Are you, you? Am I me?

Are you, you? Am I me?

Posted on January 21, 2022 at 6:56 pm by Clay Byrd

The Behemoth sat quietly. The weight of the situation permeated through his thoughts. Each moment that ticked by on the clock was another wasted in procrastination. He’d been putting the contemplation off, the menagerie of thoughts drifting in and out of his consciousness. A small bit of coping here, a little more there. The feelings of loss, of disconnect, they bothered the man from Plainview. Things weren’t right in his own mind, and now he had to find a partner. 

 

He had to find a man The Monster could trust, and there were only a few of those souls left on the High Octane roster. If you had asked The Behemoth to embark on a quest of this magnitude before War Games he would have eagerly accepted and even excelled at the task. He’d have looked through the Alliance roster, figuring out the teams in his own mind. Who worked well with who, who could feed off of their partner’s energy. 

 

One name stood out to Clayton Byrd, one man who would understand his plight. One man he hadn’t betrayed, destroyed, or maimed. Steve Harrison was off twisting in the nether, his knee aching in agony, Cancer Jiles had proven himself useless. Jace Parker Davidson had been smashed to pieces, Jatt Starr had turned his back on The Behemoth. And then there was Sektor… the man who had swooped in on his revenge over Ted Palmer… 

 

None of them would fit, none of them could fit. There was only one, one man he could rely on from his year long history in High Octane Wrestling. The Monster from Plainview sat staring at his phone, his finger hovering over the name. What was the man even calling himself these days? What world was the man living in? Could he be trusted? 

 

Could Steve Solex be trusted to be Steve Solex? 

 

Clay’s mind flashed back to the summer when he had picked up one of the personalities that occupied Steve’s body in the limousine. He’d called himself Shawn Kutter that day to The Behemoth. Everything had been different, every movement that Steve took felt peculiar. The way he ran his hand through his hair was different, Shawn Kutter’s confidence level was different than Steve’s. 

 

Everything that made Steve a violent, killing machine. Everything that made Steve a good soldier, Kutter watered down with his own agenda. He’d only witnessed the change briefly, only in the limousine and in the office that evening. But first impressions normally tell the whole story, and Kutter was not the persona that Clay Byrd wanted to go to war with. 

 

All the ifs, ands, or buts in the world didn’t change the facts of the matter at hand. Clay Byrd needed a partner, and there was only one man in the world he could trust with that task. The only man he had ever truly trusted with that task. 

 

Clay looked down at the name and finally pressed it to make the call. 

 

——————————–

 

Hello Scott, my name’s Clay. It’s nice to finally make your acquaintance. Congratulations on the Hall Of Fame.  I’m glad you could take the time out of yer Hall of Fame filled day ta address me. It made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Just gettin’ recognized by a Hall of Famer like yerself is a fantastic achievement. Nothin’ makes me happier than havin’ someone dredge up my past like it matters. 

 

Thank ya fer remindin’ me ‘bout my failures Scott.

 

Do ya think I need remindin’? Do ya think I’m so fuckin’ stupid that I can’t remember my own biggest failures? Did ya go read a wikipedia article on my career ta come up with that information? You sound like a robot got caught fuckin’ Tom Hiddleston and out walked yer stupid Texas lovin’ ass. 

 

What? Ya think ‘cause I’m from Texas I’m goin’ ta like ya? You’ve been workin’ fer that greasy fuck MOB. The son of a bitch that ruined my fuckin’ match at Iconic, the son of a bitch that figured out a way ta build a tournament bracket where I didn’t get my fuckin’ hands on anyone that I wanted ta. You’ve been doin’ all his dirty work under the guise of bein’ an official? 

 

Aren’t ya supposed ta be fuckin’ retired?

 

I hate fuckin’ slime balls like yerself, and this place is fuckin’ full of ‘em. Hell ya practically stole Sutler’s entire ass kissin’ persona. What’s next, ya gonna go clean the latrine with yer tongue before MOB sits his rich pampered keister on it? You pathetic sack of fuckin’ garbage. Number one contender who couldn’t even bring himself out for the tournament at Iconic. 

 

You scared little bitch. 

 

Why didn’t ya wander yer way inta Iconic? Did Mr. Best give ya direct orders ta make sure ya were at the ticket takin’ counter? Ta make sure ya weren’t anywhere fuckin’ near that match with a fifty foot pole. Scared, coward, fake ass Texan pile of garbage. I bet yer a fuckin’ transplant or somethin’. I wouldn’t know though, ‘cause I ain’t lookin’ up a Wikipedia article ta figure out the last time ya were fuckin’ relevant. 

 

All I am is relevance Stevens. I was somehow involved in every major match this promotion has seen since War Games. Sure, I wasn’t fightin’ Mike and Conor at Rumble at The Rock. But they knew in the back of their minds they were fightin’ ta fight me. Cause there wasn’t a chance in hell Jace Parker Davidson was wanderin’ his way out of that Infirmary match the winner. Just like there isn’t a chance that you and some Kobe Bryant knock off are walking out of Refueled. 

 

Mamba might as well tilt the stick on the helicopter directly at the ground. ‘Cause that son of a bitch would rather be dead on a hillside than have ta deal with a pissed off Clay Byrd. I’m sorry yer partner got ya inta this Mamba. I’m sure ya thought ya were gettin’ a raw deal with Scott fuckin’ Stevens as yer partner anyway. So do me a favor, let that stupid fuck wander his way inta the ring, so I can beat the details of my career from one side of his head ta the other. 

 

Cause I’m gonna break his fuckin’ neck Mamba. I’m gonna hurt this little pussified bitch, and if you get in my way for a single, solitary fuckin’ second. I’m gonna launch yer ass the fuck out of that arena by yer fuckin’ shoe strings. 

 

That’s just what I’m gonna do ta Scott Stevens, let alone what Steve ‘The Soldier’ Solex is gonna do ta him. This match is gonna make carpet bombin’ Nazi Germany look like a regular fuckin’ Tuesday. You have two of the meanest, nastiest, toughest sons of bitches on the roster comin’ fer ya. Buckle up yer chin straps, get yer fuckin’ helmets on. ‘Cause one of ya ain’t walkin’ out of that ring alive. 

 

And I hope it’s Scott fuckin’ Stevens. I hope ta whatever GOD ya believe in Mamba ya take my advice and leave that stupid son of a bitch high and dry. Slither away and live ta fight another day, and let me stomp a mudhole in that boy’s ass that he’s never gonna forget. Nothin’ would make me happier than breakin’ MOB’s hand picked number one contender in half. Let him do some scramblin’ ta figure some shit out for once. 

 

The long and the short of it boys, I’m very, very, very angry. And you two are bein’ put in the ring fer me ta take my problems out on. Thanks for comin’ back, I hope ya both enjoyed yer short stay. ‘Cause that’s all it’s goin’ ta fuckin’ be. 

 

———————————

 

Clay walked away off the porch leaving Solex holding the door knob in his hand. Steve had seemed perturbed about the Kutter references, almost like he couldn’t believe that Clay knew. Mental disease is a fascinating thing, and Steve’s was as perplexing as it was astonishing. But The Behemoth had his own demons to work through, and what he’d just seen had bothered him. He’d glanced up into the house at the window, and saw a familiar face staring back down at him. 

 

His father’s face was entrenched in his psyche, the old man’s grizzled appearance and the way he stared at him made him feel uneasy. He’d only seen that look a few times as a child, and the disappointment across the man’s face haunted him. Iconic had been difficult on The Monster from Plainview. He’d wanted nothing more than to get his hands on Mike Best or Cecilworth Farthington for what they’d done to his arm. 

 

And he’d failed. 

 

They had also failed though, while that brought a little satisfaction to The Behemoth, the fact he hadn’t played a part in their downfall stuck in his craw. Claude had told him in the back not to get involved when MOB had set the two up as the first match. Clay needed to save his strength, and as he watched Cecilworth Farthington stomp a hole in Mike Best’s face his temper flared. 

 

Cecilworth Farthington hadn’t deserved the honor of smashing Mike Best’s face. 

 

The Behemoth had. 

 

He’d sat in the back and stewed on the result, the man who had actually broken his arm was still in the tournament. He’d have to settle for that little bit of satisfaction he’d thought. But as Jeffrey James Roberts and Jatt Starr went to war he felt the rage inside, it built, and built. And finally as he walked through the curtain in London it had come to a crescendo. 

 

He had to guarantee himself that trip to the next round to get a crack at Farthington, and he beat the piss out of Conor Fuse with his cast to try to make up for the cruel tournament draw he had received. But Conor Fuse had outwitted the Texan, and was the better man. He’d vanquished the Monster from Plainview even after the beatdown. The Behemoth could do nothing in the back as he recovered, and watched Conor Fuse run through the tournament with the aid of his knew band of misfits. 

 

Jatt Starr and Jace Parker Davidson? Of all people? 

 

It’d been a month since Iconic, and The Behemoth was still perplexed. Sure, in hindsight it made sense. But in the moment, Clay couldn’t believe what he had seen. Something inside of him felt betrayed, felt wronged. Watching the man he had apologized to align himself with Jace Parker Davidson and Mario Marauko bothered him. It festered like an open wound. It was the intelligent thing to do in the situation he was in, it was the correct decision. 

 

But it wasn’t the type of decision that Conor Fuse would normally make. 

 

Maybe there was something to that, High Octane had always been an unpredictable place. The unfettered violence was it’s calling card, but shock and awe had always been it’s wow factor. He’d learned early on in his career to expect the unexpected, but the lesson The Behemoth had yet to learn was to be the unexpected. 

 

His actions, what his thought process was, everything Clay Byrd was going to do down to what he had eaten for breakfast had become predictable. Being predictable had led him to being one of the most consistent superstars in High Octane, but what it hadn’t done was lead him to the promised land. Clay Byrd has had two opportunities two dance with the #97RED lady, and yet nimrods and idiots like Scott Stevens mocked him for it. 

 

They had the right though, they had felt her warm embrace. The assuredness of having her wrapped around their waist, even Brian Hollywood had managed to feel her embrace. And yet here was Clay Byrd, a man feared by most of the roster, incapable of taking that step to the next level. Was he doomed to always be one of the best but not the best? Was his career going to be defined by the almosts instead of what was? 

 

This tournament was another vehicle for revenge. This tournament was another opportunity to become something greater. He would align himself with the only man he trusted, and they’d try to take on the world. In a fight, in a chaotic situation, there wasn’t a man on the roster you’d rather have with you than Steve Solex. When the shit got weird, when the unexpected happened, you needed to be predictable, your thoughts and actions needed to be rehearsed and . And when Steve was Steve, he was unbelievably consistent. 

 

The Behemoth smirked as he finally put his hand on the door to his truck, preparing to leave for New York. He looked back, first at the window to see his fathers face still lingering there. Then to Steve. A simple waive and The Monster from Plainview was off, down the road for his next attempt at glory. Clay would worry about Steve being Steve in the ring, but what Steve didn’t know is that he needed to worry about Clay being Clay. 

 

The Behemoth had a lot to process, and this drive would have to be where it happened if he and Solex were to have success in the tournament. He started the truck and found the nearest country station and headed off down the road towards New York.