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Waking the Dragon
05-05-2013, 09:10 PM
Post: #1
Davids had slammed Angelus to the mat, leaving the kickboxer in a crumpled, broken heap of blood.

That was the first time that night...it had come over him.

It struck swiftly, a swirling tempest of mad ambition. It could be yours. Its so close now, all you have to do is seize it.

The moment Davids came within reach, KnightMask tagged himself in. He darted into the ring and covered Angelus's limp form, all thoughts of honor, morality and humanity temporarily excised from his mind as the referee tolled the three count and brought him one step closer to challenging Sebastian Duke for the United States title.

The second time occurred as the muscular, modern-day barbarian Steve Davids and Sebastian Duke passed between them one wrecking ball after another. Standing toe to toe on the outside of the ring, the two titans tore into each other. As indestructible as they were powerful, they withstood and dealt out blows that could level cities...to seemingly no effect. In the ring, Angelus, the world-class martial artist was left alone with KnightMask, floundering a pool of his own blood...his eyes fluttering as he passed in and out of consciousness.

He could have checked on Angelus, he could have tried to prompt the referee, Tyrone, to call for medical assistance. He could have simply knelt down and offered the man a hand. He even might have attempted to break up the brawl between Steve Davids and Sebastian Duke.

He could have done any number of things, at least, before it caught his eye. The gleam of the US title belt in the flash of a photographer's camera. There it was, right before him...the most important wrestling title in the world. He had a sudden impulse to tear his mask off, then and there, so that he could look upon the belt, golden and glorious, with his naked eyes. That urge was washed away as another, more powerful one came over him in a wave.

Submerging everything else, filling up his entire being, was the need to touch it, to felt its steel and leather against his flesh. He knew it with as much unshakable certainty as a drowning man knows that he needs to breath. The belt pulled him towards it, inexorably, irresistibly, as a magnet draws steel to it. He held his hands out in front of him as he walked towards it, groping and reaching for the strap long before he had come within range of it.

When his senses returned to him, he found himself holding the belt above his head, thrusting it up like an offering to the Heavens themselves. He had walked away from a critically injured man...simply so that he might his hands around the United States championship. Filled with shame, the masked wrestler had almost meekly returned the belt to Sebastian Duke's hands.




Back in the dressing room, he stared long and hard into the mirror. Into the black masked and golden framed visor. He could not, he dared not, look at the face behind the mask.

How much, really separated him and the likes of Steve Davids? Was he taken aback by Davids' brutality on moral grounds...or was it just frightening to see a stark reflection...of himself?

He always ascribed lofty reasons to his dedication to the art of submission wrestling. Self-betterment, transcendence...asserting mind over matter...and of course, the simple love of the sport...a love of the techniques that was no different from the love kung fu or capoeira practitioners harbor for the forms they practice...or the attachment a guitarist has for his favorite chords.

It wasn't all a lie. He really did train for those reasons. He really was seeking to realize an ideal through his training, just as the knights he named himself for were. And he knew that the ideal could not be attained...but that the journey towards that end was in and of itself, something of value.

But there was something else that motivated him now. Something slithering about inside of him, alive and hungry.

For most of his life, he been lucky enough not to come across anything that could stir it.

And since it slept within him, KnightMask believed that it did not exist. But a slumbering dragon was still a dragon...and KnightMask's and been awoken....and now, it was climbing up from its pit...

....and it wanted...the United States championship.

It was all too easy to harbor pretensions to virtue when those things that aroused temptation were distant and far off. What really counted, was how you reacted in the face of those things that you did lust after. He hadn't even realized how badly he'd wanted the belt before now. He felt a willingness to do anything to bring himself closer to it.

This was it, then. Crunch time.

He had to fight in his #1 contender's match against Steve Davids as cleanly as possible, with all the chivalry he could muster. With honor and charity...or else everything about him...about KnightMask...was a lie.

He'd fallen to temptation on the last Warfare, blinded by the lure of gold.

It was time to get up off his butt...and fight back.

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