The eye level door built into the much larger green door slides open. The tattooed face of the bouncer/proprietor, Enrique De la Cruz (previously Hector Chavez, ranking member of the Los Ocho Locos – the violent street gang, not the band) of the establishment appears.
ENRIQUE: What’s the password?
MORTIMER KJEDELIG: You can see it’s me.
ENRIQUE: Could be anybody behind that mask.
MORTIMER KJEDELIG: Are you fuckin’ serious?
ENRIQUE: Rules is rules, esse.
Mortimer Kjedelig lets out an exasperated sigh. It was three weeks ago, during a post-match (and post kicking Tony’s smarmy ass) high, he inadvertently ran into this face from his past. The initial conversation was awkward to say the least. Los Ocho Locos did some business with his Cousin Mikey about a decade ago. Mainly dealing with high end sports cars and drugs (primarily weed and cocaine). Enrique gave him his card – The D-n-D. Until two years ago, it stood for “Dungeons and Dominatrixes”. It has taken on a whole other identity since Enrique took it over.
MORTIMER KJEDELIG: D-N-D ROCKS ON KJLV.
ENRIQUE: Naw man, that was last week’s. And we fuckin’ lost to those pendejos over at The Fortress. You gotta use this week’s.
MORTIMER KJEDELIG: The Spell is Mightier than the Sword.
Enrique slides the mini-door shut and opens the door. Enrique, a man in his early-forties, head shaved, and sporting what would be classified as a “Van Dyke”. He is heavily tatted up with a teardrop under his right eye, sleeves on each arm, and the word “Lealtad” across his chest. Enrique is about five inches shorter than Mortimer but more muscular. Enrique claps Mortimer on the shoulder and leads him in.
ENRIQUE: How’s it goin’, hermano?
MORTIMER KJEDELIG: I’m alright. Not as alright as you’re doin’ apparently.
Enrique walks two steps ahead of the PRIME wrestler as they walk through a small corridor and through a red velvet curtain. The scene is loud and bustling. Twelve tables filled with late teens to men and women (mostly men) in their early forties, each table playing their own intense card game. “Magic: The Gathering” Monday. There is a bar towards the back selling beverages, alcoholic and non-alcoholic. Where some establishments would sell Pepsi or Coca-Cola, this is an RC Cola joint.
ENRIQUE: What can I say? Business is good!
They pass tables of people saying words like “double strike”, “black lotus”, and “fuck you, you dirty fuck”. The last one Mortimer can relate to. Enrique leads Mortimer through another set of doors and down a long corridor with red carpeting and through another door into an office. As Mortimer enters, the door closes behind them.
ENRIQUE: Have a seat, homes.
Mortimer takes a seat on a Victorian couch against the wall to the left of the door as Enrique takes a seat at one of the two desks.
MORTIMER KJEDELIG: What the fuck is this?
ENRIQUE: The fuck it look like? Money in the bank! I’m makin’ more doin’ this shit than I ever did boostin’ Camaros and shit.
MORTIMER KJEDELIG: Get the fuck outta here.
ENRIQUE: No, no, it’s true! “Magic” tournaments, fuckin’ “Pokemon” shit, D and D campaigns. Yo, those D and D jokers are hardcore, for real.
MORTIMER KJEDELIG: But….and I mean this with all due respect….Why?
ENRIQUE: They’re loco! We had to hire a second security guard.
MORTIMER KJEDELIG: No, I mean this!
ENRIQUE: I got tired of all the bullshit. Havin’ other people get rich off my work and I get, what, pennies on the dollar? Fuck that shit, homes. Funny thing, twenty years ago, I’d kick all these nonos’s asses and today, they’re payin’ for my Lexus. What about you? How you dealin’ with civilian life?
MORTIMER KJEDELIG: You chose this, I didn’t.
ENRIQUE: I know he did you dirty and all but you need to let that shit with your cousin go.
MORTIMER KJEDELIG: Fuck that prick! It’s his fuckin’ fault I’m—-
As Mortimer’s blood begins to boil at the thought of his Cousin Mikey stabbing him in the back the way he did, the door swings open and a stocky bearded gentleman sporting a red waistcoat over a white dress shirt and donning a plaid kilt comes bursting in speaking with a deep baritone voice and an English accent.
STOCK BEARDED GENTLEMAN: These fucking nosepickers are rattling my last nerve. One of these fuckers vomited all over the commode. I’ll be fucked if you think I’m cleaning that up.
ENRIQUE: Whoa! Marlowe, chill!
MARLOWE: You fucking chill!
ENRIQUE: Have you met Mortimer?
Marlowe turns towards the couch and sees the masked man sporting a black and teal tracksuit matching his mask. Mortimer forces a smile and gives a small wave.
MORTIMER KJEDELIG: Hey.
MARLOWE: No, I haven’t seen this guy before! Is he going to clean the commode?
ENRIQUE: Naw man, we just chillin’.
MARLOWE: Oh yes! Of course! Let us all “chill” while the loo smells like the devil’s sphincter.
MORTIMER KJEDELIG: Nice to meet ya.
ENRIQUE (to Mortimer): This is my business partner, Marlowe Sinclair.
MARLOWE: Business partner. PART-EN-ER. As in not the help. I am not—
ENRIQUE: Get Jeff to do it, dawg.
MARLOWE: Jeff is as useless as a tit mouse. You tell him.
ENRIQUE: Dios mio! Fine! Why you gotta be a bitch sometimes?
Enrique pops up from his chair like a Jack in Box escaping hss box after a round of “Pop Goes the Weasel” and storms out looking for Jeff. Marlowe struts cockily over to his desk which has a Union Jack mug filled with pencils and drops into his seat.
MORTIMER KJEDELIG: Interesting business ya got here.
MARLOWE: We are the fifth largest gaming center in the city.
MORTIMER KJEDELIG: You and Hec—Enrique known each other long?
MARLOWE: Long enough to know his name isn’t fucking Enrique. We met in the clink five years ago. He was in for…who the fuck cares and I was doing time for none of your fucking business. What’s your story, mate? Why are you here?
MORTIMER KJEDELIG: I’m here for none of your fuckin’ business.
MARLOWE: Well played.
Marlowe Sinclair somehow looks both smug and impressed. Mortimer, however, has this uncontrollable urge to punch the British chap right in his fat face.
MARLOWE: I assume you have as sketchy a past as Hector and myself.
MORTIMER KJEDELIG: I’ve boosted a few cars, knocked a few heads, broke some arms, collected some outstandin’ debts, the usual. You?
MARLOWE: I previously managed this fine establishment when it was about whores and wealthy businessmen enjoying getting spanked and ass fucked by buxom trollups ensconced in latex before it went tits up. That MeToo nonsense had all the whores revolting, the rise of polyamorous relationships, men having open communication about their fetishes, and homosexuality being trendy and socially acceptable….fucking progress eviscerating the proverbial teat that I was so content on suckling. What’s a hardworking blackmailer such as myself to do? Settle on legitimate business practices like a fucking commoner.
MORTIMER KJEDELIG: That’s a pretty fucked up way of thinkin’.
MARLOWE: I’m bewildered that you are not suffering a massive nosebleed.
MORTIMER KJEDELIG: Huh?
MARLOWE: Riding atop that high horse of yours, you judgmental prat.
MORTIMER KJEDELIG: How long’s it take for you guys to find this Jeff guy?
MARLOWE: Jeff is a twat. Now why the fuck are you here?
Why is he here? Granted, it beats sitting alone in his double wide watching reruns of “Murder, She Wrote” or “King of Queens” depending on the channel and time. Looking at the arrogant prick sitting at his desk picking up a Reader’s Digest with tuxedo kitten and a collie on the cover, he is filled with a rage of emotions – none of them positive – anger and disgust being the most prominent.
MORTIMER KJEDELIG: No fuckin’ clue. I was invited and thought, “What the hell”.
MARLOWE: And here I was thinking you came to wax nostalgic with your fellow former scoundrel.
MORTIMER KJEDELIG: Go fuck yourself.
The two men sit in silence. Only the faintest of sounds coming from the main hall where cards are being played and the type of cards that are foreign to Mortimer Kjedelig. How much time passes? Ten minutes? Twenty? It certainly felt like that but it might have only been about three to five minutes before Enrique returned.
ENRIQUE: You weren’t kidding, Marlowe. That was some real “Exorcist” level shit in there. Jeff nearly lost his lunch.
MARLOWE (without looking up from his Reader’s Digest): I fucking told you so.
Enrique turns his attention towards Mortimer Kjedelig who remains on the couch, his arms folded. The mask obscuring his expression. Enrique takes a seat behind his desk.
ENRIQUE: Roe, dawg, you a wrestler now, that’s shit’s off the hook!
MORTIMER KJEDELIG: Let’s just say that my resume lends itself to a career where there is a marriage between violence and performance, two attributes of which I have certain capabilities, and such an occupation should commiserate that marriage.
ENRIQUE: We beat to our own drums now.
MORTIMER KJEDELIG: You would think so. My first match in PRIME I lost to a fuckin’ moron with a dancin’ bear. You know how humiliatin’ that shit is? It was immaculatin’. I’m startin’ to find my footin’ now but there’s a lot of bullshit. Time travellin’ scumbags, cocky shits sellin’ defacative food processors, and almost everyone has some mental disorder. But you know what? At least I don’t have to take orders from some wormy little fuck like my cousin. At least, that used to be the case….
Mortimer trails off, the reluctance to continue is apparent in his tone. He glances over at Marlowe who continues to flip through his Reader’s Digest, but how many times has he read that particular issue? Who is to say that Marlowe won’t rat him out to friends of his cousin’s? Marlowe falls into one of three irredeemable categories of degenerates for Mortimer – gambling addict, drug addict, and blackmailer. Mortimer leans in slightly towards Enrique and nudges his head towards Marlowe.
MORTIMER KJEDELIG: Can this guy be trusted?
ENRIQUE: Of course, esse! Cuz if he ain’t he knows what’s up.
MARLOWE (not looking up from his periodical): Fu-huh-huck you-hoo-hoo.
MORTIMER KJEDELIG (to Marlowe): You say word one of anything that transpires within these four walls, I will take some bolt cutters to your balls and you’ll know what it means to feel immaculated. I did it once. Granted, I threw up….a lot….and I mean a lot….and I still have nightmares about it, but I can do it again, capice?
MARLOWE (still reading): Tickety-boo, mate.
MORTIMER KJEDELIG (to Enrique): That son of a bitch Mikey sold me out for somethin’ he did because he heard they were openin’ the books for him and he didn’t want any massive transgressions hangin’ over his head. There’s no loyalty. No one ever asked my side of the story. They took Mikey’s version as if it were written by King James. And if I were to disclose….
Mortimer once again trails off. There is a part of him that does not want to go any further, he is riding a line of providing information that may or may not have life altering (or ending) consequences for him. He did agree to the terms when it was presented to him. At the time, it was a way out. He did not need to continue taking the odd jobs from his cousin (although, deep down, he knew he could have declined or at the very least not shown up at Mikey’s ‘work’ out of the blue). But then again, Mikey is a prick and his right hand man, Dom, is steaming pile of shit, so fuck them.
MORTIMER KJEDELIG: …if I were to disclose certain details that would serendipitously exonerate me, it could also get me clipped. So, now, I’m basically bein’ exorted by this Tony Gamble asshole into havin’ this fight that if I lose, I gotta basically join his crew. It wouldn’t the worst thing except he’s a massive fuckin’ jerk off. It’s that cycle beginnin’ again. I would get a job doin’ some Mamet thing Off Broadway, once it ends, I bomb an audtion, I need money, and wouldn’t you know it, there’s Mikey with a job for me. It’s very suspect. And the job is not what one would say is a cake walk. You know what kinda stones you gotta have and what kinda force it takes to break a guy or gal’s arm? But I fuckin’ did it. Here I am, things are goin’ well, or well-ish, if that fucking Tony Fuckin’ Jerk Off didn’t cost me my Impetus Championship match….but that’s neither here nor anywhere…the point I’m makin’ is that I lose it’s, plausibility speakin’, almost like workin’ for Tony Gamble would be like workin’ for Mikey.
ENRIQUE: That’s pretty messed up, dawg. I can see how you’re having a crisis situation here.
MORTIMER KJEDELIG: I got no one to prostulate this with which is, upon immediate reflection, the reason I came here tonight.
ENRIQUE: What happens if you win?
MORTIMER KJEDELIG: He leaves me the fuck alone.
ENRIQUE: I guess you need to win.
MORTIMER KJEDELIG: There’s this whaddyacallit, anxiety, that I’m goin’ through with the whole what if I lose scenario.
MARLOWE (finally looking up from his magazine): Oh for fuck’s sake. You just need a good shagging.
MORTIMER KJEDELIG: Austin Powers, keep your opinions to yourself.
MARLOWE: You seem like a tightly wound bloke. Just get up, go out there, find the least repulsive lady out there, ask her if she’d like to meet Roger. If she says yet, whip out your monster and guarantee, they’ll be dropping their knickers in record time, boy. Unless they’re lesbians or feminsts or some shit, in which case you’re fucked.
The more Marlowe speaks, the more nauseated Mortimer begins to feel. He almost wants to projectile vomit on the man who be “fucked” to clean puke off the floor. Mortimer can feel his stomach turn, he feels his face get red, and his ears burn. He imagines this is how Bruce Banner feels moments before transforming into the Incredible Hulk.
MORTIMER KJEDELIG (to Enrique): Can I break his fuckin’ arm?
MORTIMER KJEDELIG: What about his thumbs? Or kidneys?
ENRIQUE: He talks a lot of shit, that’s all.
Mortimer looks at the bearded scumbag in the chair and stares daggers at him. For a moment he willed himself to get the powers of the “Scanners” and make Marlowe’s head explode. Alas, it was a failed endeavor. Mortimer feels his stomach acids boil, he can almost feel the lining of his stomach wall deteriorate. He can no longer be in the same room with someone as vile as Marlowe, so he rises from the sofa.
MORTIMER KJEDELIG: I should leave.
ENRIQUE: You just got here, esse! You sure?
MORTIMER KJEDELIG: Yeah. We’ll be in touch. Marlowe, fuck you.
MARLOWE: Suck my balls.
Mortimer sneers at Marlowe, repressing the urge to kick the stocky man in the face. Instead he exits. There is something that can be said about repressing one’s anger. Whether it’s getting dismissed by his biological father or finding out the woman he felt was his one true love moved on and was engaged to some minor league baseball player while he was rotting away on Riker’s Island, getting betrayed by his cousin, meeting a truly vile piece of shit like Marlowe, or getting viciously attacked by Tony Gamble….the more he buries, the more likely it will explode. Why waste that eruption of violence on Marlowe when he can focus all of that fury and anger on Tony Gamble? After all, what is “Ultraviolence” without a little rage?