Time is an illusion, merely a measurement of the concept of entropy measured against a constant, something like the planets rotation and then it’s rotation around the sun. It’s something we track down to the second so as to add some order to our lives, a structure so reliable we never even question it.
It doesn’t exist though so neither does time travel.
Because it isn’t just a matter of sitting in your room moving one year forward in time and one year back in time.. You aren’t, cosmically speaking, anywhere near when you started. We’re moving through space which is also, in turn, constantly expanding and changing ever outward. Simply moving through “time” would leave you in the dark void of space or encountering whatever odd celestial anomaly you might encounter.
More importantly you’d be dead.
So not only is moving through time fundamentally impossible, because it doesn’t really exist, but you’d also need to find a way to move through space as well.
Or maybe I’m full of shit and have no idea what I am talking about which is also very possible.
All I’m trying to say is that Time isn’t real and there is no way time travel is possible.
And yet here we are, about to start this story in a place that should be impossible.
In a dirty back alley in Chi-town circa 2005 we find a disheveled man, long in bone but lean on muscle. Winter is still in high gear and the cold chill of Chicago is unlike any on earth. The wind sings a daggers song as it cuts to your marrow, the snow mixes with rain and ice which spatters in your face like spit straight from Old Man Winter’s lips.
Not the kind of place you want to be outside for.
The cold didn’t bother the man so much as he stumbled down the alleyway, a tattered looking preachers coat pulled up over his shoulders as dirty, slush covered black trousers terminated in a pair of worn leather wrestling boots.
Long, wild hair stuck up into the air definitely, ice covering the tips of the muddy hair. His pale, sickly face was set with two dark brown eyes that glared up at the Best Arena. The man looked hungry, not just for food but for life, for attention, to love, for any kind of human emotion. He had been on the outside for so long all he craved, all his body called for was just.. Some acceptance.
That chance would come in two weeks when he’d wrestle for the first time in a High Octane Wrestling dark match to prove he deserved a contract.
They said if you made it to HOW you’d never need to work anywhere else again. You’d get in, become a star, make your millions and retire before you ended up growing old and pathetic desperate to hold onto your glory days..
Max Kael was smarter then that. He’d make his money and leave this awful business behind.. Maybe move to the islands and enjoy retirement on a warm beach.
..first this first though, he’d need to win that contract..
“You think it looks good now, wait four more years.. Lee renovates this two more times and it’s truly a breathtaking Cathedral to Violence..”
A harsh, angry voice called from behind Max. The young man tensed and turned quickly, his fists raised as he looked ready for a fight. The voice was familiar to him, he recognized it he just couldn’t place from where.
“Oh don’t worry Max, I’m not here to fight you. I’m here to help you.. Help us.” The voice called out from the shadows behind him before the soft sound of slushy snow being step one preceded the appearance of his older self, Maximillian Wilhelm Kael, wearing a long black winter coat and a three piece black suit. His face was undamaged, his lips healed and his mask nowhere to be seen.
“..the fuck is this?!” the young Max hissed as he took a step back, his black eyes wild like that of a feral dog staring up into the eyes.. Er.. eye of his older doppelganger.
“Don’t think about it too much, as I said I am here to help you, me.. us…” the LSD Champion said coyly as he lifted up his right hand, the golden OCW Hall of Fame Infinity Gauntlet glimmering in the cold, wet Chicago night. “I’ll just get it all out of the way quickly, like ripping a bandaid off. Yes, you do join High Octane Wrestling and yes, you do find what you are looking for there but there is a cost. Sacrifice. So much sacrifice..”
He takes a step forward as the strange body harness that Max requires to wrestle in is visible including his eyepatch and metal teeth. The younger Max glares forward, his expression unchanged though his hands do slowly lower. The wind howls between the two of them, the Minister’s frozen tangle of hair barely moving while MWK’s long coat flaps loudly in a strong gust of ice.
“..what do you want from us.” the Minister replies in a flat tone, his head dipping down as his shoulders pull back. It was strange for him, looking at himself as the Minister all those years ago. He had forgotten what he looked like, how small he was, how starved and angry and filled with hunger he was.
“I’ve encountered a time traveling opponent, a man named Brenton Cross. He’s actually the reason I have these time traveling powers at all.. I’ve defeated him before but this time I’ve decided to use the powers of time travel I stole off him to work to stack everything in my favor. I reason, this guy is but one man and one man can get lucky.. But against more than one Max Kael? How could I possibly be defeated?!” Max said as he took another step forward. “..you do this, you help me, and I’ll make sure that you become the biggest star to ever shine in High Octane Wrestling.. What do you say?”
“No, listen, we don’t have time for this..”
“You said you had time travel powers, you have all the fucking time in the world and I accept my payments up front.”
Maximillian Wilhelm Kael looked exasperated as he let his head rest in his hands. Pace in front of him in a #97red three piece suit with a black dress shirt and a bald head was Max Best, the adopted son of Lee Best who had attempted to supplant Michael Best as the sole inheritor of High Octane Wrestling. He had a bemused look on his face as he folded his hands behind his back.
“So I want you to go collect Michael Best for him and bring him here, beaten and handcuffed, so that I can assure Lee that he isn’t going to defeat me when I put my name on the line against him, okay?” Max Best said as he looked down at this one eyed self.
“I’m not going to go look for Michael, besides, as much as you hate him right now he really sin’t that bad.. I mean he is that bad.. He’s real, real bad but in a totally likable way. Trust me in a few years you’re going to be thick as thieves with him, what I’m working on is so much more important for us! I just.. Need you to come with me and take care of one thing for me and if you do then I promise, in the end, we are all going to win. I promise you.” Max pleaded with his Lee warped self. He had forgotten how deeply he had fallen for Lee’s tactics, how much he believed that the boss would legitimately trade Michael out for him.
“Then I’m afraid I can’t help you. Lee always said if you make a deal it best serve you more than it serves anyone else and honestly, sounds like something my idiot former self would say.” Best snorted as he practically thumbed his nose at Max.
“..fine. FINE. You want help with Michael? Do you really want to know how to defeat him? I’ll tell you.” Max said with a sneer as he sprang up to his feet. Max Best turned slowly with a smile stretched across his lips. He sauntered toward Max with a devious smile stretched across his face.
“Well then speak up.. What does it take to destroy Michael?!” Max Best unbuttoned his jacket and let his hands rest of his hips, his eyes lazer locked on Max’s blue eye. “..and how the FUCK did I lose another EYE?!”
“Oh shit, you still have both of the boy eyes! I totally forgot that we had Michael’s eyes set into your head.. Wait.. wait what do I look like right now?” The High Octane Hall of Famer Max suddenly realized what era he had decided to stop in. He remembered how Mike Best, Lee Best’s brother, had eyes that saw the world.. A little differently.
“Oh dude.. You uh. You definitely don’t want to know. It’s fine. I’m learning to cope with the Gay Vis-”
“Woah, Woah, gotta stop you right there Maxy Best, we’re in your timeline but I’m still Max Prime and we’ve evolved beyond calling them.. What, what we called them back in..2012? 2013? A lot has changed and we can’t use the term Gay Verrr, Son of a Gun. We just saw the world through a different lense, I’m sorry I brought it up, let’s just move on. The Secret to Defeating Michael Lee Best.” Max sighed and walked toward Max Best with a solemn look on his face.
The two stared at each other in the eye for a moment before Max blinked, or perhaps winked at Best.
A swift kick catches Max Best completely off guard as Max’s foot connects with the grundle and pushes upward tagging the back of his nuts and down the shaft where the head snaps off the toe of the LSD Champion’s shoe. The color drains out of Best’s face as his hands clutch at his groin, a weezing gasp sneaking out of his lips.
“Mike lost his last two matches by kicking his opponent in the nether region. Taaadaaa.. Now get up, we’ve got work to do.” Max snarled as he turned and marched away.
Max Best’s face flushes red as he lets out a hateful grunt before falling to the side with a whimper..
Captain Kun stared down at the various security screens that glowed before him. The entirety of the Kael Estate was on the security network and he could see, well, everything. That included several cameras that had been pointed at Max in his special chamber where he had been left earlier with Mike Best’s Infinity Gauntlet.
“What’s he been doing since he got that” Kun said as he stared down at the monitor where Max Kael appeared to be jumping around the room’s furniture avoiding the floor.
“Sir, he spent the first two hours waving his fist around declaring he was going to travel through time using the special power he had stolen from Brenton Cross.” One of the North Kaelrean Soldiers seated at the security desk answered. Kun shook his head slowly as he stared at his idiot of a boss.
“He said it was the key to defeating Brenton Cross.” Kun said in an annoyed tone.
A North Kaelrean soldier approached the Captain holding a folder which she held out toward him.
“Captain Kun, we believe we might have an explanation for what is happening. We were going back over the footage earlier and discovered this.” She said as Kun accepted the folder and opened it. Several stills from the security footage reveal Max Kael retrieving a vial of some sort with the words TIME TRAVEL JUICE written on them. He immediately pours the liquid down his throat before parading around the Gauntlet.
“..what was in that vial?”
Max lifted his LSD Championship belt up, his blue eye staring at it gleefully.
He chuckled to himself as he slapped the title back over his shoulder and jumped from the couch over the sea of boiling lava into his dark wooden throne.
“That’s what makes me an amazing LSD Champion.. Dare I say it the GREATEST LSD Champion in the history of High Octane Wrestling. I’ve never seen Scott Woodson jump across a sea of lava with his two best fri-”
Max paused as he looked over to see Max Best and the Minister seated on the couch. Max’s smile wavered for a moment before he looked forward again.
“..two of my other selves… maybe some of my Best Selves? Sure let’s go with that.. Some of my best selves crossing Lava bridges and hustling Jungle Wyverns to reach my deserved throne where I will deliver the most brutal burn of a promo ever devised by the three greatest Max’s to ever exist! The promo that will break Brenton Cross, the promo that will leave no doubt in anyone’s mind that I, Maximillian Wilhelm Kael, First of my NAME…”
He pauses, his head snapping over toward the Minister and Max Best with a baleful glare.
“Long may he maim..”
They answer in a disinterested tone but it’s all Max Kael needs to feel appreciated. His smile returns as he bounces up and down on his throne, his hands clapping together furiously.
“Yes! YES! They did the thing.. Good-good. See here is the thing Brenton Cross, you’ve got a few victories under your belt that I wouldn’t have expected. You’ve got more skills then I think most people would be willing to give you credit for but not me, nope.. I used time travel to find TWO more of myself to bring them to the present so they could help me figure out a way to defeat you. That’s how fucking serious I am.. Do you think any other jackass here in High Octane Wrestling would go to all that trouble?! NO. Just me.. Just Maximillian Wilhelm Kael, First of my name..”
“We’re not doing that again.:” the Minister hisses toward Max as he folds his arms across his chest.
“Yeah, we did the one, it felt kind of gross, I don’t really feel like doing that again.” Max Best says in support of the Minister’s opinion.
“No fucking fun..” Max snorts as he shakes his head. “So here’s the deal here Brenton Cross, we’ve faced each other before, I’m sure I’ve mentioned that a few times. I know how you fight, I know how you wrestle, I know how far you’re willing to go to get shit done. Getting yourself captured in North Korea only to break yourself out just in time to make it to our match? That.. that is a dangerous man and I salute you in that regard. I kind of like you though, because as I said, only I would go through all the trouble. But you know what I’ve realized? You know what all this time hoping has taught me?”
Max’s smile vanishes as he slowly stands up from his chair.
“Time is a slave master.. Destiny is a .. a cruel mistress. With the gift you have given me I am no longer a slave to reality. I.. I can change things as I want. I can build up this universe or tear it all down. In my quest to defeat you I learned something so much more.. Now that I have the Minister and Max Best with me.. I don’t need my friends anymore! I don’t need to worry about the beeping Voicy Boys box because my boys are always right here with me! Brenton Cross you set me free with this power and I’m sorry I’m going to have to use it to destroy you.. I’m sorry that you couldn’t be as brilliant as me and my other selves!.. Heh-heh..”
Max licks the surface of the LSD Championship as he pulls it close to himself.
“..because I’m Maximillian Wilhelm Kael.. remember boys.. With gusto this time.. FIRST.. Of my NAME!..”
Max’s face flushes red as his blue eye rolls to the side in search of the Minister and Max Best. To his surprise they are gone.. Instead a couch remains, the cushions knocked out. He blinks and turns forward.
He’s staring at his T.V., a pair of sweatpants pulled over his shoulder. The world seems distant but the dull reality of it slowly sets in as he feels his body ache, that pain chased away by the LSD he had taken earlier returning.
Sinking into the chair Max’s hand cradles his forehead.