The technology of the Hand had been held a close secret by the Protector and his predecessors. He had learned the secrets of the Hand as an apprentice to the last Protector. When a Protector was installed by the Circle so also was an apprentice by secret ballot, so that the knowledge of the Hand may be passed on in case the present Protector was killed or became too sick or old to carry out the duties of the Protector and the mission of the Circle.
There was an important secret of the Hand known only to the Protector and his apprentice. That was the secret of the projectile, the real power of the Hand. Each projectile was mounted a small nickel plated cylinder closed at one end. At the closed end of the cylinder was a flush mounted detonator that activated the chemical reaction needed to force the projectile down the barrel with great force and speed.
The chemicals were an ancient mixture that had been refined down through the centuries to provide the necessary gases needed to propel the projectile with deadly force. The projectile itself was a new and recent innovation discovered before the world was thrown into chaos, economic disarray and conflict. The secret had been carefully guarded against the chance that world powers might discover it and use the knowledge for their own greedy endeavors.
The copper coated stainless steel projectile was the container for a very unusual biological weapon: Nanomites. Nanomites were microscopic programmable biological machines. They were mainly programmed to do one thing…destroy any living cells and tissue they came into contact with. This they did with unbelievable speed and efficiency. No antibodies or antibiotic could resist them. No living matter could fight off their mindless destruction. Each Nanomite lived as long as there were living cells around to destroy thus absorbing the cell’s energy. Recently the Protector and his apprentice had found that they could program the Nanomites to attack only certain cells and/or to modify other cells as needed. The result was that the deadly effect of the Nanomites grew by huge factor, as they could now target certain cells, such as brain cells or blood cells, thus causing the onset of death to appear instantaneous.
Accurate deployment of the projectile is not necessary either, for a quick termination of the intended target. Now members of the Circle can merely flesh wound an enemy and be assured of the victims destruction. In the flesh wound hit, the effects are somewhat slower depending on how far the wound is from the targeted vital organs such as the brain. This also depended on how fast the victims blood flowed.
The only people who knew the intricacies of the Nanomites were the Protector and his apprentice, who was also his lover, Slide. The other members of the Circle only have cursory knowledge of the microscopic biological machines. This is a protective measure in case any one member of the Circle is captured. None of the members know all about the Nanomites or the identity of the Protectors apprentice. All the other members know is that there is an apprentice and that the identity of her or him will be revealed at the proper time.
Slide lay in the darkness next to her mentor and lover. She had been introduced to him so many years ago. She didn’t even know his real name. She remembered the early days of her training when she had first been informed that she had been born and bred to become a member of the Circle. She had no comprehension at the time that one day she would be in this position.
She had just finished having the strongest orgasm in her life. The Protector had taken her to bed as soon as they could be alone. She had attacked him, tearing off his clothes and hers. She had no idea how long their passion had lasted, but she knew it was the best she had ever experienced. She felt a little guilty and embarrassed afterward at her boldness and sexual aggression. The Protector had explained that it was a natural reaction to the first kill and not to worry. She had asked him if this would happen every time. He replied no and explained to her that the first time was different like the first time she had sex. From then on, he said, every time would be different, some good, some just ok. She did not tell him that her first time with sex was also the first time he had gently inserted his penis into her womanhood and had forever changed her life. That was her secret. He may have suspected as much, but he never showed it in anyway.
She thought back now over the events of the past few months and the things she had seen and done. She began to feel a warmth between her legs, a rising need of fulfillment. She wondered if she was becoming addicted to death and sex or was it just sex alone. Her hand reached out and instinctively found her lovers penis. She snuggled in close feeling the blood pulsing in her hand. Just one more time then she could rest. Just one more time.
Sauron, the Lord of Evil, sat in his den worrying over how he was going to destroy this menace called the Circle. He had pulled out all stops in order gain information on the Protector and the Circle. Money, murder, sex, whatever was needed to gain information on the enemy was used in the service of Sauron’s quest to destroy the Circle and gain the knowledge and power of the Hand for himself. Sauron had a special reward for any one who brought in the Protector. He dreamed gleefully of the tortures he would inflict on the Protector of the Hand once he had the man in his grasp.
As he sat on his throne of gold plated skulls he carefully ran over the facts his efficient spies had gathered for him. None of the information so far pointed to a location of the Circles meetings or the identity of its members. The Dark Lord was growing nasty and impatient. He had recently flailed one of his trusted retainers for bringing in useless information in order to appease Sauron’s mood.
Where could they be hiding?, He wondered.
How do they pop out of nowhere and kill his people without being seen, noticed, or leaving any trace other than dead bodies.
The Savior of Man was in shambles and all hope of furthering that front was useless. Sauron had managed to capture a few fleeing members of the remaining church hierarchy, but they had denied any wrong doing or any involvement in the disastrous events. In some cases even with their last dying breath. There had to be something he was missing.
What was it? Would he ever know before the Circle found him?, He thought.
The members of the Circle assembled outside a small mountain resort town. One of those recent developments that was a hidden resort for those with the right amount of money. A prepackaged town hidden from the world for the rich and famous, the beautiful people. It was nestled in a huge scenic valley far from the beaten track. A seemingly quiet town of mostly residences.
Behind the innocent facade lurked the greatest evil to ever walk the earth. Some would call him the Anti-Christ, the locals called him Master. The members of the Circle called him Sauron, the Swallower of Light.
Here in this Norman Rockwell town lie the serpents nest, the real leaders of the Saviors of Man and Sauron’s closest followers. The atmosphere seemed to be of complacent bliss, it was in reality in a state of heightened alert. Something secretive, was hatching in the back rooms of Burnville.
Everyone in the know was aware something had gone wrong and that it was about to come to a head. The Circle had been sensed by Sauron, but no mind was paid to it since there were no reports from the surveillance system. Then someone remembered that there were no reports from the Cathedral security system before or after the attack and they almost panicked. They finally realized that the Circle must have some kind of technology that made them invisible and undetectable by the surveillance system. The security system was made up of human and electronic, eyes and ears. Only Sauron’s strong mental powers could detect the Circle, and only just barely.
Sauron was indeed focusing his mental powers and to his surprise and alarm found that the Circle was very near. He also realized that it meant that the Protector was also close at hand. He sensed thirteen entities but could ascertain nothing else. The Dark Lord understood that he must move with caution and not over react causing panic. Panic would put the Circle at an overwhelming advantage. He carefully tracked the Circles advance. They were moving in from different directions headed straight for his lair.
The large house the Circle stood before looked like any other normal well to do residence of the period. No overt signs showed that it was a front for the greatest evil in the history of man. The intelligence reports they received and their own senses told them that there was an entrance with a secret door, the Door to Hell. They echoed the confirmation from their last meeting using the mind link.
So far their Cloaks had camouflaged them from human and electronic sentinels. They were also sure Sauron knew of their presence. The Circle and the Protector had sensed him long ago and at one point Sauron had revealed himself to them in the mind link. Whether Sauron had done this intentionally or was an accident they could not be sure. One thing was certain both parties were aware of each other. The level of mental energy emanating from the town had risen severely in the last few minutes. The mental alarm had been given, but no action seemed forthcoming against the Circle of God by the evil master of Burnville. All the residents seemed to be going about their business as usual. Calm and unhurried.
The Protector was concerned, he knew things had gone too well so far. He was in the middle of one of the most heavily armed camps on the planet, mentally, physically, and in raw fire power. The Hand of God would have to strike swiftly and accurately each time it was used or the Circle would perish or worse, be captured. Each member knew that capture was not an option. They must obtain their objective or perish in the act. The Protector now focused on the task of how all thirteen of them could enter the house and the basement without being detected. He then remembered the Cathedral and its secret door. Maybe, just maybe, Sauron had one of these also.
He looked around for something obvious but nothing seemed a likely candidate. Just then someone walked out of the gazebo at the rear of the house. The Protector was positive there had been no one in the structure before. Remembering the holographic entrance at the Cathedral, he thought how perfect this was. How ingenious, a gazebo with a holographic projector disguising an elevator to the underground headquarters of Sauron.
How had the spies missed this important item?, He thought.
This must be a special entrance just for high ranking servants, maybe even Sauron himself., He mused.
Surely someone would notice people suddenly leaving the gazebo where there no one had been before., He thought again.
The Protector looked over the whole site from a distance and noticed that the entrance to the gazebo was hidden to anyone passing by on the road. The wooden structure was eight sided with tight lattice work all the way around, concealing the interior from view. There seemed to be a small flow of people in and out of the front of the main house. No one would even notice the sporadic use of the gazebo door.
Very soon the Protector had a plan, he immediately mind linked with the others and informed them of his plan. They agreed and the Circle formed their four triads and approached the front of the house, still cloaked. The Protector stood aside, stood and waited.