OUTSIDE THE BOX
The feed cuts to the PRIME-Porium (a.k.a. the merch booths) where we can see several loyal PRIMEates lined up into extended rows, waiting to make purchases. The chain-linked back wall is a grid of t-shirts, foam fingers, posters, action figures, and masks.
Off to the side of this scene, the nefarious Rezin and his newly appointed financial assistant Ollie Arsvinnar are watching this ongoing display of consumerism. Unsurprisingly, the Goat Bastard wears a scowl of utter contempt upon his grizzled face. The Viking accountant, on the other hand, demonstrably holds his hands out to the throng of fans eagerly throwing their money on the table.
Ollie Arsvinnar: See what I mean, Rezin? Merch sales are pretty hot right now. If a quick and easy payout is what you’re looking for, then I’m telling you, this is the way to go!
Rezin: (unimpressed) Eehhyyuuggghhh… looks like another corporate scam to me. And to think, these ignorant rubes are willin’ to waste thirty minutes of their lives just to stand in line for a cheap, disposable rag that’ll one day end up on the rack of a discount store.
Ollie Arsvinnar: I don’t know, buddy… branding could go a long way toward our interests. Just imagine the revenue we could bring in with a shirt that says something like a “Too PUNK ROCK For Pro Wrestling”!
For a moment, Rezin’s gaze drifts off as he envisions the shirt. Perhaps that probably would look pretty badass… but he quickly shakes these thoughts from his head.
Rezin: And let the corporate overlords take their cut? Hard pass. I ain’t in the business of letting the parasites profit off my labor. If anybody was THAT committed to wantin’ to support this ol’ dopesmoker out in the crowd, they can take a Sharpie marker to any old rag sittin’ in their drawer. Save ‘em a lot of money… and they’d have a one-of-a-kind item!
Arsvinnar sighs with defeat.
Ollie Arsvinnar: Well, Rezin, I don’t know how I’m supposed to help you out with your issues if you’re not going to be open to my ideas…
Rezin redirects his gaze to the Viking and points to his temple.
Rezin: Cause you’re still using this in the conventional sense, ya normie Norseman! Do I look like a businessman to you? If we’re gonna make stacks of them dolla-dolla bills, then we need to be thinkin’ outside the box! Like MY idea…
Ollie Arsvinnar: Rezin, I told you, there’s no way–
Rezin: DAMBIT, OLVIR! You know as well as I do that there’s ONLY ONE WAY to do this… and THAT IS…
He trails off, sniffing the air. His wild eyes begin darting erratically to and fro.
Ollie Arsvinnar: …Ovaltine?
In a flash, Rezin TWIRLS around and outstretches his arm into a dramatic POINT that stops a junior reporter dead in his tracks.
Cross-eyed, Simon Tillier looks down at Rezin’s index finger held precisely at the tip of his nose.
Simon Tillier: Hello, Rezin. “Good” to see you too.
Rezin: Thought you could SNEAK UP on me again, eh?
Simon Tillier: I’ve been… standing over here for a good minute, waiting for you to notice me.
The Goat Bastard arches an eyebrow in Ollie’s direction, who nods, confirming that this was the case.
Rezin: (muttering) Damb… I gotta start checking my six more often…
Rezin’s eyes narrowed in suspicion as he turns back to the junior reporter, still seemingly frozen in place at the tip of his finger. He gives Simon’s nose an affectionate wiggle before lowering the arm.
Rezin: …OF COURSE I knew you were here the whole time! I just like BURNIN’ the company’s dime by making you WAIT! Now whaddya want, Simon?
Simon Tillier: I’m just here to ask if you heard some of the recent news in regards to the upcoming Pay Per View event, Great American Nightmare?
Rezin: I dunno… I hear much, Simon. Usually it’s something like, “Rezin, stay out of there” or “get a job, you bum” or “hey man, can I get a lid?” Can’t say that I’ve had much time as of late to dedicate any attention outside of figurin’ out whatever it is the Overlords have planned for me in their latest futile attempt to suppress all the PUNK ROCK CHAOS I’ve unleashed upon their precious federation! You need to be a little more specific, my dweebish dude.
Simon Tillier: Well, to be specific then, I’m referring to the ongoing battle surrounding the Five Star Championship, and how YOU factor into it.
The Escape Artist’s attention perks.
Simon Tillier: Word is, whoever walks out of next week’s match between Hayes Hanlon, Alexander Redding, and Cecilia Ryan as the Five Star Champion will be defending it against YOU at Great American Nightmare.
Rezin blinks. This is apparently news to him.
Rezin: …that a fact?
Simon Tillier: According to a statement made by Lindsay Troy herself, it is.
Smiling, Rezin turns back to Olvir and again taps at his temple.
Rezin: See what I mean? “Outside the box.”
Arsvinnar can only roll his eyes.
Rezin: Well, Simon… guess I’m gonna be payin’ some extra close attention to this match you speak of! My ultimate ambitions of spreadin’ MASS ANARCHY in the world of wrestling could strongly benefit in taking that title! It would CERTAINLY be a great blow to the authoritarian regime that runs this place! Not to mention, some much needed vindication, given I was ROBBED out of winnin’ that belt by those crooked enforcers back at Culture Shock!
Simon Tillier: Again, I should remind you, you had the same chance as anyone else in that match, Rezin.
Rezin: CHANCE is one thing, Simon… but CIRCUMSTANCE is another! At least THIS time, in a straight one-on-one, I won’t have to worry about anyone stealin’ the match right out from under me! One way or the other, at Great American Nightmare, someone’s gonna walk out of there lookin’ like a REAL champion!
Simon Tillier: Of course though, you must realize that it also limits your ability to go for the cheap and easy win, as you’ve consistently done in every match you’ve won in PRIME to date.
Rezin groans, and grinds his teeth.
He gets uncomfortably close to Simon, glaring angrily into his eyes.
Rezin: …you think it’s EASY bein’ ME?!
He is tired of the junior reporter’s face, so he instead looks over to the lines of fans at the merch booths. An idea comes to him.
Rezin: You wanna do t-shirts, Olvir? Fine… YOU handle that racket! But first, you’re gonna have to help me with the design…
A dastardly grin crosses the Goat Bastard’s face as he looks to Asrvinnar. Ollie sighs, knowing exactly what’s being asked of him. He moves around behind Simon…
Simon Tillier: Wait, what… HEY!!
Before he knows it, the towering Viking accountant grabs the reporter by the arms and hooks them around his back, albeit as gently as possible. Tillier squirms to free himself, but doesn’t budge.
Olvir Arsvinnar: Real sworry about this, buddy… it’s for your own protection.
A can of spray paint has materialized in Rezin’s hand.
Simon Tillier: Oh no… wait! What are you going to do with THAT?!
Rezin tears open Simon’s blue blazer and proceeds to spray onto his white dress shirt a jagged black letter “R” with a circle around it. He is cackling with delight as Tillier looks down in horror.
Simon Tillier: My shirt! My one good shirt!
When the work is complete, Ollie dutifully releases him. Simon is aghast as he looks at the tag left on his chest. The shirt is completely ruined!
Rezin: Now THERE’S a one-of-a-kind item! HAHAHAHA!!
The Goat Bastard tussles Simon’s hair and continues his raspy fit of laughter until it gives way to a fit of coughing. Ollie assists him out of the shot before throwing the reporter one last apologetic glance. Tillier is left before the camera, looking down at the encircled “R” on his chest. He is too overwhelmed with the feeling of being violated to say anything else.