THE HAND OF GOD

CHAPTER I

He deftly to moved to the place where he stored the Hand. In the dim light a thing, a creature, something, moved towards him. The Hand flashed several times. The strobe-light effect revealed a humanoid figure moving quickly to dodge the power of the weapon. Not quickly enough though, for the Protector to visually track the creature and let off three more slivers of light. The entity is struck in full stride not even knowing that it is dead already. Savage purpose buried in every programmed cell, drives the demonic form forward until suddenly, its legs freeze as the final delayed shock touches every nerve.

The Protector carefully regards what was once a man but now something else. The features, well hidden but still detectable, reveal a tortured soul transformed into a minion of Hell. The Protector sadly realizes who it once was. The Hand of God has freed the soul of his best friend.

The monster corpse begins to reek a fetid odor.
This must be the smell of Hell, he thought.

How had the world come to this? He would have never thought men could be changed so much and still survive the torturous transformation. His senses still on full alert, the Protector scanned the area looking for the tell-tale sign of another intruder. He sensed no immediate threat and activated his communicator in order to contact his brothers and sisters in the Circle. The hideous body would be removed and everything restored as if nothing had ever happened. The Hand of God was still safe.

The Circle of God was formed for one purpose, to maintain the proliferation and protection of the Hand of God and use it to free the world of evil tyranny. The Protector of the Hand held the Master Hand from which the other Hands evolved. Each member of the Circle secretly carried a fully functional copy of the Hand of God. Each Hand was individually programmed to its owner and to the other members of the Circle. This insured that if any one member of the Circle is overtaken by evil and his or her Hand captured, it would self-destruct if used by anyone other than the rightful owner or one of the other members of the Circle. The remaining members take up the slack and this continues until all members of the Circle are destroyed or they triumph over the slaves of Hell. Hell is the name given by the Circle to the underground fortress of Sauron, the power of evil manifested in the flesh.
Every day, the common people were misled into thinking they were safe from Sauron’s menace as long as they did not resist temptation and gave into the power of Evil. Then there were the broadcasts seemingly every day, about those who had stood up to the tide of Evil. The reports told in lurid detail how these people were washed away in their own blood. These unfortunates did not have the protection of the Circle and the Hand. They were easily overwhelmed. Those not lucky enough to be killed out-right, were transformed into monsters of vile temperament and used to further terrorize the remaining citizens into submission.

The only hope for mankind was the Circle and the Hand of God. They could turn the tide given the right opportunity and time to grow strong and focused. Each new member was chosen not only for their ability to wield the Hand, but also for their physical and mental prowess.

The hordes from Hell not only the attack body, they also attack the mind. The demons try to install fear and doubt in order to confuse the mind before they attack the body, once the mind is subjugated the physical attack is but a formality, the final blow so to speak. The Brothers and Sisters of the Circle, as they called each other, are the most carefully chosen members of any group for that reason. They all have a sixth sense that allows them to detect the slightest presence of evil. Teamed together they can seek out the Hordes of Hell at long distances and intercept the Hell’s Master at every move.

The Circle was scattered recently due to an all-out offensive on their ranks. Many members had been called away to administer the Sacrament of Death only to find they had been tricked. A few had suffered the fate of the Protectors friend.  Enough had survived though to maintain the Circle and begin to train new members. The Protector hoped they would be able to gain strength before the next attack came from HELL.

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