LET LOVE DRIVE
Off a commercial break, the scene switches to outside the arena where a vintage Delorean DMC-12 (custom lime green paint job, though) zooms up to the front of the talent parking lot. The gullwing doors open and none other than Darin Zion pops out of the passenger side. He seems to be in such a hurry that he stops a few feet in front of the car and realizes he left his belongings in there. However, as Zion turns around, the driver’s door floats open, revealing the driver to be none other than “The Vintage” Conor Fuse, or, as he once appeared in PRIME last summer under the alias of COMIConor.
Conor Fuse: [Shouting] Dude!
Conor holds up Darin’s duffle bag.
Conor Fuse: Your stuff, guy!
Zion leans back, rolls his eyes and scrunches his face, in his best Ace Ventura “oh my” GIF reenactment. He marches towards the car.
Darin Zion: Thanks, Conor.
REAL LOVE takes the PRETTY PINK© branded bag off Conor’s hands.
Darin Zion: Sorry, kind of in a whirlwind right now. Vickie said it’s urgent and I HAVE TO be here ASAP!
A rattled Darin takes a moment to prop the bag across his shoulder.
Darin Zion: Also, thanks for the drive.
Conor seemingly takes a moment to reflect and then slowly nods his head like he understands. The Ultimate Gamer leans past his friend and stares at the arena directly in front of them. Conor processes more information.
Conor Fuse: So this is PRIME, huh? Looks like a normal, regular arena to me.
Fuse narrows his eyes to study the Greensboro Coliseum even further.
Conor Fuse: Yep. No prison setting. No Egg Bandit ship [side bar] what was that thing called again? [Back on track] No wrestling ring in the middle of the desert. It’s just your regular, basic arena. Hmph.
Fuse winks at Zion.
Conor Fuse: But yeah brother, don’t worry about the ride. It’s a typical day in Greensboro for me, lol. Comic-Con event and all. Glad we could catch-up, I’m not here often. I mean I was here once and ya know, not really feeling this North Carolina vibe, eh. It’s like, people are way too relaxed around these parts. Can’t park well, either. Anyone go to driving school? It’s also so quiet. I enjoy the hustle and bustle of Chicago or New York City, you see.
Zion’s body language suggests he really has to get going but also wants to be respectful of Conor’s diatribe… until a lightbulb goes off in Fuse’s head.
Conor Fuse: Ah shit, I’m rambling.
Zion returns the wink.
Conor Fuse: Okay dude, well, ya never know. I can feel the aura coming off this place. There’s a lot of evil villains inside. Got a taste of it back at the interfed thing, [puts a finger to his chin] shit what was that called again? [Back on track] I digress. Get in there and go attend to-
Another figure storms into the picture, standing directly behind Zion. As REAL LOVE spins around, the figure is revealed as Tristan-Crispin Gladhappy. TCG has an extremely concerned look on his face, unable to stand still.
Tristan-Crispin Gladhappy: Darin, hi.
The Nuzzle Lord leans down so he can look inside the car.
Tristan-Crispin Gladhappy: Listen, nice to meet you but we’ve got a very important meeting in mere moments. Vickie has called us all together! I hope you understand.
Conor waves his hand forward, as if pointing Zion towards TCG and the arena, although his body language and tone suggests otherwise.
Conor Fuse: Yeah, you better get going, dude. Jump on over there fast! This meeting can’t start without you… but also… weren’t you like, away from the team for the past couple of months?
Zion isn’t given the space to reply because Gladhappy, whose head is normally in the clouds, takes a step forward and lowers his voice.
Tristan-Crispin Gladhappy: Vickie requires Zion’s attendance. She needs him. Vickie always needs him. We’re a tight knit group and when one of us goes down, we pick each other up. When one of us triumphs…
Gladhappy stands upright, revealing a party hat and places it on Darin’s head. Then he brings his attention to Fuse.
Tristan-Crispin Gladhappy: We celebrate!
The Nuzzle Lord stops, lowers his head into his own chest and starts nuzzling himself. Meanwhile, Conor’s eyes bug out, having no clue what the hell he is witnessing. Fuse glances over to Zion as his eyebrows raise and mouth fumbles about, trying to find words. Only when Conor looks back towards Gladhappy, closes his eyes and takes a deep breath… is COMIConor able to respond.
Conor Fuse: Are you having a stroke?
Gladhappy stops nuzzling, completely oblivious to Fuse’s concern and picks up right where he left off.
Tristan-Crispin Gladhappy: The time to celebrate is on but it is for LOVE CONVOY members only. Capiche?
Once again Conor’s eyes bug out of his head.
Conor Fuse: You’re Italian?
Tristan-Crispin Gladhappy: American.
Conor Fuse: Same thing.
The gamer shifts in his chair and catches Darin’s attention.
Conor Fuse: Anyway Z, I’ll get outta your way. Listen, this PRIME thing, no bullshit, it sounds like a tits and giggles blast. Are you guys compatible with warp whistles here or something? ‘Cause there’s alotta people I’d like to get my hands on.
Now it’s Gladhappy raising a confused eyebrow.
Tristan-Crispin Gladhappy: Warp whistles?
Conor Fuse: Nevermind.
But before Conor’s automatic door fully lowers and locks into place, Tristan-Crispin takes a few additional paces forward, puts out his hand and stops the door from closing any further.
Tristan-Crispin Gladhappy: However, if you ARE interested to ever come back here…
He reaches into his pocket and reveals a PRETTY PINK© pamphlet, reading “JOIN THE LOVE CONVOY!” on the front of it.
Tristan-Crispin Gladhappy: We’re always looking for new members.
Conor sighs, leans forward and while biting his bottom lip, he begrudgingly snatches the pamphlet from TCG.
Conor Fuse: I’m sure you are.
Conor puffs out his cheeks while privately trying to discard the paper out the other side of the window.
Tristan-Crispin Gladhappy: Last guy who joined… didn’t really work out.
Conor Fuse: (Sarcasm) No kidding.
Tristan-Crispin Gladhappy: (Deadpan) None.
An awkward silence follows, as Conor’s still trying to quietly jam the leaflet out of sight.
Conor Fuse: Funny, I once knew a boy named Sutler…
Fuse waves his hands around, capturing Gladhappy, Zion and whomever else is part of this CONVOY in one fellow swoop.
Conor Fuse: Whatever you guys got going on, it kinda reminds me of his disposition. [Under his breath] Bunch of dysfunctional idiots all serving a “greater purpose”.
Conor’s head wanders to the roof of his car and his eyes roll back.
Conor Fuse: I liked that SRK. No clue what happened to him, though.
Fuse kicks into the present, presses a button on his car to rescind the passenger door completely and finally puts his hands on the wheel. The window rolls down and Conor once again cocks his head over with a shout.
Conor Fuse: This was fun, let’s never do it again, okay? Enjoy your toxic love triangle! That circle jerk shit ain’t for me. [Mumbling] Rather be in the fucking Bandits or something… [Back to his regular voice] Peace dudes!
Fuse drives into the distance while Tristan-Crispin reveals two party horns. He sticks one in his mouth and then firmly plants the other into Darin Zion’s.
Tristan-Crispin Gladhappy: Let’s celebrate! We’re off to round number three!!!
For TCG, he’s thrilled! Zion, however, can’t help but show a disgruntled look on his face, after losing in round number one again. Nevertheless, Gladhappy puts his arm around Zion as he tickle dances towards the arena, while Darin takes a moment to drift his head around and watch Conor Fuse’s car vanish into the distance.
We then cut to another backstage area.