BRO, GOTTA HUSTLE TO GET A FRIEND HERE
Earlier in the day..
Max Kael? could be seen standing just outside of the Enterprise Center, situated at the Gateway to the West, St. Louis. He appeared to be dripping in bad customized Ivan Stanislav merchandise. In one hand he holds a megaphone through which he is screaming while in the other he holds a large sign that says “LET ALEXEI JABBER AGAIN” in large Communist red letters.
Max Kael: Hey-hey, Ho-ho, this ban on Alexei has got to go! Hey-hey, Ho-ho, Lindsay Troy, she is our foe!
Some people stopped to stare at Max though nobody appeared to take a real interest in the subject matter of his protest.
Max Kael: In the five months I’ve been alive I’ve always known I wanted a best friend and as a wise man once said you pick your friends before they pick you.. Or maybe that was enemies. In either case, the saying still stands!
As the Man with a Question Mark in his name speaks he is sure to get the megaphone as close to people’s ears as he possibly can. Being that one must pass him to get to the arena doors, however, means that the slow filtering crowds grant Max ample ears to scream into.
Max Kael: I was on Jabber the other day when I learned of the terrible treatment of one Alexei Ruslan! I learned that our Universal Champion, Ivan Stanislav, has been fighting tooth and nail.. Or possibly sickle and hammer, to get his friend, but not best friend, back on Jabber! Being a good.. No BEST friend that I am, I made it my life’s mission to see Alexei returned to Jabber! So let’s hear it people!
Max? flails his arms in the air trying to get a small group of about six people to chant with him.
Max Kael: HEY-HEY! HO-HO! THIS BAN ON ALEXEI HAS GOT TO GO! HEY-HEY, H-
Before the re-alived Madman from Arkham can finish his chant a owl darted from the sky narrowly missing Max as he dodged down out of the way.
Max Kael: Woah! Holy shit! Did you see that?!
The group all hurried along to get away from Max as he scans the horizon with wide eyes.
Max Kael: An owl attack? In the middle of the day? Must have rabies..
Voice: You gotta watch out for those things. I got one in the eye last week.
The camera pans up and Eddie Cross points at his eyepatch and laughs a bit, maybe awkwardly.
Eddie Cross: Sorry, that was stupid. Hey, I’m Eddie!
There is a long, awkward moment where Max seems to recoil from Eddie while wielding the sign as though it were a weapon. Peering out from behind the sign Kael narrows his eyes.
Max Kael: Ed..dee. Hm. Okay. Ed-Dee. I’m Max. Are you here to help liberate poor Alexei Ruslan, freeing to return to Jabber?!
Max’s seeming distrust melts away as he is suddenly energized by the idea that Eddie was here to help in his plot to get in the good graces of the Universal Champion.
Eddie raises a brow and holds up a hand, cautiously.
Eddie Cross: Not exactly, but I’m all about expressing your beliefs, bruh.
The young Samoan smiles, trying to disarm Max a bit.
Eddie Cross: Word of advice though, Alexei and Ivan have their own agendas for everything, even your picket line.
Grinding his teeth in thought Max seems to recoil behind his sign. There is mumbling heard, as though he were in debate with a council, before he pops his head back out.
Max Kael: Listen, I’m not the kind of person who holds someone’s gender identity against them and if you’re here to sell that you can move along. I’m trying to do better this time around, you know?
He looks proud of himself when he mentions his quest to be a better person this time around, a decision he made just now, in this moment and had never before mentioned this goal.
Eddie looks confused, and he shrugs.
Eddie Cross: I hear you and I’m all about being yourself, but like, Alexei will figure out how to get back on Jabber eventually. You got your own match and career to worry about, bruh.
n1ghtcrawler snaps his fingers and takes his backpack off. He opens it up and reveals a console.
Eddie Cross: Hey, I got an idea. I need a partner for some 2v2 matches and I got some Twizzlers and Code Red. You wanna do some gaming, Max?
There is another long pause as Max stares at Eddie before he looks over at his sign. Turning his attention back to Eddie he stares at the eye patch before nodding.
Max Kael: Cool. Cool, cool, cool. Listen, my last set of friends, one killed me and the other let it happen, so the bar is real.. Real.. reaaaaaal low. Now tell me about this team of Twizzlers and Code Red? Something about the name Twizzlers just makes me want to strangle someone, you know?
Tossing the sign away Max mimics strangling something with his hands while he wears an overly enthusiastic smile. Unfortunately a dark cloud covers the sun and the distant crack of thunder echoes in the sky above them.
U.N. Couth: What the HEll are you doing?! Get back in your cage!
The wretched Legal Guardian of Max Kael?, Ulsa N. Couth speed walks her way toward Eddie and Max. She is flanked by Violent Purple who wears a smirk while her eyes are hidden behind a pair of purple sunglasses. Panicked, Max kicks the sign toward Eddie’s feet and throws his hands up in the air.
Max Kael: I was out for a walk! And I noticed this guy standing out front of the arena, he’s trying to get Alexei Ruslan let back onto Jabber! He was trying to turn me into a Communist!
Couth glares at Max, turns her eyes at Eddie, puts two and two together and rolls her eyes. With a sneer she turns away from both of them.
U.N. Couth: Get the fuck back inside! Sunlight will rot your brain.
Violent Purple extends her index finger toward Max before indicating that he should follow her and Couth back inside. Max quickly turns toward Eddie, winking.
Max Kael: Whew! I think she bought it. We’ll talk later about Twizzler and Red Code, I gotta go.
Before Eddie can reply Max is away, skipping after Ulsa and Violent.
Eddie stands, dumbfounded, and wonders what just happened. He zips up his bag and slings it over his shoulder before letting out a prolonged sigh.
Eddie Cross: This is a fuckin’ weird business.
He whistles to the tune of Warthog Run as he makes his way into the arena and the pre-tape cuts to elsewhere backstage.