Backstage in the area that is very much still hotel territory, a door swings open and Nova shoulders his way through, duffel bags of wrestling gear under each arm. As the door swings back to, PRIME’s Co-Head of Security, Wade Elliott, catches it and follows the Risen Star into the carpeted hallway.
Nova looks back and grins at The Bad Dog.
Nova: In case I missed it, the Court didn’t order you to help me with my bags, right?
Wade Elliott: If they were tellin’, I weren’t listenin’.
Nova: Yeah, I didn’t remember that part, either.
They keep walking, and before long the hallway opens up to a centralized hub that extends in different directions…but primarily houses the Glue Factory’s merch center. Nova and Wade look around at the display stands.
Nova: Feels a little ‘Squid Game’ in her if I’m being honest…
Wade Elliott: Never liked seafood anyways. We can hustle our asses right on through s’far as I’m concerned..
“Well, hold on.”
Phil Atken steps into the path of the Risen Star and his new custodian, Hank shuffling behind him with narrow eyes and bad intent trained on the Glue Factory’s visitors.
Phil Atken: Relax, no harm will come to you here. I’m not going to risk precious stock getting wrecked up by the likes of you, Nova. In case you haven’t noticed, I spread my message in the ring.
Atken nods at Hank, who immediately switches from a tense guard dog posture and whatever levels of relaxed that a Hank can look. Atken for his part doesn’t even seem to have noticed that Wade Elliott is even part of this group, his eyes locked firmly towards Nova.
Phil Atken: It’s just a shame that you haven’t had the opportunity to contribute towards the Glue Factory brand yet. I was actually hoping to make you part of the founders club but they really wanted you tucked away safely in that Survivor floor of the hotel. Still, the company is always seeking fresh products…
Atken looks almost a little too proud of himself, there’s a bit of anxiety running through his voice, as if a mixture of nerves and excitement have taken him over.
Phil Atken: I really do have more important matters to attend to… I just wanted to make you aware that The Glue Factory remains very excited for a future collaboration with Nova. Dusk was a business decision, but to sell a fine line of Nova products… that’s a passion project.
Nova looks Atken up and down, spares a glance for Hank, then back to Atken.
Nova: Gonna need you to take it down about ten-to-fifteen there, Phil. I’m not interested in whatever book club you’re trying to start, and last time “Nova merch” made headlines, my action figure’s turn-and-crank joint-smoking feature was revealed to contain a fatal manufacturing defect.
Phil Atken: I…did not hear about that.
Wade Elliott: Settled out’ve court.
Phil Atken: How…would that even…
Wade Elliott: Damn…they were good kids, too…
Nova stares off distantly.
Nova: We honor their memory…within the terms and conditions of the non-disclosure agreement, of course.
He looks back to Phil.
Nova: So that’s gonna be a hard pass from me.
Atken stares at Nova quietly for a moment…then smiles and steps out of their path, waving them on.
Phil Atken: Sadly, it’s not really your choice to make. I thought we’d be able to take the easy path on this one… well, if circumstances change…
He gestures around at his tiny fiefdom.
Phil Atken: …clearly you know where to find me.
Nova stares at him for a moment longer as Wade side-eyes Hank, then they make their way on towards Nova’s locker room area.