No More Surprises
Following the commercial break, we’re taken backstage where a curly-haired shadow looms large over Dickie Parker, Nova, and Benj as they sit wide-eyed in chairs in front of a large mahogany desk. The camera swings around to the face of Lindsay Troy, color flushing her cheeks, eyes narrowed.
Lindsay Troy: I am…speechless.
Benj raises a hand.
Troy flicks her gaze to him and he immediately freezes.
Lindsay Troy: You! Did you think because your daddy is an investor in my company that gave you any authority to do anything except maybe volunteer for T-Shirt Cannon duty?!
Benj winces and lowers his hand. Dickie raises his.
Dickie Parker: We-
Troy whips around to him.
Lindsay Troy: And you! I thought you had more sense than this, Dickie. Him, I almost understand (gesturing to Benj) but you…surely you didn’t think being Richard Parker’s son – of all things – would give you carte blanche for a scheme like this?
Dickie shakes his head.
Nova: Lindz, I-
Troy darts her right hand out, silencing the Risen Star.
Lindsay Troy: (taking a deep breath) Caes…you know I love you. I’m glad you’re not in jail because we were all really worried about you. But right now, you need to can it.
The Queen of the Ring collapses back into her chair and pinches the bridge of her nose.
Lindsay Troy: How many are there? What are we talking about here?
Benj: The program never got off the ground.
Dickie: We only got one more approved before we talked with Nova and shut the whole thing down.
Troy’s eyes wander past the trio and over to David, who stands awkwardly in the corner. Her gaze draws down to the blinking green light on the ankle bracelet attached to his left ankle. He waves hello and attempts a smile.
Nova: (weakly) You see, it’s really not as bad as-
Lindsay Troy: As? As WHAT? I’m doing literally everything in my power to resurrect a wrestling behemoth, with ALL that entails – and it’s a LOT – and I have one Hall of Famer and one complete stranger WANDERING AROUND ON CORRECTIONS SUPERVISION WITH ANKLE MONITORS!
Everyone recoils back, Lindsay’s legendary temper coming out in full force. She takes a deep breath in an attempt to calm herself, then looks up at David, who is trying to make himself as small as possible.
Lindsay Troy: What’s your name?
David: David Foster.
She scrutinizes him. David can’t help but feel it’s not unlike a full body cavity search.
Lindsay Troy: Alright, David Foster…you can stay, but you’re stuck with these idiots. God help you.
She turns her gaze back to Nova, Benj, and Dickie.
Lindsay Troy: As for you three…the program is shut down, right?
They all nod earnestly.
Lindsay Troy: Then I don’t suppose so much damage is done that we won’t see our way through this thing. Just…please no more surprises. Please.
She turns in her seat to face the wall and runs a hand through her hair.
Lindsay Troy: Alright, go do something productive. And stay out of trouble.
David opens the door to her office and Dickie and Benj file out. Nova isn’t far behind them when Troy turns back around.
Lindsay Troy: Caes…
Nova turns back.
Lindsay Troy: (smiling) …it’s good to see you.
Nova turns back, flashing a grin, and for a moment all the years haven’t passed by at all.
Nova: Good to see you too, Lindz.
He ducks out and the Queen of the Ring rubs her temple, feeling a headache coming on. Outside in the hallway, King Blueberry and Bobby Dean whiz by on a gaudily decked-out forklift as “No Scrubs” by TLC blares from the boombox tied to El Hijo del Señor Cool Guy.
Out of the corner of her eye, Lindsay catches the movement and whips her head towards the door.
Lindsay Troy: What the…