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In the fall of 480 BC, the Persian Empire was making an attempt to invade the Greek city-states, and once again engulf it as part of its ever-expanding empire. The Battle at Thermopylae has been well documented. It was the famous battle that was the focus of the movie 300. It, however, wasn't the only battle going on in the theatre at the time.

While the Battle at Thermopylae was being waged by the famous 300, and the Persian land troops, on the seas and gulfs of Greece, the inexperienced Greek navy waged their own battle against the massive, and much more experienced, Persian navy, most notably the Battle Artemisium, and subsequently the Battle of Salamis.

At the Battle of Artemisium, Greek Commander, Themistocles, lead a tactical and very psychological battle against the much more apt Persian navy. His job was to protect the Straits of Artemisium, as the foot soldiers battled at Thermopylae. Knowing the weather patterns of the area, Themistocles decided to try and draw in the Persian navy, hoping for Mother Nature to wreak her havoc on the massive fleet. After Mother Nature unleashed a massive gale off the coast, the Persian fleet was dwindled by approximately 1200 ships. After they arrived at Artemisium, they engaged the much smaller Greek fleet. Word had reached him of the fall of the famous 300, and he knew they needed to emerge victorious, or the entire campaign would be for not.

Having sustained roughly equal casualties as the Persians, Themistocles knew that, should any chance of victory be there down the road, he'd need to retreat, and regroup.

Ultimately, Themistocles and, then Persian ruler Xerxes, battled in duals that never produced decisive winners. Both were praying for that ultimate victory. Xerxes wanted to prove he was the dominant force on land and sea, while the Greeks wanted to show that, while the odds may be against them, their will, and their desire would be able to carry them to victory.

That's when the battle at the Straits of Salamis convened.

Themistocles was summoned to engage the Persian navy in one final battle at Salamis, hoping the victory would end the attempts at naval domination. Xerxes quickly accepted, knowing the odds of victory heavily favored him. Due to the tight boundaries of the Straits, the massive number of Persian ships were virtually unable to maneuver to battle, and became a disorganized mess. It was then the Greeks formed a line, and seized the chance to attack. After the battle was over, the Persians retreated, 200 ships down from where they had entered.

This story, while one famous in the art of military strategy and campaign, it is also one that's meaning has struck a chord with Underground Champion, Jake Starr.

Jake looks at the story of Themistocles, and his willingness to venture into territory that wasn't his forte, or in his favor, and do what it took to emerge victorious. He also looks to the fact the Greek navy were able to use their knowledge of the land, and their intelligence prowess to force the Persians to fight the battles their way, versus being suckered into doing things the way that would have ultimately favored the opposition.

He looks to these messages and these strategies as he moves forward toward his encounter at Breakdown against Dillusion. Dillusion, like the Persians, comes into the match with a much better sense of how to fight it the way that would ultimately favor him, and ultimately give him the edge toward victory. Jake, though, feels that he holds an edge on the mental aspect of the battle, and believes he can lure Dillusion into a fight HIS way, rather than being suckered into just the opposite.

For some, using this as a sense of inspiration, or a sense of strategy, this is a bit "out of the box." Some believe Jake is grasping at straws with the hopes of finding some form of focus through the analogy of his match resembling that of a famous battle in Greek history.

This includes some of Jake's good friends too.

From Shawn Wright, to Brandon Evans, Jake has been criticized by his confidants. They say he's beginning to feel bouts of self-doubt, and ultimately if he continues to over-think, and overanalyze things, he'll ultimately leave himself open and vulnerable to being upset, or even hurt, at the hands of Dillusion.

Jake has fought back against the perception, hoping to help them understand his reasoning for his analogies, and his use of history as inspiration. He's tried to explain that he sees the analogy as one that simply reflects his situation. He tries to explain he is Themistocles, walking into a battle with someone far more experienced, and perceived as far more advanced than he. He simply tries to explain that the strategy that ultimately proved to be the demise of the Persian fleet, he plans on using his version of it to bring on the demise of Dillusion. And whether or not they understand or agree with him, he knows it won't be something that proves to be his downfall, but an inspiration to lead him to victory.

Jake takes these final hours to relax and enjoy his final moments of peace before he enters, what he perceives, as one of the most hellacious experiences in his entire career.

He sits in his house, where he's spent most of his time since Under Attack, stretched out on his couch, and sipping on a beer. It's these moments of downtime, with his family, that he has begun to enjoy more and more, since being attacked by Infamous those numerous times. His stent in the hospital taught him the value of family, and the value of time spent with them.

As he lounges, there is a knocking at the door. Jake yells back to his parents, or his wife, to see if they're closer and can get it, only to received a response riddled with excuses on why they can't make it. For his mother, she's folding their laundry, for his father, he's on the toilet, and for his wife, she simply replies that she's pregnant, and doesn't do many wifely duties right now. His wife's response brings a chuckle to his face, and tells him he needs to get up and head for the front door, and feeling a sense of deja vu.

Jake recognizes the scenario very vividly. It was this same setup that marked the return of Brandon Evans to his stoop. As he approaches the door, rather than an identical situation of one silhouette on his stoop, Jake sees three. One silhouette seems to be restrained by another, and a third is frantically jittering about. It's an unusual situation, that has Jake confused...

... Until he opens the door...

Just like the last time he opened his door to uninvited guests, Jake's eyes widen in shock. Rather then being shocked in a startled way, he's more shocked in a completely disbelieving what he sees in front of him...

On his stoop, once again stands Brandon Evans. But unlike the last time, he seems to be here against his will. He stands there, restrained by none other than the long-lost Numa Numa Guy, and the bouncing figure, the infamous Star Wars Kid.

Star Wars Kid: JAAAAAAAAAAAAKE!!!!!!!!

Star Wars Kid comes barreling in the door, and embraces Jake. He lifts Jake off of his feet, squeezing him tightly, while Jake's eyes remained locked on the stoop, having seemingly gone into an unbreakable trance.

With Brandon now at Jake's house, he wrestles out of the grip of Numa Numa Guy.

Brandon Evans: OK! WE'RE HERE! Let me go! Damn...

Jake finally snaps out of his trance-like demeanor.

Jake Starr: Umm... Hi guys...?


Jake Starr: ... Did you not get my text?

Numa Numa Guy finally chimes in.

Numa Numa Guy: Yeah... We did...

Star Wars Kid: JAKE I FINZ HIM!!!!

Jake Starr: Good boy...

Jake pats Star Wars Kid on the head, and hands him a candy bar, that Jake pulls out of nowhere. With Star Wars Kid now occupied, albeit briefly, Jake can return to someone who might be able to provide intelligent conversation to him.

Jake Starr: ... Ok so you got the text?

Numa Numa Guy: Yeah...

Jake Starr: Then how come we're all standing here right now, and Brandon seems annoyed?

Brandon quickly chimes in himself.

Brandon Evans: I'm annoyed because the kid with the "retard strength" came up behind me while I was getting some groceries for myself, and forcefully carried me out of the door.

Jake cocks an eyebrow at Brandon, shocked at his description of the event. He then looks back at Numa Numa Guy, hoping for more of an explanation.

Numa Numa Guy: Ok... Here's what happened... I got the text message, and told him that our mission was done. I thought he comprehended it. I really did. So we went to get him some pickles and grape jelly, and all of a sudden his nose went into the air, and he began sniffing like a damn bloodhound.

Jake cringes at the thought of combining pickles and grape jelly together. Numa Numa Guy notices Jake's expression change.

Numa Numa Guy: Trust me, I agree, but it shuts him up! Anyway, I thought maybe he was smelling some free samples or something, and next thing I know, he takes off. We round the corner of an aisle, and I notice Brandon, and I try to catch the kid before he gets to Brandon, but I couldn't...

Jake Starr: Did you have his leash on?

Numa Numa Guy: I thought he comprehended the mission being scrubbed, and next thing I know, he's turned into a search and rescue dog.

Brandon approaches Star Wars Kid.

Brandon Evans: See! I told you that you weren't supposed to be STALKING me anymore!

Instead of replying, due to the mouthful of chocolate, and much like a dog who feels threatened, merely looks at Brandon and growls. Brandon jumps back in shock.

Brandon Evans: DOWN BOY!

Brandon looks back over at Jake.

Brandon Evans: May I be excused now?

Jake chuckles, but nods. Brandon walks away, continually glaring at his captor he departs. Jake's attention focuses back on Numa Numa Guy.

Jake Starr: ... Well, I guess, in a sense, "Mission Accomplished?"

Numa Numa Guy: Something like that!

Jake Starr: What do you two plan to do now?

Numa Numa Guy: Hopefully I can finally take him home to his parents...

Hearing the word parents, catches Star Wars Kid's attention, and he exclaims, spewing chocolate everywhere.

Star Wars Kid: I LUV MY MOMMA!

Numa Numa Guy just shakes his head.

Numa Numa Guy: See what I'm kind of anxious?

Jake Starr: Makes sense... I can say I do appreciate the assistance in bringing him back. Granted it was a little late, and after we had called it off, but still, thanks.

Numa Numa Guy: No problem... It was definitely an adventure. This kid took me across the world to places I thought I'd never go. But I definitely want to get back to my reality.

Jake Starr: I can imagine. It would be nice to not have to worry about you two anymore... Well at least that you're not having to try and worry about him and yourself at the same time.

Numa Numa Guy: I hear ya... It's a break I'm definitely in need of!

Numa Numa Guy looks over at his messy-faced friend, whom he's traveled the world with recently in search of Brandon Evans, and breaks the news that the mission has officially come to an end.

Numa Numa Guy: Well kid... You ready to go home?

Star Wars Kid looks confused, as usual.

Star Wars Kid: WHY WE GO HOME?!

Numa Numa Guy: We're done... We've finished our mission... It's time for us to say bye bye to Mr. Jake.

Star Wars Kid's bottom lip begins to quiver, and his voice continues to know no volume control.


Numa Numa Guy: We have to... It's passed your bed time!

Star Wars Kid: I NO WANT NAP!

Jake Starr: It's OK kid... We'll see one another again soon!


Jake Starr: Yes Jake does pwomise... I mean promise...

Star Wars Kid embraces Jake again, and Jake lets out a grunt as the wind is squeezed out of him. Star Wars Kid finally released Jake, and begins to well up again.


Jake Starr: Here's a cookie!

Again, Jake makes a sweet treat appear out of nowhere.

Star Wars Kid: OH NOM NOM!

The kid's attention is grabbed, and Numa Numa Guy begins to lead him out the door. He pauses, and turns around to shake Jake's hand. They exchange goodbyes, and Jake slowly begins to shut his front door, while seeing the pair walk away into the sunset.

Jake is still in complete disbelief of what and who he has witnessed appear at his door in the past few days, and doesn't know what or who to expect next. He hopes this is the final surprise fate has in store for him prior to Breakdown, as he hopes to finally get some normalcy going into these, the final hours.

He knows Dillusion gives him enough "weirdness" to cover 400 Star Wars Kids, and with Dillusion looming in front of him, he knows he needs a normal frame of mind to be able to handle the unorthodox nature of his opposition. Will Jake succeed? Will his preparation lead him to victory against one of the most demonic members of the SCW roster? Can he cement himself as a legitimate champion of the Underground Division, and continue his momentum as he moves forward toward Gang Rulz, and his chance to reclaim the SCW World Championship? Jake believes success is in his future, and believes he can defy the odds once again, and keep the Underground Championship firmly around his waist.

Jake Starr: Have you ever had that feeling your wasting your time? Seriously? Has it every just felt like you were doing everything in your power to impress, show-off, excite, promote, or simply gear-up for some event in life, only to end up with that feeling that everything you did was for not?

I've begun to feel that way regarding this, supposedly incarcerated individual that I'm facing at Breakdown.

To begin with, I think I am a bit at a misunderstanding of what the definition of incarcerated means. To me, when someone becomes incarcerated, whether in the nut-hut, or by the local authorities, it's not something you get a granted release from on a whim, or for anything not completely supervised by the authorities, let alone, for reasons of professional wrestling. I know of instances where the "powers that be" will allow inmates or, as in my opponents case, "patients," be allowed some supervised and monitored times outside of their quarters, but never to the degree that Dillusion is receiving. Hell, I've never heard of inmates or patients receiving access to video cameras or mailing capabilities either, unless it's to family or lawyers.

Yet, Dillusion is the exception to the rule?

Is that what I'm supposed to believe? Am I to believe that someone who is more than willing to step into a demonic structure, like the Death Chamber, is one of those few exceptions to be committed to an asylum, and allowed access to all types of technology and privileges?

Why? Why am I to believe that someone is trying to pull off some schtick that everyone saw in 2008 thanks to Christopher Nolan, is actually something that can exist in this, the real world? Is it part of Dillusion's "Master Plan?" Is he hoping that everyone looks at him as someone who is so incapable of originality, so he can ultimately take advantage of the fact nobody will take him seriously? Does he hope I'm one of those fools who can't see through his makeup? His facade he's put on? His little schtick?

I'm not buying it...

See, what Dillusion has put on for everyone is merely something he's hoping changes the perception of him by the masses. For a while, at least during the beginning of my tenure and interaction with him, he was goofy. He was referring to people as names he hoped would make people laugh.

Remember some of those? The Dr. Suess-esque, juvenile, 12 year old, names?


Cid Turner?

Either of those ring a bell?

Yeah he was notorious for that. He hoped it would get him the humor factor. Then, he realized nobody found him funny. In fact, most just quit paying attention to him whatsoever. So, being that he feels the need to garner the attention of the masses, he decided to take a different approach. He was like, "hmm, maybe if I act like I'm just insane, and get committed to an insane asylum, and be "unleashed" on SCW cards. He'd decide to lick blood, and be this demonic, vile, evil, sadistic, man in clown makeup.

He's literally become the Vanilla Ice of professional wrestling. He swears he's "doing something different" because his gimmick has that "extra ting." It's "completely different!"

If anyone buys that, they're as completely out of touch with reality as he is.

So the question is, why am I worried everything I did is for not? Why am I worried my actions were a complete waste of my time?

It's simple!

Jake pulls out the package sent to him by Dillusion a few days earlier, and looks at it with a disgusted look on his face. He takes a deep breath, and shakes his head.

Jake Starr: ... This! This is why! This package. This videotape. This, this, thing, that he is going to consider his promotional material for our match.

See, going into Breakdown, and truly up until I had a lot of time to truly process the whole idea of being mailed a promo by an opponent, I thought this match with Dillusion would be different. I thought I was facing a man who was determined, who was driven, and who was desiring success. Then I get this. Then I see he's truly the same individual I have faced in the past, but only allowed o do as he wishes with weapons this time. I've been basically duped into believing he's not the same schmuck that I have beaten on numerous other occasions.

I'm also facing a man who has basically admitted he doesn't know or care about what I've said, and has instead decided to make up what he assumed I would say, or have already said...


That sounds familiar...



Hasn't another SCW superstar done that already?


I think one has...

In fact...

I know one has! ME! In fact, that goes back all the way back to when I faced James Exeter the final time. That time, I silenced Exeter. He didn't know how to reply because I was so dialed in on who he was, and what he was about. Dillusion has the assumption he's the same way with me. Dillusion believes he can guess everything I'm going to say, and simplify me to such a level that it negates my impact on his psyche, and the impact my words have on our match.

He doesn't have that ability.

It's not going to happen...

See, he assumed he could predict the future, and assumed I would, as he so eloquently put it amidst his cackling and feverish attempts at sounding "crazy," that I would come out to "bury" him... In a literal sense, I have no dirt, but I think we all know that's not exactly what he means. See, for you fans unaware of the terminology utilized behind the scenes, it means I was supposed to come out, and give him no credit. I was supposed to "shoot" on him, and completely say nothing "positive" or good about him. I was supposed to demean everything about him.

... And I know I've been hit in the head a lot of times, but haven't I given him his just amount of credit in the hardcore realm? Didn't I say that, for all intents and purposes, even though I am the REIGNING and DEFENDING Underground Champion, he would definitely be the favorite going into this match?

I could have sworn I did!

That's one of those defining characteristics between Dillusion and myself. I listen. Usually... Granted I have admitted to ignoring the likes of Zero, Savior, and the other clown-like duo. But nevertheless, he just assumes I'm always the same way. He's already labeled me a one-trick pony. He's already decided that, "Jake Starr is this way, no ifs, ands, or buts." I'm OK with that... It makes him look like more of a boob. It makes him look like the moron.

Jake shrugs, then begins to nod.

Jake Starr: But... I'm OK with that... I really am...

Even if I've wasted my time praising him, only to have him completely ignore everything I've said, all of the credit I've given him, I won't succumb to his level, and fall into his trap. He can be oblivious to the fact what he is saying is 180 degrees in the opposite directions of reality. He can live in Earth 2. He can have that world. He can have it all to himself. I'm living in the REAL WORLD. I'm living in the world that still acknowledges what dangers he will possess when he enters the ring. He may not be truly "insane," or truly committed to an asylum, but the fact of the matter is, he's still dangerous!

The Death Chamber, and his actions, still linger in my mind... I still remember, quite vividly, the insanity that did ensue at Under Attack. I still know what he capable of putting me and my body through. I'm aware of the possibilities, and I'm not going to let myself be bothered by his pretending to know me, or pretending to be in the nut hut.

He IS insane...

He IS crazy...

But he's not the kind of crazy he tries to put himself across as. He's a wrestler. He's a performer. He's what each and every one of us are, who go out into that ring every single time and ultimately put on a show. The only difference is his willingness to take it to a level that extracts blood and gore, and savagely shows the barbaric brutality that this business can bring out. He's that "niche" performer that can do that, and have no regard for himself, or his safety.

That's it... It's that simple...

He's capable of mentally taking himself somewhere I've never had to try and go. He's capable of mentally separating his mind from his body to not succumb to the pain. It's an advantage he carries into this match, and one that I know I'll have to somehow break through. I somehow have to bridge the canyon that resides between his mind and his body. I have to put so much pain through his body that his mind has no choice but to acknowledge it. I have to find the way to inflict so much damage that, even if I don't bridge the gap, his body cannot even continue to function.

I have to show I am truly willing to embody the Underground... I have to show that I'm capable of being just like Dillusion... And when I do so, the critics, as usual, will silence. Nobody will be able to say I'm not the rightful Lord of the Underground. Nobody will doubt me again... It'll cement my name among the Underground elite.

I hope Dillusion is ready for a fight. I hope Dillusion is ready for war. I hope Dillusion is ready to come to my Underground!


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