REPORT TO YOUR PROBATION OFFICER
Backstage, the camera fades into a locker room area where Nova sits on a bench. The Risen Star’s managerial team, Benj and Dickie, pace around the room on their phones. Nova’s DOC-supervised companion David Foster stands over him inspecting his gear. Nova rotates his shoulder, pointing to his pads and gloves, explaining how to get the fit in place for a match.
Hayes Hanlon sits in a steel-chair nearby, fresh off his victory from the earlier match. He unlaces his black boots, the remnants of sweat still present. Nova taps David on the chest and nods towards Hanlon, grinning.
Nova: Look at him. All serious. Trying not to smile.
Hanlon averts his eyes, attempts his best stoic façade, then his shoulders slump and a broad grin crosses his face.
Nova: Congratulations, motherfucker.
Hayes Hanlon: Thanks, man. I needed that one. Don’t take it the wrong way if I kinda hope you don’t make it in. I do NOT wanna go up against The Risen Star.
Nova: I guess we’ll-
Nova’s train of thought is interrupted as his eyes fix on the TV monitor hanging down from the corner of the room. The local news broadcast is airing a shot of a press conference where Bruce “Violence Jack” Shanahan, clad in a jet black suit and crimson button-up shit, stands adjacent to a podium occupied by a sweaty, puffy-faced bureaucrat. Julian Bathory stands off to Shanahan’s right in a black turtleneck and forest green overcoat.
Bureaucrat: (Blotting his forehead with a handkerchief) “We here at the Nevada Department of Corrections…we are just thrilled – over the moon, really – about our new partnership with MESSIAH and their comprehensive treatment program.
Nova looks over to Dickie.
Nova: C’mon, who is buying this shit? It’s the same fucking cult it’s always been.
Dickie looks up from his phone and shrugs.
Nova: (looking around) Don’t mean to take up everyone’s time or anything, clearly just talking to myself here…
Hayes Hanlon: No, I’m with you, Bathory and Shanahan are straight up cultists, scam artists at best…
The door swings open and a young man enters, clad in a bland collared shirt, Nevada DOC badge hanging off the waistband of his slacks.
Caseworker: Vega, after your match you need to report to your P.O.
Nova: Huh? What for?
Nova gestures down at his leg. His GPS ankle bracelet is blinking green.
Nova: My GPS is fine, I’m where I’m supposed to be, my next meeting and UA isn’t until Monday.
Benj by now has put his phone away and takes a step towards the caseworker.
Benj: What’s going on here? We weren’t notified about any changes to the meeting schedule.
Caseworker: (shrugging) Listen, I was instructed to pass it along. I’m passing it along. After your match, go see your P.O. They’ll have more information.
The caseworker turns and leaves the room as Nova looks around at his crew, clearly confused.