“What’s coming?” asked Sir Gawain.
Martha put her hand over his. “The world is in crisis. We must help. The forces of deceit and corruption that destroyed Camelot are at work around the globe. Trust has been destroyed, people have nowhere to turn.”
“What can we do?” asked Gwen.
“Yes,” said Lance. What can we do? The world is so different.”
“A spell,” whispered Morgana. “I think I know just the one. Merlin, you rat bastard, you can help me, but keep your hands to yourself and if I think, even for one moment, that I can’t trust you, I’ll encase you in ice so thick that it won’t melt when the sun turns into a red giant and destroys the bloody planet.”
Merlin grinned at her.
“Arthur,” said Martha. “Any ideas?”
“Yes,” he said, smiling at the pixies. “We must promote unity. We must, above all else, put the needs of the people first. We must embrace equality and fairness in everything we do and always provide what is needed for a just and happy society.”
Martha smiled. “Thank you, Arthur. That will be our Mission Statement.”
Everyone nodded in agreement.
“Arthur,” said Gwen, her face contorted in pain. “I’m…”
Arthur patted her shoulder, then asked if there were any cookies, and the cookies appeared.
Lance went down on one knee, in front of Arthur. “I…”
“There’s nothing to say, Lance. What’s done is done. This is our chance to do better.”
“I won’t fail you this time. You have my word.”
“Don’t make more promises you can’t keep, Lance. Just do the best you can,” said Arthur. dunking a cooking in his tea.
Martha cleared her throat. “May I have your attention, please. Except for Sir Gawain and Arthur, each of of you has thought only of yourselves. If we are to beat back the thing that destroyed Camelot, we must think only of the people. Do you understand? The people, are our first and only priority. The sickness that is plaguing the modern world, is the same sickness that infected us. It is clever and slowly embeds itself in the minds of those not strong enough to keep it out. It invades their thoughts, turns their feelings into hatred, jealousy and judgment. Do you remember what it was like, when we danced and celebrated. When the castle was filled with flowers and people came and went and no one was in need? Everyone was happy and everyone looked after everyone else. Do you remember those days?”
They all nodded.
“And then that destructive force came. It destroyed loyalty, love, kindness and concern for others. It made everyone suspicious, people turned on each other. They fought, became greedy and untrustworthy. People began to think only of themselves and lost sight of that fact that everyone deserves freedom, flood, shelter, joy and the acknowledgement of others. How quickly that sickness spread. How violent things became. The war, the betrayal,” she said, looking directly at Gwen and Lance. “The jealousy,” she hissed, glaring at Merlin. “So afraid that Morgana was better than you were that you stopped thinking about what was going on in the country and focused instead, on destroying her. Stupid old man. You could have made a difference. You could have acted, but no. Your fear of being bested by a talented woman, stopped you from seeing that the death of everything we once believed in, had taken over the kingdom.”
“And now it’s back?” asked Arthur.”
“Yes, Arthur,” said Martha. “Now it’s back.”
“We will fight,” he said, immediately.
“Indeed we will,” said Sir Gawain.
“The bucket, please, pixies,” said Martha.
They pulled the bucket from under the table and without hesitation, Arthur plunged his hand and arm into the water and then held Excalibur high in the air. “It begins,” he said. “Now.”