An Interview By
Hayden Hardkore

[The Tap Room is once again the setting for our interview. Hayden is already seated, knocking back a swig from a pitcher of beer when the presence of the Light Warrior graces him. He stands to greet Lux Bellator as he enters, but Lux barely acknowledges him as he takes a seat at the bar.]

[Hayden calls over the barman, who places two beers in front of the men without so much as a word being expressed. Hayden smiles at the Light Warrior, despite the snarl he receives in return.]

Hayden: “Well Kia Ora mate. Nice of you to come and join me. Korero Mai… Have a chat with me. Can I interest you in one of Godsown’s finest brews? Speights Pale Ale straight from New Zealand itself.”

[Bellator takes one look at the beer in front of him, lifts it up and pours it over the bar without so much as a word. In the background, the protest of the barman is quickly cut short with a steely glare in his direction from the Light Warrior himself.]

Bellator: “My body is a temple. This filth will not pass through my lips. Luckily, I came prepared, knowing that a savage such as yourself could never understand the ways of those that walk in the light.”

[Reaching into a small satchel that he had brought with him, Bellator produces a bottle of water, unknown in origin, and places it at the bar. Hayden doesn’t seem deterred by the introduction.]

Hayden: “Righto, mate… A simple no could have worked but you religious folks do like your ceremonious ways of doing things dontcha? Anyhoo… I have to come out shooting with this interview. Right off the bat, you have always been a man of a simple yet powerful message. You used to call it the message of the Torchbearer; forgiveness, acceptance and love.

What the heck happened? These values seem completely lost on you now.”

Bellator: “The message of the Torch was a banner that was waved over a world that ignored it time and time again. As much as love was preached, hatred was shown in return. As much as acceptance was offered, defiance was spat in my face in reply. As much as forgiveness was lain down, blame was continually pointed in my direction.

There is a time for every season. A time for acceptance and a time to realise that the Torchbearer message will forever fall on deaf ears. I wish that I could offer this world these values still, but the olive branch has been extended on enough occasions.

The Lord calls for action. For the faithful who walk in the light to stand up, and for that same light to expose the sinners who defy it. The opening of the first seal signalled that change. From that moment, there was no turning back.”

[Hayden mulls over the answer for a moment and a silence falls in between the men momentarily before the Kiwi breaks it with an eventual follow up question.]

Hayden: “Don’t you wish that there could be another way? Doesn’t all of this destruction seem like such a waste? From a man who forgave a man like Smiley even after all the atrocities he put you through to now… Isn’t there more that could be done for the souls of those you deem unworthy?”

[Lux pauses for a moment, not answering the question straight away.]

Bellator: “I walked as a beacon of light in the darkness for years and found only more darkness. Does my heart break for every soul lost to the darkness, of course it does. But that is my cross to bear. For every soul that Satan claims as his own is one less in the Kingdom of God.

That is the unfortunate reality. We exist in a place where darkness rules stronger than light. The bible is perfectly clear on the matter. The light of judgement shall pass over all. The worthy will be saved and the unworthy shall perish. I am not the judge, merely His weapon wielded to shepherd the sheep for their judgement to call.”

[Hayden shakes his head slowly, sorrowfully.]

Hayden: “A real shame… That once you were so full of God’s love, but your message became so twisted that somehow you made a God of love out to be a tyrant. That is not the God I learnt about in Sunday School.

Tell me though, so far we have seen three bowls unleashed on OSW. The first saw Neville Sheldon’s skin break out in some kind of boils and he hasn’t been seen since. The second saw you use Sharkman to turn water to blood and bring about death. The third saw Desmond Cross turn into some kind of freaky living dead statue.

With still four bowls to go and already two souls claimed… Where does this stop?”

[Bellator looks at HardKore, who does not back down under the Light Warrior’s steely gaze.]

Bellator: “The Lord’s plan is not laid out for the minds of man to fathom. I serve where he asks me to serve, and when he asks me to serve him. Know this though… I am His loyal warrior, His sword. His word is revealed to me and I act with loyalty. I don’t expect people to understand, and it is not a popularity contest. But there is a reward waiting for me in paradise, a reward that is outside of the grasp to those who hear but do not act.”

[Hayden nods along with the answer from Bellator, seeming to agree somewhat with what the Light Warrior is saying, or trying desperately to understand what he is on about and give off the appearance of making sense. His face sours somewhat and turns to a frown.]

Hayden: “Let’s talk about your past. It’s been rocky to say the least. I know you have been into this in the past with Stephanie Rose, and I don’t want the life story… But I’m convinced that your past has had a huge impact on you becoming the way you are today. What say you to that, matey?”

Bellator: “You say ‘the way I am today’ with a tone of despise, like I am broken. But the reality is that I am one of the few that sees the world for what it truly is. The world is broken and I am part of the solution. Don’t forget that.

But your premise, I agree with. My past has shaped me into the loyal disciple that you see before me. As a child, not knowing my father or mother, feeling unloved and alone I latched onto the few people that would take an interest in me. Those that proved they cared about me, those that were able to break past the walls of an adolescent boy who was angry at the world for rejecting him, I showed a loyalty to them that would not be broken. One such man turned out to be my father, Father El Salvador… His influence was what set me on the path of light. But it is that light that has guided me since, not Father El Salvador.”

[Hayden smiles, the reaction receiving a strange look from Bellator’s eyes underneath his mask. Something is not quite right and Bellator is able to see that.]

Hayden: “I’m glad you brought him up. You see, I figured Father Pedro’s was a name that would pop up. So I figured, why not invite another guest along and really has things out a little?”

[Hayden beckons to the side door, which is opened upon his request. Stepping into the light of the Tap Room comes El Salvador himself. He walks cautiously towards the bar where the interview is being undertaken. Lux Bellator, upon seeing him, stands to his feet and begins muttering. The muttering soon turns to a yell, complete with a finger pointed in the direction of his father.]

Bellator: “What kind of cruel trick are you pulling here? This man is nothing more than a demon, a liar and a falsety in the form of El Salvador… Here for the sole purpose of derailing my mission.

He is NOT my father!”

[Father El Salvador approaches with his palms outstretched before him, turned upwards as if surrendering or showing that he means no harm.]

Father Pedro: “My son. When will you see the light and pull away the covers of darkness that shield you from the truth? Do you really see what you are doing as the work of the Lord?”

Bellator [Still shouting]: “You dare address me as your son, spawn of Satan?! Get behind me, lest the lord send you back from the hell you crawled out of.”

Father Pedro: “It was your prayers that returned my soul to this world, not Satan’s hand. You truly cannot see that? When you prayed so ferverously for exactly this? I know not what powers revived Solomon from the dead, only that your prayer worked.

I am here because of you.”

Bellator: “Your lies fall on deaf ears. My attention is focused as it always has been, on the mission of the Lord.”

[HardKore beckons for the men to sit back at the bar. Father El Salvador complies, but Bellator still stays on his feet, pacing impatiently and with frustration.]

Hayden: “Let’s look at that. Mission. That’s what you call it… Like the Blues Brothers, on a mission from God. Now standing in the way of your mission is Tommy Hawk and the Scarecrow. You talk of death, this fourth bowl. Would you really take a life if the Lord asked you to? Would that not make you no better than a murderer?

And what if El Salvador is really your dad, not some demon? Would that make you stop all this madness and return to the Lux we used to know?”

[Bellator shakes his head, finally coming to take a seat back at the bar, on the other side of Hayden HardKore than El Salvador now sits.]

Bellator: “I do what the Lord requires of me. To all that his wrath befalls, they have had their chance to recompense. They have had a chance to repent. The olive branch has been extended. This is not a matter of me executing my own wishes but that of the Lord. In that, my hands are clean. Only a man who is without sin could conduct such a mission, for sin will always hold a soul back from God’s presence.

Desmond Cross was offered three opportunities to turn from his sin, and faced the wrath for his actions. Will death follow? That much is up to the Lord Almighty, not myself.

As for Father El Salvador? I have come to terms with the death of my father. I detest the smokescreen of lies that sits before me, silver tongue and gentle in spirit. But underneath the soft exterior lies a serpent with a dark soul. I have said before and I will say again. I know my father, I made peace with him before his death. This man is not he.”

[Father El Salvador stands up from his seat, walking over behind Hayden and placing a hand on Bellator’s shoulders.]

Father Pedro: “I am sorry you feel that way son. I pray that the Lord restor the light to your path, that you may see how far you have strayed from your true mission…”

[He doesn’t have time to completely finish his sentence, as Bellator swats his hand away and knocks the old man to the ground. He stands up, pointing an accusing finger at Hayden HardKore.]

Bellator: “You brought this demon into my presence, and for what? To get a rise out of me… Well you have achieved that. Well done!

But as for this interview… We are done. I will not stand here and listen to this silver serpent any longer. My mind is as it always has been… Focused on my mission and my mission alone. To that I am loyal, for I am loyal only to God himself. Tommy Hawk and the Scarecrow know not the powers they duel with, nor what the fourth bowl will contain. But they will, God’s plan will be revealed.

In the end, the master plan will unravel itself. The only question remains – when the light of judgement passes over you. Will you be found in the light or found wanting?

The time has come for Old School Wrestling to step into the light, and receive judgement.”

[Bellator storms off, tossing his bottle of holy bottled water down at Pedro who still lies at his feet. Hayden watches him leave with his arms upturned in protest. The interview ends with a shot of Hayden HardKore signing off.]

Hayden: “Well there you have it I guess. Family matters, definately a bit of a sore spot for the Light Warrior. The bugger left me high and dry. I guess I’m picking up the tab then mate?

This has been Hayden HardKore with another wee Korero Mai.”