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Phoenix vs. Mephisto


League Member
Jan 1, 2000
Two Samurai

((FADEIN: An empty arena where the double-stacked cage for the "High Life" match rests on top of the ring. Sitting quietly on the glass in the second cage is MEPHISTO, seeming to meditate and picturing the weapons that be hung there.))

MEPHISTO: There is somewhat of a folk tale in Japan that tells of two samurai warriors who are at two ends of a bridge and wish to cross. They draw their swords and prepare to do battle for the bridge and the right of way, but when they look into each other's eyes, they realize each is the other's equal and the battle can end in nothing but a stalemate. So both warriors sheathe their swords and return from whence they came.

When I was in the land of the Rising Sun, within the ranks of Ultimate Japan Wrestling, World Martial Arts Wrestling, and Ten, there was another there, celebrated as a great and horrific warrior. Someone whom others referred to as devastating, but in the East, was simply Phoenix. And this man won titles and ammassed great fame and renown, in short, becomes a gaijin that is almost respected as one born of the Pacific Rim.

But when I came upon this one, when I looked into his eyes, I saw no one that was my equal. Even then, I could tell that he was always, as he is now, just a lost buy looking for his father, for acceptance. He so wanted to be taken in as one of the samurai, bushido. But that was not why I decided to destroy him.

No, it was not even about fame or glory, because I had accumulated my own and would never lack for it. Not about titles for I could always find newer ones to take. It was not even about a challenge because that is always better left to discover while in the midst of the action.

It is not about honor or code, or any of the other rituals I became familiar with from my self-imposed exile, things I never followed in the first place.

I decided to destroy this man, this Phoenix, because he would claim to be following a "Way", as if giving himself over to something greater than something. That he above all men had been gifted and granted. That in this, he could outwrestle, outscheme, and always walk from battles and matches bleeding, but honorable.

While he would act in ways that Americans would find questionable, morality is a different thing across the ocean. Many times, Phoenix had to act as did before others struck at him. He had to stake men, to ruin their lives to build his own. He was a gaijin and this was his path to notoriety. Because simply his own skill would not be enough.

And he could never do worse than I, I who broke men and made them my lackies, I who brought promotions to their knees and still they called and pleaded for me to return. I, the salvation and damnation of the wrestling world of the east, never claimed most of this, because it's better left unsaid.

Let the Phoenix claim whatever credit. It made it better when he'd fall.

I saw through him, saw the shell he was, how he never was a shadow, simply someone lost, needing guidance, but that was never what I'd give him.

I attacked him to expose him. We traded matches, titles, and injuries. For years, and like a Phoenix, he could rising, coming back, and I know why. Even when I hung him over a balcony and the masses splayed below heard him scream, he kept coming back. And I know why.

Because he thought I could be his father, the parental figure who would finally step down to punish him for his misdeeds.

But I had already beaten him, disgraced, and I had no wish to be his father. With everything accomplished in Japan, I left.

Phoenix came later, now crying that he wanted redemption, the futile thing that it is. Simply another attempt to find a father, to find what he misses. Which is fulfillment because despite all that he's won, all he's achieved, he finds it hoolow because there is no one to congratulate him.

Finally, I realized that I had to return, to do what a father couldn't, what most of our peers could not, and that was silence the Phoenix. To keep it from butning again. To prove him wrong, to show him there is no redemption, because the past always comes back. That is there is no grand reward or forgiveness.

There's no father for him either.

Before, I merely beat him, but now, I have to finish what I started.

I have to destroy him.


League Member
Jan 1, 2000
Phoenix, Phoenix Burning Bright

((FADEIN: MEPHISTO, masked and in a blood-red shirt and tie, sits at a table in his TOWER OF PERPETUAL CACOPHONY. The tbale is black clothed, and set with MEPHISTO at one and far, far down at the other another place has been set. MEPHISTO sits with an opened bottle of wine next to him and his plate covered.))

MEPHISTO: Ah, Phoenix, Phoenix Burning Bright, Where are you? Lost in the Night?

Forgive my amateurish attempts at poetry, but when someone you feel so intimidately connected to for years suddenly doesn't make an appearence, you wonder.

I would hope that no one of you confuses this with actual concern.

No, but I had expected, like his namesake, for my adversary to rise again with this quest of redemption to smite down his hated foe, the one who has stalked him across 3 continents and half the world.

Instead, I have this....an empty seat at what was to be my feast. And what a feast it would be! Wine red as blood, meat cooked to tendered flesh....yet....as always I dine alone. Very well.

However, Phoenix, you shall not miss our upcoming engagement. No, if I have to, I will climb down into the gutter of your home and nail your monkey-spawned form to a wooden circle and roll you all the way to the cage.

You have no choice in this, I will not allow you any.

And besides, surely if you want to be redeemed, if you want closure, you have to close the circle completely, you have to face the man that you FEAR. The man that drove you from Japan. The one who menaced you at every turn until you thought that you had to be good now, that you had to see a light at the end of the tunnel because no matter what you did, I would always be there, waiting to feast.

You are a shadow now, Phoenix. A shade of what you once were and even then, even then, you could not best me. I am who am perfect. Who has always been perfect. For I realize that this violence is art, which only the ignorant twist into science. I instinctually know how to destroy a life.

Phoenix, you were never perfect, nothing but a wasted effort of a man. This redemption you seek of is nothing more than an attempt to salvage the wreckage of your livelihood. I have already ended you, exiled you myself.

Now this is not revenge, no, I would not even qualify it as a mercy killing.

My final destruction of you is neatness, nothing more.

For even if you won't, I will close the circle. And with or without your permission, your eagerness.....the feast will go on...

((MEPHISTO lifts up his mask at the mouth and drinks back the wine.))

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