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Nearing the End

Figuratively

The ship had struck part of the docks along the side of Alcatraz Island scattering debris in all directions while sending an echoing crashing noise across the bay. Jagged rocks just off the island hiding beneath the water had ripped open the ships hull wide open allowing cold ocean water to flood the lower decks. Within twenty minutes of striking the docks the cruise ship had slowly slipped back out to sea where it listed to its side and started to sink. 

 

Small boats that lined the ship had been deployed with the crew and plethora of Korean guests escaping on board. All were accounted for save for Maximillian Kael, the Herald and his small contingent of guards left behind when Colonel Pawk took MAXKAEL Jr. with him to North Korea. Survivors were taken to the main shoreline while the coast guard continued to search for any bodies or potential other survivors. 

 

However three hours into their searches no one else was found and no bodies were reported. Though the search would continue most people had given up hope that anyone else would be found. 

 

They were right to give that hope up.

 

Maximillian Wilhelm Kael, Bentley Tennyson Primrose-Farthington and the armed guards had long vanished from the ship taking a less well known route into Alcatraz Island. 

 

The Prime Minister of Maxopotamia was no stranger to the Rock, he had been there at least five times before and spent several weeks locked away on the island exploring it in the past before matches. That tactic would not change moving into this, the LAST of the Rumble at the Rock pay per views. 

 

Utilizing the long abandoned sewage lines Max had led his followers through the waterways and up into the internal guts of Alcatraz Island weaving his way through the dark and gritty chambers beneath the old prison. He took passages he had utilized once to stalk his enemies in the Solitary Confinement matches. Up and up through the rusted metal and the aged concrete Max led his band on invaders until they reached a small utility grate that led out onto the Parade Grounds and into the cold night air. 

 

From there Max took his retinue across the grounds up near the Lighthouse where they settled for the evening. A camp was set up with a command center from which Maximillian Wilhelm Kael was able to begin reconning the island at his impunity. If the EPU knew he was there they hadn’t bothered to come to check on him; a strong likelihood given the EPU and Max Kael often found each other at odds with the EPU rarely coming out ahead. 

 

Max’s first interest in exploring was the Prison Yard.. unfortunately the yard was tucked away near the rear of the central holding cells surrounded by tall concrete walls which meant getting to them would require a little effort.

 

“So, gentlemen..” Max started to say in a low tone as his blue eye looked up from the blueprints of the island laid out on the table before him. He noticed that all of the guards left for him by the Colonel were still wearing tactical masks that covered up much of their face and their bodies were buried beneath black swat gear that appeared to be unisex in design.”..and ladies if there are any of you out there… Our goal is to reach.. This point.”

 

Max’s talon like finger pointed toward the large block area that was labeled Recreational Yard. The group of tactical guards examined the map and offered brief nods. 

 

“The trouble with this area is that we’re going to have to cut through the side of the prison and scale the wall. There used to be barbed wire that lined the top of it but it’s long been gotten rid of so I think it will be easy enough for us to scale the wall and get inside. Once there I want a sweep of the area and details on what you find there. Rumor was that Scottywood went and dropped a whole cash of weapons there and I want to know what his concept of a weapon is.” Max said as he stood up allowing his hands to smooth out the NK Officer’s uniform he was wearing. 

 

The soft sound of bells jingling behind the guards caused them to turn quickly prepared to do battle with whomever had stumbled across them. STanding there, in a fresh new PPV quality silk Herald tunic and cape in striking red, gold and blue colors. As he notices all eyes on him he quickly strikes a pose, his floppy hat crowned with a massive blue feather dropping slightly over his churlish pale face. 

 

“It is I! The Herald of Maximillian Wilhelm Kael, Sub-Marquis Ben-”

 

“Nobody cares about the rest of that, go ahead and shut up now.” Max snapped from across the table as the Herald was taken off guard. Bentley’s eyes widened as he seemed frozen in his power pose, his chest puffed outward while one hand was held aloft in the air. “Did you get what I sent you to get for me?”

 

The Herald snapped out of his frozen position and nodded his head enthusiastically like a puppy being offered a treat.

 

“I did! Just like you said, they hit earlier today! Wow, you sure are smart, knowing that the majority of publicity for your match would come out just a few days before the actual match!” The Herald said in a chipper manner before his chin dropped slightly, a shadow crossing over the otherwise excitable young man. “Still nothing from Evan Ward. Rumor is he might not show up at all!”

 

“Well bring what you have over and I’ll examine them. Meanwhile..” Max turned his attention back to the totally not North Korean soldiers in paramilitary gear. “The rest of you infiltrate the prison, gather my intelligence on the Prison Yard and whatever it was that Scottywood had dropped into that field.”

 

The soldiers snapped to attention and saluted Max before they scampered off into the cold night air. Max folded his arms over his chest before his blue eye snaked over toward the Herald who was prancing over to the Lord of Kaelsalvania. 

 

“I heard that High Flyer was really weird and that MJF was channeling the 5th of November, whatever that means.” 

 

Max’s eyebrow raised slightly as he held his hand out to accept the tapes that the Herald had collected for him. The Herald just pranced past the North Kaelrean General and dug around in a small cooler until he found a bottle of water, cracking it open and taking a deep swig out of it. Max’s blue eye burned into the direction of his dimwitted Herald and once again thrust his hand toward the bedazzled boy. 

 

“Well?! Are you going to hand them over” Max snarled impatiently. 

 

“..hand what over?” 

 

“The tapes! With the promotional material my opponents put out?” 

 

“Oh. Oh you wanted, like, a disc or something? I mean, I just forwarded them to your phone, it’s 2019, everything is wireless!” Young Bentley said before he sucked down the rest of the water finishing with a satisfying smack of his lips. 

 

“..you did everything from your phone?! You were gone for six hours!” Max said as he reached into his pocket to retrieve the phone he always forgot he had but always carried on himself regardless. Checking the alerts he saw he had missed 48 calls from Darin Zion in the last six months. 

 

“You find it?” chimed the Herald who had just discovered the chair he had decided to sit in could spin and had begun to rapidly push himself around. 

 

Max nodded as the alert finally scrolled past his eye, his thumb flicking over the links that his Herald and sent him. 

 

“I really need to check this thing more often.”

 

It was at that time a small red light started to blink on a laptop that had been set up in a corner of the command tent the two of them were presently in. The Herald perked up and stared at it with the same excitement a fat kid on an all you can eat Chinese Buffet. 

 

“Ooooo that’s a big red shiny light! That always means something important!” 

 

Turning he looked up into the face of the Lord of Kaelsalvania, the Prime Minister of Maxopotamia, the North Kaelrean General of High Octane Wrestling and saw that it as pale. Not like his usual pale, more like the blood had drained from his face and cowardice had snaked its way into the empty veins. 

 

“..well poopy.”

 

 

“Your most Glorious Presence, my most Supreme Leader, you really, really didn’t need to take any time out of your very busy schedule to call me up hah-hah..”

 

Max’s voice was strained, clearly faking the laugh while a very fake smile was stretched across his battle scarred visage. His face was illuminated by a screen which sported the portly and slightly dull face of North Korean Dictator, Kim Jung Un.

 

“{Non-sense! You are my champion and once you finish you’re American Pig-Dog wrestling promises you will once again be here, representing me in the ring. Well. After you lay down in the ring and allow your Supreme Leader to prove to the rest of Korea and the World at large that no one is a greater wrestler.” 

 

The voice of the Supreme Leader as he spoke Korea held a sort aloft arrogance behind it, as though the words he were speaking were a blessing to anyone who heard them. Max nodded his head while that fake smile threatened to crack.

 

“Of course, Supreme Leader, of course. We all know who is the stronger of the two of us and it will be my greatest dignity to lay down and let you pin me. Not that you would need me to do that, of course, you could easily defeat me in a match but, for my own safety, I wish not to engage you in physical tests of skill. You might hasten my own death! Hah-hah.” Max choked out, even his laugh in the end seemed painful for him. 

 

“{Indeed. How are the men I left in your service? Are they obeying and carrying out their orders exactly as you have asked them?}” Kim said as he folded his hands across his wide waist. 

 

“Yes, even as we speak I have them out on assignment gathering me vital intelligence as to what I can expect to find in the prison yard here at Alcatraz. In fact I suspect I am the only one out of all my opponents who has actually bothered to try and discover what loot might be awaiting us. You’re..” Max’s lip twitched as his blue eye narrowed. “..genius.. Has allowed me to think ahead and plan for my Capitalist American Pig-Dog opponents in ways they.. Never could.” 

 

The Supreme Leader of North Korea seemed to get a great deal of joy out of what Max said as he rolled back in his chair and slapped his meaty hands together in delight, a nauseating sort of snort giggle escaping his nose. 

 

“{Well of course, these uselessly, stupid Americans! How could they possibly stand against someone as dangerous as the People’s Champion of the Republic of Korea! We don’t have losers here, only the best, the greatest and the most dangerous.. Right?}” Kim said in his particular Korean dialect. As he did so he leaned forward, his watery yellowed eyes boring through the screen directly into Max’s soul.

 

“Of course, Supreme Leader, ever since you feel out of the sky in the asteroid and killed all the Dinosaurs you have certainly proven yourself to be a wise leader who only draws the most dangerous and capable warriors to your side! Hah-Hah!” Max said as he let his silvery fangs shine from behind his chapped, dry lips. 

 

Kim seemed satisfied with Max’s answer even though he wasn’t exactly sure which myth about himself Max was referring too. 

 

“{So your battlefield, it is at the Alcatraz Prison in San Francisco correct? Are there still prisoners held there?}” The Supreme Commander said as he leaned back in his chair as he grabbed a small bag of Korean snacks from his drawer. 

 

“No, no sir. Well, I take that back, I am pretty sure that Christopher America is being held in Solitary Confinement right now so one person is at least being held here. I remember back in the day when this whole prison was filled with High Octane Wrestlers..mm..” Max’s thoughts trailed off as he remembers being stuck in areas of the prison with up to six other men and women. “..mm.. But now, now I am pretty sure nobody can afford to be locked up in prison for more than a week without going insane. You know, cause of the twitter and the publicity deals they all have now. Hundred dollar bottles of Sake aren’t going to buy themselves, you know?”

 

“{Oohohoh, no, no I suppose not!}” Kim laughed with a certain degree of nervousness as he wasn’t sure himself who paid for hundred dollar Sake because he certainly never had to. “{Well it looks like you’ve got everything under control, General Kael, I shall look forward to hearing from you post Rumble at the Rock. Oh, also, I’ll be sure to send you updates on Kasuk-.. Wait, you call him MAXKAEL Jr. now. I’ll be sure to send you updates on how your good friend is doing. Ha..hoho..mm..}”

 

The laugh at the end, so filled with mirth and a certain sociopathic fakeness caused Max to grimace slightly. He hadn’t been proud about selling out MAXKAEL Jr., particularly in sending him back to North Korea but it was all part of the plan which had been set into motion. 

 

“Thank you for your confidence in me Supreme Leader! Your blessing are like the Rains down in Africa.” Max said as he took a deep bow while the feed cut off and returned the face of the laptop to darkness. 

 

“He seems nice!” chimed the cheerful voice of the Herald who was still spinning in circles. 

 

“I’ll be happy to introduce the two of you.” Max sneered as he lifted his phone up once again. “He’d love you to death.” 

 

The last bit was snarled beneath his breath as he clicked on the links provided to him by the Herald. Taking a seat the face of MJF filled his screen and Max wandered off into the land of High Octane Promos…

 

 

“Let’s take a moment to talk, all of us.”

 

The image of Max Kael seated in a steel chair while wearing his ugly green North Korean officers uniform, his hair sitting somewhat messy atop his head given the last twenty four hours since the wrecking of the Cruise Ship. 

 

“See, I’ve heard what everybody has to say. My Herald, Sub-Marquis Bentley Tennyson Primrose-Farthington, brought me some of the promo work you’ve sent out. And by you I mean M.J. Flair and High Flyin Jack Harmen. Evan Ward? Well, like the rest of Ground Zero you’ve sunk below the tide of mediocrity and vanished in a cloud of why even bother returning?” 

 

Max rolled his eye before snapping his fingers. From either side two men in tactical gear appear holding a pair of electric clippers and a straight razor. 

 

“So let’s just take a moment to talk about you both, Flair and Harmen. I appreciate all the hard work you’ve put in here at HOW. M.J. Fair, you’ve managed to go from annoying, Joss Whedon style unlikely powerful female antagonist to.. Well, not much has changed there really and I get that. Who needs to develop and change their tactics when you’ve got the full power of legendary family and cool, hip friends with power, money and colorful backgrounds? You bring so much to High Octane Wrestling, really, I can understand how this federation is alive and doing better than it EVER has thanks to people like you.”

 

Nodding enthusiastically Max offers a toothy smile and a pair of thumbs up. The electric clippers click to life as a soft buzzing sound fills the air. 

 

“And speaking of colorful characters, how could I not mention you, High Flyer, Jack Harmen! Why, without you around, we couldn’t keep our middling talent from looking good! Whenever we need to add a little legitimacy to someone’s career we have you here to take a beating, nearly win and then lose soundly. And because I guess somewhere people consider you a Legend it makes a victory seem legit over twitter! I’m so glad you came to HOW to squander your career helping out more talented guys, I really am. And I suspect that in this match you’re going to do the same thing, you’re going to take guys like me and make me look even better. I’m humble enough to admit that I’ll take a little late career enhancement from a goofy fuck like you anytime.”

 

The guard holding the electric clippers steps forward and tilts Max’s head back gently. Then, making a sweeping motion down he begins to shred away the tangled mess of salt and pepper hair, lose strands of it falling to the ground. 

 

“You’re both so important to this company, in fact, that I’m just going to have to make sure you’re value is considerably diminished. I’ve come to understand in the last few weeks that my hope that my plan for the death of HOW was incomplete because I had been arrogant. I had been over zealous in my expectations for what the eMpire could accomplish without my hand on the wheel.. That was my bad. My oversight and I understand that now. What does that make Max Kael? It makes me a liar.. But it also makes me human. I made a mistake!.. I understand that which is why I’ve done what I have done. Because when I realize I make a mistake I try and fix it.”

 

The rest of the hair is sheared away from Max’s head leaving a short creep of hair covering the rest of his scalp. The buzzers guy steps back as the man holding the straight razor approaches examining Max’s head. He retrieves a small bottle of shaving cream from his pocket and applies it to Max’s scalp. 

 

“So here is the dealio guys. My plan is to take that LSD Championship off your waist, MJF, while also attempting to leave you all so broken you’ll be unable to work the next couple of shows. Do I think I can wound you all that much? I think so.. But don’t think I’m ignorant to the position that I find myself in. I’m up against two people realistically speaking. I know you two have history, I know you’ve worked together, I know that puts me at a disadvantage. Sure, of course, it’s a competitive match, sure at the end of the day there can be only one winner but realistically we all know that the smart move is to work together to neutralize me so can fight it out over who walks out the winner. And ooh the fans will be so happy and ooooh the ratings are going to go so high and oooooh the company is going to be doing so well..”

 

Max makes an audible hissing noise disgusted by everything he had just said. The man with the straight razor pauses for a moment to examine Max’s head one last time before he begins scraping the blade across his skin to remove every last speak of hair. 

 

“..yeah, sure, whatever. I’ve had worse odds in my life. I’ve fought against more opponents in the past, numbers do not scare me.. See I don’t just go throwing myself at my opponents like you, Jack Harmen, with your outrageous offensive and suicidal death murder style. And I don’t have your pedigree of a wrestling background, MJF, paired with your youth to carry you through matches. I am well acquainted with my weakness in this match. I didn’t survive in HOW by ignoring my opponents, I didn’t prosper because I came from a rich and powerful family. I didn’t spend my nights slumming around in federations Eric Dane was embraced and instead of shunned like he rightfully should be, you fucking plebians.”

 

As he speaks the razor glides over his skin revealing fresh, smooth patches of pale flesh. Soon the whole of his head was completely bald, all traces of the shaving cream and any hair completely removed. Max leans forward and runs his hand over his smooth head as he smile broadens.

 

“I’ve not been wrestling for the past few months but all of you have. You’ve all been wrestling and showing me your strengths and your weaknesses. And I’ve been watching leading up to this match. Now this isn’t any normal match, it’s a Prison Yard fight. It’s a legal mugging, a literal prison riot and I’m unsure how many of those you two have been through but I’ve enjoyed the ultra-violence of Alcatraz now a number of times. I’ve nearly died in his prison, I’ve lost my fucking eye in this prison, I’ve left more blood on this island then Literal Murderer Shane Reynolds has left tears on his onesy after watching Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey. I’m rested. I’m ready. I’m fresh as a grave daisy and I’ve only had this match to worry about this last few weeks when I decided it was time to come back.”

 

Twisting his head to the side Max pops his neck and lets out a relaxed sigh. He retrieves a small mirror from the ground next to the chair and examines his face and head carefully, his rigor like grin stretching thin as he appears pleased by his new appearance. 

 

“So please don’t write me off just because it’s the cool and hip thing to do. That’s the kind of stupidity that Eric Dane likes to do and he didn’t fair very well at War Games or in HOW in general did he? No.. no he didn’t and neither will anyone in this match who does the same. I’m taking you all very seriously.. I’m taking what I am going to do to you all very serious. I’ve even gone so far as to have the field of battle examined.. Plans are in motion, tactics are being devised.. Weapons are being selected.. Heh-heh..”

 

Leaning forward Max rests his elbows on his knees as he steeples his thing fingers under his chin. 

 

“One last piece before I leave you all. Flair. Of everyone in HOW you are the only person for whom I presently have a losing record. You are the only person in HOW who has defeated me and I have not returned that favor.. So rest assured that on a personal note I want to tear your fucking neck out. I want to wrap my hands around your throat and choke the life out of you.. If you wanna call me daddy while I do it I’m sure Kevin won’t mind. I want to throttle you like you’re a Puritan woman who just got a big scarlet A woven into her dress. I want to destroy HOW, first and foremost. I want to see this company and all its flaws swept away in a storm of blood..but if I get to start that purge over your broken, shattered body and an LSD Title reign, well, I’m not exactly going to turn that down. I mean I already got rid of my own replacement MAXKAEL Jr. just to get into this match and I actually like him and consider him my friend.. Can’t you just wait to see what I’ll be willing to do to you, Flair? And you Harmen?.. And even you Ward.”

 

He snorted as he leaned back in his chair, his strange blue eye almost glowing in the low light that surrounded his makeshift camp near the lighthouse. 

 

“..I once said that I kissed with my fists and wished for an orgy of Violence.. At Rumble at the Rock I’m more than certain the genie is out of the bottle and granting wishes, baby! If you managed to survive the night remember, kiddos.. The man who won was The General of North Kaelrea, the Prime Minister of Maxopotamia, the Lord of Kaelsalvania.. The Worthy One..”

 

Jumping in front of Max was the Herald in his fancy new silk tunic and cape, all in bright red, green and blue colors with bells bedazzling it. He struck a pose, one fist in the air while another waved a banner with MAx Kael’s smiling face on it. 

 

“MAXIMILLIAN WILHELM KAEL, FIRST OF HIS NAME!”

 

A hand shoved the Herald to the side as the twisted face of Maximillian Kael fills up the screen.

 

“Long May I MAIM!”

 

Roleplay Countdown

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