The Pressure Cooker

Excitement builds as the crowd begins to flood into the ground. The anticipation of victory runs through both camps, the expectation of viewing a truly magical contest is deeply rooted in the psyche of the crowd. Preparations have been made to obtain the greatest vantage points so as to not miss a second of the spectacle they have collectively come to witness. Elsewhere, in the same complex one individual sits in solitude, pondering not the result of the outcome but the fashion that it is achieved. This person has no particular allegiance to either faction, in fact it would cause either side to cry a mismatch if any hint of favouritism was even running through their head.

When all at once the band is prompted and the music plays, this music, jovial and triumphant seems to wake the person from their Zen-like focus and increases fluttering butterflies already doing cartwheels in the stomach. This person is definitely masculine but the nerves have turned his conscience and coherent thoughts into a bumbling mess. For what reason could this man possibly put himself through this torture? He ponders why he would do this to himself in his own head and comes up with the same reason he always does, for the love of the contest.

The two armies enter the field ready to wage uncontrollable hell unto each other, to take no prisoners, to force humiliation on their opponents. The crowds cheer their own men and jeer the other. The kind of deep hatred that is common to this field at other times in history. Then after the two combatants have assembled their armies at either end of the field, our man makes his way to the middle of the field, both sides jeer his entrance even though none amongst them have any idea who he really is. Their apparent reason is that he does not wear their tribe?s symbols or colours. However, this is not the case. The reason is that his colours and symbols are in some way in direct opposition to the beliefs and customs of the two sides. If they only knew the amount of love he has for the contest they would realise that this is what they all have in common.

The man makes a signal and the armies enraged and ready, due to the preparation that their commander has put them through. They charge. The war of territory has begun. It will continue until defeat is pronounced upon one side. The winner will leave with the satisfaction of victory. But before victory can be reached the contest must be fought. The man has this time to prove his ability. He is no great scholar; however, he has studied the rules of war for many years now and must now recall the most obscure of these rules at an instant to ensure the integrity of the contest, something that is very important to him. The importance of the contest at this moment is more vital to him than the approval of either faction. At this time they are snarling and jeering even more so than at his first appearance. His exposure to the crowds? disapproval is heightened with certain interpretations of the rules of war that he makes. The armies must listen to him, they have been ordered, but in those orders lay the though that you can bend the rules without actually breaking them. The man realises that he is truly surrounded, he panics, he sweats, that cold sweat that wakes someone in the middle of the night. His ability is now questioned, as is his composure. How will he react to this situation? Deep inside himself he searches for answers but still cannot block out the constant cries of disapproval.

Then, as if by some telepathic means, he remembers the words of his instructor, his first instructor. He said ?When you are on the field of battle, you are in charge, you are the most important and influential person on that field?. He reaches deep inside himself and unleashes series of high pitch screams and a hand movement.

The contest is over. The victory has been achieved and the defeat of the loser is final. The crowds filter back away from the field and the armies retire to their barracks. The man is back in the room but this time he has a sense of achievement and is ready to do it all again the next time he is needed.

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