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Kingdom of Dirt XI: Unsustainable Expansion

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Kingdom of Dirt XI: Unsustainable Expansion

Post by Zeb on Tue Sep 19, 2017 5:07 pm

Kurasuke is down on a knee in a backstage area, a small portal opened up on the ground through which he replays the damning words of George King. Tag Team champions Leo Cruz and Marcus Akane watch the footage over his shoulder, silently soaking in the words of the man who leads the faction that will soon challenge them for those very tag titles.

The replay soon comes to an end, and with a heavy sigh Kurasuke closes the portal, but remains on his knee. He looks toward the camera as he speaks in his usual measured tone.



{{Kurasuke}}
A kingdom of jesters. A cliche, I know, but my ears were filled with howls of laughter the moment we walked through the rusting gates. These were giggles and squeals not borne of genuine humor, but given birth by a life devoid of security and faith in one’s own ability. I prefer silence. Silence can’t betray your lies. Silence makes way for the truth to spread its wings. Leo Cruz or Marcus Akane could address every snide comment. They could attack every sneering face radiating its smugness.

Or they could continue being the champions.

Their footprints permanently lead the way on the path they choose to walk. The Wanderers chose to make jokes until they had nothing more to laugh at. They failed to maintain balance on their journey to achieve their perversion of redemption. For weeks, desperation set in on their souls like rigormortis on a corpse...and their careers. They latched onto my presence at Ascendence, when I merely allowed the inevitable to reach its destination without further delay.  

Their fates were sealed the moment we rid this company of the bringers of despair once and for all. They saw the light and chose to be guided to it with dignity, the same couldn’t be said for what occurred at Redemption Road. Their silence in defeat has been a blessing.



Kurasuke remains on a knee, pausing so that his words can be absorbed.


{{Kurasuke}}
But now comes the future. A new era is being threatened by men who only just stepped foot on the shore. They want what we have, but they are all unfit to wear the crown. They know that. They feel that. Yet they will still try to usurp us with nothing more behind them than acts of senseless violence and petty threats.

They preside over a kingdom of dirt that only men who find pleasure in bathing in it would take pride in ruling over. That’s why they’re coming to us. The chance to truly experience life at the helm of a kingdom. But we’re not willing to walk away from what we’ve built.

Not while the dirt remains dry.


Last edited by Zeb on Tue Nov 14, 2017 3:41 am; edited 11 times in total

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Re: Kingdom of Dirt XI: Unsustainable Expansion

Post by Zeb on Fri Sep 29, 2017 12:18 pm

In a desert somewhere out in no man's land, a portal opens up.

Kurasuke's boots sink into the dirt as he enters the frame. Under the unrelenting rays of the sun, this vagabond effortlessly keeps his cool. He lowers himself down on one knee, and though his entire body, including his face is covered, it's easy to imagine an even, unrevealing expression on his face that would mirror the confident ease with which he moves.

He digs his fingers into the dirt and comes up with a handful of the substance. He rubs it between his fingers letting it rain back down from whence it came. Once each particle is back home, Kurasuke looks at his gloved right hand now dirty from the...well, dirt, and shakes his head as he examines it, seemingly seeing something between the grains that would be lost on the average Joe.

Rising to his feet, Kurasuke tries to clean his glove by wiping it against his thigh. All that accomplishes is spreading the dirt to another surface while the cloth over his hand remains unclean. He shakes his head again; a disappointing development. He looks down at the leg he was kneeling on, to find his shin and boot dirty as well.

With a deep sigh, Kurasuke takes a moment to consider his options. Finally he simply just sits crossed-legged in the dirt waiting for the rain to come.
 

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Re: Kingdom of Dirt XI: Unsustainable Expansion

Post by Zeb on Mon Oct 02, 2017 12:04 pm

{{Kurasuke}}
The rain came.


It isn't until Kurasuke's voice booms through the ether that it's revealed a camera has been running all this time. The void persists as no light switches on to pierce the thick sheet of blackness.

{{Kurasuke}}
I walked within your kingdom. Stepped in cadence with the memories of those felled by your hands. Where I expected greatness, I found mediocrity. Where I sought answers, I was bombarded with clichés.

A reign undeserving.

A proclamation of kinghood amusing.

You preach destruction and desecration, but once those words fill my ears I only hear dejection and desperation.


Kurasuke finally reveals himself, but it's only by way of moving closer to the camera so that the flashing red recording light can softly light up a third of his mask.


{{Kurasuke}}
I've bathed myself in this nothingness to better understand what it means to be you and to represent what you do and to have what you do. This kingdom of dirt is what you're so proud of? It's only by an irony that would make the gods chuckle that you carry yourself the way that you do.

You heart sends love to the brain whenever you reminisce on old glories for otherwise it would never have reason to beat. Old accomplishments you rattle off as if in a prayer to the wrestling deities that your past conquests will be the lede in your eulogy, not your impending failures.


The traversed of portals leans away from the softly blinking light letting himself be draped by the thick sheet of blackness.


{{Kurasuke}}
In my meditation, I've only just begun to sift through the puzzle, and then your words cracked the code. You question the ground Leo Cruz and Marcus Akane have broken when a look into the mirror would have revealed their crowns shine brighter than yours.

And that's why you want them.

Foolish greed and unchecked pride has led you to ignore the sunny, straight path. You've wandered onto the twisting path that will see your soldiers crumble from the mental strain alone long before they reach the other side.

Because there is no other side.

There's only failure and regret that awaits you, eager to cuddle and coddle new victims to an everlasting night of unrest.


A flash in the darkness indicates that Kurasuke has opened a portal. Screams of pain, of agony, float into the room though they come from a place so far away like the voice that resides in the back of minds, close enough to touch yet miles away at the same time.


{{Kurasuke}}
Everybody thinks they are prepared for this war, until they're not. And by then it's too late to turn back. By the time they realize the mistake they've made, their ashes have already be scattered in the wood.

The dirt that you've built your kingdom on gets in unwelcome places uninvited. It overstays its welcome from an invitation never extended, thinking it conquered the world on its own when it's just at the mercy of the wind's whims.

Then the rain comes and humbles the dirt.

The cycle will repeat in a few days.

The storm clouds have already sent word of their impending arrival.




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Re: Kingdom of Dirt XI: Unsustainable Expansion

Post by Zeb on Tue Oct 03, 2017 3:05 pm

{{Kurasuke}}  
The storm marches this way.


Much like last time, the sudden expulsion of words from Kurasuke's mouth is the only indication given that there was live footage rolling all of this time. There's no telling how long we've been inside of his pitch black room waiting, watching and wondering.

Movement can be sensed when Kurasuke tucks the camera and tripod under his arm. Now there's a small flash of light just off screen with the camera now pointed toward the ground. Kurasuke steps through a portal and the camera feed now has to fight off static in between sparse moments of fuzzy images, struggling to keep a clear picture in such a place.

Finally, he sets the camera down and toggles some settings on the device so that at least the static isn't as pertinent.

Some shuffling is heard in the room, and the pale light only manages to illuminate facial features and bodies otherwise remain silhouettes. And there are only two faces that aren't Kurasuke's: Solomon Glock and Osiris. That's revealed after Kurasuke lights a flame in a lantern and rests it between the three.
 


Osiris
How the hell did I get here?

Glock
If you don't start answ--


He's cut off when Kurasuke, angled away from the camera, pulls off his mask and sits cross-legged in front of them. When he speaks, his words almost sound foreign now that there's no longer a layer of fabric impeding his words.  


{{Kurasuke}}  
Tell me about your assailants. Teach me about the Kingdom.


The camera battery dies.  

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Re: Kingdom of Dirt XI: Unsustainable Expansion

Post by Zeb on Wed Oct 04, 2017 9:01 pm

Kurasuke sits on a worn armchair.

Holes in the cloth through which stuffing protrudes as though it were an open wound. Its original color long since faded. Yet Kurasuke finds some sort of comfort here.

Elbows on knees, chin on tented fingers. He takes in a deep breath and contemplates the position that he finds himself in.



{{Kurasuke}}
I interrogated the men who fell at your feet. Pulled from the graveyards in their minds memories they weren't able to bury deeply enough. I learned the men who left them to rot were just so: men. Not monsters. Men. Not kings. Men. Not invincible.


He leans back in the chair and cross one leg over the other.


{{Kurasuke}}
I learned that a special concoction of cowardice and foolishness drive your every action, form your every word. The more we raze your castles back into the dirt you built it on, the more you fight to invade and conquer. But you're children playing with toy soldiers. You don't really know war. You don't really know loss. You don't really know pain. That will soon change. You led the charge tonight. Bringing the soldiers to our front doorstep.

But Mr. Cruz and Mr. Akane have no time to spare on children. They never have, and your willingness to think you would be the exception, is why you're the prey, not the hunter. While the Bringers of Despair were seduced by the past, we trained. While the Wanderers were seduced by laughs their hijinks elicited, we trained. Now here you stand, allowing the succubus named pride to lead you to her domain, with whispered promises of glory beyond your means, thinking you will survive where others fell as you step over their carcasses.


Kurasuke runs his fingers along the length of the chair's armrest. He sticks his finger in one of the holds and pulls out a handful of the stuffing. He rolls it around in his fingers, examining it, trying to make sense of it all.


{{Kurasuke}}
Here is your throne. This is your worth. Each hole born from a failed transgression to make your kingdom more than it ever could be. The holes grow making it ever clearler to see what sits inside: nothingness. So you try to take our crowns, but it will only sit on the heads of unworthy kings whose flesh does nothing more than conceal the void within. These title won't make you whole. These titles won't save your kingdom.

As the storm clouds gather their strength, this match won't save your careers.

You call yourself a king, a ruler, but the destruction you've caused can't be reversed and will one day nip at your heels. As you politic, position and posture, we'll train. You should have never taken men from families who weren't prepared to lose them forever. You should have never pulled out swords you were not prepared to fall on.

But when your blood quenches the dirt's thirst, something beautiful will grow from your sacrifice.


He silently rises from the chair and disappears off screen. The camera lingers on the wounded fabric before the feed abruptly cuts off.

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Re: Kingdom of Dirt XI: Unsustainable Expansion

Post by Zeb on Mon Oct 09, 2017 2:57 pm

The scene opens to a worn down building in the middle of nowhere. Broken windows, doors hanging from it’s hinges, peeled paint on the walls like sunburned skin, whatever purpose this place once served has been lost in time.

Irregular gusts of wind kick up dirt that sometimes momentarily blocks vision of this decrepit building. No longer distracted by the sight of it, other senses are opened up, particularly hearing as the faint sound of noise can be heard coming from inside.

As the camera zooms in closer on the ramshackle building and the sound grows clearly. It’s music. It’s singing. An upbeat tune at that. The notes of the composition are more easily deciphered as the sound grows louder. It’s the funeral march. It’s supposed to be slow, sad, somber, this is some kind of twisted, jovial take on it.

There’s a cut as the cameraman finds himself right at the doorstep. Creaks on the ground punctuate each cautious step. He places a shaking hand, attached to a goosebump blanketed arm, against the rotting door. The door’s high-pitched cry for some kind of lubricant gives the cameraman away, throwing out all pretense of being stealthy.

However, the music continues.

Now inside, the camera captures the sight of a choir of men and women, dressed in all black, silky robes, smiling, dancing and clapping as they harmonize the composition in a manner that just doesn’t feel right. They sway from side to side in cadence with the music, and admittedly it’s easy to get caught up in it the longer exposure remains unimpeded.

Though, once eyes are pried away from the choir, the chilling feeling sinks right back in. They’re the only ones in the room, and this is an odd place to practice. The room is illuminated only by the flickers of candles that rest against the length of walls and outline the church's altar.

Then suddenly it all stops.

As if a flip was switched, the candles simultaneously burns out. The choir falls silent as though it were the fire that fueled their desire to sing.

With the room in pitch blackness, the only source of light through dirty windows, holes in the walls and cracks in the doors, is the sunshine struggling to pierce the thickening clouds and waves of dirt. So that where the cameraman chooses to depart.

But the moment he makes a beeline for the door, a portal opens up and Kurasuke fills the frame. In the silence the choir continues their song.



{{Kurasuke}}  
A chapel worthy of your kingdom.

Here they sing of your demise in voices so powerful it rings across the lands and pierces the heavens. A melody so raw it makes the angels weep.

It is their tears that will feed the clouds what they need to wash your kingdom away.

Your denial has filtered this chorus into whispers.

Even those whispers will drown out your blasphemy.


Kurasuke disappears in the darkness to take a seat in a front row and enjoy the music.

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Re: Kingdom of Dirt XI: Unsustainable Expansion

Post by Zeb on Fri Oct 13, 2017 3:27 pm

Every member of the audience pops up to their feet as Mexitan secures a victory over the Kingdom after a vicious battle for the tag team championships.

Leo Cruz and Marcus Akane raise the championships into the air proudly inciting the already electric crowd who passionately chant the team's name.

Together the duo continue to celebrate, soaking in every second of this sweet moment many thought wasn't guaranteed to this unlikely pairing. The Kingdom have been on a tear since the moment they stepped foot in CMV, and tonight looked to be shaping up into another successful venture in their startling quick ascension to the top.

But tonight didn't go their way.

There's a flash of light as a portal allows Kurasuke entry to the ring. He kneels in front of Cruz and Akane, a microphone in hand ready to speak as soon as the crowd's cheers die down.
 


{{Kurasuke}}  
Just as foretold, the storm has kissed you goodbye. The kingdom of dirt is your zenith, now and forever more; do not be ashamed to call it home. We shall march on.


The cheering is kicked up a notch as Kurasuke rises to his feet. Leo Cruz disappears through a portal, and Akane looks to follow....

But Kurasuke places a hand on his shoulder and shakes his head.

A hush falls over the crowd as Akane instinctively smiles, thinking Kurasuke is just clowning around. But then he senses something in the air. He can't see Kurasuke's expression through the mask, but he feels the tides change.

The tag team champ slowly turns around to look up into Kurasuke's eyes.
 


{{Kurasuke}}  
Your soul pleads for the rest your feet shy away from.


As Akane tries to decipher that statement, Kurasuke snatches the tag team title out of his hands.  


{{Kurasuke}}  
May the phoenix caress your destiny.


Kurasuke grabs Akane and throws him throw a different portal, his screams fading into silence when the opening closes. Kurasuke is met with a strong mixed reaction as many are unable to come to grips with this betrayal after all this trio has managed to accomplish.

And just like so many before, Akane has been sent off into the ether, the knowledge of his return unknown by anyone except the man who stands alone in the ring. Kurasuke looks down at the championship in his possession, the same belt that eluded him over a year before.

He drapes the belt over his shoulder then follows Cruz into the void.
 



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Re: Kingdom of Dirt XI: Unsustainable Expansion

Post by Zeb on Mon Oct 16, 2017 1:15 pm

Kurasuke stands with Leo Cruz surrounded by dirt, the wind whistling in the background. The traverser of portals, wearing one of the tag team title belts like a sash around his chest and back, watches as Cruz places an orchid onto a slightly raised mound of dirt.

Kurasuke places a hand on Cruz’ shoulder and nods before the Mexican Sensation walks off. Now alone, Kurasuke kneels in front of the mound. The camera zooms in over his shoulder to show a handmade tombstone jutting out of the ground.

On it the following has been written:

“Marcus Akane
Ally. Blood. Warrior.”

Kurasuke draws a symbol over the mound.



He then takes what was once Akane’s half of the tag team championships and rests it on the ground. Wordlessly, he straightens himself up and leaves. The camera rests on the tombstone, makeshift grave and title belt all in the middle of nowhere before the scene fades to black.

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Re: Kingdom of Dirt XI: Unsustainable Expansion

Post by Zeb on Thu Oct 26, 2017 11:26 am

Kurasuke, Leo Cruz and Skarzemis are all in the skybox watching as the show plays beneath them. Skarz is entertaining herself dancing and humming somewhere in the background while Cruz sits in a comfortable looking couch, chin rested on tented fingers.

Kurasuke is the only one standing, hands behind his back, studying everything intently. The crowd, the ring crew, the lights, every inch of this arena is providing the traverser of portals information that only someone like him would find useful.

After a successful tag team championship defense against the Kingdom, the duo affectionately dubbed MexiTan by their fan base, not only find themselves without challengers, but without one half of the tag team champions. Akane hasn't been seen or heard from since Kurasuke sent him through a portal. At first it could have been seen as an act of betrayal, but shades of gray had muddied what once seemed black and white.

The masked man continues to observe but now also speaks in an even, contemplative voice.



{{Kurasuke}}
More shadows are cast on the battlefield as warriors find themselves exiled from their homeland. We are not united under one banner; we are all tasked with surviving inside of the coliseum; we are not all on equal footing.


He puts a gloved hand on the glass.


{{Kurasuke}}
Our feet sink into the dirt of a land where the sheep outnumber the wolves and come to us one by one like lambs to the slaughter. Our blood quenches the thirst of trees and the corpses will save the lives of the hunted. All who enter this realm seek to make themselves champions, but there will be no feast here; just scraps that litter the ground to be fought over. We hold the best seat at the table.


He inhales deeply then slowly releases the air.


{{Kurasuke}}
The air isn't as pure as it once was. It's scarce. It's devolving into a commodity, not a right. The weak will be forsaken. The slow will be swallowed whole. The rat race becomes a sprint. Now more than ever we need to be prepared. The reflection of the sun's rays against our shimmering gold projects a target into the sky where all missiles will point. Now more than ever we need to be prepared to survive the blasts.

Marcus Akane was a wounded man. Whispers of dissent filled his lungs until he had to question if every breath was worth taking. This alliance was of mutual respect and a trust forged by fire into weapon that could shatter diamonds. The weapon was beginning to dull. It had become necessary for him to walk through that fire again.


As he says that, the door opens granting someone from the outside passage into the skybox. Kurasuke continues looking out of the window at the Wanderers making their entrance.

Kurasuke doesn't turn around as Marcus Akane himself stands next to him by the window, looking only vaguely familiar to the man he was only a few weeks ago.



{{Kurasuke}}
You're late.


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