Far off in other corridors and tunnels the other members of the Circle were encountering their own distractions and attempted traps, but they overcame every one of them. They were now headed, unknowingly, towards each other. The first sign of this was when each team started mind linking again. Just as the last team was able to mind link, the first team of the Circle entered an enormous cavern. The cavern had four tunnels connected to it. The first team had come out of one and while they were looking around the second team emerged out of another tunnel to their right. Soon all the members of the Circle were assembled in the huge cavern.
As the last team entered the cavern all the entrances were suddenly sealed off with thick steel doors. The force of the doors slamming shut sounded like a clap of thunder reverberating off the domed ceiling. Immediately the Circle formed in the center of the room with each member facing outward towards the sealed doors with the Hand at ready. There they stood fully alert and ready for any sudden attack. Then the lights went out and they were plunged into pitch black.
The Circle now tensed, but the same small smile came over each of their faces as their collective mind link reminded each to stay calm. They had been in this scenario many times before in their training. Each member was ready for what ever came.
Suddenly the entire dome was turned into a projector screen. It was if they were in the middle of the scene displayed before them. On one side of the curved screen was the Protector moving down the darkened corridor. To the Circle, viewing this scene was like looking at it through a night vision camera. They could see and hear everything that transpired so well that it was if they where in the scene with the Protector.
As if to enforce their suspicions about the nature of this scene, a harsh razor edged sadistic voice spoke to them. The voice edged with contempt and glee at what was unfolding before them.
“See how helpless and ridiculous your pitiful situation is. You have dared to violate my domain and now you shall pay dearly. Your ‘Protector’ will be the first to suffer my wrath. Then it will be your turn. You will all die painfully and miserably. Now watch how I deal with your great Protector.”
The Protector moved through dark corridor as if he were a blind man. This was to make sure anyone watching him would think he was blind. His natural ability to see in complete darkness must be kept secret from those who had thought up this subtle trap. He was sure now that he would need all the training he had rigorously practiced.
Suddenly he walked into a large domed cavern identical to the one in which the Circle was being held. As if by a miracle he was able to mind link with one of the members of the Circle, it was his beloved Slide. Slide relayed their situation to him. They were all safe for the moment and obviously close by. The Protector had to cut her off and warn her not to let Sauron and his servants know that they were in mind link communication with each other and to pass the warning on to the others. Slide agreed and promised to keep their mind link traffic to a minimum. The Protector issued her a quick order for them to cloak themselves and wait for further instructions.
When the Protector suddenly vanished from the monitors Sauron was surprised but managed to control his panic by using his mental powers in order to track the Protector. Though this was a feeble effort Sauron was still able to sense the presence of his enemy and he hoped, he could blast him out of existence. He looked at the monitor for the chamber that held the Circle and found that they too had disappeared from sight, yet his senses told him that they were still his captives. Sauron looked back to the monitor covering the chamber that held the Protector even though he did not see the Protector, his senses told him that the object of his hate was still in this grasp.
The Protector was now faced with an unexpected dilemma. It was obvious that Sauron knew approximately his whereabouts. He knew also that the way behind him was closed and that the chamber in which he now stood was a trap. He had come to the conclusion that he needed to have a direct confrontation with the Lord of Evil in order for this mission to be a success. Yet, how could he lure Sauron into the chamber with him so that he could deploy the force of the Hand against his enemy?
The Protector ran a few scenarios through his computer quick mind. It came to him suddenly that the best answer was the simplest one. Sauron for all his might and intelligence was a vain and proud creature. If he could goad and embarrass Sauron into a confrontation then the tide would be with the Protector and success would be in reach.