How ya doin’ Scotty, it’s been what? A month or two since the last time we shared mean words and beat the fuck out of each other? How’s your month been? Your team won War Games, that’s great. You sold your soul like you do every year, and you got on Team Best through whatever bullshit reasons Lee could think up as usual. That’s great Scotty. What else happened to you at War Games? You wanna remind me?
Oh that’s right, you didn’t outlast Scott Stevens. You got eliminated by Xander Azula. Man, that was almost more productive than last year. Last year you carried your own mace to the ring then got smacked in the face with it by Arthur ‘The Quitter’. Last year was clearly the better work, you brought out the weapon that led to your own demise. I mean, if that’s not impressive, I don’t know what is.
I also wanted to let you know, I don’t give a flying fuck about Ben Reeves. I don’t give a flying fuck who the father is, or whatever episode of Maury you’ve been making sure we all get to see every week. I don’t give a fuck what a NGW is, is it some type of cuck collar Carey has you wear around? Does she pay a subscription service for it? I’m just curious how that relationship is going. Did you see she bought STRONK half a cow? I think that ship has sailed bud, I mean unless you’re into watching. I’m not gonna kink shame, you got all those piercings all over your face. Lord knows you’re into some weird shit.
You know what the fuck I care about Scotty? You really wanna know what I give a shit about?
You hitting me with that fucking barbwire hockey stick.
That’s something I give a fuck about Scotty, that’s something that actually fucking matters. I get it, you were on the mission from the big boss to go out and do what? Fucking tickle me? You nicked my fucking nose like you wanted to name me Rudolph and do a Christmas Special. First off, it’s not Christmas Scotty. Secondly, I don’t want to dress up like a fucking reindeer. Thirdly, you fucking moron, if you’re going to swing the fucking thing and get disqualified you better really fucking swing it.
None of this ‘boop’ shit. You better haul back and try to rip my fucking head off Scotty. Because if you fucking miss, I’m jamming that barbed wire hockey stick straight up your ass.
Last time we got into the ring, and you thought taking the disqualification by swinging that dumb fucking weapon at me, we’d never danced before. And now, look at us, practically going steady Scotty. Pretty soon we’ll be at March 2 Glory and we can pretend like we’re gonna stab each other in the eye. It’ll be cute.
I’m sure Lee will go for that shit, you might need to see if Kostoff can somehow put Lee back into a coma. MOB’s the guy for that idea. See Scotty, Lee might be some incredibly corrupt, degenerate fuckhead. But at least he appreciates violence. He looks at guys like you and I, and wonders how he can get us to attempt to kill each other. He knows people will pay for that shit, they’ll make sure they tune into HOTv to watch guys like us actually try to destroy each other.
But see Scotty, that’s the problem.
I entertain them. Every time I entertain them, what happens? What the fuck goes on? Who makes money? I’ll tell you who doesn’t make any fucking money, me. 72k a year? Shit, guys who run Wal-Mart make more than that. I know quite a few truck drivers who make more than I do. So no Scotty, it’s not us. We don’t make money.
They make the money.
I just want to watch this place bleed Scotty, that’s all I want. I want to watch The Best’s feel an ounce of pain. I want to watch them suffer, I want to watch them struggling, hurt and confused. I want it so bad Scotty, I dream about it, I think about it when I’m taking a shit. I think about it when I’m driving my truck.
It’s like a bad fucking country song about an abusive relationship. How many times do I keep coming back when they try to fuck me over as hard as they can? How many times do I lace the boots up and keep soldiering on? How many more times Scott? Who else are they going to send after my HOTv championship? Do I have to fight the entire team from War Games? Is that what I get? Is that how he’ll wear me down?
I look at you Scotty, and I’m disgusted. Not because of who you are, not because of what you’ve become. I despise you because you don’t do anything to change it. You’ve let this narrative seep in, you’ve let your greed take the place of your morals. I can see that stupid symbol for anarchy tattooed on your chest to look like it’s from your own blood. It’s plain as day Scotty, and yet you still suffer under the yoke of the machine?
Why did you use your own blood as a metaphor in that piece of body art? Was it because you needed to tell everyone how serious you were about the cause? Did someone tell you that you were a poser or a fraud when you were in high school? Pretty bold statement, that giant fucking A on your chest. Now that you work for the machine, do you regret it? Do you regret the decade plus of rage and disregard for authority?
I need to know Scotty.
I have to know.
Because that could be me, if all this goes wrong, if someone turns on me, if I’m never able to make them bleed…
I could end up just like you.
The Behemoth had been spending the majority of his time away from the ring locked in a basement or a bomb shelter with Steve Solex. But after what had taken place at Chaos, Clay had decided to give Solex and Scotty Junior some space. Steve needed to recover, he needed to recuperate. Clay on the other hand needed to prepare for another dangerous opponent.
Clay walked out of the Midway Airport into the muggy late afternoon in Chicago. The humidity in the midwest made The Behemoth sweat instantly. The dry heat of west Texas would hurt your skin as you walked in it, the humidity made it hard to breathe. His eyes darted around, all the congested traffic, the cars driving the loop around the airport over and over again looking for their friends.
That’s not what he needed though, what he needed was the shuttle to his hotel. Clay stuck out like a sore thumb in The Windy City, he towered over the regular passengers, normally someone approached him somewhere. But here in Chicago? The home of The Best’s? There were no interactions with fans, no chance of mooching a free ride. It was just frustration. The Behemoth walked to the shuttle pick up and drop off area and waited. After a few moments, a jingling noise caught The Behemoth’s attention and he whipped his head in its direction.
Planes were taking off left and right, but that damn jingling noise was still there. It sounded almost like sleigh bells, if all of Santa’s sleigh bells were rusty and being used as heroin spoons by the reindeer. But the sound continued to approach The Behemoth, a business man had taken up residence beside him.
“I hope that’s not for us,” Clay smirked as he tilted his head towards the man standing beside him. The man looked up and smiled, his noninterest in a thirty second friend was apparent. Clay turned his head back toward the jingling sound, and finally, bouncing over every speed bump like it was stolen came the shuttle for the hotel. It screeched to a halt in front of the shuttle waiting area.
“Hotels at Midway: Marriott, Holiday Inn, Courtyard, and Residence Inn!” The man driving shouted, The Behemoth sighed as he lugged his large gym bag onto the airport shuttle. Clay tested the floor of the shuttle by bouncing a bit as he walked towards the back to his seat.
The clanging and banging of the shuttle continued as the man driving made left turn after left turn. He weaved between cars, almost got cut off, narrowly missed an accident, and caused one on the left turn into the hotel complex. The four and a half minutes of eventful driving left Clay scrambling off the shuttle.
The enormous man didn’t even see the American flag painted cow out front. He didn’t see the #97RED stripe down the side of the shuttle, or the photographs of The Best Family along the side. He walked into the hotel, and as far away from that death machine and the crazy man driving it as he could get. The lobby of The Marriott was nice, but he wanted away from all of the people. Children ran through one hallway soaking wet, clearly coming from the pool.
Clay caught the first free attendant he could find at the counter and approached. The lady took one long look at him, mumbled something under her breath about ‘a stupid fucking hat’ and continued staring at her computer screen.
“Reservation under Byrd,” The Monster from Plainview said to the woman his irritation was already apparent. The ladies name was displayed across her golden name tag. ‘Marguerita’.
“Clayton Byrd?” Marguerita asked, her brow furrowed as she stared at the computer screen. Her face continued to contort as she continued to read the screen. The Behemoth grew impatient and sat his gym bag on the counter while she continued to look. The audible ‘thunk’ the bag made caused a side eyed glance from our Marriott attendant.
“Nothing here under Clay Byrd,” Marguerita shrugged her shoulders. Her nonchalant demeanor had already upset the enormous Texan in front of her. She carried on, her fake smile still clear.
“Can you check and make sure I didn’t reserve it at the wrong hotel?” Clay asked, doing his best to subdue his emotions. He remembered reserving the room sitting at the airport.
Another customer left one of the other front desk attendants, and a new one stepped up. Clay listened as the man was greeted, and helped almost immediately. They quickly booked the man a room and everything…
“Nope, nothing in Chicago under Clay Byrd.” Marguerita said, she glanced behind Clay at the line forming.
“Well, can I get a room?” Clay asked, and Marguerita rolled her eyes and began furiously pecking away at the keyboard. Clay tried to lean over to see what she was typing, but she was typing faster than he could interpret. Clay continued to listen to the pleasant interaction going on beside him, continuing to wish he had a different front desk worker.
“Sorry sir, we don’t have any vacancies.” Marguerita said with a shrug of her shoulders. Clay mumbled to himself as he scooped his bag up and slung it over his shoulder. Marguerita tried to call the customer behind him, but Clay remained standing in their way.
“That feller just got a room…?” Clay said as a question. Marguerita smiled and beckoned the next person in line to the front of the queue, stepping to the side of Clay. The Behemoth grumbled and started to walk away from the counter.
“Oh, I heard there were no vacancies?” The next customer said to Marguerita, she smiled and beckoned the man to the computer as Clay stormed out. As he walked out of the front door he came eye to eye with Michael Best’s face. It stared at him from the side of the recently returned shuttle.
“Motherfucker!” Clay shouted to nobody in particular. He stomped across the parking lot.
“I bet those fucks paid that bitch off…”
“Probably fucking with me…”
“GOD I fucking hate them so fucking much…”
The Behemoth waltzed into the lobby of the Holiday Inn Express across the street. The hotel was nowhere near as nice as The Marriott, one front desk attendant fought his way through a horde of people. Clay waited in line behind a number of different families, he kept glancing at the empty computer beside the man, but nobody ever came. Clay couldn’t wait to see what kind of bullshit they had prepared for him at The Holiday Inn Express. His thoughts racing through the elaborate conspiracy theory.
Clay didn’t pay any attention as the front desk clerk called for him the first time.
Finally The Behemoth pulled himself out of his thoughts around an elaborate conspiracy and approached the front desk. He placed his bag on the counter, pulled his hat back away from his face and smiled.
“I need a room, prefer a king bed,” The Monster from Plainview said. He glanced to his right, noticing a homeless man sleeping on a green couch in the lobby. He couldn’t make out if the stains were recent, or if they had been baked into the couch over years of neglect.
“You’re in luck! We just had a man cancel. Said he couldn’t make the once in a lifetime gathering his friends had planned at the Marriott or something. Anyway, I’ll get that worked up for you.” Clay nodded his head and continued through the standard hotel check in interaction. The man was quick, and slid the two white room keys across the counter to him.
“These work for the gym too?” Clay asked the man behind the counter who almost choked as he laughed. The coughing filled laugh slowly rolled into a full blown cackle. He finally calmed down, and shook his head back and forth vigorously.
“You guys don’t have a gym?” Clay asked, still confused by the initial reaction. The clerk motioned for Clay to come in closer.
“No sir, glad we don’t. We’d just have a bunch of homeless men, and people’s children running around on the machines all day…” the clerk whispered to Clay.
“That’s weird… normally hotels have…” Clay tried to respond with a rhetorical question but the overly friendly clerk gave him an answer anyway.
“Normally hotels aren’t for just ‘The Poors,’” the man continued to whisper as Clay sighed to himself. He lifted the giant bag over his shoulder again and walked towards the elevator. He pressed the button and waited, finally after what felt like an eternity the single elevator opened up on the ground floor. A large group of men, women, and children poured out of the elevator.
“Fuck.” Clay mumbled to himself as he looked at the floor of the elevator. It was covered in either pool water or piss, but based on the smell of the lobby he couldn’t tell which.
“I’ll just take the fucking stairs,” Clay turned towards the starewell as another rush of people ran into the singular elevator.
“Fuck.” Clay mumbled once again as he opened the door to the stairwell and the stench of reefer and urine overwhelmed his sense of smell. Initially Chicago had been a planned home for The Behemoth. When he had signed the deal with Lee Best a year and six months ago he had every intention of making Chicago his permanent base of operations. The Best Arena facilities close by. The potential camaraderie with his fellow Best Alliance members. Chicago had been a natural landing place. But this place definitely wasn’t home now. And it never would be. Not because of the poors, not because of the people of the city… but because it belonged to ‘Them.’
And they would all pay… every single fucking one of them.