CSWA line producer MARVIN PARSONS gives the five-minute countdown to VERSUS host JOHN SIMONS as he goes over his notes in the make-up chair. These PRIMETIME POOLJAM tours seem glamorous -- but it's never a free vacation for the crew, just a grueling schedule, especially given the CSWA's usual lax show lineup.
Marvin uses the extra time before the taping begins to touch base with road agent Brian Nord. The ship is supposed to come into Montego Bay for PRIMETIME this evening, but with the fiasco of last evening... the Red Midget's bizarre life story in just five acts, or was it six, who knows? Everything had gone odd... controlled chaos. On the surface, nothing was different about the show prep. But beneath... Thomas locked in the Presidential Suite, the Red Midget and his security goons appear to have control of the ship on orders of the "Hacker", Ivy nowhere to be found, and now Hornet on the missing list, just a few hours before his match at PRIMETIME.
Simons is at the desk now, a replica of the one back in CSWA Studios in Greensboro, now set up in a small conference room connected to two others that together serve as the makeshift production control room. As Simons and the stage manager go over the final list of segment breaks, Marvin takes a minute to himself, sixty seconds to try and make sense of why, with everything out of control, this mystery man known as the Hacker is so bent on everyone pretending that it's business as normal.
Sixty seconds becomes more like ninety. Marvin comes out of deep thought (as deep as a Parsons can think, that is) as the show is already underway. As Simons completes his introduction, Marvin calls for the cut to the Sean Stevens segment.