“Told you I wouldn’t join the Bandits.”
In the Argyle position, “Event Horizon” Hayes Hanlon steadies himself. Big breaths through the nose. Fingers opening and closing. Clad in his black boots and his black tights, emblazoned with the Event Horizon logo; shirtless, fingers closing and extending.
Stepping into frame next to him, the Risen Star.
Geared in his own blue tights and boots, despite his match taking place the night before.
Bolts and boots.
Those who know it, right?
Nova: I never doubted it, Hayes.
Hanlon smiles lightly behind the curtain.
Nova: I’m gonna call it fair, you know. Jiles has never fought one in his life, but I need to call this one fair. Understand?
A nod from Home Run Hayes. Nova nods to himself in kind, brushing at the sleeves of his pinstripes.
They share a long silence.
Hayes Hanlon: (Breaking said silence) Did I ever tell you why I decided to call myself “Event Horizon’?
The question strikes through the dim backstage light. Starchild squints slightly, ever so slightly, at the young protege’s query.
Nova: I don’t believe I have.
Another meek grin from Hayes before elaborating.
Hayes Hanlon: It’s because event horizons are this…boundary. Where light and dust collects before it’s swallowed into…nothing. Into space. Into a black hole. And the only reason they exist…
A breath and a beat. Both men stare directly into the curtain that separates them from 20,000 roaring fans.
And in that breath, Nova smiles, while Hayes Hanlon does his very best to hold himself together;
“…is because of a supernova.”