A person of the rocket propelled variety

A person of the rocket propelled variety

Posted on August 3, 2023 at 6:21 pm by Evan Ward

“You put your whole heart into something. You have all these grand ideas and plans. You spend so many hours and a hundred times the effort to do it right. Everything is perfect, all the ducks are in a line and the pay off… that sweetly anticipated pay off, is just right around the corner.”

Evan Ward stood with his arms folded, gazing listlessly out across a lagoon and then the whole tape went into fast-forward, skipping over all the parts which had previously been aired until it reached a particular point in the promo.

“-ents. Simples.” Ward looked extremely self satisfied with how he had made a mockery of time and space to make sure he could cut a promo on a future opponent months down the line. “Now, it’s time to suffer at the genius dissection of your very being, Steve Solex.”

Credit where credit was due, it would have been easy enough to record the whole monologue once and use surreptitious camera cuts to bring in the opponent-specific trash talk but the lunatic really did waste hours of his life re-recording the same segment with the same well practised lines and movements for every single one of his potential opponents. For a man who, at the time, was living on borrowed time as his much vaunted expiration date hastily approached, this was a hell of a commitment.

“Steve, I don’t know what happened with you.” Ward said sullenly, a hint of sadness in his eyes. “Together in the Final Alliance we were doing such great things. You were Lee’s right-hand man, an inspiration to all the fathers in wrestling on how to raise our kids to be strong, well adjusted, upstanding folks. Your service to not only your country, but HOW and the Alliance itself, it always went above and beyond. I respected you, Steve, from the bottom of my heart, but now it’s come to this. You and me, dude, across the ring from each other, fighting over my World Championship. I can’t believe it happened, not from you of all people.

“The betrayal.” Ward shook his head. “The sheer, disgusting betrayal. How could you do this? I just can’t wrap my head around it. How could you do this to me, Steve? How could you do this to the Alliance? You’re the last person who I ever thought would betray Lee, you complete and utter, dishonorable piece of shit. Right now, at this very moment, I bet Lee is bringing the Alliance together, under the leadership of the one true World Champion, me, to hunt you down and eliminate the shit eating coward who betrayed us all. When I get in the ring with you, nursed back to full health by that bumbling drunk mammoth, with my best buddy Christopher America standing in my corner, ready to help give you exactly what you deserve, you won’t be leaving under your own steam, mark my words. You’ll need some sort of electric wheelchair, maybe something with tank tracks, to cart you around for the next few months.”

Evan tilted his head to the side, looking deep into the camera with all the feigned empathy a douchebag like him could muster. “It must kill you, mustn’t it, that America has my back and is violently opposed to your backstabbing betrayal. I’m sure America is trying to convince Lee to reward your malfeasance with a Bottom Line and that’s exactly what you deserve for spitting in the face of the stable which treated you like a brother. You were like a father to STROnk, helping him jack up and pump up to become the lumbering leviathan of his dreams. How could you do that to him? You broke his heart, Steve.”

Evan let out a large sigh. “I will take no pleasure in being the one to bring you to justice, but you’ve given me no choice. The Final Alliance will come out on top as always, it’s our duty to Lee and to the federation to utterly destroy anyone and everyone who screws us over for personal gain. Be warned, Solex, I will show you no mercy, no matter how much you get down on your knees and beg for it.”

The image of Evan pointing at the camera froze on the screen as Trent pressed the pause button on the Warchair. The giant was sat next to Evan at the top of the steps outside the Dick Reynolds entrance to the MCG in Melbourne. As he nursed a bottle of whiskey while studying the bizarrely shaped alien-looking steel sculpture, Trent couldn’t help but agree with the name of entrance: Shane Reynolds was a dick. An A grade cock. A top quality penis. And so was Steve Solex.

“Urgh, I’m sorry, dude.” Trent groaned, a wave of depression washing over him as he thought about the match which would take place in the stadium behind them this weekend. It wasn’t often that Trent apologised to people, at least not authentically, but this time he really felt it. Ward was still Warchair bound, still unmoving and unresponsive to the world just with hundreds of band-aids covering up the hundreds of snake bites he had received earlier in the week.

“I tried my fucking best, but it’s made no fucking difference. You talked some fucking good shit in that video, dude. I mean, it was like almost all completely fucking wrong but it was good shit talking, fucking proud of you. The only part you fucking got right was the fact the Final fucking Alliance is going to win, they’ll fucking destroy you. Fuck, dude, you’re done for. There’s no fucking way you’re getting out of that fucking chair and wrestling a motherfucking match, let alone beating the shit out of Solex. You’re literally a fucking deadman, Solex is going to totally fucking murder you, dude. I can’t even fucking help you out, man. If I come down to fucking ringside and beat the shit out of that cunt up a bit for you you’ll just be fucking disqualified and you fucking don’t want that, do you?”

Trent frowned, a thought hit him as he looked into Ward’s desolate eyes. He really didn’t know what Ward wanted, not what the Ward of today wanted. All he had to go on was what Ward wanted before War Games, or at least what the posturing, obnoxious little shit said he wanted in those awful overacted videos. Trent was starting to think maybe the Catatonic Calamity, if he could speak to his past self, would have a conversation like this:

“Hey, asshole, meet future asshole. What the fuck?” Said Catatonic Ward. “This isn’t your body anymore, it’s mine! You don’t get to give people permission to throw me around, drop me in a snake pit and force me into life threatening wrestling matches in my condition.”

“Hey, future asshole, fuck off.” Said Aneurysm Ward. “That was my body and I will be you, I get to choose to do what the hell I like with it!”

“Bullshit. I’m the one in constant agony from all the injuries.”

“Fuck off, you’re catatonic, you can’t feel a thing! I bet you don’t even have a clue what’s going on.”

“You bloody idiot, I’m catatonic, not paralyzed!” Shouted Catatonic Ward angrily. “I can’t react to anything but I can still feel it and know it’s happening! Do you have any idea what it’s like to be forced to sit in this chair all day unable to do anything? I’m bored out of my fucking mind!”

“Then you should be thanking me, you future asshole.” Scoffed Aneurysm Ward. “Everything I’ve signed you up for is keeping your days exciting and different.”

“Well, that is true…” Catatonic Ward agreed, finding it difficult to argue with his own logic.

“You’re bloody welcome.” Aneurysm Ward took an extravagant bow. “Now get back out there and get ready to wrestle in your fucking match.”

“Hell yeah!” And Catatonic Ward sped out of the imagined conversation with turbojets attached to his Warchair and flew off into the sunset.

Trent had an eyebrow raised and seemed like he was trying to look up under it. He was legitimately surprised about the direction that conversation went, but he shrugged and figured it must be right. Both past Ward and present Ward had reached an agreement in Trent’s drunken head so it was all probably fine. Still, he had concerns and a lot of them were about Ward’s preparedness for the match.

“Dude, I bet that bloody Action Man fuck is out there doing some Rambo bullshit in a jungle trying to find America, stabbing up the cartel and going all commando on their arses or some shit like that. Dudes gonna be in fucking ripped shape if he survived that and what the fuck are you doing, huh? Wasting the fuck away in that fucking chair.” Trent tapped the Warchair with the whisky bottle with a chink sound.

“Fuck. I’m gonna miss you, dude.” Trent said in a rare moment of heartfelt candor. “After all we’ve fucking been through, it’s going to be so fucking shit to see you fucking die when you can’t even fucking fight back. That’s not fucking right, you deserve better. I mean, the last year you turned into a right fucking cunt, you really deserved a fucking kicking for all the shit you pulled… And I fucking get it, dude, I really fucking do. You thought the fucking world was ending and you couldn’t fucking cope. That wasn’t you, not the real fucking you. If you could fucking come back from this bullshit, make a motherfucking miracle happen and reconnect that fucking brain of yours and that meatbag of a fucking body, you’d be a fucking good guy again, I’m fucking certain. Fuck. I missed your last fucking funeral, I ain’t missing the next fucking one. Might have to take a fucking reigncheck on the third though.”

Trent chugged the last of the whisky and wiped his mouth with a forearm. He looked over at Ward and sighed. “I just don’t fucking know what the shit to do, ya know? I’ve fucking tried everything, man, abso-fucking-lutely every motherfucking thing and you just ain’t getting any fucking better. You’re just fucked. Solex is gonna rip your fucking head off and shit down your neck like the fucking Duke Nukem wannabe he is, the beared all American fuck…” Trent sighed again and stood up with a big stretch. “Fuck it, if your gonna fucking die you might as fucking well do it in the best fucking shape of your Catatonic life. I know exactly what you need to fucking do. You need a fucking epic, motherfucking intense, balls to the fucking wall training montage!”

Ward looked dead ahead at the massive sculpture at the bottom of the steps. If only he could put a thought together, he would have thought that, if only he could move his finger, he could put the Warchair into turbodrive and charge down the stairs and into the spiky steel monster and hopefully get impaled so he didn’t have to go through with any of Trent’s training montage. But he couldn’t move his finger and he couldn’t think enough to come to that conclusion so he just passively sat there.

“Hit it, Wez!” Trent lashed out a finger to point to his heavy metal bandmates, Buried, who just happened to be gathered in front of the stadium. Wez, with his long wispy, graying, brown beard, wild hair, patch covered sleeveless denim jacket, black Onslaught band t-shirt and camo combat shorts sat at a white grand piano wearing large star shaped sunglasses and sequined top hat. Simon with his ass length straight blonde hair, thick goatee, cargo pants with a bullet belt and a Death Angel band t-shirt was holding up a double-bass with a pink bow tie around his neck. Marshall, the fat fuck with shoulder length black hair, clean shaven face, sweat bands around his wrists and a Sylosis t-shirt sat at a small drumkit wearing a pink fedora.

Wez began pounding out a tune on the ivories which was instantly recognisable as an iconic tune from one of the most metal rock stars to ever grace the planet: I’m still standing by Elton John. The camera flew around the band as the intro played and swooped back over to Trent and settled on Evan’s enthusiastically lifeless face.

The lyrics hit and the scene cut away to a gym, sneakily framed so it looked like only the scenery changed but Evan stayed still.

You could never know what it’s like
Your blood like winter freezes just like ice

Wez’s surprisingly accurate Elton John impression sung loudly at the viewers as the camera pulled back to Evan punching a heavy bag in a gym. It pulled back even further to show Trent standing behind him holding strings attached to Evan’s limbs and was controlling him like a marionette.

And there’s a cold lonely light that shines from you
You’ll wind up like the wreck you hide behind that mask you use

Trent makes Evan jump up to hit a leaping spin kick on the bag but he gets tangled in the ropes and dangles upside down, contorted in awful directions. The scene changes again to another gym!

And did you think this fool could never win?
Well look at me, I’m a-comin’ back again

Ward was laying on a bench lifting a bar with heavy weights on it. His hands seemed to be strapped to the bar with duct tape. He pushed the bar up and down with great effort, though none of it showed on his catatonic face. The drone cam flew above him allowing us to see it wasn’t a bench but the reclined Warchair using its mechanical grabber arms doing the literal heavy lifting

I got a taste of love in a simple way
And if you need to know while I’m still standin’ you just fade away

As the robotic arms pushed the bar up to its highest point, they juddered and one of the motors sent sparks flying everywhere and the arm buckled under the ridiculous weight, which was then supported entirely by Ward’s chest.

Don’t you know I’m still standin’ better than I ever did?

The scene cut away to Evan standing, slumped against the rail of an escalator at a shopping mall as it went up to the next level.

Lookin’ like a true survivor, feelin’ like a little kid

He slipped off the rail and bundled up into a little ball, slowly rolling back down the moving staircase at the exact same speed as the escalator went up.

And I’m still standin’ after all this time

He wasn’t standing, he was rolling.

Pickin’ up the pieces of my life without you on my mind

Constant, never ending escalator barrel rolls.

I’m still standin’ (yeah, yeah, yeah)
I’m still standin’ (yeah, yeah, yeah)

The Buried trio sang as they smoothly moved into shot, coming down on the elevator behind Evan, playing miniature instruments.

Once, I never coulda hoped to win
You’re startin’ down the road, leavin’ me again

The footage cut back to the gym where Evan was skipping, bouncing up and down on the hydraulics of the Warchair as the rope, attached to motors on either side of the chair, spun at increasingly high speed.

The threats you made were meant to cut me down
And if our love was just a circus, you’d be a clown by now

The rope snapped at one end and whipped around Evan’s neck and yanked him down to hang over the side of the chair. The rope tightened and twisted him around.

You know I’m still standin’ better than I ever did
Lookin’ like a true survivor, feelin’ like a little kid

The next scene happened to be at the edge of a very long pier. Evan wad dressed in an olympic style swimming costume, arms held out forward by sticks attached to the armrests of the Warchair, ready to dive in.

And I’m still standin’ after all this time
Pickin’ up the pieces of my life without you on my mind

The camera flew off backwards, showing Trent holding the Warchair above his head and he lobbed the poor guy right into the water with a massive splash.

I’m still standin’ (yeah, yeah, yeah)
I’m still standin’ (yeah, yeah, yeah)

Wez sang with Simon and Marshall on backing vocals as they sailed by the floating Warchair in a little swan-shaped pedalo while shark fins could be seen getting ever closer.

Don’t you know that I’m still standin’ better than I ever did?
Lookin’ like a true survivor, feelin’ like a little kid

Ward was boxing again in the next scene, this time in a seedy underground fight club, surrounded by Australians making bets.

And I’m still standin’ after all this time
Pickin’ up the pieces of my life without you on my mind

The kangaroo he was fighting punched him repeatedly in the face while Evan sat in the Warchair defenceless, blood and a tooth sprayed across the singing metalheads in the audience.

I’m still standin’ (yeah, yeah, yeah)
I’m still standin’ (yeah, yeah, yeah)

Ward was then seen celebrating in victory, arms raised high above his head, jumping up and down as he spun. His hair was also raised high in the air. The camera turned upside down to reveal he was bouncing on a bungee cord off the West Gate bridge in Melbourne, still attached to the Warchair. Wez, Simon and Marshall bounced down to sing the refrain.

I’m still standin’ (yeah, yeah, yeah)
I’m still standin’ (yeah, yeah, yeah)

The footage cut back to the water, where Ward could be seen slowly sinking into the water as a number of sharks circled around him, along with the sing-along-pedalo.

I’m still standin’ (yeah, yeah, yeah)
I’m still standin’ (yeah, yeah, yeah)

The montage faded away on the shot of Ward continuing to roll on the escalator to the repeated chorus line as everyone trying to go up the escalator, including Wez, Simon, Marshall and Trent, stepped over him while ignoring his plight.

The scene faded back in at the steps where we started, the setting sun turned the sky a deep pinky-orange. It was a beautiful sight, looking out past all the arenas and tennis courts over the other side of the train tracks. Trent sat on the steps beside Ward’s Warchair, smoking a large spliff, though compared to the one he smoked in the desert it was rather small.

As the band gently played a jazzy instrumental version of I’m Still Standing behind him, Trent looked across at his charge, who looked calm and peaceful. Dripping wet, covered in bruises and bandages and abrasions and looking entirely dishevelled, his eyes now held the smouldering, fiery passion of a man ready to enter that ring and fight like his life depended on it. Or maybe they were just sore from the sea water. His fingers seemed to grip the armrests tighter than usual but it could have been a muscle spasm. There was possibly a microscopic twitch of his leg, or maybe it was just an evening gust of wind.

Maybe the training had paid off. Maybe, just maybe Trent was actually on to something and all this intense stimulation of Ward’s mind, body and soul had put him on the path to recovery. It was certainly a possibility, but so was the chance it had just wrecked Ward even more and these were all involuntary responses to microstrokes from continued brain damage or degeneration of muscular tissue from atrophy.

“So…” Trent said, pondering all the above thoughts and settling on the sort of opinion a man like Trent would always pick out. “I think that went fucking great, don’t you?” An armrest fell off the Warchair and a sprung spring launched a number of cogs out of the track mechanisms.

If Evan had control over his faculties, and over his body, and had a nice big, heavy shovel in his hands… fucking hell, he would have walloped Trent so hard it flattened that big fat smirk out the back of that big fat jerk’s head. The jury was still out whether Ward was mentally capable of bearing a grudge against Steve Solex, but it was without a doubt, right at that moment, a single, solitary thought popped into his head, just for an instant before it popped and left his mind vacant again. That thought was simply this: “I hate you so much right now, Trent.”