Maximillian Wilhelm Kael
AKA NOBODY LIKES A MOOCH
“The organs aren’t compatible otherwise we’d keep him in the tank until Cecilworth needed a new kidney or liver or eye or what-have-you.”
Doctor William Bore said with a dismissive, some might say bored tone. Using a pen to tap on the massive glass tube he was standing next too.
“So are we just going to euthanize him then?” Nurse Galvin asked, an excitable flicker in her eyes. Her hands clutched instinctively at her apron as her weathered face stretched into a sadistic smile. .
Bore contemplated what to do with the lanky figure that floated in the vaguely green liquid. It had required so many resources to create this thing. The unspeakable act that had to be carried out over the last three years had pushed the boundaries beyond any form of ethical science.
“No, no euthanization, Nurse. Too much work went into this specimen to just throw it away.” Bore muttered. “I’d go into further detail however we’re tier three characters and there is a word limit.”
“Nevermind, prep him for a wake-up.”
The sound of rushing water filled the void in which his mind floated. The blissful unawareness that enveloped his mind seemed to flush away with the sound of the water.
..what’s this? No.. no! Not again!
What started as a low gushing noise grew into a thunderous roar as the darkness began to recede. The ecstasy of the void was quickly being replaced with the bitter sweet suffering that was awareness.
No! Not again! I don’t want to do this again! Leave me alone!
Despite his anguished pleas the sound and light were joined by a new sensation as he felt cold run across his naked body. He felt the touch of dry, cool air on his virgin flesh. The shutter that coursed through his body made the hair on his neck stand on end.
Leave… me… alo..ne.. f..
Despite his best efforts to stay locked in the nothingness of that dark abyss he felt consciousness wrestle him back into disappointing reality.
The word was spat out from Max’s mouth along with a healthy amount of thick, clear fluid. His consciousness became aware of the meat suit he found himself in. Two arms, thr-, no, two legs and a set of male genitalia.
“Not even a gender swap? Fucking lame, what kind of bullshit reboot is this.” Max hissed to himself with annoyance. The light above him was painful and so he kept his eyes closed as he tried to operate this new body he found himself in.
He fumbled around weakly on the metal table he had been deposited on. The same thick fluid he had vomited up seemed to cover the table he was on making it slippery.
“How am I back? How.. do I know I’m back?”
His voice was weak but reminded him of what he believed he used to sound like. There was a flash of a memory in his mind, a pen being driven down into his left eye. Instinctually his hands reached for his face, prodding and feeling where his eyes should be.
With a sigh of relief Max discovered that both of his eye sockets were filled with soft, painful little globs of meat and no prosthetics of any kind. Maybe it had just been a bad dream? As he pulled his hands down the formerly dead wrestler dared to peek out into the world around him.
At first a searing pain filled his eyes as the light above him glared down. After a few moments the pain subsided and the light dimmed in intensity. His eyes adjusted and the world came into focus He was in what he believed was a laboratory of some sort. He wasn’t really sure why he knew it was a laboratory, he seemed to have some fleeting memory of it.
There was a nagging feeling he couldn’t quite put his finger on pulling at the back of his mind. A question he didn’t quite know how to ask himself. That feeling was quickly put on the shelf as he spotted a door. His heart jumped into his throat as his mind quickly assembled a plan to escape wherever the heck he was.
“Alright Max, if that is your real name, let’s make a banana and peel out.”
Like a child trying to walk for the first time Max fumbled and fell to the cold floor like a sack of meat. Here he discovered the ground was also covered in that thick liquid. As he lay there Max was reintroduced to another unfortunate aspect of existence..
He let loose a colorful barrage of ungentlemanly-like discourse. In his agony he vowed bitter revenge upon whoever it was that decided to drag him back.
“Mister Kael, if you could please move to the locker at the far side of the room and put on the provided clothes.” Doctor Bore’s clinical voice chimed in over the room’s intercom. “You will also find we have provided you with a towel to dry yourself off with.”
Max twisted his head in the direction indicated and saw the locker. Now it was just a matter of getting over there without braining himself on the floor.
His eyes scanned his surroundings before falling back on the lockers. With a deep breath he tried to focus on his limbs. He could feel them, he knew what he wanted to do but they just didn’t seem to want to respond to him. He felt rather like a butterfly waiting for his wings to harden. The muscles, bones and ligaments that made up his body felt like pudding poured into the shape of a man.
How is a man supposed to support himself on pudding?! He can’t! It can’t be done!
He pushed aside the thought as he narrowed his eyes. With a deep breath he put all his power into lifting himself up. A great surge of strength filled his legs as he began to rise. His arms lashed out, the fingers gripping the table he had recently fallen from.
Up and up he went and soon his eyes were level with the table. He rose even further as he was nearly at his full height when disaster struck. It was in his hand when he first realized something was wrong. The slippery fluid had managed to undermine his efforts to grip the table resulting in his fingers slipping free.
In reaction to his body shifting weight there was an increase in pressure on his left foot. The fluid there also worked against him as his foot easily glided from beneath him. All of his effort, all of his progress came crashing down along with his body.
Once again on the floor.
Once again in pain.
“It might take a few moments for your body to fully reawaken thanks to it never being used before. However, if you want to try to stand up a few more times, I won’t stop you. We’re having a good laugh watching you baby wobbling around.” Bore cheerfully informed. “Widdle Baybee legs.”
The sound of other lab techs giggling in the background added to Max’s humiliation. He sighed as he stared up at the light above.
Max stared at the face in the mirror opposite him. It was.. Him? Kinda?
It also wasn’t him. Not the way he remembered at least.
He was much younger now, a man in his early twenties with a lean face and two brown eyes.
In his memory he had a blue eye and a prosthetic eye but. then something.. Happened? He definitely died however he had no recollection of HOW.
“Did you hear me, Mister Kael?”
He was jolted out of thoughts by the voice of Doctor Bore. Snapping his attention to the glass wall behind which Doctor Bore was standing. .
“I’ll be real honest with ya, William, I’m not exactly sure I got the right car from your valet.” the formerly dead man said with a snide curl of the lip. “Where is my old chariot? I had a god damn laser eye!.. I.. I think..”
Kael rubbed his temples as he tried to focus on those fleeting memories. They were like a dream and the longer he was awake the further away they slipped. What were vivid details about his past were now just thoughts as paper thin as daydreams.
“Mister Kael, you’ve been granted a second chance at life! Few, if anyone, that isn’t a Farthington gets that honor.”
Max snorted loudly while rolling his eyes.
“You, sir, have an over inflated sense of the value of life, methinks. Existence is pain, William, and it’s made worse that I gotta use this Walmart brand knock off of my body! And what the hell is a Farthington?!”
Doctor Bore seems taken aback for a moment as he listens. Most of his confusion seems to stem less from Max’s lack of memory about the Farthingtons and more over his apparent dissatisfaction with being brought back to life.
“Well, Mister Kael, I can say that a great deal of resources and efforts went into making sure you came back to life. By your order, I might add.” the good Doctor huffed at Max. “Unfortunately your previous self didn’t consider long term funding or that this project would fall back into the hands of the Farthington Family, our employers, upon his death.”
The former Prime Minister of Maxopotamia looked back over at the Doctor with a critical gaze.
“Wait, that was a lot, can you, like.. Explain the parts between Mister Kael and Employers? As if you were speaking to a child.. Or someone who’s been alive for 10 minutes.”
Bore stared at Max for a full ten seconds as he contemplated if it was still possible to euthanize this patient. A hard knock at the door broke the Doctor’s train of thought.
“You know, it’s not really my place to tell you at this point. You see in order to recover the costs of creating you we auctioned you off. Your new.. Handler should probably answer these questions for you. Thanks for..” William thinks for a moment before shaking his head. “Actually, let me take that back. Have a day.”
Before Max can reply Bore buzzes the door open to reveal a short, frail yet intensely angry looking old woman with snow white hair. She wore a blue and gray little suit that clung to her body like cheap plastic wrap loosely wrapped around a half eaten chicken. Her eyes were hidden behind a massive pair of golden Gucci sunglasses that looked comical on her wisened, pale face.
She dramatically tore away the Guccis to reveal menacing, beady little eyes set in her ancient, sunken face.
“Get your shit, Mama needs a new pair of shoes.”
“Here, sign this.”
A fat manila folder was dropped into Max’s lap startling the newly born man. His withered old handler stalked toward her chair at the other end of the table Max was seated at. Her name was Ulsa N. Couth and she was from Schadengott in East Naddlesbad. Kael had no idea where that was located and was dubious about the village’s existence.
“..what is this..?”
“Max Kael has been officially dead for the last two years. Your formerly adopted son, Sutler Reynolds-Kael, inherited everything, save for any property previously belonging to Cecilworth Farthington and Michael Lee Best which were returned. That means you got fuckin’ nothing.” she spat out with disgust. “Your DNA is all fucked up, it doesn’t match up with the original Max Kael’s. Your fingerprints belong to Cecilworth Farthingon. You’re basically fuckin’ useless. That piece of shit Doctor sold me a goddamn lemon.”
Max sneered between clenched teeth. He deposited the dense folder on the table with a loud thud.
“You’ve got the body of a strapping twenty something but got no job. Fucking Millenial.” Couth jeered as he pointed a crooked finger at Max. “So if you’re not Max Kael who the fuck are you?”
Max was preparing some petty barb to launch at the mean old hagfish when her question caught him off guard.
He was Max..wasn’t he?
Wait.. am I Max? My DNA doesn’t match and my fingerprints belong to some guy named Cecilworth Farthington? And who the fuck is Michael Lee Best? I HAVE FUCKING SON?!
Sweat started to form on his brow as a sudden wave of dread washed over him. It was too much, too suddenly and his mind wasn’t ready to face such a deep and demanding question.
“I.. I’m.. m..Max.” he stammered, unsure of himself for the first time in his very short existence. “Max Kael?”
“Whatever, kid, just sign the paperwork.” his handler hissed as she pulled an Ensure from her pocket along with a spoon.
He looked down at the paperwork as a pen was thrown across the table. It struck him in the face and tumbled down onto the table in front of him. As he snapped up to glare at Couth he saw the old woman innocently licking out the container of Ensure.
“Wasn’t me, kid.”
The lip on Max’s face rippled like the effect on an old cartoon as his clenched white teeth became momentarily visible. He turned toward the paperwork and began signing furiously.
He would be Max Kael?.
“So what is this? Paperwork to get my own Social Security Number or something?”
As he finished signing and dating the last page, Usla N. Couth slurped down the last vestiges of her Ensure. Slamming the empty plastic container down Couth gave Max a menacing smile of her own before she let out a low, croaking laugh, the kind of laugh you’d expect from a life long smoker.
“Hahah.. Oh no, no, sweet child. Mama does indeed need a new pair of shoes so you’re getting put to work. I got all that shit taken care of already. That is your new PRIME wrestling contract you just signed.”
“Woah, woah, woah! I just signed a wrestling contract?! Didn’t I fucking die wrestling!?”
U.N. Couth shrugged with a knowing smile.
“Who even gives a fuck, kid?”
“I don’t recognize any of these people.”
Max Kael? stared dumbfounded at the roster profiles for PRIME’s locker room. The face and the names meant nothing to him as he scanned over them. Suddenly he saw a name he did recognize.
“Hey!” Max exclaimed happily. “It’s Cecilworth Farthington! The guy whose fingerprints I have!”
His thin finger jabbed at the picture of the aloof and eccentric PRIME Star. Couth stared at him with an unimpressed, sour expression.
“You remember him now that you see him?”
“Oh.. no I just saw the name and got excited. He kinda looks like the type of guy that can afford to soak in virgin cow milk to keep his skin so soft and wearable. The lizard person inside of him must be living in the lap of luxury.”
Ulsa’s withered face seems to prune up even more as she intensifies her forward glower power.
“Are you sick in the head or something? You shouldn’t have any brain damage, you’re fresh out of the pod. I’m really starting to think you’re defective! A real lemon. Besides, Cecilworth doesn’t matter. Your first match is with Abs Ipkiss.” U.N. Couth confidently proclaims.
“Abs Ipkiss.. Abs Ipkiss..”
Max muttered the name to himself as he let his eyes wash over the roster names and their associated pictures. After a few moments he shook his head in defeat.
“I’m not seeing any Abs Ipkiss on here. Unless you are referring to the rank 13 Abe Lips..Abe Libsc..lisrmrmtz.. with a four and two record? He is also known as Abe the Babe, the Future Mr. Vanderpump and the Scenery Boy.” the former Lord of Kaelsalvania said, impressed. “Man, do I have any nicknames? These are fucking cool nicknames.”
Couth scoffed from her chair as she manifested another Ensure from her pocket. She didn’t bother with a spoon this time, instead cracking the plastic top and sucking the whole container back like it were a shot of whiskey.
“His theme song is I Love Your Style by Shanice Wilson! I have no idea what that is but it sounds real fun, I bet he’s a real fun guy. Dude, his finisher is called the Hot Cross Stuns or the HCS I guess. How do you think the announcers say it? Hoooooooot Cross Stuns! BY GOD THE HOT CROSS STUNS! Damn it, the damn Hot Cross Stuuuuuuuns out of nowhere!”
He tittered to himself as his feet tapped cheerfully on the floor.
“Ooo and look at this! There is a list of his moves, let’s see if we do anything the same. Oh, we both do a variation on a clothesline and a neckbreaker, twinsies.” Glee oozed from between Max’s lips as he looked up at Ulsa and winked. Without a doubt, he definitely winked, no ambiguity due to a lack of a second eye. “Me and Abe are going to be a great tag team, no doubt! Who are we facing?”
The hag looks confused for a moment before a dawning realization comes over her. A rare occurrence happens, Ms U.N. Couth smiles, not a terribly pleasant smile though. More like a cat that is relishing the struggle and the suffering of its prey.
“Oh, I’m afraid there’s been a misunderstanding, kid. When I said with what I meant was against.”
The disappointment is immediately visible in Max’s face. It started in the eyes, the softness in them hardened, any warmth running cold. His lips tightened and pucked as though he had just tasted something shit bitter. Slumping down into the chair he stared back at the wrestling profile on Abe.
He tried to keep a serious, dour expression however once again peering at the neon extravaganza that is the Scenery Boy it proved impossible. His brow softened, his lip quivered. With a resigned sigh Max Kael? folded his hands in his lap.
“Get me his tapes.”
Max Kael? ran toward the audience wearing what appears to be a home made Abe Lipschitz t-shirt and pink and black joggers with matching shoes. He nearly collapsed before stumbling back up to his feet.
“ff…Fuck.. Dude.. bro.. This is like.. The first.. Cardio.. Jesus fuck..”
He held up one finger to indicate a moment of time. After several large gulps of air and a healthy vomit, Max turned his attention toward the audience.
“Max Kael? here! Hey, hi, hello Aaaaabe Lipschlt..Lipschli.. Lip. shit. Z. Lipschitz. Sorry, it’s a new mouth, still working out how to the lips and the mouth at the same time. Seems you’re going to be popping my in-ring cherry! Oh boy! How exciting, I was hoping I’d get someone with a little experience but not too little so I don’t end up with premature pinning or submitting. You’re four and two this year, six matches with a solid winning record, bruh, that’s awesome. Oh, check it out!”
Kael shows off his outfit doing a little spin.
“I got some of your merch, I don’t know if it’s official, I got it on Etsy so.. You know, sue them not me. I just thought this guy gets it. This guy has figured his life out and you were born in 2004 so you don’t have the trauma of 9-11 or the season finale of Seinfeld which, let me tell ya, sucks. I mean technically I don’t either, being only born a month or so ago, but like, my mind does? Maybe? Still workin’ that out. But we’re not here to gush about me, we’re here to exploit my admiration for you, Abe the Babe!”
His left hand dug into his pocket for a moment before it yanked free a small charm bracelet. Using lettered beads Max has spelled out “Mr. Vanderpump”.
“No more Future Mr. Vanderpump now. Please accept this gift, the official Mr. Vanderpump Friendship Charm Bracelet Championship. Congratulations, you’re the official first ever Champion! No matter what happens at ReVival 34 at the Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse in Cleveland..”
Max seems to contrate for a moment as he has clearly forgotten where Cleveland is.
“..Ohio? Uh.. sure. So no matter what happens there, you will ALWAYS be the first and forever Mr.VFCBC. I’ve watched some of your taps and you’re pretty sic, buddy, especially your Alias Title Match which served as a rare loss for you. Very sad, very unfortunate, especially for a man the caliber of talent you are. I honestly hate that I have to be the man that faces you after that kind of loss, I can only imagine the FURY you feel. That said, I should warn you, when that be-
The promo ends appropriately as the aforementioned word limit comes crashing down on the unsuspecting Max Kael?. Oops-a-doodle!