-bit render. I grin, crack my knuckles, and approach the two-way glass.
“Hello, Evan,” I begin, placing my left palm onto the window. “I’ve been waiting for you…”
I close my eyes and breathe in.
“Waiting for you my whole entire life.”
— — — — —
From what I’ve been told, you never played the bad guy before. From what I’ve watched, your prior days in HOW sound a lot like my current days in HOW.
Well hey bud, welcome back.
Now get TF out.
You see, I’ve started to construct a new version of me. It’s a Conor Fuse that accepts I’ll never have my Joker but I can have a number of them.
Additionally, -and this is bad news for you-, I’ve decided I don’t even wanna keep any of them around for that long.
Specifically the “old guard”.
It’s my fucking show now, you don’t know what the hell you’re getting into. This isn’t the HOW of previous eras, it’s a different league. Dare I say a foreign league. HARDER league. Proof is in the results. Scott Stevens isn’t world championship material anymore, he’s a sad, sad whipping boy. Darkwing and Mario ran away after a couple of matches upon realizing it takes serious work to pull off a pinfall. I have other examples but why spoil the experience? I’m gonna be the one who opens your eyes through experience.
I hate every pathetic legend who returns and thinks their name holds weight.
Conor Fuse is already working on legendary status, too, you know.
My name is still relevant.
Yours is a question mark.
Sure, make some noise in WarGames, you can gain minor respect, although HOW is not some RPG, you don’t get to come back with the same status you had upon exiting. Think of it more like a platformer, with no save states.
Go right back to 1-1.
Buddy, I’m fucking 8-4.
I have done everything you did and then some. Please Evan, align with Christopher America, take the dick rubbing path under the Lee Best umbrella and stroll along, thinking you’ve got things made and yet when you walk into the cage, I will gladly wrap my mitts around your head and thrash it to the ground, followed by Head Stomping your ribs so far into your chest, I won’t need a 50 pound barbell like I did against Stronk.
Hope I kill ya.
From this moment forward, I despise EVERY legend. I am the HOW gatekeeper, ‘cause all you fuckers do is talk a big game, think you can hang, and GTFO faster than Scottywood when he has a solid opportunity in front of him.
“Conor, he’s your teammate!” Shouts a fan.
Like I care.
Our team is screwed anyway.
But I won’t be. I refuse. If I don’t win WarGames, I’m coming out with a couple of new trophies.
One is Stronk’s head.
The other is your dickless, lifeless, LeGeNdArY body.
I’m on a mission. A new reason to wake up and walk into the Lee Best world. My mission is simple: tell any previously historical High Octane player if you wanna come back and wrestle again…
Don’t fucking bother.
I’ll purposefully seek you out and run you outta town. ASAP.
Like what Jatt tried to do to me when I first came into HOW. Except I wasn’t a legend, I was a nobody.
So Evan, it’s amazing you’re recharged. You’re going to be the example. Like if Mario Maurako sleeps on the wrong side of the bed next week and says he’d like to return to HOW…
No thanks, once he finds out what happened to Evan Ward via Conor Fuse.
Narcotic, welcome back to HOW! Say hi to Conor Fuse.
Oh, Conor wasted Narcotic in ten seconds. Okay then.
Lynx. Faze. Graystone. Each prick strung up by their ballsacks, gushing blood from their foreheads.
It’s a fucking message, Evan. Through you, thanks to me.
HIGH OCTANE DOES NOT WELCOME TO OLD GUARD ANYMORE.
Current players only!
I’m gonna make you so sorry you decided to take Lee up on a comeback. If you just so happen to live past WarGames, it’s not gonna end there. I’ll follow you, like a lost puppy dog. Difference is I don’t wanna be your friend.
…Simply wanna wreck you. Then I can move on down the HOA hall to the next moron who inevitably returns.
They all do.
They all leave, too.
And it’s gonna be thanks to meeeee.
I bet you’re happy you drew a late number in WarGames. I, on the other hand, am in early.
Don’t worry, I’ll be there when you enter.
Waiting in the center of the ring.
Frothing at the fucking mouth.
Ready to end your comeback.
Provide you a sobering reality.
Reality: This ain’t WarGames 2013. It’s 10 years later. You’re 10 years weaker, I’m 10 years stronger.
And you fucking suck.
Sorry, no amazing punch line, just the truth. It’s not your game anymore, this isn’t your playground. You won’t be able to navigate success like you used to. You should merely be thankful to escape without needing a wheelchair.
Conor Fuse is better than you, Conor Fuse is god damn great. He is the game of HOW, he is THE bar to strive towards.
And now, to the detriment of your legacy, Conor’s going to live up to his mantra. For he is The Vintage, and vintage is you. Don’t worry, you’ll maintain your prior achievements but after he stomps the living shit out of you… you’ll go crying to your cell, knowing you made a mistake and dreaming of evaporating from sight.
Title or not, good team or trash team, I am the one you should fear. I am The Last Level Legend. I may talk in gamer code but I am so far beyond those tropes.
Evan, I’m your worst fucking nightmare. I never forgive, never forget, and make everyone pay. Two days ago, I was as low as a person could possibly be. But I fight, scratch, claw… eventually find a way to move forward. Seek an answer. Because that’s what I do.
Can you adapt to the new HOW?
You better fucking hope so. Otherwise, hey, it was really nice knowing you.
But look on the bright side, when all is said and done, you’ll keep the image on your website bio page, of Evan Ward’s knee to Conor Fuse’s face. So fucking quaint. So fucking cute. So fucking badass. You clearly need the masturbatory ego boost more than me. Live in that moment forever, the one time you knocked me out.
You’ll never get the chance again.
Goodbye dipshit. Godspeed. Enjoy your final days on earth.
And all hail The Vintage, Conor Fuse, the new gatekeeper of High Octane Wrestling.