AKA NO TIME TO JOKE ABOUT TIME
“What the fuck is a Time Lord?”
U.N. Couth chews on the end of a cigar as she glares down at her phone. She had decided it would be wise to do a strategy meeting every week, especially since Max didn’t seem overly diligent in designing strategies against his opponents the last two weeks.
“I believe a Time Lord is someone who over seasons with thyme.” Max quickly answers though he pronounces thyme th-eye-hm. Both Violent Purple and her aunt, U.N. Couth stare daggers at Max.
“So you acknowledge that thyme is pronounced time in regards to a Time Lord but otherwise mispronounce it?” Violent asks indignantly.
Violent Purple shakes her head at him, her lip twitching slightly before she pulls out her phone and looks up Time Lord.
“According to Wikipedia they are a fictional race of extraterrestrials that appear physically like humans but have a completely different internal physiology and are functionally immortal.” Purple reads from her phone before looking back at Max. “No mention of the herb Thyme.”
She puts particular emphasis on the correct pronunciation of the word. Max scrunches his nose and makes a dismissive gesture with his hand.
“And you are telling me that this Anna Daniels is a Time Lord?” the wrinkled old hag inquires with a slightly raised brow.
“I mean she certainly says she is one. They come from the planet Gallifrey, which Anna Daniels claims she is from.” Violent replies with an amused expression.
“Wow, really? Claiming you’re from a fictional palace? How sad.” the man from Arkham, Massachusetts quips. “A complete lack of creativity. You could make up any place in the entire multiverse and you choose a place that somebody already invented?”
Once again Purple and Couth have their eyes on Max both they look at each other sharing a similar incredulous expression.
“So what if she’s an immortal alien? I don’t need to kill her, I just need to pin her, right? Or submit her.” Kael says with something of a sad tone in his voice. “..so boring. Everybody gets a fancy, fun stipulation and I just get some crummy, basic bitch match. I was hoping for something.. I don’t know.. Fun?”
“Like a Death Match?” his bodyguard jokes while scrolling through the Wikipedia entry on Time Lords.
“Like a Death Match! Yeah!” Max says, perking up excitedly, leaning up out of his seat.
Violent Purple realizes what she has said just in time to catch her aunt’s death glare.
“Oh man, then we could really put that Time Lord immortality hypothesis to the test.” he hiss through a widening smile, his sharp white teeth clenched together. “Do you think it’s like, they heal from all the damage that is done to them? Like, if curb stomp her head onto the street, and I splatter her teeth up and down park avenue, will she heal or regrow her jaw? Or is she just fucked, she has to get surgery and yeah, she isn’t dead but she’s cosplaying Mileena the rest time?”
His brown eyes stare off into the distance as he tries to imagine what an eternity with a mush mouth would be like. Taking advantage of Max’s distracted state, Couth leans toward Purple.
“Just shut up about death matches. Thank god he’s a fucking idiot.” Ulsa whispers to her niece. “Get him back on track. This is a Pay Per View and I don’t care how stupid his opponent sounds, if he doesn’t win that is going to put us back to square one! I’m already losing enough money on this investment.”
“Investment?” Max Kael? whispers, leaning in with the both of them. His expression is dark and mistrusting as he eyes the two of them. After a tense moment his expression relaxes as a wide grin stretches once again across his face. “That reminds me of a joke. What do you call an Alligator in a Three Piece Suit?”
His eyes bulge as he bites his lower lip as he anticipates either of them to ask for the punchline. For their part Ulsa and Violent share an unsure look before the older woman clears her throat.
“What do you call an Alligator in a Three Piece Suit, Max??” Couth takes the bait.
He barely manages to get the words out before he explodes with laughter. Tears well up in his ears as he stamps his feet on the ground as though he were attempting to run a seated two minute mile. U.N. Couth seems confused as the joke doesn’t translate or she simply doesn’t understand.
“Invest-Ah. I got it.” Violent says before pinching the bridge of her nose.
“I don’t understand, an Investigator?” Couth asks as her brow pushes together between her eyes. Her brain is working overtime but humor has never been the old woman’s strong point. At least not punny humor.
“Don’t, it’s not funny, he’s a fucking idiot.” Purple announced before slamming her hands back on the table. “Back on task! Anna Daniels. Time Lord. All you need to do is pin or submit her. We have some footage we can review so yo-”
Before she can finish Max snaps his finger.
“Count-out.” Kael says proudly as he leaned back in his chair, crossing his arms across his chest. “I can also win by count-out.”
Couth looks back and forth between Violent and Max before taking in a deep breath.
“What is he talking about? What is count-out?”
“Yes, he.. He’s technically correct. But it’s a real dumb way to win.” Purple begins to say before Max jumps up to his feet.
“One-two-three… “ the formerly dead PRIME Superstar begins to count while throwing his hands up into the air in front of Couth.
“What-what the hell are you doing?” his handler protests as she stares up at him, confusion and horror stretching those wrinkles out.
“Just.. let him count. It’s the whole count-out thing. He counts to t-”
“SPOILERS!” Kael roars, pointing a finger at Violent. In reply she rolls her eyes while crossing her arms. Content that she will not continue speaking, Max returns his attention to U.N. Couth.
“..ahem.. SEVEN! EEEIIIIIIGHT! NYYYYYYYYYAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAINE!”
As the count grew so too did the volume and anxiety inducing excitement of his voice. With surprising agility Max scrambled up onto his chair and then onto Usla’s wooden desk. Couth jumped up from her chair, nearly falling over in her desperate clamor to escape.
With both of his arms held high above his head, each digit extended to its fullest, Max filled his lungs with air.
His face turned red, his eyes wild and wide. He drops his right hand and points dramatically at Violent Purple.
“Ring that bell, bebe’! MAX KAEL? has defeated Anna Daniels, Thyme Lord of Galler-fer-fer by..COUNT-OUT!”
Max Kael? is sure to punctuate count-out by pulling back of his hands behind his head and hip thrusting the air in an awkward and not professionally practiced manner. Still, Max believes in the theory of dancing like nobody is watching and so he begins to celebrate his imagined count-out victory atop Couth’s desk. In his head Abba’s classic “Dancing Queen” is blaring in the background as the Man from Arkham gets down with his bad self.
“..what the fuck is going on?” Ulsa stammers. She staggers over toward her niece while Max continues to dance, oblivious to either of them at this point. Purple stares up at Max with almost a hint of a smile on the corner of her lips. In her head Max is dancing to Billy Idol’s “Rebel Yell”.
“A count-out is when you manage to keep your opponent out of the ring for ten seconds. Those are wrestling seconds so anywhere between twenty and thirty real world seconds depending on the referee.” Purple answers as she begins to bob her head to Billy Idol’s voice. “What song do you think he’s dancing to?”
“I don’t give a shit.” Couth sneers, in answer to the song he might be dancing to. She pulls the cigar she’s been chewing on and eyes it like a piece of choice cut beef. “What I give a shit about is does that count-out still count the same as a pin or submission?”
The smile that was starting to form is immediately stamped out by her aunt’s pragmatic greed. She sighed as the music vanished from her mind, replaced by the answers her aunt wanted.
An unpleasant smile stretches across Couth’s lips, a rare sight indeed. Best be thankful as well for as those thin, chapped lips spread her tobacco stained dentures became visible. Her gums showed signs of cancerous growths that terminated in small, yellow pustules that constantly leaked their contents.
She traced her fingers across her putrid gums and looked at the smear of pus, blood and saliva. The pain had long ago ceased, now it was just a matter of time.
Her smile disappeared as she was reminded of her own mortality.
UltraVIOLENCE couldn’t come fast enough.
Somewhere in the twisted back alleys of Chicago a gathering has been called. A dozen individuals huddle together in front of a tent cobbled together from tarps and milk crates. . Among their number are men, women and everything in between, from all walks of life. There is a lawyer standing next to a McDonalds shift lead. A Catholic priest brought with him a ketamine dealer and fire fighter. All this to say this is a varied group because this evil is like a good stock portfolio, diverse.
And despite their differences each and every one of these individuals shared two things in common. TWO whole things. Probably more, actually, but we’re getting off topic.
The first was a devotion to the Kael family, more specifically the darker aspect of Max Kael’s former life. The other was that they were all missing their right eye, a prosthetic replacement that appeared to be blue regardless of what their other eye color was.
The lawyer, a middle aged balding man who spent his night at the gym trying to compensate for his lack of hair, stepped forward. He looks around at the others before he turns his attention back to the tend in front of him.
“He’s coming to Chicago.”
There is a rustling from inside the tent followed by a series of retching coughs. The lawyer quickly steps back as all of them lower their heads in reverence. The flap to the makeshift yurt is thrown open as a gnarled, pale woman slinks out into the muggy Chicago night.
Though most of her face is obscured in shadow behind a drape of greasy black hair there is a part in the curtain that allows a single, glowing right red eye to peek out at the world. Her body is covered in the rags of what looks like was once a three piece suit which hangs from her frail body like a second skin.
“..So the imposter is coming to our home..”
Despite her ragged physical appearance her voice is strong, clear and smooth. Her body sways to the humid, oppressive breath of Chicago.
“What should we do?” the Lawyer asks.
The woman shuffles to the side, closing the flap to her tent carefully before turning back to the small congregation of cyclopean followers. A dirty, claw-like hand reaches up and pulls the hair away from her face.
The broken, twisted visage of Mina Starr-Kael is revealed to those gathered there. The moon light mixes with the stale light pollution of the Second City which gives her face a particularly gruesome glow. The scars inflicted upon her would never fade and gave her face a patchwork appearance, like a doll stitched back together. A broken, twisted nose sat in the middle of her face while her mouth was filled with rotten teeth.
“Keep an eye on him for now. He has spoken to me of this day. This imposter, this Max Kael? is impure. He lacks the purity of the true Kael seed but.. But..” Mina Starr-Kael’s voice is cool and collected even if the shit she says is batshit crazy. “There is enough Kael in him to be of use to us. The Imposture is the key to returning Him to us.”
There is a murmur amongst the gathering, as though this is the first whiff of hope they’ve had in years.
“Really? You think he could bring Him back?”
The red eye flickers for a moment as she tilts her head back. She seems to convulse violently for a moment before the red eye seems to glow intensely, so much so that the flesh around the eye socket burns an intense crimson.
“The traitor’s vessel will be PURGED of its impurities to make way for his return. The First.”
The glowing light pulses as the blue eyes in each of the congregation flickers over to the same burning, hateful crimson.
“The Lord of Kaelsalvania!” cries the Lawyer.
“The Prime Minister of Maxopotamia!” bellows the Catholic Priest.
“The Great and Glorious Maximillian Wilhelm Kael!” screams the Ketamine Dealer.
“First of his Name.. LONG MAY HE MAIM!” roared the Fire Fighter.
The covenant of Kael worshippers continue that refrain as they lift their arms up toward the heavens, the fire, the spite, the venom of hatred running through their veins.
Mina Starr-Kael allows a gruesome, diseased smile to break her face. Instead of joining the others in their refraining of the many names of Max Kael she simply lets the only thing she can think of slip between the gaps left by her missing teeth.
“Kind of of smells like an old foot that stepped in a pizza.”
Max declares as he takes in a deep breath as he stares at the Chicago skyline.
“That’s because you’re standing on a pizza, sir.” an exacerbated server named Kasey notes.
“Oh. Right.” Kael with a question mark acknowledges as he looks down at his feet with the weird long toes ankle deep in Chicago Deep Dish.
“Why!?” Kasey asks as she stares down at the ruined pizza with horror, falling to her knees.
“I’m glad you asked, Kasey!” Max excitedly answers. “It’s all part of a meta joke that you are unwittingly a part of. See, I found out I’m facing a reality warping Time Lord from Mount Perdition on Gallifrey. Cool, am I right?”
“I have many questions but most of them involve the types of medication you are on.” Kasey says as she looks like she is going through the stages of grief over the foot fondled deep dish.
“Should I be?” Max Kael? queries aloud as he tries to remember if he should be on any medications. “No, nope, none that I recall. You had me worried there for a moment, Kasey.”
The young woman’s grief is suddenly cut short as she realizes that Max is calling her by her name.
“Wait, how do you know my name?”
“So many questions, Kasey, and I’ve got to get to the point of this joke quickly before we lose the audience. I saw the name in the narration and since that’s not my name and you’re the only other person in this scene I had a pretty good chance it was you.” he nonchalantly answers the question. “Or I just read your name badge, I guess.”
Kasey blinks for a moment before looking down at her bedazzled name tag. She didn’t remember ever bedazzling her name tag, or having one to start with. But there it was, sure a shit shingles on a shit shingle house.
“..huh.. I don’t remember this.”
“I empathize, my memory goes in and out based on the plot. Oh shit, I got distracted.” Max snaps his finger as the scene suddenly shifts. Now Kael is seated at the table while Kasey is standing in front of it holding the deep dish pizza on a tray in her hands.
“What the fu-”
“Cool, right?! I just reversed time and put us back to where I was getting my pizza initially. And I did it with a snap of my fingers because I’m not a time cuck like that Anna Daniels, am I right?” Max says with a wink to Kasey.
“What is going on..” the ill fated server says as she sets the pizza down carefully. Her eyes are wide as she seems to be having a mild panic attack.
“I just told you, I warped time with the snap of my finger! Be fucking impressed, it’s not easy you know! There are a lot of paradoxes happening right now.” Max says as he slides the pizza over to himself.
“Oh god..” Kasey says as blood starts to run from both of her nostrils.
“Damn it, Kasey, don’t you know time travel is dangerous! All those paradoxes folding in on themselves, chronotron radiation, not to mention the obvious abuse of the Fifth Dimension? All to make a foot and pizza joke? That’s the kind of piss poor respect for Time and Space I’d expect from Anna Daniels! Now you’ve got Paradox Cancer!”
He sticks his finger into the pizza and digs out a piece of sausage, greedily consuming it as blood begins to leak out of Kasey’s eyes and ears.
“..fu..ck.. Whats.. Happening.. To..”
She isn’t able to finish the sentence as her body slumps onto the table before collapsing to the ground.
“I told ya, Paradox Cancer! Bad way to die, probably why Time Lords use a TARDIS instead of playing fast and loose with time, Kasey. Here, let me do you a solid and close this little paradox for ya.”
Peering over the table at Kasey, who has begun to convulse and foam at the mouth, Max picks up the pizza.
“This is a nice pizza too. Oh well.”
Dropping it on the ground Max kicks off his shoes and socks. As the last, sputtering ragged breaths escape her lungs the Kael with the Question Mark plants both of his feet ankle deep into the Chicago deep dish.
“Kind of of smells like an old foot that stepped in a pizza.”
Max declares as he takes in a deep breath as he stares at the Chicago skyline.
“That’s because you’re standing on a pizza, sir.” an exacerbated server named Kasey notes once again…
“I do hope you are ready for me Anna Daniels.”
Max Kael? stands before Soldier Field wearing a plain black three piece suit. Standing just behind him to his right is Violent Purple, her vibrant red hair standing as a contrast to her milky white skin.
“I’ve reviewed some of your matches. Listened to a few of your promos. Studied up on Time Lords and their arrogant fixation on putting themselves before all sentient life to the point all of existence turned on them. Really, I wouldn’t consider myself the kind of hate an entire species but Jesus Fucking Christ, I didn’t know PRIME was big into hiring Space and Time Fascists’.”
A disappointed expression crosses over Max’s face as he shakes his head.
“The thing is the more I looked into these psychopaths the more I realized they remind me a lot of my own family. Got his whole obsession with immortality, changing up bodies, changing up minds. It’s a whole damn thing so I get it. Maybe you’re not one of them Time and Space Nazis, maybe you’re not part of a lineage that actively murders entire civilizations to test a theory. Maybe you’re not a part of the machine that murders children and burns entire worlds. And until about twenty years ago it was filled with a lot of wrinkly, old men.”
Max’s eyes widen as he realizes something profound.. To him.
“Wait you’re probably STILL working for those Space and Time Nazis! Well fuck you, Time and Space Fascist! How the fuck are you the good guy in this?!”
As he grows upset at the prospect of wrestling a Space and Time Fascists, Violent Purple seems to notice something in the distance behind Max. A few dark figures who appeared to be carrying tiny red lights.
“Know this Anna Daniels, Time Lord of Gallifrey, my name is Max Kael? of the very real city of Arkham, and you know what? You’re not worth the pin fall! You’re undeserving of submission! In honor of all the Space and Time people you’ve clearly oppressed during your wrinkly, old man time, you’re getting COUNTED OUT! I don’t care how much of a MURDER style you do. I don’t care how much TIME and REALITY control you got, I GOT MORE! RAAAAAAAAH!”
Violent Purple breaks into a run as she moves off to chase down the shadowy figures. Max assumes wrongly that she is frightened by his calling to the ancient Egyptian Sun God and part time wrestler.
“Oh shit.. uh, in closing.. FUCK SPACE AND TIME FACISTS!”