Enter MAXKAEL Jr.
The wet sound of fist a hard surface echoed in the high eaves of the cluttered warehouse. A figure stood amid the tall boxes and bizarre set pieces, relics from the past of HOW, bits of history and outright garbage that had been collected and deposited here. The vast collection had traveled all across the United States, starting in Arkham then moving to St. Louis and finally to Chicago where it passed from the ownership of Maximillian Kael to Michael Lee Best.
Once again the sound of a fist striking a solid surface filled the air of the warehouse. A massive, thickly built figure stood before one of the concrete support columns which rose to the ceiling above. He was clad in a tattered black shirt with the words UNDEFEATED written across the back of it. A pair of tattered black joggers which also sported the word UNDEFEATED covered thick, muscular legs which tensed before striking out toward the pole with a burst of unexpected speed.
The foot of the figure strikes the column after the solid strike, neither the man nor the pole budging. He reset his posture and took a breath, the pain, if there was any, didn’t register in his body language. Gnarled, dirty hair hung down around his face while he sported a shabby, thin beard. A heavy brow cast a shadow over two intelligent brow eyes that had a stern, cold determination. They zeroed in on their next target as his body stiffened once again before he lashed out with a hard chop toward what would have been the throat region of an opponent’s neck.
Once again neither pole nor man relented, the figure in the tattered clothes returning to a set stance. He let a low grunt out before his face made a twisted, annoyed expression. He took in a deep breath and stepped back, his body flexing as though he was drawing upon a deep well of inner strength. Then, with a ferocious roar, the tattered man charged forward throwing the weight of his massive frame behind a wicked forearm.
For a moment one might be concerned as to the fate of the man striking a concrete and steel pillar. You’re right too, that’s a stupid thing to do, go throwing meat and bone at what amounts to rock and metal. But then this was no norman man, he was the Chosen One, he was the Will of Max Kael..
The support pillar buckled, the concrete cracked and the roof let out a low, metallic groan that echoed through the warehouse.
“WOW! That was really impressive! What was his name again?”
The pitchy voice of the Herald Sub-Marquis Bentley Tennyson Farthington-Primerose filled the void left behind by the tattered man’s strike, his feet tapping excitedly on the ground as the bells of his cape chimed gleefully. Seated next to the Herald was the equally excited Lord of Kaelsalvania, Prime Minister of Maxopotamia and HOW Wor-..eerrrld’s Best Version of Himself, Maximillian Kael. The smile masked his vast internal pain and suffering but you don’t care because this story isn’t about Max Kael. This story is about..
“MAXKAEL Jr.!” Max said through his sharpened metal teeth, his hands clapping together excitedly as his strange blue eye zeroed in on the tattered UNDEFEATED that ran across the wide shoulders of the tattered man. “You are more than I could have hoped for heh-Heh!”
The tattered man turned around, his brown eyes meeting Max’s disturbed blue eye. He offered the very briefest nod before he turned the rest of his body toward Max, his arms resting at his side as he appeared to stand at attention. Shorter than Max, MAXKAEL Jr. was definitely wider and far more muscular, his body honed, toned and designed for combat.
“I’ve never personally be able to break concrete and bend steel without the assistance of a chainsaw so you’ve really won me over! But you’re style is probably going to have to change..” Max said as thing fingers crawled over his chin rubbing at the scruff thoughtfully. His blue eye took in all the details of his promised Champion, MAXKAEL Jr. His calloused hands were joined by various scars that covered the tattered man’s body, some old some appearing to be fairly recent. “..but this is an excellent canvas to work with.. Heh-heh..”
“What are these?”
The voice of the Herald cut through Max’s thoughts, his blue eye darting toward Bentley’s position with a burning irritation. The young Herald was handling a #97Red Dildo sporting the face of Mike Best, a sight that perplexed Max, his annoyance melting into confusion.
“I.. w..where did you get that?” Max sputtered.
“Oh I found it in the stack of boxes over there.” Bentley said using the dildo as a pointer. Both Max and MAXKAEL Jr.’s collective eyes followed the dildo’s lead to a considerably large collection of crates marked with a #KONICHIWANG. As the rubber phallus wobbled in the Herald’s hand he let out a mirth filled, childlike laugh. Max and MAXKAEL Jr. looked back toward each other, Junior’s face stoic though slightly disturbed.
“That’s Michael, you’ll meet him soon. He..uh.. He loves merchandise. Anyway, let’s get you home and cleaned up! You’ve got big shoes to f-”
“This looks like a dick with Mike Best’s face on it!”
“So while I’m gone you’re going to look after MAXKAEL Jr., alright?”
Max’s blue eye glared down at the Herald who was seated at a table, his head cradled in his hands while his face wore tittybaby expression. He didn’t seem to react to Max though his bottom lip pushed out further exaggerating his expression.
“Make sure he eats plenty and gets anything he needs. He’s filling in for me at 5 Time Academy so he can stay in my office if he wants. Also make sure to call me once a day and check in, while the Max Kael Presents The Death Of HOW WORLD Tour Cruise is going on for the next 5 weeks I’ll be keeping an eye on what’s going on here.. Did you hear me?” Max says in much the way you would expect a parent chiding their child might.
“..i’m not his herald..”
“What?!” Max snaps as he slithers across the room to where Sutler is seated, his blue eye widening enough that the red lines of his eyes are clearly visible.
“I’m not his herald!” The Herald snips back pounding both hands down hard on the table. He stares back up at Max with a defiant glare of his own as the two share a tense moment. Surprisingly it is Max who is the first to break, his expression softening as he takes a seat at the table opposite of Sutler. It would be around now you’d expect heart warming music to play, maybe on synth.
“Listen, you are the Herald of Maximillian Kael.. and that man in that other room cleaning himself up is the new Max Kael of HOW. We’re in the home stretch, Herald Farthington-Primrose! Once I finish my tour cruise HOW will be dead and gone! Then.. then the eMpire moves onto bigger and better things.. But I can’t just leave HOW without the influence of Maximillian Kael.. I mean the last time that happened guys like.. Like.. Darin Zion and Scottywood and even, yes, Scott Stevens, managed to go and win a World Title. You know how that looks on my legacy?!.. It ain’t good.. But MAXKAEL Jr… now that guy..”
Max’s face comes alive with a cruel grin as the skin around his eye wrinkles with joy.
“..but I should be with you, on the Cruise! Not.. like.. Not like with your random replacement.” The Herald complained, throwing himself back in his chair with crossed arms.
“Buddy, come on. First, you are going to get to be ringside for the decimation of Crash Rodriguez! That’s gonna be fun, right? And think on this.. You get to help direct the career of a new mega star as his manager.. You’re in charge, Herald, mine! To help guide MAXKAEL Jr. in the way of Maximillian Kael.. The way of.. What?.. Revenge? Violence? Revenge? So many options!” Max said in an excited tone that seemed to draw the Herald out of his mood a little. “The best part of me is that I get to be petty! Petty is fun, petty is what the eMpire does best and now.. Imagine that, you have a tool. I mean, not a literal tool, but you can help guide MAXKAEL Jr. into the path of the people you dislike most in HOW.”
His words seemed to catch traction within the brain of the Herald as a small smile threatened to split onto his face.
“Aw.. is that I smile I see?! A little drop of petty joy? Mm?” the Lord of Kaelsalvania cooed at his Herald in much the same way one might gush at their pet. The Herald reacted by smiling a little then alot, his face blushing red with excitement.
“..there.. IS.. someone I’d like to get petty revenge on heheh..” The Herald giggled as he wiggled back and forth in his chair, his feet tapping on the ground excitedly.
“That’s my Herald!”
Crash Rodriguez was about to have a bad week. It wasn’t his fault, in fact he was pretty innocent in the whole affair. Really it was the booker’s fault, pitting the young talent against MAXKAEL Jr. but then, how was anyone to know? No one had ever seen MAXKAEL Jr. fight, no one even knew who he was. No one knew what he was capable of, if he could even wrestle. The man came with more questions than answers.
Was his name really MAXKAEL Jr.?
Was he really from the Little Tokyo District of Kaelsalvania?
Was he really worthy of carrying the name of Maximillian Kael?
Well, the first person to know that for certain was going to be Crash who had drawn the unlucky straw to find out for himself.
That wasn’t to say that MAXKAEL Jr. was a lock to win, how could one know that for certain? Crash was talented, young, a little crass but the raw ability was there. He was built around survivability, brutality and a taste for the extreme, all things that Maximillian Kael appreciated.. But did MAXKAEL Jr.?
Crash was 1 and 2 in HOW and with only three matches for MAXKAEL Jr. to observe there wasn’t a great deal for the silent man to take in. Still, three matches was more useful than the zero amount of information available on MAXKAEL Jr. He had decided to use that to his advantage, to use his power and aggression to strike out against the younger Crash.
Seated in the center of a large training room at 5 Time Academy the formerly shabby looking MAXKAEL Jr. looked much cleaner. His hair was cut and pulled back into a tight top knot while his facial hair had been shaped to fit the contours of his face. His dark, intelligent eyes watched the screen in front of him as he took in Crash’s movements, his timing, his weaknesses and his strengths. MAXKAEL Jr. understood that you could not defeat a man first in person if you could not devise a path to victory. The first step in that victory was understanding.
Rising from his seated position on the ground MAXKAEL Jr. pulled his shoulders back and popped his spine and neck, his thick powerful frame rippling with dense bands of muscle. His eyes never leave the screen as he begins to set himself through a series of stretches, preparing his body for the training ahead and ensuring he was limber. Within his arnsel he had a multitude of strikes, holds and attacks, each one designed to bring his opponents closer to defeat.
He wasn’t Maximillian Kael. He wasn’t the Prime Minister of this or the Lord of that.
He wasn’t a former WORLD Champion or a Champion of any kind in HOW.
What he was was Worthy.
Worthy of the name Max Kael. Worthy of his Legacy.
Worthy of his Praise.
Crash Rodriguez had the bad fortune of being the first man to test MAXKAEL Jr.. Even as Max Kael’s blue eye looked toward the future and the Herald looked to settle his own personal disputes MAXKAEL Jr.’s eyes were fixed on only one thing.
The decimation of Crash Rodriguez and the continuation of Legacy of Maximillian Kael.