The new brothers and sisters of the Circle gathered with the Elders in a secret location known only to them. The Elders weren’t really old, they were just the most experienced of the group. They knew the ways of the Hand so well that they could use it as effectively as the protector, even while blinded. This meeting was the last one before Circles next great challenge. The new members, fully trained now, were ready to assume their duties in the Circle.
They came from many varied backgrounds and places and were mixed evenly in ability. Some were male and some female, but gender was not an issue because of their truly equal abilities. Now they embarked on a mission of either total success or total failure. There would be no middle ground this time. Only teamwork and concentration would save the Circle and the world.
The Protector of the Hand stood at the apex of the Circle and looked around the room for any sign of uncertainty or reservation of will. He read each member as if he or she was a book. Pleased with what he saw, he addressed the assembled group calmly with authority.
“My fellow comrades, we are joined in this trial before us as one body and one flesh. We are ready to take on the Hordes of Hell as never before. We have grown strong, but so have they. This shall be the final conflict. Whether we succeed or fail, will be determined by our individual resolve to succeed as one”.
He paused and made eye contact with each member of the Circle and began again.
“There will be no other chance in our time. If we are to overthrow the power of Sauron and his minions we must do so very soon.”
He paused again.
“His evil power has grown immensely. All the powers of the government, the police, and the military are under his spell. He and his followers must be destroyed with extreme prejudice.”
At this the Protector felt a sudden thrilling surge of power and confidence ripple through the silent but attentive ring of men and women.
“Mankind stands on the brink of slavery to evil. Sauron has already enslaved the minds and bodies of millions and we must break his hold or the rest of the world will surely follow.”
The Protector looked around the room, his deep steely gaze meeting each pair of eyes in silent concentration of will and purpose. He spoke softly this time.
“Now we join hands and focus our minds as one. Seek out the source of evil and prepare yourselves for the battle.”

As one, all the members of the Circle joined hands and immediately they fixed themselves in a trance like state, silent, motionless like statues. Their transfixed state was only an illusion. They were now in state of heightened awareness, fully conscious of what was going on around them.

From a hidden vantage point on the outside of the building where the Circle had assembled, one of the tortured souls of evil watched as the last of the members of the Circle entered. He then stealthily crept towards the meeting place hoping to learn something he could take to his evil master. He could then, maybe, gain some status. His ambition out weighed his talents though as he was at the bottom of the cesspool of evil. His desperation to attain a higher level of influence made him careless.

The Protector had long since detected the presence of Pinner, one of Sauron’s furtive spies and disposable saboteurs, and was watching the scene through the creatures own mind. He decided to let the foolish imp come closer. The time had come for the new members of the Circle to see how their combined power worked and instill greater confidence in that power.

The intruder was now in the building sneaking closer and closer, thinking he was safe and undetected. Pinner moved on, his mind reeling from the instilled sense of exhilaration he felt at that moment.  He  knew he was getting closer to his goal of elevation. He kept thinking of the rewards and pleasures that would be bestowed on him for what he was doing. Maybe he would even get the sexual favors of the little minx he met outside the Masters tunnel. The thought made his loins quiver with anticipation. He was very close now, he could feel it. What he saw though, as he peered into the circular room, took him by surprise. The members of the Circle stood transfixed staring into space. Pinner did not know what to think,

What could they be  doing, what can I learn from this? He pondered.
A thought flashed across his feeble mind that he had made a big mistake. Suddenly around a corner Pinner noticed the Protector of the Hand, his masters mortal enemy. A suggestive thought entered his greedy and vicious little mind.
If I could strike down the Protector, I would sit at the right hand of Sauron and be forever endowed with power and pleasure.
The rest of the Circle is in trance they will be powerless to stop me, he thought.
I could then escape to Hell’s Den and the waiting arms of my Master. This was his last self conscious thought.

Pinner suddenly felt himself being drawn towards the Circle silently and carefully. He watched nervously for any movement from the group. Fear and exhilaration danced along his nerves. He felt himself being drawn towards the Circle as if an invisible force was moving his body. He was momentarily concerned by this, but another thought entered his laconic mind.
Maybe my Master has perceived what I am doing and is guiding me onward.
A new sense of courage filled Pinner and he began the slow purposeful slinking movements of an animal bent on death and destruction.

The Protector of the Hand linked into the mind of each member of the Circle, the picture of Pinner moving towards them as soon as Pinner entered the building. They each saw every movement and felt the poor creatures every emotion. They calmly watched in their mind as Pinner approached the Circle and moved with menace towards the Protector. Suddenly they saw the demented creature freeze as he got within six feet of the Protector. His paw was holding a nasty looking half-sword the blade coated with poison.

Pinner’s mouth suddenly flew open but nothing came out. The eyes were huge and distended as if he suddenly realized the terrible mistake he made. A small hole suddenly appeared in the center of his forehead as the Hand of God flashed once. The head was thrown back as the projectile expanded instantly after piercing the skull, transferring all its energy to the surrounding tissue.

The projectile finally stopped as it slammed into the back of Pinner’s skull chamber. The members of the Circle watched in silent amazement as the body attached to the head was slammed backward against the stone wall. The diminutive skull hit the wall first, smashing the bone with a dull thump as the rest of the body smacked the wall with incredible force. Pinner’s body seemed to be glued to the wall for a second before it slumped to the floor, as a rag doll under stuffed with filling. The eyes in the skull were wide open with the same transfixed stare that was on the faces of the Circle.

As if nothing had happened the trance was broken. The Protector had broken the link so that the members of the Circle could see the results of the Hand their own eyes. The Elder members seemed calm and detached from what had happened. The new members of the Circle walked over to the smashed limp body of Pinner and stood in awe at the power of the Hand. The new brothers and sisters of the Circle had received their fist lesson in the awesome power of the Hand of God. A lesson that would stay with them for the rest of their lives.

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