#14 What You Will
There is a dark room being lit by Chinese paper lanterns on each sides. The paper lanterns illuminate the white robes of twelve members of The New Dawn. The Twelve Members of The New Dawn aka. The Twelve sit in a circle facing each other like hands on a clock, or more appropriately, like signs of the Zodiac. The sound of a door slamming sends no reaction through The Twelve as a distraught Joshua Rapture stumbles into the center of the circle. White scrubs have replaced his tights, but his appearance has remained essentially unchanged since leaving NAPW’s “Mayday”, he crosses his arms in some semblance of chagrin. For he knows what this is, this is a trial.
The Twelve all speak in unison, an amalgam of voices with one purpose, though only one mouth seems to move at a time starting with the northern-most figure.
Aries: State your name and profession.
Rapture looks around but cannot determine which one is speaking. He tries to straighten himself up and brush imagined dirt from his arms, but it only make him look more unstable.
Rapture: Joshua Rapture, LEADER of The New Dawn.
The voices repeat.
Taurus: PROFESSION, Mr. Rapture.
Rapture (dejected): Professional Wrestler, Gym Owner and Community Organizer
Gemini: Is it true that you have stated previously that it is your destiny to WIN the New Albert Pro-Wrestling Championship?
Rapture: I- no! It WAS my destiny to win Battlebowl but I was thwarted by interference.
Cancer: Interference, Mr. Rapture?
Rapture: Yes. Interference on the astral plane by the souls and spirits floating in the nether. You must understand that NAPW is a convergence for lost souls and the NAPW championship, people like Abbey Graves shine like beacons!
Leo: Can you save these lost souls?
Rapture: I- I can’t. They reject my ways. They reject OUR community. It would be like giving an infant a book on physics and asking it to build a rocket ship. Simply impossible. So why bother?
Virgo: We BOTHER so that they become better. So that they learn The Light and accept it willingly, not have it forced upon them.
Rapture’s face crinkles in confusion, hands out pleadingly as if to ask if any of The Twelve actually believe what they are saying.
Rapture: That is very easy of THE TWELVE to say. Twelve Knights of the round table right? Doesn’t that make me your King? Perhaps it refers to my twelve most trusted apostles, except that would make you all Judas’s.
The voices boom angrily.
Libra: You DARE compare us to The Betrayer?! It is you that have turned your back to the Lord!
Rapture: NO! HE TURNED HIS BACK ON ME! I was lost as my world crumbled around me and I looked to the heavens and no-one answered! My prayers go answered once again and I am left ALONE, to stand trial in front of a jury that I created! What would you have me do? Hand out pamplets on a street corner again? Eat in the soup kitchens like I did when I was lost? I assure if that’s what must be done to stop this nonsense, then I will abide. Although I will NOT do it in the name of The Lord, but in the name of Joshua Rapture.
A long silence passes.
Scorpio: You are to battle with Abigail Graves for the NAPW Championship at the next event.
Joshua’s face becomes ecstatic at the news he starts hopping around the circle, yet before he can leave the voices stop him.
Sagittarius: You are to lose this match. This is your punishment.
Rapture…. sags. “Lose?” his eyes say, contorted and hurt.
Capricorn: We have determined that your obsession with the championship has become sinful. It must be put to an end if you wish to continue leading The New Dawn.
Rapture: I’m not sure… if I can meet your demands.
Aquarius: You MUST Joshua. The New Dawn is fringing, almost split apart by YOUR own doing. You must prove your devotion to the cause and STOP this inconsequential quest for riches. It’s a fool’s folly!
Rapture: Then I suppose.. I have been a fool all along! I must think on these things…
Rapture goes to leave, head down and sullen but is stopped once more. This time the voice is just one man, almost silently to Joshua a follower speaks. Horned-Rim Glasses shine out from under a white hood.
Pisces: Joshua, are you prepared to do what must be done?
Joshua gives the man a glance and chuckles, giving that old used-car salesman smile.