Six-Time Academy… the hall that Mike Best built. His entire legacy, built under one roof. When Michael Lee Best sailed off into the sunset, Six-Time would remain. Six-Time would continue his work, and Clay Byrd couldn’t have that. Clay stood in the hallowed hall of High Octane Wrestling, with a can of gasoline.
“This entire place is a shrine to him,” The Behemoth mumbled to himself. He’d left the lights off in the building to not raise any suspicion, as he continued his grim work. The gasoline sloshed in the can as the giant wandered through the academy, throwing it at anything and everything that looked remotely flammable.
“Thought ya was just gonna jump me again and I’d just saunter off? Naa, that’s not how this works mother fucker,” Clay continued on his warpath through the offices. Michael’s office had a layer of dust across the desk, at least what Clay thought was dust. He threw the fuel on a cardboard cutout of Mike, and he kicked his chair over. But he wasn’t going to do anything the fire couldn’t. All this ‘stuff’ would be gone. All the work he had done, and minions he had created would vanish in the flames. Clay walked out back into the hallway and turned back towards the training area. He had almost walked past a room he definitely was hell bent on burning to the ground. He looked at the bronze plaque on the wall and smirked.
“Yer Daddy put a fuckin’ chip in my brain, no way I’m lettin’ anythin’ in here survive,” The Monster laughed as he kicked open the door. The office was unbelievably small, the chair could hardly be pulled out from the desk. Clay looked back at the narrow door, and then at the desk, wondering how it had managed to make it in. The Behemoth looked past the desk, to a pile of t-shirts laying in a corner on the floor. He first tossed the gasoline there, and carefully walked himself backwards to the desk.
“So why are we doin’ this Clay?”
The Monster from Plainview spun around, looking for the voice in the darkness. Something had spoken to him, somehow that voice had reached through the eerie blackness. The voice of his father was unmistakable to The Behemoth. He walked back towards the doorway.
“I SAID WHY ARE YOU DOIN’ THIS BOY!”
Clay felt pulled, almost forced to look towards the desk. He threw Sutler’s random Human Resource documents into the pile of t-shirts. He searched the desk over, looking for whatever was making the noises. Had Sutler found a video of his Dad from wrestling? Was this some elaborate stunt that never came to fruition?
“You’re makin’ a mistake Clay…”
The Behemoth gripped the head of the desk chair with his enormous hands, almost tearing through the black leather fabric and jettisoned it into the corner. The chair exploded as it hit the wall, with the bottom, slamming to the floor of the office. Clay took a deep breath, and finally noticed the silver dish on the table. Clay picked it up, dumping the gum wrappers and cigarette butts on the floor. He turned it over in his hands for a moment, the eye in the center, formerly blue and then red, was only black. As he went to slip it into his back pocket his hand bumped up against something.
Clay tried to grab ahold of whatever it was, but it streaked for the door. Whatever ungodly hell the Kael family kept at Six-Time couldn’t be set free in the city of Chicago. The Behemoth managed to grab it by the shirt collar before it could get out in the hallway. He jerked the small… thing back into the office and slammed it against the wall.
“What the fuck kinda sick twisted little thing are you?” Clay roared as he dropped the gas can on the ground and drug the small humanoid into the lighting of the hallway.
“You some type of fuckin’ killer robot? Some type of murder zombie? What the fuck are you?” Clay huffed, looking down at the small thing he had in his grasp. The boy no more than fourteen years old shrugged his shoulders and tried to force his way out of The Behemoth’s grasp. Clay held him firmly against the wall analyzing him, the child had a ‘KNEESUS’ t-shirt on with mesh shorts that were two sizes two big. Clay could feel the teenagers collarbone through the shirt.
“He’s just a kid, Clay…”
“I’m gonna let you go… but if you run ya ain’t gonna like what happens next,” The Monster from Plainview dropped his guard, the child was harmless. He let him go and looked him over, the kid was filthy. Even with the gasoline he could smell the child from where he stood, the stench of rotten onions permeated from him.
“I’m done here anyway, you want some food kid?” The child’s eyes lit up at the mention of food. The Behemoth put his hand around the boys shoulder and walked him to the front door of The Academy.
“Go over there and stand by the truck till I’m done,” Clay stated as he pointed to the truck. The boy would not budge from the doorway. The child pointed to the edge of the door frame and shook his head back and forth, sending his black greasy hair flopping back and forth.
“Kid, once I’m done burnin’ this place ta the ground that imaginary line ain’t gonna exist anymore,” The Behemoth said as he picked the child up and placed him outside of the doorway. The child looked back and forth frantically for a moment, before watching Clay emerge carrying the gas can and Max Kael’s eye.
“C’mon kid, we’re gonna do a bit of talkin’ then we’re gettin’ a burger,” Clay smiled as he spilled the last of the gasoline out to the parking lot. He tossed the can back beside the Academy doorway and lit a match.
John, John, John. It’s been awhile hasn’t it? We’ve been two ships passin’ in the night since just before I beat the living hell out of Jace Parker Davidson. It’s nice ta see ya old friend. I think by our performance in that tag match, ya could guess that I wasn’t really over our issues.
But our issues are in the past now John, they are things of yesterday. You’ve become one of the greatest LSD champions to walk the planet, I’ve had a maniac plant a computer chip in my brain, and went to war with the greatest wrestler on the planet and his best friend. We’re in different places now. I know, we said some pretty mean stuff, and I did ruff ya up a bit back at the go home for The Rock.
But bygones are bygones right?
Let’s go in the ring and be friends, right?
We can be buddies again, dig up Leecifer’s corpse and go back to sittin’ on the USS Octane. You, watchin’ me train fer Teddy Palmer, eyes filled with envy. Me, bein’ the fuckin’ man who just got thrown off a fucking aircraft carrier. We can even have Jatt stop hangin’ out with Conor Fuse and save Harrison from havin’ ta team with Kostoff. Hell, Jiles might even be useful ‘gain if we could just go back…
But we can’t go back, John. This is our now, this is what we have. I have my quest ta destroy everythin’ Mike Best stands fer, and ya have yer quest ta destroy everythin’ the LSD Championship has stood fer. Just ‘cause we have similar interests doesn’t mean we can be friends John. Just because we both like destroyin’ legacies doesn’t mean we can shake hands in that ring and put the band back together. That’s not how it works John, that’s not how it ever works.
But I will be in the ring with apart of yer legacy… isn’t that interestin’?
You and the boy both wounded animals walkin’ inta the ring with myself and Steve Solex… This is too good to be true isn’t it? I feel like a little kid on Christmas mornin’ walkin’ down ta see what Santa Clause left fer me.
Sek, do you really think this is a good idea? Is it a good idea fer the two of ya ta climb in the ring with Stever and I?
Hermano, you know better.
I’m gonna tear your leg off and beat Adam Ellis to death with it.
What does the kid have ta do it with it, right?
He has everythin’ ta do with it Sektor. He’s been by your side this entire run, he’s been there cheerleadin’ ya along in workouts, he’s yer fuckin’ rock and yer two fuckin’ blind ta see it. Sure, yer The Gold Standard, but we all know where this run is comin’ from. Yer showin’ off for the youngin’ yer showin’ him what it takes ta be a man!
Solex and I are gonna show him what real men look like in that ring. And when he’s layin’ on the ground lookin’ out at ya with those pleadin’ doe eyes, askin’ fer ya ta save him John. Ya won’t. Cause ya know it means you’ll have ta spend another thirty seconds in the ring with ME. And you know damn well John, after the number Arthur Pleasant did. That it’s not in yer best interest.
Adam Ellis finds out this week how important he is ta ya. How much he means ta ya. He finds out how insignificant he is in the world of John Sektor. He’s gonna meet the real you Sek, isn’t it fantastic? He’s gonna meet the man Jatt Starr met, he’s gonna meet the man I met, he’s gonna meet the betrayer. Enjoy the little bromance ya have goin’ while ya can Sek, cause it’s all over here in a few days.
‘Cause I can’t wait ta show him who, and what ya really are.
And the best part John? It’ll just be ‘nother feather in my cap on the way ta March To Glory.
“Steve… we got a problem,” Clay shouted with his phone pressed to his face. In the passenger seat sat a deathly quiet teenager who wasn’t paying any attention to anything other than the pile of McDonald’s Cheeseburgers in his lap.
“Well yeah, I burnt it the fuck down… but that’s not the problem…” Clay held the phone away from his ear as Steve Solex could be heard through the phone shouting three counties over.
“Yeah I get it, but Mike and I already weren’t on great terms after I stomped his ass…” Clay looked down at the phone, mocking a shocked expression as Steve continued to yell at him. He glanced over at the kid.
“Everythin’ good, tiger?” There was no response other than chewing and slurping as the kid sucked down a giant drink he held with his thighs. He looked over at Clay and shook his head smiling. Clay looked back down at the phone, he could hear Solex had finally stopped shouting, and was asking if Clay was still there.
“Oh yeah, sorry… lost ya there for a minute Steve, ya I’m comin’ over…” The screaming started again and Clay just started laughing to himself as he muted the phone once again. He looked over at the pile of wrappers that had engulfed the floor of his passenger seat.
“Ya know yer pickin’ those up, right?” Clay smiled as he shook his head back and forth in disbelief. He didn’t know how long the kid had been locked up in the academy, but he clearly hadn’t eaten much. Solex was still shouting about Clay being a menace to society, so Clay went back to work trying to get the kid to talk.
“You got a name?” Clay asked, the kid looked at Clay. He could feel him wanting to talk, but something was compelling him not to.
“Listen bud, we already burnt that Academy down, ya can’t get in much more trouble than that,” Clay said with a chuckle. Mike Best’s entire life work, gone in under thirty seconds, it was a beautiful sight.
“Uncle Mike said I didn’t have a name anymore,” the little voice shocked the hell out of Clay Byrd. He almost swerved off the road before righting his direction.
“Well, what was yer name bud?” Clay asked, but there wasn’t a response as the kid was already back to stuffing his face full of McDonalds. The Behemoth glanced down at his phone, it had gone quiet a few moments ago. He picked it back up and put it to his ear.
“Ya there? Right, anyway, the real problem with this entire thing…” He heard a second voice that sounded strangely like Steve’s begin yelling through the phone. It was a first to Clay, somehow Steve had transitioned midsentece to Shawn Kutter. He placed the phone back on mute and put it back in the console of his truck.
“Who’s that?” The kid asked. He picked up the phone and looked it over, slightly confused. Clay watched him curiously fumble with the touch screen. Any teenager he had seen in the last five or so years could operate a phone without any issue…
“My friend Steve, we’re gonna go visit him, he’s really nice,” Clay said, he couldn’t look at the kid as he finished the sentence. If Steve was under control, he was the most responsible person Clay knew, but if Kutter came out… well that was a different story.
“He doesn’t sound nice…” Clay chuckled as the boy spun the phone around in his hands.
“He’s havin’ a tough day,” the kid looked at Clay shocked. The child nodded his head knowingly and responded as the phone began to go silent.
“My house with uncle Mike and uncle Sutler burnt down today… Did his house burn down today?” Clay looked at the kid with a smirk on his face.
“No bud, his house didn’t burn down today. Here lemme see the phone real quick,” Clay held his hand out asking for the phone back. The kid gently placed it in Clay’s massive mits.
“Hey Steve… yeah… listen, when I was burnin’ down the Academy I found a fuckin’ kid… and I need some help…”
Adam, my advice ta ya?
‘Cause hell is comin’ buddy, and Sek sure as hell ain’t gonna save ya.