BALL DON’T LIE
Backstage in the T-Mobile Arena’s designated space for PRIME’s medical staff, Nova is stretched out on a gurney, surrounded on all sides by a curtain that has been pulled to. His eyes are closed and his slow, rhythmic breathing is audibly labored. Bands of supportive tape are wrapped around his ribs, the medical team’s reaction to Ivan Stanislav stomping a metaphorical mudhole in his ass only a short time ago.
There is a scraping sound as the curtain is pulled back, and a tall shadow casts itself over the form of the Risen Star.
God’s Champion is making a personal call.
Hoyt Williams pulls the curtain to behind him and takes a step forward, his icy blue eyes trained on Nova’s face.
Hoyt Williams: “I see Russia engaging in a full well laid out assault using all their force occupying Nova with ease. In defeat I see the assault continuing way beyond expectations.”
Hoyt Williams: It was foretold. The repercussions continue. Hell WILL follow. How long before the heathens listen when I gift them a prophecy?
Hoyt steps around the right side of the bed and looks down at Nova, whose labored breathing continues, his taped chest slowly rising and falling.
Hoyt Williams: I told you to go home. But you no doubt treated that warning as a joke…the same way you’ve always treated the Voice of God.
Hoyt leans down until he is almost nose-to-nose with Nova.
Hoyt Williams: Always “above it.” Always the darling. Even on your worst day.
His frown curls into a sneer.
Hoyt Williams: You were never better than me.
Hoyt’s eyes travel over to the side table where Nova’s personal effects have been deposited into a plastic bowl. He sees an orange golf ball with the word “NOVA” written on it next to keys and a wallet. He grabs the ball and holds it in front of Nova’s face, a broad righteous grin spreading over his own.
Hoyt Williams: You have mocked me for the last time. I have been mocked for the last time. May your Reckoning be a message to all who would plug their ears and ignore my divine message.
The Pontiff takes a step back, clenching his fist around the ball.
Hoyt Williams: May you be a cautionary tale to all the others.
He turns and departs through the curtain. The camera focuses on Nova, whose taped chest continues to rise and fall with low, raspy breaths.
The shot fades to black before cutting back to ringside for the next match.