PUT ‘EM UP
As we come back from commercial, we see Paxton Ray and Foster Nackedy getting medical treatment after being attacked by Nova a few minutes ago.
Well, Paxton is getting treatment. Foster is tapping his feet.
Foster Nackedy: All right, let’s get this done. We got to get to argyle soon. Let’s hurry up?
Dr. Astrid Fihlguud: (annoyed) Paxton will be ready when I say he’s ready, Foster.
Paxton Ray: Why ya so skittish? They ain’t gonna start the match without…
“ARE YOU FOR REAL?!”
Consider your question answered, Mr. Ray, as Lindsay Troy storms into the room. To say she’s “upset” would be an understatement.
Lindsay Troy: What the fuck is wrong with you, Paxton? You tried to go after Jon again? FOR WHAT? Wasn’t UltraViolence enough for you, you piece of shit?
Foster looks like a deer caught in the headlights as his eyes flick back and forth between his boss and his charge. Astrid takes a knowing step back. Paxton remains silent as Lindsay gets right in his face.
Lindsay Troy: You got an answer or did Caes knock the last remaining brain cells out of your big dumb head?
Foster Nackedy: It was my fault. I was in the bathroom when he did that. You know how arena gumbo hits the system.
No one acknowledges Foster’s pithy comment as Paxton stares at his angry boss for a full five seconds, his scowl matching hers. Then, he shakes his head and starts to hop off the table.
Note the word starts, because Troy’s hand immediately grasps his shoulder and holds him in place. For the second time in about six months, the two are exactly eye to eye.
Lindsay Troy: I asked if you had an answer, not if you felt like leaving.
There is a feeling in the air that everyone in the arena can feel, even though they’re watching it on the PRIMEView, as Paxton looks down at Lindsay Troy’s hand. When he looks back up at her, he’s smiling.
Paxton Ray: You’re puttin’ hands on me minutes ‘fore I’m about t’ fight? Feels like maybe you’re wantin’ t’take Sage’s place tonight?
From behind him, Foster’s eyes go wide.
Foster Nackedy: Uh, Pax?
He doesn’t look back at Foster as he answers.
Paxton Ray: Not now. I ain’t Chet Fleetwood, boss. I ain’t just gonna let ya put hands on me without puttin’ up mine.
For those who might be brand new ‘round these parts, Lindsay Troy is not – and never has been – one to back down from anyone. Ever. For any reason. And even though she’s now the one running the show in PRIME, that doesn’t mean the fighter in her isn’t gonna win out over the businesswoman from time to time.
Like now, when she digs her nails into Paxton’s shoulder and instinctively balls her free hand into a fist.
Lindsay Troy: Why don’t you go ahead and put ‘em up then, champ.
We will never find out if Paxton was going to put them up, because Foster Nackedy does what a manager is supposed to do when his client is about to make a fireable offense: he manages.
He steps in between the two and gently frees Paxton’s shoulder from Troy’s grip. Lindsay flashes him a look, but Foster does not notice or care as he is completely focused on Paxton.
Foster Nackedy: Pax. Stop. She’s goading you. Save that anger for Pontiff. Don’t do anything dumb.
Paxton Ray still does not look at his manager.
Paxton Ray: Fine. I’ll focus on Sage tonight. And then maybe I’ll give the Favoured Saints a call, see if I can do some fightin’ down the street one day.
Lindsay Troy: (smirking) Oh, I’d love that. You come on down to the DEFplex whenever you want and me and the boys’ll make you feel right at home.
Paxton Ray: I look forward to it.
Foster wraps his arm around Paxton’s torso and starts to walk out of the room, not bothering to wait for Astrid’s go-ahead. After a few seconds, Paxton allows himself to be moved along.
Foster Nackedy: Sorry boss. I’ll make sure he doesn’t do anything like that again.
Paxton Ray: He’ll try.
The champion and his manager shuffle off as Lindsay and Astrid watch them go.