“What the hell do you think you’re doing!?”
All subtlety has been thrown out the window, as the doors to The Mistress’s office swing open. Storming in are a very frustrated trio in Xander Azula, Vagn Dahl, and Mysti. Xander glares at The Mistress, a snarl on his face from an as-yet unknown situation.
“I’d ask you the same thing…mistress.”
He motions to the woman at the desk, and Vagn charges over grabbing her by the arm before she can make an escape. Xander walks up to her, staring her down before continuing.
“Explain to me why you sent me on a wild goose chase!”
The Mistress is taken aback by this, a look of shock replacing her usually cool demeanor.
“I have no idea what you’re–”
“Jesse Gunn hasn’t been a factor in any of this group’s operations for years, and yet you would have me believe that he was the number one enemy of the Circle. Every clue leading me to his whereabouts led to more clues, and the final clue brought me to the Dragon’s Blade that you claimed was so precious to the cause.”
The look in her eyes tells us that the worst fears of this Mistress are about to be fully realized.
“You found the Blade.”
The angry look never leaves Xander’s face as he pulls out the dagger she speaks of, still well-placed within its golden sheath. He sets the dagger upon the table, his eyes still laser-focused on the woman who has seemingly betrayed his trust.
“It was in this very building. The records your staff keep have this listed as missing, and yet…here we are.”
Xander grabs the weapon from the desk, returning it to his waist.
“So now, since you wanted my belief when you recruited me…I’m demanding answers from you. Why would you send me to go after a man who isn’t any of your concern, for a weapon you’ve been hiding away in your own basement?”
Normally a woman of many words, The Mistress finds herself stuttering and stammering as she tries to come up with an explanation. This draws a sigh from Xander, which quickly turns into a chuckle as he shakes his head.
“I thought as much. The way I see it, Mistress, your role in this group has been compromised. You would be focused on tying up imaginary loose ends, so wrapped up in the past, that the cause would face a dead end as a result…not anymore, not by my watch. There will be no more chasing.”
By this point, security has been alerted to the situation and a group of guards arrive ready to deal with the apparent rogue…but Xander has other plans.
“I think you owe the Circle an apology…but more to the point, I think you need to step down. The outside world has changed drastically, and so we must change along with it…we must make something new from what remains of the old. Your days of being the head disciple are over…”
With this, a smirk appears on his face for the first time this day. A smirk that quickly grows into a wicked grin, much to the Mistress’s dismay.
“…and I have just the replacement in mind.”
Los Angeles, CA
“There will be no more chasing.”
These words have been echoing through the mind of Xander for quite some time, to the point he would find himself repeating this almost as a mantra this evening, as he and his companion Mysti walk through the station. They’d already made their way up the staircase from the subway, heading toward the exit when Mysti took notice of his strange behavior.
“So what’s the plan, my love?”
The sound of her voice aids in snapping Xander out of whatever was keeping his mind preoccupied in the moment.
“Since Darin won’t accept my offer to join the cause, I’ve decided to force his hand. Since he seems so adamant about putting his own well-being on the line, I know what I have to do. Whether he chooses to come to my side or fall to his doom is fully on him, there will be no more chasing.”
Suddenly, his cell phone rings. He picks it up, listening to the message on the other end with a slight chuckle.
“Excellent, make sure Meredith is kept secure. We have much work to contend to, before Darin Zion faces a dead end in his journey come Rumble at the Rock…and I have some business with a Bandit to attend to come Refueled.”
Xander ends the call with another chuckle, motioning toward the arrival of a car arranged especially for them waiting at the parking lot. They enter the car, which speeds off shortly after as we fade to black.
Well, it looks like we start another page in the book of Xander Azula Humiliates The Best Alliance…except we’ve both come a long way, haven’t we Jiles?
And not for the best, either.
Where did we go wrong, Jiles?
You were the World’s Champion, as well as team captain for the Best Alliance, going into War Games.
As for me? I was the hot-shot “rookie” coming off a strong run in the DeNucci Cup, the surprise pick for the Grapplers Local 214.
You were the man that answered the one question that still haunts me:
“How do you solve a problem like Mike Best?”
And I was the man who nearly had his number…twice…in HOFC competition.
I would argue that Mike Best shelved the title specifically because he knew that if I faced him one more time, I’d finally make him look like a fool in the gilded cage.
But, when you sit at the very bottom of HOW’s rankings, you’re not allowed to say much of anything…or at least, no one will listen.
And if no one’s gonna listen, I’ll just have to scream a little louder.
That’s where you come in, Cancer Jiles.
You’re right above me in the rankings, because you’ve managed to slack off so much that you can’t keep your head in the game…or out of your own ass, either/or really.
You’ve reached a dead end in your career.
And I am right here, waiting with a smile on my face.
Why? Because there’s no turning back for you.
You’ve had your chance to pull yourself up by the bootstraps and become as amazing as you once were.
Multiple opportunities, in fact.
Now, you have nothing going for you.
No match at Rumble at the Rock, no real direction of where you’re headed, and worst of all?
Normally this is where someone would claim they have nothing to lose, so they have everything to gain…but you?
You’ve been to the mountaintop. You’ve tasted the glory.
So what’s left?
Hell, it’s almost a shock you aren’t in the Seven Deadly Sins match…you’d be a shoe-in for Sloth.
Instead, out of all the Bandits it’s you who’s left with yolk on your face.
Ya hate to see it.
Meanwhile, I’m quite literally at rock bottom…and I do have a chance for an upward trajectory.
I have a chance to pull myself out of this rut.
And I’m gonna climb over your lifeless body to do it, Jiles.
I’m gonna knock the former HOW World Champion down to the dirt.
And I will scratch and claw my way back to a standing of importance, to a position of relevance.
It’s what my goddess would want…and she always gets what she wants.
And no, I won’t be offering you a place at this banqueting table. I’ve learned my lesson, thanks to Darin Zion…there will be no more recruitment drives.
There will be no more chasing.
Only mayhem and misery.
I’ve had all the time in the world to study up on what you’re capable of at your best…but I won’t hold my breath that you’ll meet that expectation.
A shame, really.
I’d much rather face a man with the heart of a champion than the empty eggshell you’ve become.
But, I’ll take what’s given to me.
The last ounce of your pride belongs to me at Refueled.
And then, I move on. I take the joy from Darin Zion, and I take the respect that I deserve.
And you will continue to flounder around aimlessly until someone has had enough and puts you out of your misery.
That’s not my place, sadly. My goddess would rather see you suffer a little longer, so I won’t deliver the fatal blow.
I’ll make you wish I had, though.
Hail Eris, hail Discordia.