Crash Bag, Vol. 77: Max Pentecost
Yesterday morning, Keith Law and Christopher Crawford took a crack at ranking the top 30 prospects for next year’s amateur draft. It’s on Insider, so I won’t ruin the content too much, but many of my favorite college prospects were there, including Trea Turner, Aaron Nola, Tyler Beede and Carlos Rodon, who’s going to go No. 1 overall and upon whose doorstep I’ve been sleeping for months in the hope that he’ll notice me and love me the way I love him. South Carolina’s two big junior stars, Joey Pankake and Grayson Greiner, were not on the list, which is slightly disappointing if not entirely surprising.
But the big story is this guy: 11. Max Pentecost, C | Kennesaw State
Max Pentecost? MAX PENTECOST. You’d get laughed out of The Expendables with a name like Max Pentecost. Max Pentecost drives a Plum Crazy Dodge Challenger and hides a Desert Eagle behind his chest protector. Rock Shoulders is wimp’s name by comparison.
@LikeShackleton: “Can you tell me everything about Max Pentecost?”
You’re in luck. I can do precisely that.
Max Pentecost is a CIA-trained assassin. He is a former U.S. Army Ranger, an expert in Krav Maga, demolitions, a decorated marksman and a polyglot who speaks five languages. Max Pentecost wears suits so well-tailored you can’t dribble a basketball in them, then runs the mile in 4:30 in leather-soled Italian loafers. Max Pentecost gels his hair with the bile of dead terrorists. Max Pentecost knows where Jimmy Hoffa is buried and won’t tell you. He is the inspiration for Jack Ryan, John Clark, Jason Bourne, James Bond and Neil DeGrasse Tyson. He plays by his own rules.
@Tenaciousjdd: “By whose rules does Max Pentecost play?”
His own, by God! Max Pentecost once evaded FSB-trained assassins by powersliding his signature white BMW M5 around the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, all with one hand on the wheel, because during that time he riddled the Russians’ pursuit car with submachine gun bullets, all the while whistling Joe Dassin’s classic ditty “Les Champs-Elysées.” He did not spill his espresso.
Of course, after this car chase, wanton violence and gunplay being frowned upon in Paris more than it is in, say, Texas, Agent Pentecost was taken in for questioning, but was released on his own recognizance in minutes without having to break his cover. He’s that charming.
@jh_moore: “Could he pilot a Jaeger solo like Stacker Pentecost?”
I’m sure he could, but Stacker Pentecost couldn’t talk the Kaiju back into the wormhole like Max Pentecost could. And Max Pentecost wouldn’t have been such a baby about his nosebleeds either.
@TheBigCup: “can we get a compete Max Pentecost script?”
Story and Screenplay by Michael Baumann
Directed by John Woo
- Michael Fassbender as Max Pentecost
- F. Murray Abraham as Ruslan Kutlak, FSB agent and primary badguy
- Demian Bichir as Carlos Rodon, Venezuelan intelligence officer and secondary badguy
- Olga Kurylenko as Svetlana Derzhava, former FSB operative and Max Pentecost sidekick
- Shailene Woodley as Nola Aaron, CIA analyst and Max Pentecost sidekick
- Karl Urban as Major Jacob Gatewood, SAS
- Jim Broadbent as Sir Michael Gettys, head of MI6
- Derek Luke as Braxton Davidson, CIA
(UPDATE: Thanks to Colin Wyers of Baseball Prospectus, we have a movie poster, featuring Michael F. Assbender.)
Major Jacob Gatewood sat nervously on a park bench in Manchester, England, clutching a leather briefcase with one hand and sipping coffee from a paper cup he held with the other. He could feel his light gray suit starting to get soggy with the humidity when he saw a familiar white BMW pull up to the curb. Gatewood stood and strode over to the car, tossing his drink in the trash as he did so. He opened the door and sat himself next to his longtime friend, CIA Agent Max Pentecost.
“Do you have it?” Pentecost asked as he dropped the car into gear.
“Barely got it out of London with it, but here it is. I’ve got assurances it will pass.”
The BMW pulled up to a large house in the suburbs. Pentecost shut off the engine and nodded to his companion, and the two walked up to the door. Gatewood, holding the bag in one hand, rang the bell. A middle-aged man in a goatee and a white suit answered the door.
“Are you my deliverymen?”
“We are,” Gatewood said. “Are you Rodon?”
The man smiled. “Come in, come in. So, you have the documents?”
“Where’s Ruslan Kutlak?” Gatewood asked.
“Please. The documents.”
Pentecost looked around nervously. Something wasn’t quite right. “Mr. Rodon, do you even know where Kutlak is?”
“Yes.” Rodon waved, and five men in military uniforms entered the living room, guns hanging from straps around their shoulders. “And I’ll tell you, but you may not live to relay that information to your superiors. The game is over, gentlemen.”
Pentecost smiled and began to move his hand slowly toward the small of his back. “It’s a beautiful day for a ballgame,” he said, nodding subtlely to Gatewood. “Let’s play two.”
Pentecost drew his weapon and quickly double-tapped three of Rodon’s henchemen. The immediate confusion gave Gatewood an opening to lunge for Rodon, but the Venezuelan was ready for him. Rodon’s dagger nearly cut Gatewood with his first swipe, but the SAS officer dodged the blow. By this point, the two remaining henchmen had drawn their weapons and opened fire. Pentecost dove behind the kitchen counter, dropping one of Rodon’s men with an expertly aimed shot as he did so.
Gatewood wrestled Rodon to the floor, too busy trying to hold off Rodon’s knife to reach for his own weapon.
“Max! Max!” he yelled, slowly losing ground as the point of the dagger inched closer to him.
“Hang on, I’ve got it, I’ve got it!” Pentecost peeked around the corner, fired twice blindly and saw that in the crossfire, a block of kitchen knives had been knocked to the floor. Pentecost grabbed one and reached over the counter to fire again. His shots forced the final henchman to duck, and in the split second before he reappeared, Pentecost stood and flung the knife across the room, striking the startled Venezuelan commando in the throat.
Without a second to lose, Pentecost scrambled for a fallen gun and trained it on Rodon. “Drop it! The knife! Now, Rodon, drop it!”
Rodon refused and pressed the flat of the blade against Gatewood’s throat. “You don’t know who you’re dealing with. Kutlak is merciless.”
“So am I.”
“You don’t know Ruslan Kutlak. You’ve never dealt with anyone like him.”
Pentecost stepped closer and kicked Rodon in the elbow. Rodon dropped the knife and Gatewood immediately reversed the hold, pressing his gun against Rodon’s temple.
“He’s in America right now,” Rodon said. “You don’t know the destruction he can bring down on you.”
“What do you mean he’s in America?”
“Just that. Your nation is in a precarious place, Agent Pentecost.”
@bxe1234: “If Michael Fassbender’s playing Max Pentecost, will there be nude scenes? Did you see Shame? 80 Wang.”
Max Pentecost and Svetlana Derzhava sat on the patio of a Brussels restaurant. The sun was setting behind Svetlana, who had the effect of a halo in the stray wisps of her jet-black hair.
“Why aren’t you back in America yet?” Svetlana asked, swirling her vodka in its glass.
“It’s not that long a train ride here. I fly out in the morning.”
“You underestimate Kutlak, Agent Pentecost.”
“We’ve got thousands of agents looking for him,” Pentecost said, contemplating his half-empty chalice of Trappist ale more than his nemesis. “And you underestimate me, Svetlana.”
She laughed. “I don’t think so.”
“You don’t, do you?” Pentecost lowered his sunglasses. “Who exfiltrated you from that holding cell at Lubyanka Square? Who found out where Kutlak was hiding?”
“I recall Major Gatewood doing those things. And doing them without your insistence on self-aggrandizement, Agent Pentecost.”
“But Major Gatewood isn’t here.”
“I suppose not.”
Pentecost finished the last of his beer, removed his sunglasses, and placed them on the table. He looked through piercing blue eyes at his companion. “You know, Svetlana, I don’t know what I’m going to do with my last 12 hours in Brussels.”
“Go see the Atomium,” Svetlana said dismissively.
“I’ve seen it. I’ve had a firefight outside it, in fact.”
“Is there anyplace you haven’t shot someone?”
“Not in the civilized world, darling.”
“What do you call the civilized world?”
“It’s not my job to make that distinction.”
“Because you’re not a diplomat?”
Pentecost shrugged. “So they say.”
“So what are you going to do now?”
“Order another beer, I suppose. Maybe some cake. Would you like another drink?”
“No, I mean about Kutlak.”
Pentecost’s eyes narrowed. “I’m going to kill him. I’m going to find him and shoot him through the heart.”
“Just so.” Pentecost smiled and took Derzhava’s hand. “You know, my plane doesn’t leave for another ten hours.”
“You think I’m that easy?”
“I don’t. But I know that’s why you met me here.”
Svetlana smirked and leaned across the table toward Pentecost. “Well…not the only reason.”
@AntsinIN: “Complete the plot: Max Pentecost successfully infiltrates the Winter Meetings in order to _________________”
Max Pentecost felt ridiculous in his polo shirt and baggy khakis, but cover identities being what they were, he had to fit in. The latest intelligence on Ruslan Kutlak placed him in Disneyworld, conveniently the site of baseball’s Winter Meetings. Disguised as members of the Washington Nationals’ front office, Pentecost, Davidson, Gatewood and Aaron had infiltrated baseball’s biggest offseason gathering in the hope of tracking down the world’s most dangerous man–Ruslan Kutlak.
Sitting outside the hotel, Pentecost scanned the crowd for their target, while Nola Aaron walked beside him, half her attention fixed on her tablet and the other half devoted to nagging Pentecost about the lackadaisical schedule he’d kept in returning from Europe.
“We’ve been here for two days, you know,” she said. “I’m not sure why you had to stop off in Brussels for all that time, but it’s a good thing Kutlak hasn’t blown Florida off the map while you were draggin’ ass all the way back here.”
“Maybe he should have. It’s December–how can it still be this humid down here?”
“I like the humidity.”
“You would.” Pentecost smiled and elbowed Nola playfully, but out of the corner of his eye, he recognized, only for a moment, a familiar face. He discreetly brought his wrist up to his face and spoke into the microphone that was hidden in the sleeve of his jacket. “All agents, this is Pentecost. Possible contact of primary target 300 meters west of main hotel. Subject is headed toward the hotel and is wearing a red jacket and brown pants. Anyone have him?”
“Gatewood here. He’s walking pretty much a straight line from a row of garbage cans set up next to a tent on the lawn. At your ten o’clock, Pentecost, about 150 meters out.”
“Copy. Mark that spot and send a team to check it out. Aaron and Pentecost in pursuit of target.” Pentecost nodded toward Nola and they turned to follow the man they believed to be Kutlak. As he came closer to the hotel, they gradually made up ground, inching closer and closer until, as he walked under the main entrance, Pentecost saw the man glance over his shoulder. It’s Kutlak for sure, he thought. That was confirmed when the man reached into his jacket and begin to turn around.
“Nola, get down!” Pentecost yelled as he stepped in front of his partner, grabbed her by the shoulders and dropped to the sidewalk. Nola winced and hit the pavement hard, while Pentecost rolled back to his feet, his pistol already in his hands as the first blast from Kutlak’s submachine gun sent bullets over the crowd. Pentecost took aim but dared not fire into the crowd, which was already dispersing away from the hotel rapidly.
“You okay?” Pentecost yelled at Nola.
“Is that him?”
“Yes! Are you okay?”
“Yes, go! I’ll call it in and be right behind you.”
Pentecost took off at a dead run toward the hotel. He saw Kutlak slip in a side door and reached it ten seconds after the Russian. Kutlak was running up the stairs as quickly as he could, but he was easily 30 years older than Pentecost and couldn’t run for long. By the fifth floor, he saw Pentecost gaining, stopped, turned and fired. Pentecost, unhurt, nevertheless slowed his pursuit, unsure of how to get past what he was sure would be a hail of bullets if he got close enough to take Kutlak alive.
His earpiece squawked. “Max, this is Davidson. Do you copy?”
“I’m here, but I’m kind of busy right now. In pursuit of Kutlak, taking fire, southeast service stairwell in the hotel. Can you bring backup?”
“Sorry, Max, but a bomb went off at the exhibition tent–we’re waist deep in wounded here. Gatewood and I are coming, but I can’t guarantee that anyone else will get there in time.”
“Understood. Nola okay?”
“She’s fine. You think he’s going to the roof?”
“I’ll see about air cover. Davidson out.”
The conversation slowed Pentecost down, but Kutlak had nowhere to go but up. Pentecost flung open the service door to the roof and was immediately knocked forward on his face by an explosion. Momentarily stunned, he came to and found himself staring up at the snarling face of Ruslan Kutlak.
“Agent Pentecost,” Kutlak said as he kicked Pentecost’s gun away. “I’ve been told you’re eager to meet me. Well here I am.”
Pentecost said nothing.
Kutlak laughed. “Good, good, good. The defiant American–so eager to achieve his goal that he loses all sense of caution, of perspective. You thought you were doing so well, getting through my minions. You killed Rodon, you turned Svetlana against me. But here I am, among how many hundreds of your American dead, with a gun in your face.”
“It’s about time something went right for you,” Pentecost said, looking around desperately for a weapon.
“And they told me you were funny, Agent Pentecost! They did not lie. You know, in another life, I believe you and I would be great friends. I admire a great deal about you, Agent Pentecost–your resourcefulness, your courage. But those things will be your undoing.”
Pentecost’s earpiece chirped again. “Max, this is Nola. We’ve got you on the security cameras. Gatewood and Davidson are coming, but you might not have the time it takes for them to get to you. Your gun is about two feet behind you–you might be able to reach it.”
Pentecost got up onto his elbows and scuttled backwards, hoping to stumble onto his weapon before Kutlak tired of toying with him.
“Tell me, Agent Pentecost,” Kutlak said, smiling, “is this how you thought you’d–” Kutlak, only for a moment, lowered his gun and Pentecost took the opportunity, flinging himself backwards, grabbing his own weapon, rolling, turning and firing, hitting the Russian once in the arm and once more in the chest. Kutlak fell on his side and rolled over on his back, gasping for air as he bled. Pentecost stood, looked over the edge of the roof and waved to Nola, then walked over to the fallen Russian.
“No, Ruslan Vladimirovich,” he said, pointing the gun at Kutlak’s head. “I didn’t think you’d kill me. And I was right.” Pentecost fired once. Justice was served.