“So… ordinary.. Joe Bergman…”
Max’s raspy, mechanical voice hissed from his mask as he paced back and forth in front of a dark oak desk that was covered in a thin layer of dust. No one had been in this part of the Kael Family Estate in Arkham for years. Artifacts of Max’s past cluttered the walls and the floors of the large office that had become a sort of tomb for the Lord Supreme’s nearly forgotten lives.
“I believe his name is just Joe Bergman, sir.”
Captain Kun said as his eyes slowly scanned the office with curiosity. This is the same captain from last week but since he’s around again, he gets a name, yay! Max pauses, his blue eye glaring at the Captain as his heavy, raspy breaths echo in the room.
“Yes, I know that! I was making a statement. As in Joe Bergman is so god damn ordinary, it’s disgusting!” Max snarled as he continued to pace in his office, his head lifted upward as he began to study his surroundings for the first time. “..when he defeated men I underestimated him and his putrescent breath, he was strange, weird. Interesting. So much so that it caught me off guard that he defeated me! A victory he earned.. Rightfully so. Ironic in a way..”
Max’s blue eye narrowed as he threw his mind back to their first encounter almost a year ago. Then, Halitosis, a lucha with foul breath, managed to catch Max completely off guard taking the last member of the eMpire out of the World Title Tournament. He remembered how outraged he was, how badly his mind burned with rage. The world was on fire in his mind, embarrassment and pride drove him to..
“What is ironic, Sir?” Kun said as his eyes settled on terrifying looking chainsaw on a podium with a small placard beneath it that read LADY MURDERFUCKS.
“That was the loss that made me declare my desire to destroy High Octane Wrestling.. Because I held my loss against Lee, because Michael and Cecilworth were having such a good time in OCW and I felt alone in HOW I guess. I wanted to impress them with something while also pissing in Lee’s good eye..heh-heh.. So I decided to try and kill High Octane Wrestling.” Max said with a reluctant sigh as he walked around the desk he once used as Wilhelm Kael, a cruel reflection of his Uncle. “And atit was fun at first. Me and the boys had a lot of fun poking the bear and tearing down everything about High Octane Wrestling..”
Captain Kun took a step forward and stepped on what appeared to be a broken porcelain mask. He looked down at it for a moment before he heard Max slowly ease into the leather stair behind the wooden desk.
“You probably didn’t watch much High Octane Wrestling while you were back in the Motherland did you?” Max said as he let his arms fall onto the armrests of the chair. It was almost a parody of what Max used to look like in this place almost six years ago. Where his strong chin and frame filled in the chair Max looked like a twisted scarecrow made up to vaguely resemble a human.
His executive officer shook his head as he came to stand directly in front of the wooden desk. He looked up for a moment and noted the considerable number of cobwebs that hung above the desk.
“Well I was a terror. And things were going so well and then..urm.. Well.. “ Seeing that Captain Kun was staring up Max’s own blue eye turned upward to stare at the veritable spider city that clung from the high arched ceiling like a deathly cloud. “Latrodectus variolus, the Northern Black Widow, was the sigil for the Kael family here in Arkham. Kind of our.. Mascot I guess?”
“Should I call an exterminator?” the Captain asked nervously as he stared up into the tangle of webs above counting the tiny black dots in his head.
“No.. no that would seem unfair wouldn’t it? I mean they were here before us and it’s cold outside. Besides, I don’t intend to stay in this part of the house for long. What I am looking for should be in here anyway.” Max said as he looked back down at the desk, his hands wiping the dust away from the top of it as his blue eye darted around in search of something.
“Anyway, sir, you said everything was going so well and then?”
If Max heard he didn’t acknowledge Captain Kun as his fingers finally found a hidden button, triggering it as a small panel on top of the desk snapped open.
“There we are! Oh Wilhelm Kael enjoyed his little secret buttons. Careful, there’s a release pad somewhere over there that drops down into a crocodile pit… I.. I don’t imagine the crocs are alive anymore.” The Lord Supreme Dictator croaked as he flipped the panel open and withdrew a small velvet bag. The edges of his eyes wrinkled as he smiled beneath his breath mask. “Right where we left it!”
Kun’s eyes darted back down at Max just as he reset the wooden panel.
“What is it sir?” the Captain asked as he raised his eyebrow.
“Something we’ll need later. Come on, let’s get out of here and leave it back to the Widows. Collect my ICON title and meet me in the car. We’ve got to fly out to Five Time Academy in Chicago.”
“ICONC title?” Kun ask.
“Yes my IC-.. sorry. LSD. Bring my LSD Championship..”
Max blinked a few times before shaking his head.
Must have just been a slip of the mind.
The muffled sound of engines droned out most of the noise of the airplane cabin Max currently occupied, his face staring down into the IPad he had set up on a table in front of him. Captain Kun appears to be seated somewhere behind him reading a book.
“It’s me, your Lord Supreme Dictator live from the Online Championship Wrestling private jet.. Why a real life, not fake pretend wrestling promotion is called Online Championship Wrestling I have no idea but Michael made them their bitch and now we get to use their Private Jet. At least something about them proved not to be a huge disappointment. Anyway, fuck you Joe Bergman, I wanna wrestle Rah.”
Max’s robotic voice struggled to keep up with the Lord Supreme Dictator’s radical pitch changes. Yanking his customized LSD Championship over his shoulder Max’s blue eye focuses on the screen, his brow furrowing.
“We’ve done this two times already, Halitosis, and I more than outlasted your worthless ass in War Games. Sorry, not Halitosis, Joe Bergman. Fuck, when I decide to change myself I at least keep some consistancy in the brand. I’ve got to face you once again in yet another major Tournament and you know what? I HAVE to win. I don’t have the luxury to lay down during any of my matches cause I already lost to that prick Warrick so now I’ve gotta pray that at least two of you nitwits can beat him while I have to lay each and every last one of you down. Ugh..”
The High Octane Hall of Famer cracks his neck as his raspy breathing scratches at the air. His head slowly shakes from side to side as disappointment washes over what is visible of his face.
“..but there isn’t anything I can do about that now. Now I’ve got to beat you but not so badly that you can’t take down Warrick. I’ve gotta temper my attacks, pull back but not pull back so far that I don’t win. What’s worse for me, Joe, is that I’ve got my LSD Championship up on the line, the title that I’ve built my entire persona around right now! You can’t take that away from me, I won’t let you.. But fuck, here we are in this problem of.. I can’t just cripple you in the middle of the ring. I can’t be the Max Kael from Rumble at the Rock. I’ve gotta be a smidge kinder. A breath friendlier. A proverbial cunt hair softer. That’s not really my thing.”
He sighs as a thin hand scratches at the chin of his mask thoughtfully.
“I’m in a strange place, Joe, where I don’t care for you, I don’t think the changes you’ve made are positive. I think you’re living in the past while trying to build a future which.. Which just doesn’t work. You gave away the thing that made you interesting and now you’re just.. Just.. Joe Bergman with his life and friends. Just another tired husk after you pulled off that mask. The greatest thing that ever happened to you was you got lucky.. Twice.”
He sighs after speaking, his hands reaching up to his temples as he rubs them slowly.
“And yet I have to take you as seriously as I’ve taken my most serious opponent because I can not afford to lose to you. I couldn’t afford to lose to Halitosis and I sure as fuck can’t afford a loss to Regular Joe Bergman. And what would you even do if you won? A waste of a win while me? I’ve actually got goals, lofty goals and purpose. I can make something out of a win in the LBI, you’re just here to be a spoiler. BUT I CAN’T THINK THAT WAY!”
His voice roared before the mask’s audio crackled and fell out of tune unable to keep up. The distortion whined and crackled for a moment before it settled down once more, Max’s red from his ranting.
“I’m taking you deadly serious you stupid normal faced, two-eyed, white bread piece of Middle America! Some people will call this our rubber match cause it’s technically our third match and we’re technically tied. I’m not falling into one and two at Refueled. I’m not losing my fucking LSD Championship. I’m not dismissing you out of hand this time, I’m coming for blood. I’m coming for victory..”
He paused and it was obvious that beneath his mask he was frowning.
“..but I’m not coming quite so hard that you’ll be too hurt to continue this tournament. Aarrgh I fucking hate this! I’m Maximillian Kael, First of my Name..”
Not missing a beat Captain Kun chimes in from the back.
“Long May He Maim.”
“It smells like Hollywood in here…”
Max muttered to himself as Captain Kun and him walked down the well lit gym floor of the Chicago based 5 Time Academy. A few of the local talent were working out while two scrubs including a new hire “Numbers von Fuckstain” were running through programs in the ring. Max cast them a look of casual disgust before he made his way to the basement doors.
He pushed his way through them as he and the Captain made their ways down a flight of stairs into a considerably less well lit area. Down in the basement of the Five Time Academy several hallways lead to different storage areas and extra locker rooms. There was one small room, however, that Max had claimed as his own a few months back and recently found a use for.
“Why did we fly all the way back to Chicago? Your Doctors said they wanted you to stay at the house in Arkham so you could heal faster.” Kun asked quizzically of the Lord Supreme Dictator.
“Because, Captain Kun, in recent years I have come to understand exactly what it was that my Great Uncle Wilhelm Kael was worried about. Legacy, Captain Kun.. Legacy.”
The LSD Champion’s words crackled from his mask as he opened the door to the basement room, a light flickering to life as he did so. Seated in a wheel chair in the corner was very pale Sutler Kael, his face sallow, his eyelids half closed as he stared at the wall. A bed complete with a bed pan lay next to the bed while the rest of the room remained fairly barren. Sutler appeared to be in a hospital gown that was stained around the chest and pits from sweat and vomit. The room smelt of unwashed human.
“My boy! How are you, heh-heh..” Max chortled as he slipped into the room, coiling around the wheelchair like a snake.
Captain Kun stepped in but immediately covered his nose, his eyes staring at Max’s withered adopted son.
“Your boy? You’ve had him locked up here?” He asked, not as concerned for the boy but alarmed that Max just had him tucked in a basement somewhere.
“Oh I leave things all around the world, Captain Kun, you’ll soon find that out. This is my boy, well, adopted boy. Used to be the son of an enemy of mine, Shane Reynolds. I took him as a way to get at him when I fued was running hot and heavy. I did a terrible job raising him and now he wants to see me dead. My family really doesn’t get along heh-heh..” the Lord Supreme Dictator said as he let his hands wrap around the handles of the wheel chair Sutler was standing in.
“And your plan, sir?” The North Kaelrean Captain asked as he folded his arms behind his back.
“Oh I’ve got plans.. Heh-heh, I’ve got plans. In this instance it’s about setting up my legacy. The Legacy of Maximillian Wilhelm Kael..” He hissed as he leaned down, his blue eye staring into the eyes that so reminded him of Shane Reynolds.. He could still see it there, even in the dead eyes of Sutler Kael. Shane Reynolds was staring out at him.. Mocking him.. “Give me your knife..”
Though surprised by Max’s request the Captain did as ordered and pulled a tactical knife from his pocket before handing it over to his commanding officer. Max’s fingers slowly wrapped around it much like a dying spider’s legs curl up.
“What about MAXKAEL Jr? I thought he was supposed to carry on your Legacy.. He is carrying it on right now in North Korea..”
“BAH! MAXKAEL Jr is my disciple but there is no situation where I see him as the one to carry on my true Legacy.. That takes.. Years.. Years of planning. Of cultivating. Of molding.. You think I ended up like this by natural course? People have been dipping their hands into my life for as long as I can remember.. One terrible catastrophe after another, the pain and the suffering mixed with the rage and the blood. It’s all like a dream that is slowly fading..”
He looked down at the knife for a moment to allow his raspy mechanical breathing to fill the silence while he ran the knife slowly across Sutler’s cheek. He reached into his pocket and pulled out the small pouch he had taken from the secret compartment back in the Kael Estate.
“..but Sutler will wake up soon and when he does he’ll wake up into a beautiful new dream, a world I have created for him. A world where he will carry my Legacy. My pain. My joy. My son..heh-heh..”
Stepping away from Sutler Max opened the bag and retrieved what was hidden within. A glass eye, intensely blue, one that once belonged to Max’s former self, Wilhelm Kael. He stared at it as it looked back at him, dead and dispassionate. He turned on his heel and slunk up to Sutler, the knife once again touching his pale cheek.
“After tonight, hopefully we’ll finally see eye to eye..”
Blood started to drip down over the dirty hospital gown where it began to pool in Sutler’s lap. The horrible, distorted sound of Max laughing filled the air causing Captain Kun to wince.
To Be Continued…