JOIN THE FRAY
ReVival returns from commercial to the sight of Lindsay Troy striding down a hallway.
You might be thinking she’s on her way to wherever the hell Ivan Stanislav and Hayes Hanlon brawled off to and you would, unfortunately, be wrong.
No, the Queen of the Ring is headed in the direction of the wrestlers’ entrance and, by extension, the parking garage. Freeman Coliseum Security had alerted her to the presence of an unauthorized person, and while said person would normally be removed from the premises, they asked to “have an audience with the Queen” first.
One picture from Security later and here she is, power-walking with a purpose over to a group of security guards milling about in the balmy San Antonio night.
Lindsay Troy: Alright, where is he?
One of the guards tilts his head toward a series of unlit lights along the wall and Troy heads in that direction. As she gets closer, bright orange embers from the end of a lit cigarette illuminate a face for the briefest of moments. It’s not long enough of a drag to reveal the identity of the person behind the face, but it’s long enough to know there’s a rough exterior hiding there in the shadows.
???: Excuse me, Ma’am? May I have your autograph?
A derisive snicker accompanies the request. Removing the hood to his white and blue PRIME sweatshirt, Arthur Pleasant smirks before putting the cigarette out on the cement column in two spots. Then, using his finger to trace the ash, he creates a faint and crude smiley face. It’s random. It’s… unsettling.
Arthur Pleasant: I must apologize for my cringy, super clandestine appearance, my liege. But in my defense, I couldn’t exactly pop in for a ‘quick hello’ in a place where I’m not welcome to do such things!
Pleasant feigns a #sadface. Looking around to make sure nobody is making a bee-line for him as he stands in front of the ‘PRIME Minister’, he continues. Cautiously, but confidently.
Arthur Pleasant: That and–(sucks teeth)–there’s no one I give a shit about to say ‘hello’ to. Or at least, no one I give enough of a shit about who would warrant me being thrown out by security or being put in that little room that has no cameras to witness any beatings.
Lindsay Troy: So glad you decided not to shelve the supervillain monologue for my sake, Creepshow.
The Queen folds her arms in front of her, unamused. This is not the first time she’s run afoul of the self-proclaimed Denizen of Decay. It’s also not the second, or the third, or even the fourth.
These are all stories for another time, however.
Lindsay Troy: How about you get to why you’re here so I can go back to doing literally anything else with my evening.
Arthur Pleasant: Fine, fine. I’ll get right down to it, then. I heard a dirty little rumor that PRIME has an invitational battle royal with cheese thing happening. Invitational as in ‘anyone can join.’ Any truth to such a preposterous, unfounded, impossible rumor, Herr Madame?
An eye-roll from Troy. Right on time.
Lindsay Troy: Y’know, you could have called the office and asked this. And no, not anyone can join. It’s more like, most anyone can join unless I say no.
Arthur Pleasant: (tsk-ing) Honestly, Lindsay. You, of all people, should know that I’m anything but conventional. Conventional wisdom dictates that I leave a message about signing up for your Culture Shock Battle Royal, and then, through some dewy-eyed facilitator, it’s kept this big secret leading up to whenever my number gets called. Mm. Conventional wisdom dictates that I should sit back and watch all the speculation run rampant from your roster until… SURPRISE! Uncle Arthur’s come to play.
Pleasant wags a finger.
Arthur Pleasant: Where’s the fun in any of that? Why keep myself a secret when half the fun in situations like these are showing up where I’m least expected to show up to bulging eyes and listening to the scandalous whispers? Sorry not sorry. It just… won’t do. Instead, I prefer taking the eight and a half hour drive west of ‘Nawlins to look you in those sultry dark eyes of yours, LIVE on TV, and tell you simply this. Lindsay Bartholomew Troy?
He leans into her personal space.
Arthur Pleasant: I… want… in.
Lindsay, calmly, puts a single finger on Arthur’s shoulder and moves him backwards.
Lindsay Troy: I should tell you to fuck off right here and now, but there’s something very enticing about watching you get your shit kicked in by the absolute best collection of wrestlers on the planet. Your little mind games aren’t going to phase a lot of people here, Arthur, and you’re not as tough as you think you are, either. It’s a trait that runs in your family.
A triumphant smirk finds its way to her face.
Lindsay Troy: If you want to join the fray, then show up in Dallas. Let’s see if you last longer in PRIME than your daddy did.
With that, she takes her leave. Pleasant watches her walk away towards the entrance to the Freeman Coliseum. Almost salivating, he snickers for a moment before heaving a satisfied sigh.
Arthur Pleasant: Culture Shock?
He says this out loud to himself.
Arthur Pleasant: PRIME’s about to truly experience it. For the first fucking time.
Turning towards the smiley of ash he left behind on the cement column, he shrugs his shoulders.
“What’s the worst that could happen?”, he thinks to himself.
Skipping off into the distance as merrily as as a row boat down the stream, he disappears into the very shadows he emerged from as we cut to elsewhere backstage to a person that we hope doesn’t have guns on them.