Well, the cat’s out of the bag now. Xander Azula, with the might of the Eternal Circle, aligns himself with the Grapplers Local 214 to take on the Best Alliance in this year’s War Games.
It is so freeing to know that you’re called to something as important as this. As I prepared for what’s to come, I could hear just the tiniest voice calling to me from the abyss.
She has returned to me in my time of need, the call to war giving me a much-needed focus and a welcome desire to be guided…and she was right there waiting, just like I’d hoped.
This is the best news I could ever expect to receive.
The news of my recruitment into War Games, on the other hand, was met with resounding…confusion. “Why was Xander of all people recruited to the Grapplers Local? HOW was he picked?”
Well, now ya know…more or less.
I’m about to let a whole different cat out of the bag, folks…this whole War Games thing has been on my mind for well over a month, really. I want you to cast your mind back to Refueled Fifty-Nine, when I discussed this very topic.
I took it to heart when Lee Best said the roster would be split down the middle, and so…I waited.
I figured, if everyone on this roster mattered so much to each side of the upcoming battle, surely someone would come to little old me and say “hey Xander, we need an extra body for War Games”…but nope, nothing.
This is why I decided to focus my attention on something I’m good at, talking trash and slamming fists. I said it before, but I was raised in the type of atmosphere that those HOFC fights bring. When you ply your trade in underground fighting tournaments with no rules attached except “at some point the ref will count a pinfall or see if your opponent taps,” it’s easy to acclimate to round-based fights inside a cage.
When one of these Best Alliance bozos was presented to me the following week as the hurdle I needed to jump to get back into the HOFC title conversation, I took that to heart as well. I went for it with gusto, as a matter of fact.
Every punch, kick, and elbow to the face was a statement on just how dangerous I can be…a statement that I put an exclamation on with a second-round TKO victory. I didn’t just beat Steve, I dismantled him in front of his crew that night. He learned the hard way just how dangerous I can be when I really set my mind to it.
Talk shit get hit, Hairy-son.
I punched my ticket to a shot at Mike Best and the title that night, but you know me by now…I’m a sucker for attention. To me, that win cemented my usefulness to whichever team would approach me…but again, nothing. Not so much as a damn peep.
Ya hate to see it, folks.
At the time it didn’t bother me, I was laser-focused on winning that title…but you know what they say about hindsight. Looking back, it amazes me that no one approached me even once. Hell, my win over Harrison should’ve been a wake-up call to the rest of the Alliance. I figured, hey, they’ll take one look at what I’ve done in a one-on-one environment, and see my value in a team-based scenario…especially with the numbers being what they are.
“Look out boys, this one knows what he’s doing.”
Instead, they’ve been insisting that my win was a fluke. Even worse, they claim that Harrison only won because he “said a bad word.” Look, I get it, I saw what Lee did to ol’ Steve-O earlier that night…but come in a little closer, and lemme whisper something in your ear.
If you truly believe my win was because of anything other than my talent and ability to beat someone up, you can politely go fuck yourself.
There, I got that off my chest. I feel a lot better now.
Far too often I tell myself to let things go, not to dwell on the past…but when you have that many people insisting your ability means nothing, you’re bound to go off eventually.
That was the point where I had a feeling of where my allegiances would lie if the moment ever came. I guess I should’ve known better than to think the Alliance would’ve recruited me for beating up one of their boys.
Still, I’m glad someone paid attention. The Alliance’s loss is the Grapplers’ gain.
Long Beach, CA
“So, who’s going with me to Tokyo?”
Standing in the courtyard of his makeshift complex, in front of a crowd of his peers all adorned in the decorative robes of the Eternal Circle, a smiling Xander Azula presents a unique opportunity. The head disciple was informed that only two of his Circle compatriots would be allowed to travel with him to the Land of the Rising Sun for the War Games event. On the one hand, he wished he could have taken more…on the other, he knew to count his blessings and be grateful to even have them.
After all, the one who recruited him to the Eternal Circle in the first place also gave certain assurances of his travel accommodations, warning him ahead of time that any luxuries he might have enjoyed prior to joining “the enemy of the boss” would come to an end. An unfortunate decree, but not one he will dwell on. It’s better to have two of his brethren by his side than absolutely none. With that in mind, Xander watches as some of his fellow disciples make their case for the trip.
“You have my word, and my might, that no harm will come to you on this journey.”
One particularly gruff voice catches Xander’s ear, turning his attention to an absolute hoss of a man. The hulking frame of this thick bearded fellow is noticeable amongst his peers as he steps into view, getting a knowing nod from the head disciple himself. This was a man that Xander had gone into battle with before, a trusted confidant during the dark times, when Xander was forced into hiding after a particularly nasty defeat sent him into exile.
It was this man that saved him from the depths of his own self-defeating attitude at the time, reminding him of the importance of seeing his mission through to its completion. For that, Xander is eternally grateful.
“Vagn Dahl, I always knew I could count on you. You’re an asset to the cause, and will be of great use when the time comes.”
Xander looks around, listening to the mass of voices calling out to him in the hopes of being chosen for the opportunity…and finds just the person to catch his eye. Standing before him is a woman who has been by his side since the very beginning, long before his initiation into the Eternal Circle. Their relationship has always been one of mystery to the rest of the group, as they seemed to share a bond that seemed nearly out of sorts with the mission.
Still, she remained joined to his hip when all his other so-called friends abandoned him. When he took up the cause of the Circle, she set aside her desires to aid him on his journey into chaos. In spite of the numerous other voices calling for his attention, Xander knew he’d need her by his side once more.
“Mysti, my beloved. Of course there’s room for you on this journey, how could I choose anyone else?”
Xander turns his attention back to the rest of the crowd, who have gone slightly quiet since the decision was reached. Their shouts have died down, but only so that they may take the time to listen to the words of their leader, the man that brought them along for this journey.
“This is the cornerstone by which the Eternal Circle will prevail on this mission. We will touch base with the rest of our team, attempt to better understand just what the hell we’ve gotten ourselves into, and then prepare for war.”
The silence of the crowd is replaced with thunderous applause, as his fellow disciples look forward to what Xander accomplishes in Tokyo for the whole world to see…and all for the glory of their goddess.
In a stone building, there is one piece that is crucial above all others. This stone is laid first and foremost, to ensure the stability of the entire building. This is the cornerstone, and the moment it is destroyed is when the entire structure comes crumbling down.
The Best Alliance had their opportunity to receive such a crucial piece of their foundation, a building block that could ensure their success far beyond the War Games match…and they rejected it, as if it was nothing more than a stumbling block.
The stone that was rejected by the Alliance has now become the cornerstone that will see the Grapplers Local 214 to victory…and the name of Eris shall be praised.
When I was brought into the chaos, my eyes were opened to a vast ocean of possibilities, things I’d never dreamed of. I bathed in the amazement of such ideas, waded my way through the depths of this understanding, until I reached an important destination…home.
I am at home, here in the chaos…I am at peace.
And out of that peace, comes a very dangerous disciple indeed.
This is the promise I make to my teammates, as your cornerstone…this peace comes to an end inside the Tokyo Dome.
Every member of the Best Alliance is but a worn-out stone in a cobbled structure. All in all, they’re just bricks in the wall…and I have brought the demolition crew with me.
All my attention, all my focus is on bringing my team to victory, to ensure that the Best Alliance is exposed for the frauds they truly are. Every word spewed from their mouths has been a sign of sediment spilling away from the structure, and those words will come back to haunt them inside that steel cage.
And as the wall comes tumbling down, the Alliance will turn their eyes to the one they rejected and weep. They will realize the critical error they made by dismissing me, by downplaying what I’m capable of doing when I set my mind to it…and I will laugh at their misfortune.
They had their chance, and they blew it.
I have found my place in the grand scheme of things, I have found the niche from which I will carve out a new era for the Eternal Circle…and my goddess will be pleased.
When the 214’s mission is complete, a giant leap forward will be made for the Eternal Circle.
A victory for the Grapplers is a victory for chaos.
They say that pride comes before the fall, and it seems oddly appropriate that the most proud will stumble and crash when the time comes.
This is the natural order of things, that the mighty fall before the meek…and the meek shall inherit the earth.
What a glorious day that will be. The wealth of gold will be redistributed in the proper manner, the seemingly invincible will be broken down for all the world to see, and those in the driver’s seat will find their hands falling off the steering wheel.
There is a shift in power taking place before your very eyes, and it is exactly the kind of discord that aids in the progress of our mission as witnesses of the coming days.
With the world watching, the planning and scheming of Lee Best and his Alliance will come crumbling down, and standing at the foundation will be the Eternal Circle, standing side by side with the Grapplers.
They will look up to the heavens, begging for mercy from what is to come…and my goddess will laugh. Every transgression will be held against them, and they will realize far too late that their gloating is their undoing.
As the 214 take their place in the upper echelon, the chaos that my goddess promised will take shape. Nothing lasts forever, but the Grapplers will be given their moment in the spotlight.
This is what I can promise you. I have seen such a paradigm shift before, and the cycle will come back around for those in need.
And, when all is said and done, my goddess will be exalted.
Praise Eris, praise Discordia.