That is the feeling coursing through my mind as I prepare for Golden Intentions, and it is what every competitor in the Rumble match will = confront by the end of the event. All those impassioned individuals, clinging desperately to the faint hope they will be the sole survivor and earn a shot at the big championship prize. In the end, only one can be victorious. All the others…well, we’ll be leaving the Wells Fargo Centre disappointed. There is no skill in such a match. It’s a simple clusterfuck, a shit-show. A bloody dog’s breakfast! My participation is nothing but an effect of Ouroboros’ mob mentality. The coils of the snake tightening around the hapless participants of the rumble match. Such will be the strangehold Ouroboros has on the CWF. I hold no delusion that I’d be within cooe of winning the bloody match. But then, I ain't mean to win. I'm obligated to compete, to be an ally to Cassandra and Revenant. After all, the more manpower, the higher our chances right? So for those who’d oppose us…take fair warning. I ain’t coming to Philadelphia to fu-ah…To muck around. And after the dust settles I’ll be once more into the ring, fighting beside my newest ‘brother’, Revenant, against, the Rhonda and Ketut of the CWF. Naturally I mean Mariella-Jade Flair and Eric Dane. I mean fair dinkum? Are we in a bloody time loop? This is some serious sports entertainment bullshit, fighting in the same match, over and over and over again. Like a broken bloody record. The records show that I’ve in fact already beaten these two, not that it was a true-blue win. But still…What do you reckon MJ? Eric? You think lightning is gonna strike twice? Or is this snake biting off more than it can chew? I guess only time will tell...”
Choronzon and Judas stand facing each other, their bodies tensed and ready for a physical confrontation. The Disciple stares daggers into the eyes of the Hound, his grim visage promising pain. The Aussie Battler fronts his ‘opponent’ with an impassive look of obligation. It is practically a challenge, urging the Disciple even further on. Unbeknownst to the two, their entire altercation is observed by their leader, Elisha, and his right-hand woman, Cassandra, both watching with unwavering interest and entirely different expressions. While the Moonchild watches with anticipation and excitement, Cassandra shows concern and worry.
“Should we not intervene?” Cassandra asks.
“Your intervention will prove detrimental. We must not coddle them. They will fuel each other, push one another further.”
“As you wish.”
Elisha pauses for a moment, watching the brutal melee unfold through well hidden cameras and considering her cautionary worry.
“Have a security team on hand. In case things take a turn for the…fatal. Oh and of course prepare a medical team. It would not do to have either incapacitated before our big night at Golden Intentions.”
This concession pleases Cassandra, who nods her assent and contacts the necessary parties.
“Something concerns you?” She adds, switching her gaze from Elisha to the monitors and back again. Here is no denying Cassandra’s preternatural prescience, a skilful insight that pierces even the menacing mask of the Moonchild. One of many reasons why she is such a valued member of Ouroboros.
“Careful Prophetess. One day perhaps your observations may get you in trouble.” He growls, almost playfully.
“You know very well that I can handle…trouble. But you did not answer my query.”
“True…” Again he pauses. “We have grown in numbers, but I wonder if we have grown in strength. As we have risen in prominence, coiling ever tighter around the CWF, I was expecting for to join our ranks. Yet those that have, in their own twisted wisdom, come to us for ascension are naught but broken and fallen.”
“Let it not concern you my liege. There will always be resistance in the face of change, from those who fear losing. And there is indeed much for them to lose.”
“Making our victory all the more glorious.”
"They will come. One by one, begging before you on their knees for mercy and enlightenment."
Satisfied for the moment, his token smile, one of malicious malevolence, creeps across the Moonchild’s face.
Their victory would be glorious indeed…
Such is life…
A phrase spoken by a historic Australian convict mere moments before he was executed for his crimes. Though not expected to die in seconds (despite what his beaten body has him believe), Judas feels it is a fitting quote to lament on, finding himself bedridden in the Epicentre’s medical ward and reflecting upon the course of events and decisions made to bring him to this place, fallen so far from grace.
“Is this fair dinkum what I’ve become?” He asks to no one in particular. The only other presence is that of the Disciple, Choronzon, either asleep or unconscious. That brings some satisfaction to the Hound, being able to give as well as he gets. But a part of him thinks this is all some elaborate test, a means to enact a transformation within Judas, to forge him into the attack dog they passionately want him to be.
But if Choronzon is the stick…where’s the carrot?
“And what is it you have become?” Comes the voice of Cassandra, the Prophetess, from the shadows. As if on cue.
“I can’t help but feel like some base-level thug. Little more than a goon. I mean is this all you guys expect of me?”
“It is no easy thing, to become greater than we are. At times the journey ca be most distasteful.”
“Greater? If this is your idea of greater than I’d hate to see what is worse.”
“You let your emotions cloud your judgement, and speak rashly.”
There is an edge in Cassandra’s voice, serving as both cautionary warning and sympathetic ear.
“Bloody Oath! I did just get my arse handed to me. Strewth! If I didn’t know any better, I’d have thought that wanker was out to kill me.”
Judas waits for some confirmation, or denial, of Choronzon’s intentions. But none is forthcoming. Judas sighs.
“Knowing you guys and your equipment I’ll be up and ready in time of the pay-per-view.”
“Of course. We cannot have you fighting at anything less than 100%.”
“But why me? Wouldn’t you or dickhead in the bed over there be better suited to guide the new guy into the fold. MJ ain’t an easy challenge on any day of the week. But to fight her, and a mate of hers, with some fresh-faced...zombie…thing...I’d probably be better served fighting them myself.”
“It is you because the Moonchild deems it so.”
“Bloody typical…But I got no one to blame but myself.”
“Blame yourself for what? For having the foresight to recognise our inevitable supremacy?”
“Strewth. One day I’ll get a taste of whatever it is you lot are drinking...But if you don’t mind Cassandra, I’d like to be left alone. Got a lot to prepare for and all that bizzo.”
Though he doesn't believe for a second he is ever truly alone in this place, amongst these people.
Cassandra is visibly perturbed by his dismissal. She realises there may be more credence to Elisha’s concerns than she thought. Their hold on Judas was not as strong as they hoped. Were they too blinded by their confidence?
No…if there is any fault. It would have to be within the weakness of Judas and his lack of conviction.
He must never learn the truth, lest he becomes lost once more.
Usually Judas would give in to the mysterious and other-worldy charm of the Prophetess, but it seems as if Choronzon has knocked a modicum of sense within the Aussie Battler. It’s almost as if the blows to the head unlocked a part of Judas’brain that had been addled and hidden. Things are becoming clearer.
Judas turns to his ‘brother’, seemingly peaceful in slumber.
“Mate, I’d gladly switch places with you and just chuck a sickie. You wanna blue so bad? Better you facing off against MJ and Dane than me.”
Judas tries to force himself into a more comfortable position, every inch of his body protesting with the slightest movement, and pray to be overcome by sleep. Not that the images within his dreams are any more comforting than his reality…but then again…such is life…
Allowed to hide out at Jessica’s Brisbane city apartment, Sam Braxton is left alone to his own devices more oft than not as Dean’s girlfriend busies herself with her regular routine, clinging to anything that can keep her mind off of everything that has happened to her erstwhile partner. Sam wishes he was so lucky, spending most of his days drinking, fornicating and brawling in between CWF events. Sufficed to say it doesn’t little to abate his growing anger. Anger at himself, at Dean, at Ouroboros and at the CWF in general. The only hint of happiness the Larikin feels is the glimmer of hope for the chaos he can ensue at Golden Intentions. With so much potential talent in the royal rumble match he is practically spoilt for choice on targets.
His mind clouded by rage and alcohol Sam doesn’t hear the knocking at the apartment door, growing more aggressive and anxious with each passing moment it is left unanswered. Finally, he is to his feet, staggering to the door. He fumbles with the door handle as the knocking persists.
“Alright Alright. Fuckin’, don’t lose your shit.” He slurs. Heedless of the possibilities of the knocker’s identity. Anyone for Jess would know she is at work, so either it’s a salesman, or someone for Sam…
At last the door is open and Sam drops the half-empty stubbie of piss in his hand when he sees at least four of Dean Coulter’s father standing in the doorway.
“Fair bloody dinkum. I thought one of you was bad!”
“Mr Braxton…” Robert Coulter tries hard to mask the disdain on his face. Sam is unsure if the patriarch of the Coulter family is shaking his head, or if he is just swaying in place.
“I ain’t no bloody stuck-up Mr! What the fuck you want?”
It seems to bring Mr Coulter pain and discomfort to speak of Sam Braxton in such a familiar fashion. Though he is confident the feeling is mutual. “We need to talk.”
“Why’d I wanna talk with you?”
“I need to know, what you are going to do about Dean.”
“Well I'll be fuckin' blowed.”
With that he collapses.
Robert Coulter rubs either side of his temple and reminds himself that his son’s livelihood is at stake. Gritting his teeth and pulling up his sleeves, Dean’s father grabs the fallen Sam and drags him back inside Jess’apartment.
Battler: Working class Australian
Bloody Oath: You bet! Of course!
Bloody: Used for emphasis and severity
Chuck a sickie: Taking a day off from work because of being unwell (not always genuinely)
Dog’s Breakfast: When something is a mess.
Fair Dinkum: Varies based on context, exclamation of surprise or questioning authenticity
I'll be blowed: Well would you look at that. Who'd a thought it. etc.
Not within cooe: Nowhere near/Way off. etc.
Rhonda & Ketut: An unlikely, yet iconic, duo featured within a series of commercials of an Australian insurance company.
Strewth: Exclamation of surprise/doubt etc
Stubbie: Glass bottle of alcohol.
Such is Life: Quote by famous Australian Bush Ranger Ned Kelly, before he was hanged. He is depicted as a Robin Hood-like figure. Fun fact: This is the name of one of an Highlander's signature moves :P
Wanker: Insult or ironic term of endearment (akin to Dickhead)