Philosophers learned long ago that evil cannot exist in a vacuum. Evil, the Devil, whatever, is only present around men and women. It does not exist in and of itself. It finally dawned on everyone concerned with human destiny that mankind was the creator of its own good and evil. No outside influence was at work. Those who wanted to control humanity did their best to suppress this knowledge.

The most powerful of these suppressors was a group calling themselves the Saviors of Man. They used this name as a cover for their real agenda. That was, the subjugation of mankind world wide. The semi religious cult was not linked directly to Sauron, but was setup and operated by one of his agent provocateurs. That person now sat holding a report on the finding of Pinner’s body. The room was empty and silent except for the dull thumping in his ears. After a few moments he realized it was the sound of his heart pounding.

He could barely control his fear and trepidation. The report he held could only mean one thing. The Circle of God had been reformed and the Hand had struck. A calling card from the Circle. Pythos suddenly saw his own fate in the report. The only thing his Master feared had surfaced again in full force. He wondered if the halls of Hell rang out with the news. His Master must surely be trying to rally his minions in an effort to search out and destroy the Circle.

The terminal in his private room began emitting an attention signal and Pythos knew immediately from whence it originated, his Master calls. Uneasy, he moved towards the insistent sound. Touching a coded key he came face to face with the Lord of Hell. Sauron did not ever look pleasant, but now he was very mean and menacing.
“What have you to report?” His Lord growled.
Pythos was taken aback for a second. He wondered if he was being tricked. The question was dripping with acid.
“I have just now learned of one our lesser agents death.” Pythos replied, as calmly as he could. His Master took on a tone that resembled barbed wire being pulled across innocent flesh.
“How is it Pythos, that you concern yourself with the likes of one so insignificant? An animal fucker and sneak thief who has even stolen from me. Explain yourself Pythos before I grow weary of your word play and squash you.”

His Master was beginning to form the Death Mask which Pythos had seen many times. His palms began to sweat and the pounding in his ears started again. Pythos realized his Master knew everything and the he had made a mistake in trying to play word games with one so terrible and evil.
“It is not the death of one so pitiful my Master, but the cause of it that has me concerned. I fear the Circle has been re-formed and the Hand has struck.”
“Ah, so now you finally come around to the truth.”
The Death Mask began to relax, but only just.
“I have told you before Pythos not to try and banter words with me. I see through you and your attempts to be vague. I will not tolerate it any longer. Your power rests with me alone. Your followers are my followers. Do not make this mistake again! You have seen how terrible and painful death can be. This your last warning!”
Pythos felt his knees weaken. He had to use his utmost mind control to not give his Master the impression that he was going to faint.
“Yes, my master.” Was all he could say.
Now Sauron took on an even more menacing demeanor. His voice, a razor nicking and slicing him, but inflicting no visible wound.
“You and your followers will scout out the members of the Circle and the Protector of the Hand and report back to me.”
Pythos’s stomach suddenly flip-flopped.
“Do you understand?” His Master bellowed.
Pythos felt a river of sweat run down the spinal groove in his back. He knew he had to be very careful now and he resigned himself to his fate.
“I just wanted to remind my Lord that our organization is supposed to be a front, a cover. If we go about suddenly seeking the Protector and the Circle, will it not reveal whom we really represent and make us direct targets of the Circle?”
Pythos waited for the blast that he knew would surely come with that remark, but it did not. Sauron gazed at him thoughtfully for moment.
“I have considered this you spineless fool. Don’t you realize that your pitiful religion was set up for this very purpose. You are the tool that walks in the light and gives me the ability to manipulate those who think they are doing the right thing, by blindly following your precepts. Are you so ignorant as to not see this? Do not anger me further. You and your lot are spies of Hell. You are cannon fodder and nothing more. Serve me as I command or be washed with misery for eternity. Now go! Do as I command. That is all!”

The terminal suddenly went blank and dark. Pythos slumped into the nearest chair. It was true. He had seen his own death. He was just a puppet of evil not a master. He had been led all along to believe he was controlling power. His own ego had destroyed him. Pythos finally realized that the lowest minions of Hell held more power than he at this moment. He knew he had to obey his Master and with that thought he activated his terminal and keyed in the code of his second in command, Slater.

Slater’s face appeared on the screen somewhat perplexed, but smiling. He was nude having just finished a session with one of his favorite sex slaves, as he called them. The man thought of himself as a satyr and was always looking for new females to conquer with his sexual ego. He was a stout man who could be kind or cruel as his fancy suited, but he was loyal and that’s all that mattered to Pythos and his Master.
“What is it now Pythos?” He asked sagaciously.
“Are you lonely and in need of some company? I could spare you a little time with one of my favorites.”

Pythos could see in the background several nude well-endowed females engaged in mutual stimulation. He thought for a moment about taking Slater up on his offer. He could use some relief after the session with Sauron, but he would be then be beholding to Slater and he could not afford that liability with what lay ahead. He looked Slater squarely in the eye and spoke forcefully.
“Get rid of your whores and get over here now. I have a job for you and its vitally important!”

He emphasized the word ‘important’, It was a secret code they had developed to alert each other when something big was going on. Slater was the only other person who knew the true mission of the Saviors of Man. For that reason Pythos tolerated Slater’s indulgences to a point. He would be the first to go though in the event that they were exposed.

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