He looks at his hands, quaking, lactic acid filling his joints, a bone tired ache enveloping the physical, the mental, the spiritual. Never enough. A familiar refrain, a constant chorus. He knows these sensations far too well, yet foolishly, ever so foolishly, continues to stride into the fray, seeking, yearning, knowing himself far too well at this point that naivete is no longer a valid excuse. And so he dwells, oceans away.
Not toward the monuments he’s created, their perfection mocking him with their craftsmanship.
Not toward the mythical barriers he feels he must pursue to find validity for all his time spent.
It is the peace he will never know, thinking its one swipe away from being permanent.
Away from the ring, he’d grown. Accepted. When PRIME rose again, he walked into its doors changed, and in that change, in that place of personal contentment, he was able to run down his demons and take the Universe in a manner his peers deemed aspirational. Lena Hades could paint him in peak position, above the fog and rolling hills of paradise.
But they never wanted that for him. While others, so many others, enjoyed their crystallizations, were celebrated at their height, his mark was sundered from the very start. No other Universal Champion in the ReVival accepted being below the main event. He wished himself Arthur, but he was merely the good enough soldier. No matter how transitional those that came after were, no matter if their only care was to piss upon what it meant to be PRIME, The Queen offered them their protections. Their second chances. Their third chances.
The score was known. For him, these forays stoked an incomprehensible madness because history told him it’s only through spilling the blood of his peers in the utmost do or dies that he will ever be given the chance. Ravaged and swollen, unable to sleep thanks to a nose turned to powder, why else did he rush back so quickly? Stand in line, swing your gun, march in perfect sequence. They’ll gladly take your flesh for the feast but they will never, ever, love you.
They will never allow you into their strata.
So chew, you big, dumb cow, on the cud of those old Halos once again made manifest. Stare off at the bright and shiny toys. The future is now. ACE Network and Alexa Van Horne created the slogan, bathed Hayes and Colton in their light. In mere days, it will be TAB’s turn, and he will smirk in darkness.
And The Queen will beam at her prodigy for doing exactly what she’d molded him to do.
A 15 year contract not even worth the paper it’s printed on. March forward. Climb that hill. Know that you were sent there to die.
You wanted a Camelot.
It’s nothing more than you’re own Vietnam.
You crawled to their tune, thinking it would save you. That checking their boxes would grant you dopamine. Numb to it all. All too cool in the bowels of a palace. Where did that get you, Brandon? Ask yourself honestly.
Did coming back to this truly set you free?
Or had you already found your freedom, only to stride back into bondage?
Dance for them, you fucking puppet. They’d laugh at your tears because they are weakness. A weapon to use against you.
So drag yourself across broken glass for the next spoonful.
They shackle your hands and create impossible mountains as method of control. Their ease in passing you over is merely there as a failsafe. You lap it up. Their dominion.
They do it not to make you better.
They do it because they fear you.
So what are going to do?
The same tortures over and over?
Or are you going to use those fucking shackles to garrot that Queen?
The emotions are raw. Let them simmer and assess. They don’t need to know this sensibility has broken containment.
They don’t need to know what drives you here. Nor do you have to accept it as anything more than rage.
But whatever you do, know this…
…the option is there if you wish to take it.
And think of how wonderful it could be to break all their precious toys.