MD 129 - Noah Ryder versus John Doe
RP deadline is Monday the 25th of April at 23:59.
Reinstate The Fox!
"Only the dead have seen the end of war"
- George Santayana
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John Doe stands at the gate, looking up the hill, through the fog, at the same dwelling the Trinity once called home. The place where his past, present, and future were all made clear. He reaches a hand out and nudges the swinging section open, before starting a slow walk along the beaten down path that might have once been cobblestone, but has since been worn to just dirt and small smatterings of half-dead grass.
John stands before the massive door, admiring the craftsmanship that went into every fine detail. He places his hand on the giant hanging knocker as his eyes close. His fingertips run along the chain, and then over the lion's mouth, touching every tooth before rising to its head, petting it as you would a housecat.
He stops, and considers knocking, just to hear the thud of the iron crashing against the oak one more time. He knows no one would answer. Chastity watched the havoc that unfolded between John and Eve at Gold Rush, and knew there was no future with John. She had set out to find his father, and try to return a sense of normalcy to her life, or at least what she had considered normal.
Ramparte and the talkative Japanese girl that tailed him were both long gone as well. Dr. Zeus's absence must have instantly felt like the irons had been removed and he could fly freely. Mere hours had passed between their departures.
This was not to be forgotten. John would collect on this insult soon enough. Now was not that time. Let the shrine maiden collect hers first.
The door slams shut as John stands in the entrance to the grand hall. Dancing into the air is a generation's worth of dust. John pushes back the hood that previously disguised his face. Narrow beams of light poke through the clouds, illuminating the stained glass. The shades of reds and blues appear like spotlights on the floor.
Stone steps spiral down from where John stands. The darkness that emanates from them is accompanied by a raw stench of mildew. John takes his first step.
Another large oaken door slowly shuts. A long red carpet lies ahead of John's feet. To the right, several rows of pews, but only one or two stand upright. The others are either turned over, or covered in white blankets. To the left, more pews, and more of those in straight rows. The few that are overturned show signs of damage.
John begins to amble towards the altar. The same altar where he and Fallout took a knee, and were baptised in blood from his father. As he gets closer to the altar, his head starts to burn. At first, a mild tingle, akin to an itch that can't be left alone. The fire raises, reaching a scalding temperature. As John raises his hand to feel the source of the sensation, a red mark raises in the form of a handprint.
John lets out a growl in pain, and drops to his knees before the altar. At first, he's nearly upright, but collapses to sitting on his heels, his arms slumped to his side until his hands rest on the floor, palms upright.
I will not hide my face
I will not fall from grace
I'll walk into the fire, baby
All my life I was afraid to die
But now I come alive inside these flames
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The candles lining the room, and circling the altar all begin to flicker to life. John looks up, the flames reflected in his eyes.
John Doe: For the first time in recent memory, I have been forced to swallow the bitter taste of defeat. Eve stole the win from me. She took back her Senshuken. She took my...she took my mask. My identity. She took all I knew of myself, all I identify with. What's my purpose anymore?
The candle flames begin to grow, blanketing the room in a palette of gold and orange. The sunlight that had once peeked through the tiny windows at the top of the walls had since been snuffed out, replaced with the pale blue glow of moonlight.
John Doe: I won't believe I chose the wrong path. I must remain steadfast with my duty. Everyone is gone, again, and here I stand...again. Nothing has ever extinguished the fire I hold inside. Nothing has ever come close to killing my dreams. I won't let Eve start me down that path now. If anything, I need to stoke the flames, and salt the Earth behind every footstep I take.
No turning back now.
With his eyes still fixated on the flames, John rises to his feet, palms extended. He lowers his hands, and climbs the steps to towards the left of the altar. He holds a hand over the flame, and watches as the blue and white tip dances around and through his fingers before dulling to red and orange, coming to a steady rest under his palm. He speaks, moving his hand along to each candle, watching each flame calm itself under his touch.
John Doe: Instead of being turned away by the fire, I need to become one with it. I must learn to leave my mark on every foe, the way the embers blister and peel at the flesh of those who would like to believe they hold some power over it.
John finds himself at the center of the altar, standing at the foot of an inverted crucifix. He lets his gaze wander to the right and left, admiring the neat rows of controlled flame he has left behind him. He looks to his feet, and the contrast in color between the dirty black boots he wears and the blood red carpet that covers the very spot where his father would stand and preach hellfire and brimstone to not only himself, but Chastity...
John Doe: Fallout.
Saying the name aloud brought a twinge of pain to John's chest. The first person he might have ever called a friend. If not friend, then ally. All of this brought on by Dr. Zeus. Was it all a lie? Was it all a fabrication, twisting his pawns to help him with his own goal? Were we the sheep led blindly by the shepherd?
John Doe: No more.
John's fury is accompanied by the flames growing once more. The adornments on the walls begin to flutter, as if moved by a conjured wind. John raises his fists, clenching his eyes shut.
John Doe: Fallout was burned by the flame, and became one with it, lighting the path ahead of him, while leaving no survivors in his wake. Like him, survivors will be chosen at my discretion, but no one will be the same after challenging me.
John throws his hands to the sides, tipping over the first candle on either side, creating a domino effect. The searing wax splatters across the walls. The final candles fall slowest, almost restraining themselves against the gravity which would pull them to the floor, igniting everything in their path.
John drops to his knees, resting his head against the head of the crucifix before him. At the same moment his knees hit the floor, the candles tip, seemingly willed by his physical movements. As they crash into the floor, the glass shatters, and the flame ignites the cloth hanging from the walls, encircling the room with an array of heated colors. Within seconds, every inch of the wall is ablaze.
John Doe: I cleanse myself of all that would seek to restrain me from accomplishing the task at hand.
The flames begin to crawl across the floor, growing nearer to John with every second. The stop, inches from his body in a near-perfect circle. The flames shrink momentarily, and then dart forward, engulfing John, and quickly incinerating the entirety of the room.
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The flames squeeze under the door and then engulf it, reducing it to ash in mere seconds. The flash explodes through the stone walkways that fill the underbelly of the Trinity's stronghold, seeking anything they can set light to.
At the top of the same spiral stairs that led John downstairs, they find freshly lacquered floors, and bare walls made of a similar oak to the doors that John passed through.
The whole of the dwelling goes up, the fire now visible from the outside as the windows burst outward. A hole is poked open in the roof via the tips of the flame, and smoke billows out. The acres of surrounding land prevent anyone from being alerted to the destruction.
Load-bearing beams buckle, giving way to the weight of the roof and walls, and everything caves in. Time passes, in that lost sense where it could be minutes, or possibly hours.
The flames shrink themselves, happy with their work, and prepared to rest. All that's left are piles of ash and charred remains of wooden beams. A breeze comes through, removing the upper layer of dust, and revealing a surprising content among the debris.
John Doe (voice-over): The fire cannot burn me. It is under my control, and I will do with it as I wish.
John pushes his way to his feet, allowing the dust and wood to fall around him as he does so. His bald head is smeared with bits of ash and black char marks, but a swipe of his hand removes all signs it was ever there.
Click for Spoiler:
He stands tall over the remains of his past. The walls that once kept him caged now removed. To the East, orange and red breaks over the horizon, branching itself through the trees before resting on his cheek. The warmth of the morning sun is rejuvenating.
John begins to wade through the rubble, soon finding himself at the edge. He pauses, looking again at his feet. The black boots that once showed the wear and tear of his past, now appear cleansed. He lifts his foot, knocking aside the final piece of plaster, and placing it down on the fresh green grass that has accompanied the dawning of the new season.
John Doe (voice-over): The first steps of this path will be used to close the final door on my past. elegANT and Armando are both gone. I've faced Eve, and although I lost, she knows this war is not nearly over. My father is gone. Tastic and Stormrage have been bested by myself and Fallout. The only other defeat that has yet to be avenged, is to one Noah Ryder. He doesn't even remember the moment he had me down for that three count. Good. Then he won't remember what I do to him on Meltdown. He'll be the first what will be a long line of vanquished enemies.
This isn't business, Noah. This is personal.
For whom the bell tolls.
Time marches on.
For whom the bell tolls.
Ding Ding Ding.
The curtain flies open and Noah Ryder limps through, tired, frustrated. He doesnít hide it on his face as he heads down the hall, carrying in his hand the KFAD briefcase. To further add insult to injury, the briefcase suddenly snaps open and all his papers fall out of the case. Noah exhaustedly groans and bends down to pick up all the papers. He picks up one particular piece and stares at. After reading it over he shakes his head and sighs, picking up the rest of the papers. Making sure first that his briefcase and securely locked, Noah rises to his feet and continues down the hall. Greeting him halfway is his friend Steven.
Steven: Tough night tonight.
Ryder: I donít want to talk about, letís just go. Where are the bags?
Shiii-shoot, I mustíve left them at the hotel.
Noah stares at Steven and studies his face.
You think because I might forget about this conversation that you can lie to me.
Steven looks down and away.
I lost them.
I think they mightíve been stolen from the dressing room they had you in. Remember. The public bathroom.
Iím planning on blocking out that humiliating insult from the company. You idiot. So you lost all of it.
Not all of it, I managed to find your boxers.
Steven pulls the pair out of a Safeway bag. In it is also a couple of non-essential items from Noahís bag. Noah shakes his head and walks by Steven, who quickly catches up.
You know you are useless, completely useless. I could manage my life so much easier without you.
You have got to be kidding me. You wouldnít make your way here every week without me. Theyíd put you in one of those looney bins after two day if I wasnít here for you.
Noah drops his briefcase and grabs Steven by the collar, completely shocking him.
You listen to me here, I have my life completely organized. Every second and every likely scenario planned out. The only reason I keep you around is for who you are to me and what you have done for me.
I could kill you right now and by tomorrow I wouldnít even think about it.
Letís talk about this tomorrow.
Iíll remember that.
Noah picks up his briefcase and storms up. Steven ribs his neck and follows distantly behind.
Noah sits down in his dark room and reads his papers and taking notes. More sighs of despair follow as he writes feverishly down on his notepad. That despair soon turns to anger and he throws his notepad against the wall.
What the hell has happened to me? Months ago I was beating Titus and John Doe. I won the freaking King For A Day briefcase at Kingdom Come. My future here was set. Now I canít win a match. Iíve fallen so far down the ladder Iím on the preview show for the PPV, and lose horribly. Yes, I lost to the former WZCW champion who has also been dropping like a rock, but the fact is Iíve been doing nothing but losing. Whatís wrong with me, what could be holding me back.
Noah stops and thinks for a minute. What if everything outside of his wrestling life was different. No Steven to wear him down. He could certainly make something up. And what about his notes, what could he possibly do to make things simpler and more permanent. He looks down on his forearm and sees the words ďDonít Get DownĒ engraved in ink. Of course. Noah listens intently and hears Steven snoring loudly from the living room. He heads over the his safe and opens it. From the side pocket, Noah pulls out a hand gun. He studies the gun intently and then loads it. Noah goes to close the door when he sees an envelope pulled slightly out from the envelope that contained the gun. He pulls the envelope out and opens it, pulls out some papers. He reads them.
Backstage at Meltdown 129, Stacey Madison is preparing to begin an interview.
Madison: Ladies and Gentleman, joining me at this time is Noah Ryder.
Noah steps into the camera and turns to Stacey and shakes her hand.
Hi, Iím Noah Ryder, nice to meet you.
IÖ know who you are.
Thatís fantastic. A lot of people Iíve spoken to today seem to know who I am and let me tell you that makes me very excited. Everybody is talking about the big debut of Noah Ryder tonight, and let me tell you they are going to be talking about it for a while.
Okay, I donít think anybody is talking about that, but I see you are having one of those days soÖ good luck tonight buddy. I think you are going to do gggggreat!
Noah doesnít pick up on any sarcasm or down playing and enthusiastically high fives Stacey.
Thanks for your support.
Okay, so your opponent tonight is John Doe, who-
I know what youíre probably going to ask me is ďWho do I think John Doe isĒ, right?
No, why do people always interrupt me so they can talks about what they-
Well let me start by saying, I donít know who John Doe is. I wish I knew because, heís got a real easy name to remember, kind of like Steven. What I do know is, he looks like somebody Iíve beaten before.
I donít think Iíve ever been able to tell you this before, but you have never been more right.
Thank you. And what I mean by that is, heís got kind of a cookie shape personality. Deranged nut job. Troubled, clouded past. Deceptively strong. Likes to inflict pain. You see a lot of that around the wrestling circuit, especially here is WZCW. Find me one bad guy who doesnít have at least one of those traits.
And there is a way around that. You got to attack them where it hurts. They feel a lot of pain inside, and Iím not suggesting I should go out there and be calling them names or speaking disrespectfully about there mothers. That would get my teeth kicked in, but what I mean is, if you own them, even for a second, you own them the whole way. They like to be in control, they like things to go there way. It gives them power, it gives them confidence. You beat them in a match, you own them for a portion of it; suddenly thereís doubt, thereís fear, thereís accidents, thereís screw-ups. I know that Iím going to get my ass kicked a little bit out there tonight, I expect that from someone who is like John Doe. What will happen to John though, when I do control the match. Will he be able to handle that? Will I be in his head? Maybe I already am in his head? It would suck to lose to somebody new. Iím sure that fear has already crept in him. Maybe he feels he needs to win this match? If he does then, heís in for a surprise. I came to WZCW to fight, I came here to win. Both of those things will happen.
Noah thanks Stacey for her time and walks away. Steven comes up behind Stacey holding the King For A Day briefcase. He has his arms covering up the WZCW and KFAD logos. He leans over into the mic.
Weíre starting over.
Steven walks off camera as the camera fades out.
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