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The Retirement of Kerx

The Wild Ninjas is the army that stands alone. While friends with EGCP, they hold firm against joining the New Viking Alliance. While cooperators with LGA, they are uncommitted to taking a seat on the lime green side of the curtain that separates RPF/LGA and RFCP/NVA/ST (formerly DKA, more on that later).

It is easy to see why many armies nonetheless enjoy casual relationships with the Ninjas. EGCP and WN share the burden of being a foreign-language army (WN speaks Spanish, EGCP, Portuguese). LGA enjoys a rapport of practice battles other armies are too hesitant to request. As for RFCP, Prior cannot help but harbor jovial fondness for the leaders of the Wild Ninjas, with whom he trades “Nice event! :clap: :clap: @Jeremito” incessantly.

But as weeks go by without conflict on the map, the wood of well-built bridges grows brittle. Planks of friendship are a little more eager to crack. Such was the case when, on September 26th, WN leader-in-training, Yyeellooww7, made the wrong comment at the wrong time, in earshot of Commander Prior.

At the time, #chat-en was rampant with criticism for the way RFCP responds to deserters. The accusation stood that we shun and villainize those who leave.

“Allow me to state this publicly,” said Prior. “I have received dozens of PMs in my inbox since our June founding of soldiers alerting me they are leaving the army. My reply is peaceful and amiable. Our critics take three extremely volatile and public cases (all which involved the deserter brutally bashing our name and character) to base their claims from.”

Further, of those who leave in a reactionary, emotional response, 90% return to the army. RFCP is a good place, and the attraction people feel to it is not coincidental.

However, this did not occur to Old Yellow when he sent this message regarding soldiers leaving the RFCP:

And Prior chuckled.

Admittedly with a smirk and flex of his saber, Prior posted this:

Jeremito and Kerx heard the news shortly after. Kerx, being the skilled diplomat he is, apologized in Prior’s DMs, and Prior told him it was no matter RFCP took personally. The fight, however, would endure.

When RFCP showed to the invasion of WN’s last CPATG server, Alpine, with a max of 17, it did not realize just how heavy the stakes were for the Ninjas.

The results of the battle favored RFCP. While the Ninjas managed to meet our max for a fraction of a room, RFCP held steady, and interestingly demonstrated an 8-minute nonstop rake in room 3, the crowded Dojo Exterior. When things were looking dim for WN during the post-battle debate, Yyeellooww7 revealed a shocking detail.

Jeremito and Kerx, angered that Yellow provoked RFCP to arms, made a strong decision to stake Yellow’s leadership over the results of the battle. When the admins ruled an RFCP victory, Prior urged WN to reconsider this ultimatum. “Too late,” Yellow replied. “I’m being demoted.”

So Prior said, “Wait.”

His next message, composed amid the ignorant cheers in the RFCP server, was posted in #server-transfers:

This decision was made executively, without consultation of the officers or army. In the command room, some push back was pressed upon Prior, who replied,

“I am going to make decisions I think are right, and if [soldiers] want to leave, they leave.”

Kerx, while appreciative, was troubled by this gesture, however. He believed we won fairly, and the demotion of Yellow should stand. Instead, to the shock of many, Kerx announced he would retire instead. Friends flocked to attempt to coax him out of the decision, but his mind from that moment was set.

In a letter to his own army, Kerx explained that the loss to RFCP was not the reason for his departure, but rather a myriad of internal WN conflicts. He left a touching final word.

Translated:

I want to thank CPA for leaving me many lessons. To Cena (DKA leader), who, although we have had conflicts before, is a cool person. To LGA leaders for being people who never give up (that left me a lesson). To DMT and the other CPA admins. To EGCP, which is a great army with great people. To RFCP, and, above all, to its leader, Prior, who for me is the best CPA leader because he cares too much for his troops and for other people. My respects to Prior Bumble. Finally, I thank everyone who left their positive message in the CPA chat.

Kerx

Kerx stated too that his dream was to be a Wild Ninja Legend, and, after three years, the dream had not come to pass at the hands of the Wild Ninja Supreme Leader. Prior organized a petition to make this happen, and received 27 signatures across CPA.

Discussions are still being had between Prior and Jeremito regarding this matter.

“Kerx is a dear friend, whom I love deeply,” said Prior. “I hope our paths cross again soon.”

With the retirement of a major army leader, many pause to reflect on their own CPA mortality. But what is the nature of “retirement” in this community?

“Unfortunately,” said Prior, “many here wield the word ‘retire’ as a weapon. It is often an emotional threat used to bargain for desired change.”

Prior went on to explain that he frequently finds DMs that begin with, “Hi Prior. I might retire. [Insert complaint about RFCP]…..” that demand his swift ministering.

The nature of CPA retirement usually comes with bitter flavors. Often they are categorized by a response to defeat, disenchantment, or even heartbreak. In some ways, this is to be expected. CPA is a hotpot of many personalities, interests, and tone-deaf online communication that easily boil into emotional catastrophe. Turnover rate is high. It is also deeply unique, and that is perhaps why the retirement of a comrade invariably hits so hard. Truly, one thinks, who can replace you? No one. We operate in a bizarre, wildly singular egregore which only a handful of mankind will experience. Who but us understands the meaning of “E+5”? Who but us know the name Oagalthorp?

Although inevitable, Prior intends for his eventual retirement to be different.

“This may be bittersweet to some,” he said, “but my retirement letter has already been written, stored away in my laptop. I have no intention of using it, but it exists.”

He continued, however, with an encouraging promise.

“When my leader [CollinZfresh] retired, he said it would be ‘the day no one knew,’ and I always intended to go the same way. I will not retire as a reaction to disaster. You may look to me as the captain firmly at the helm of a storm. So this need never be a concern.”

He said, “When I retire, it will be on my terms. On terms of prosperity.”

For just as gothic literature and romantic opera glorify death, so too does this underground community have an alluring relationship with the finality and mystery of retirement. The man, or leader, that once was commits suicide of their power, and becomes no more in an always-impacting event. The rapid tides of CPA politics wash over him and move on.

“The path to legacy and immortality,” said Prior, “only begins when you step away.”

Why do these families need to experience loss, though? Maybe the culture of retirement in CPA can change.

More and more we are seeing old veterans return to the scene, as advisers and mentors. Prior himself retired once before…and returned ten years later, something DMT says is, “….unprecedented. No one has ever come back from such a long absence.”

We hope, maybe selfishly, that Kerx’s path becomes unprecedented with his eventual return, too.

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