Revelations And Rebirth



Summary: A night of drinking leads The Hooligan to an epiphany, or is this a mental breakdown?

Date: March 21, 2011

Log Title: Revelations and Rebirth

Rating: R

=The Hooligan's Workshop

Hidden underground away from prying eyes is a workshop stocked with enough tools to make most modern garages blush. At least 4 suits of the Hooligan armor lay in various states of repair or construction as well as an arsenal of his standard weaponry. Along the wall furthest from the tools are racks of firearms of various types, from revolvers to assault rifles. Military boxes of ammunition with the calibers stamped on their front rest under these weapons.

It's late evening as a storm is rolling through the area, the dimmed lights in the workshop flicker from time to time as thunder rattles the walls. The commercials on the television end and the news broadcast resumes. "Our top story tonight: The drug crisis in new york city rages as another four people are found dead from overdoses of the new drug "Toad". Police are commenting that they've never seen a drug spread in use this quickly, or have this deadly an eff-" The picture ends abruptly as Maxwell presses the off button on the remote and tosses it onto one of the workbenches.

"Bunch of damn fools, they know it's going to kill them but they keep on taking it. Morons." Maxwell flops back onto the old couch across from the set, looking down at the empty beer bottles on the floor in front of him. He'd lost track of how many he'd had tonight and frankly didn't care, letting his head lean back he stared at the ceiling with a groan.

"You should be out there, you should be putting a stop to this." The voice wasn't his, rubbing his eyes a moment he sat up and looked for the source only to look upon a familiar sight, Eric Karlow. His brother stood in the center of the room, still dressed in the police dress uniform he'd been dressed in for his funeral after he'd been gunned down in the line of duty. Maxwell let out a breath grumbled "I wondered when you were going to get here." It was either the beer or he was finally losing his mind, he's seeing dead people.

Eric continued looking down on where Max was sitting. "You were doing good out there, this wouldn't have gotten to the point it has if you'd been doing your job." Max scowled and practically growled in response. "It's not my damn job! These people want to destroy themselves then by all means let them! Maybe if all the damn junkies overdose and die off then this crap won't happen again. This city doesn't need me running around doing more damage. Not after…" He trails off, not wanting to even say it.

Eric pressed on however "Not after what? Not after Detective Baxter died? Dammit Max I know you've always been your own worst enemy but you've never been this hard on yourself. What happened to him was not your fault." Max sneered and took up a beer bottle, trying to take a swallow and finding it was already empty tossing it away in disgust. "Wasn't it? I set the ambush, I couldn't bring down two lousy cops before they started shooting and he got hit, what part of that wasn't my fault!?"

Eric sighs, looking almost sad as he watches the bottle shatter against a wall. "Detective Baxter knew what he was getting into. He was a cop, they know the risks when they take the job. He was there to catch those two in the act, he knew he was going to face those two and possibly a few angry mutants as well. But he went there anyway to try and bring an end to that situation before it got worse." Eric looks back to Max now "You do the same thing every time you put on that armor and take the fight to those punks who are out there right now pushing that poison to innocent people. Max what the hell happened to you?"

Maxwell takes a breath and can't bring himself to look Eric in the eyes. "I screwed up, a man got killed that wasn't supposed to because I couldn't act quickly enough. I went from part of the Solution to part of the problem and I just can't do it anymore."

Eric shakes his head "Can't isn't the problem, it's won't. You're good big brother but you're not THAT good. There is no way you could do what you do and completely avoid any kind of collateral damage. People get hurt, people die, that's what happens in these situations. You're not going to be able to save every single of them."

Maxwell rubs his temples with his fingertips to try and ease the pounding in his head from all the drinking. "I bit off more than I could chew, overstepped my bounds and someone got killed. I can't go out there again without second-guessing myself every time I do. After Africa I got cocky and someone else paid for it."

Eric smiles and shakes his head. "Africa, bro what happened in Africa didn't make you cocky. In Africa you felt what it was like to be a hero for the first time, rather than just a leg-breaker. Those people didn't run from you, they didn't scream at the sight of the mask and call the cops. They were grateful, they were glad you were there and that is a powerful feeling. One you'd never seen before. But you're not there anymore, you're back home. They may fear you, they may hate you, but they still need you. The Hooligan doesn't do what he does for fame or glory, he does it because no one else will. That drug is killing more people everyday, the Heros aren't stopping it cause it's not some fool in tights trying to take over the world. SHIELD isn't out there because it's not a military threat to the country. You said it yourself the cops are too busy covering thier asses and restructuring after that mutant town fiasco to get a grip on this. The System is failing Max, they need someone that works outside the system, they need the Hooligan. Now get off your ass and get out there!"

Maxwell springs from the couch and grabs Eric on either side of his head. "You don't get to judge me! You don't get to tell me what to do! You're not here anymore Dammit and still I can't get away from you! I'm not perfect, but my mistakes got someone killed don't you understand that!? I can't do it anymore and what right do you have to tell me otherwise!? WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM ME!?"

The thunder crashes and the lights in the workshop flicker erratically, Eric looks into his eyes with what is almost pity, but is surrounded with the love one brother has for the other. "Bro no one is perfect, not even me. If I was then I'd still be there and you'd have never become the Hooligan in the first place. You will make mistakes, you will make bad choices. But it's like you told that mutant boy in Africa. It's not just the decisions you make in life that define who you are. It's what you do in the aftermath of those decisions and how you choose to act in the future that really counts. We are everyone we've ever been, Soldier, killer, Brother, Husband.. all of it. It's how you meld all those aspects of yourself into a single whole that says who and what you really are." The thunder crashes again, the lights going out for several seconds before coming back on and revealing that in reality he'd grabbed one of his Hooligan masks, finding himself staring into the yellow lenses.

Eric voice drifts in the now still silence of the shop. "As for what I want, why are you asking me? You're the one arguing with yourself." Max takes several deep breaths, letting the mask fall from numbed fingers before dropping to his knees and wiping the forming tears from his eyes as he chokes back the lump forming in his throat. He remains like that for nearly fifteen minutes before reaching down and taking the mask up again. Turning it over slowly in his hands he pauses for a moment before slipping it on and rising to his feet once again. "Alright.. let's raise some hell." A final rolling clap of thunder rattles the workshop, as it heralding his resurrection. Or warning the city of what is to come.

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