November 5th
Somewhere in Washington

(I didn't see my mother again after she whispered in my ear. I woke up later that day to Ember talking to me. No clue on what she said though. The doctors gave me some instructions for taking care of my arm. They gave me a specially made brace designed for allowing me to fight again when the time comes. That time is coming soon. I finally called Zack a little bit ago. After not talking to him in weeks, he was quick to reveal he'd already had plans in mind for me. I'm not always sure where he's really coming from, but he always comes through for me with what I need. This time he came through in a big way. Gave me exactly what I needed. Something to look forward to. I don't intend to let the favor he used for me go to waste. Nor will I forget it. Brawltopia is less than three weeks away. I intend to be ready.

Ember and I are staying in a cabin in the middle of nowhere. It's what I needed. I decided it to be a better idea than staying with my parents in Anchorage. I can't deal with all that right now. I need to focus on my healing. Seems to be going well so far. Strength has been returning to my arm with each day. It's not where it needs to be. I've been making sure to stretch it since the bones started feeling like they had recalcified. The cold winter air here makes them ache. It's not an unwanted sensation. The cold and pain allow me to mentally map my healing progress. I have a much better idea of where I'm at because of it. I'm frustrated that I'm not as far along as I'd like to be. I can't strike anything yet. I'd risk losing all the progress I've made. Instead it's just stretching and trying to slowly strengthen it. I hate the limitations. I'm not used to my body not doing exactly what I want. It'll be ready enough when my return to the ring is upon me. It has to be. My opponents will target it almost exclusively. My thoughts are interrupted as Ember comes outside. She's finally up and ready to train. Good. She approaches while watching my arm closely. I've noticed since the injury she's been very focused on my arm. As if she's studying it. Trying to determine if I'll be back to full strength. She can't help but size me up. It's her nature. Beyond that, I think she's just curious.)

How's your arm?

(I'm dismissive of the subject.)

Still attached.

(I toss her an axe. She might as well get started.)

Firewood is not prone to chopping itself.

(Disappointment slightly brushes her features. Not the training she was hoping for. Too easy in her mind. I won't deny the truth of it.)

You're going to want a lot of wood to keep you warm after tonight's training. I'd advise starting now.

(Hopefully she listens. She's going to need it. I intend to increase her mental fortitude by using the lake near the cabin. She nods and heads over with the axe. I continue sitting on a large, cold rock. The sounds of chopping already beginning to fill my ears.)


November 20th
Somewhere in Washington

(In the last fifteen days my arm has improved greatly. It's not 100%, and I don't expect that it will be by the time of the match. It could be awhile to get back to that point, in all honesty. I'm not concerned. It'll be enough. My training has been solid. I'm also emotionally ready to go. This has been an extremely difficult time in my existence. Between my body not responding how I'd like, and my family issues, I've had a lot to try and overcome. I'm mostly there. Nothing's perfect. Never will be.

Zack called me today. Without telling him, he knew I hadn't kept up on what was going on in OWF since I left to recover from my injury. He gave me a rundown on things and informed me of who would be in my match. I wasn't really concerned with who would be there, but this could be interesting. The first name that stood out was Ataxia. Apparently he no longer has his wormy little partner to help him blindside people. No longer will they desecrate the name of MVW. He's exposed. I do so hope he will still be there when I enter the ring. MVW caught me at a time when I had replaced my hunger for violence with one for competition. I let myself be consumed by a need for challenges. I now feel that was a somewhat empty endeavor. Pure challenge isn't enough. I've had a lot of time to think recently. I need to do more. I need to feel more. In order to make a true difference sometimes people need punished. Sometimes they need to see what their deeds have brought upon them. Not everyone is going to come around by realizing the terrible things they've done. Not everyone wants to atone. I won't be their salvation. I won't attempt to redeem them. I'll be the physical embodiment of nature. I'll be karma. If I face an opponent who is decent. It'll be a competition. We will fight. We will compete for victory. I will look to crush them without malice. On the other hand, if they are one of the wretched....I will destroy them. I will not feel guilty. If you claim victims. You will become mine.

Redemption claims to be a lot of things. They are all lies. He poisons all that he touches. His ideas are born out of a perverse, and selfish, nature. Of all the offenders here, he is the worst. It's as if he's a big sociopathic child carrying around a dictionary. A book he uses to arbitrarily define things in his little world. For some reason others have bothered to listen. They became his victims. Once they let him in their heads, they were done. I hope he attempts his little games with me. I will enjoy watching him flounder and bleed. I don't want to help him change. I don't want to open his eyes to his sins. I just want him to suffer. The way he's made others suffer.

Then there are men who are lost. Dude Job struggles for an identity. I don't like the one he's attempting to adopt. I'll be watching to see what side of my line he falls on. Ray Lopes has been trying to pull it together for a long time now. I don't understand him. No motivation. We will see if he's refound the man he once was. Much the same can be said for Plague. Will he be the same man I've beaten before? Will he be better? Worse? Does it matter? There's no stable backing him. No one for him to depend on. Just him in his inflated self image. Only time will tell if he lives up to it. EJ Slayer is really an unknown for me. I've heard the name. We will see who he really is when he's in the ring. Then there's the tag team. Jackrabbit and the man who has become his caretaker, Doc Holloway. People underestimate Jackrabbit due to his mental state. I do not. They don't underestimate Holloway as much. They shouldn't. They're both capable.

Of everyone in this match, Trent Steel makes the most sense to me. We are on similar paths. He's trying to better himself. Trying to atone for his past. It's not easy to break away from the kinds of things we've done in the past. I probably know better than anyone what he's going through. I can only hope we both manage to stay on the paths we are attempting to traverse. The other person trying to do the right thing in a world where wrong pays the bills is Freedom Kid. He's repeatedly gone with his beliefs. I can honestly say I like him. I respect what he's trying to do. I was glad he came to his senses and took my place at Shock and Terror. I didn't like having to miss it though. Zack needed me. If Kid hadn't come through Jesse would have gotten his way.

Jesse wants nothing but to hurt a crippled man. Preying on the defenseless is pointless and grotesque. There's no challenge. There's nothing gained. I've got no respect for that. I respect what he can do in the ring. What he has accomplished. Who he once was. This current incarnation is wrong. I truly hope he can be helped. The darkness surrounds him. I hope we can all be the torch to guide him out of it. To keep his demons at bay. To think we were on opposite sides not that long ago is strange. We split two matches in two nights. He was steadfast. I took him out with a bat to his skull the first night. He returned the next night determined to go again and beat me. He rose to the challenge. That's the Jesse Williams we should be seeing. Not the self absorbed bully of now. My matches with him helped pave the road for me to lock away my dark urges. To become a better person. I just want the same for him. He's the only person that I would like to help redeem. He is capable of reaching salvation, but it's up to him. My patience with this process is not absolute. If after his three months he hasn't changed...if he still only wants to feed this selfish desire to harm a crippled man....if he cannot change....I won't hesitate...I will put him down...)