[Static…and then, a “voice on the street” appears, a young man who looks like he knows everything and is ready to share as much with the viewing audience.]
“What do you say about a Fighter who can’t even win a fight? Here’s a man who relied far too heavily on this idea that once that HOFC cage was locked, all bets were off…except for a victory. Xander lost to Mike Best at ICONIC 2022, and didn’t get back into that cage until last week…where he lost again. Solex killed the last of his mystique, man. If you call yourself a Fighter and lose two fights in a row, what does that make you? Nothing.”
[That final word echoes as we transition to an older woman, just shaking her head before speaking.]
“And it’s such a shame, too. Sure, he was far from the winningest wrestler in HOW, but as a Fighter? He was nigh-on unstoppable. Such a pity.”
[Again, the final word echoes as we transition once more, this time to an older gentleman who looks something like a journalist. We see a plaque or two in honor of the man’s accomplishments as he speaks.]
“Look, at the end of the day, Xander Azula has one of the worst win/loss records in High Octane Wrestling, but even worse…no sense of upward movement in his career. His claim as ‘Real’ World’s Champion is a broken bucket now, it doesn’t hold water. He said that if he lost to Solex at the Pay-Per-View he would never show his face in HOW again…and I think he needs to keep his word. Maybe it’s time for Xander Azula to just…disappear.”
[This word echoes even louder, as if drifting through time and space…and so do we.]
Outside GOD’s House
The night is far from finished for the HOW Pay-Per-View event, but for the Eternal Circle, there is only one singular focus…finding Xander Azula. Sometime after the HOFC fight came to a conclusion, the Fighter started crawling away from the site of his downfall, an absolute wreck both physically and mentally after the damage done by Steve Solex. Some say he went so far as to crawl through the outside hedges, all for the sake of escaping unnoticed by the vast majority of those in attendance…but the Circle’s efforts to find their leader go fruitless.
“Well, this is an absolute disaster,” remarks Thomas Crowne, a furrowed brow as he turns his attention to the hoss that is Vagn Dahl. “How far do you think he could’ve crawled away?”
Vagn shrugs, unable to think of a good answer…but Mysti interjects.
“Xander can do whatever he sets his mind to.”
“Except win, by the looks of it,” quips Crowne, shaking his head in disappointment. “Listen, I think it’s about time we reassess this situation and–”
Thomas is interrupted by the sound of someone…perhaps something…screaming at the top of their lungs from afar. The disciples look at each other in fear, with Crowne trying to lighten the mood.
“Trick or treaters? We’re coming up on Halloween, after all.”
Mysti and Dahl shake their heads before they rush off, because deep down they know exactly what…who…that scream is coming from. Moments later, they head about as far out as one might imagine before finding the source…the man they spent the night looking for. Xander Azula…only something is different. The man is disheveled, looking worse for wear…slightly bloody, even…and covered in dirt from his trip. Despite his yelling and hollering just moments ago, Xander simply stares back at his followers in silence. They look at him, and they see something terrifying…his eyes have changed. Any sign of light, hope…gone. They look into those eyes and they see the darkest eyes…the devil’s eyes.
And GOD help whoever crosses paths with what remains.