The members of the Circle had remained cloaked as ordered by the Protector. Now they each received the same message from their leader and as one, they began reaching out to the feeble minds of Sauron’s host. They injected into each shallow mind the picture of a scared and frightened Sauron hiding in his chamber from mere mortals. They perpetuated the idea that Sauron was afraid to face the enemy that he had waited so long to destroy, and that enemy was alone in an adjacent chamber. Over and over they broadcast the mental image, reinforcing and adding to it as necessary as the mental activity around then increased. Eventually all those that could be reached were in mental turmoil and nervous.

Sauron picked up the message at once and tried to block it, but he could not overcome the combined mental powers of the Circle. Soon the Circle could detect a mental howling that surely was the anger of Sauron, as they taunted and harassed his servants.

Sauron then ordered all particle weapons activated at once. As he watched the monitors displaying the chamber which held the Circle, he noticed that as each beam aperture energized it was immediately destroyed by the Hand. The Circle was dodging each weapon and knocking out each one as it fired. Soon all the weapons systems in the chamber were destroyed or rendered inoperable. Through all this, the taunting and jeering rang through Sauron’s head and those of his subjects.
Suddenly the mental din subsided and one clear message was broadcast. It was the Protector of the Hand.

“Sauron, will you continue to cower in your lair like a rat or will you come out and face me? I await your answer spawn of a worm.”

At this Sauron could no longer stand by and let his minions see him as weak and cowardly even though these were the attributes of the people that served him. The time had come for the final confrontation between good and evil. Sauron broadcast a mental acceptance of the challenge.

The members of the Circle upon hearing Sauron’s reply now focused on getting themselves free of the chamber. Sight began scanning the room for another secret exit and quickly found it. It was Pin and Trigger who discovered the hidden doors release mechanism and set about getting the door open. In no time they discovered the final control circuit and the door and the blank wall opened into a darkened corridor. As the door opened they were met by several stunned guards who seemed momentarily frozen. That moment was all the Circle needed to disable them. The Circle then moved on and soon reached a place that looked like a large staging area with tunnels running off in all directions. This was the center of Sauron’s underground network. From here they could fan out in every direction and strike at the very core of Hell. After a short consultation the Circle formed their four triads and set off to administer the Sacrament of Death to all that they encountered.

The Protector sat down quietly against the wall of the Doom Chamber and waited. He had just received a quick message from his beloved Slide that the Circle had broken free out of their trap and were proceeding out into the tunnels to strike the minions of evil and destroy their den.

Without warning a door opened to the right  and across the room from the Protector. Pitch blackness emanated from the opening like a black hole. The surrounding light seemed to be sucked towards it. Out of the blackness the Protector felt a powerful evil entity lurking just beyond. The Protector, still cloaked, carefully and quickly moved to the crouched firing position and waited.

The lights in the room seemed to dim as suddenly, a large entity entered the room surrounded by darkness. Although basically humanoid in shape the Protector could not make out any discernible features. The raw energy and intent of violence he felt from this creature made it clear, that in front of  him was the Prince of Evil, Sauron the Desolator.

A huge voice filled the room like thunder.
“Well Protector, will you hide behind your cloak like a frightened rabbit or will you face me and meet your doom.”
The Protector maintained his position and replied mentally so as not to give away his exact location.

“The time has come Prince of Snakes for you to return to the dark elements of the universe from which you came. The Circle is at this very moment destroying your underworld and all those in it. No one that follows you shall be spared the judgment of the Hand of God. They shall perish as you will now!”

At that moment the Protector uncloaked for a split second as the Hand flashed and cloaked back again. At the same instant he moved to another position in the room and froze. The place where he had been crouched was singed as a mighty blast of heat emanated from Sauron. It was evident that Sauron could not track him as long as he remained cloaked and did not move. The Protector could feel anger and hate blazing out from the black cloud surrounding his adversary. He also noticed that the black shield around Sauron opened up for a split second after the beast unleashed his blast and then closed back. This important new revelation gave the Protector an idea.

Sauron was now in a rage of panic. The sudden strike of the Hand, while anticipated, had rocked him back on his heels. Even though the Shield of  Darkness had diminished the blow, the Nanomites still found a home and started their destructive work. Sauron had to expend even more energy to counter their action and destroy them in his body. He also wondered if the Protector had noticed the opening in the black Shield after the attack. Sauron knew he would have to kill the Protector quickly or he would be doomed. He was expending a great amount energy just to maintain the Shield. Suddenly another blast hit him from the side then another from the rear and then to the side again. This time two blasts from the Hand. The Shield of Darkness was fading.

The Protector now saw that his theory was correct. Sauron was indeed growing weaker with each attack from the Hand, but Sauron was also getting faster and closer with his return fire. The Protector now knew he must finish this quickly and without further delay. He began dodging around the chamber uncloaking and firing, uncloaking and firing. Each time the Shield of Darkness grew weaker as the Hand struck and the Nanomites carried out their destructive programming, but also the return fire got deadlier. The last time the heat had singed the Protectors clothes before he could cloak and move out of the way.

Now the Protector could see more clearly the human like figure behind the darkness. At that moment he reloaded the Hand and began firing straight at Sauron making the sign of the cross in reverse on Sauron’s body as he did, completely emptying the magazine. When the last round struck Sauron in the forehead the Protector noticed that the return fire had stopped. He also noticed that the Shield had become a thin veil and he looked into the eyes of his mortal enemy. For a moment the figure before him seemed to waver and shake, then a dissonant howl emerged from what should be a mouth. For the next few seconds the Protector was able to see the tortured form of a human being, twisted and vile yet helpless and dejected.

Sauron looked at the Protector with what seemed to be pain and disbelief. At that instant the dark figure before the Protector exploded with the light of the Sun. The exploding force threw the Protector through the air and slammed him against the stone wall with bone crushing force. Then all was blackness.

The Protector awoke to a scene of desolation. The walls of the domed chamber were cracked and blackened. Soot and powdered carbon covered everything including himself. The force of the blast had deactivated the Cloak. He lay there wondering how he managed to survive such an energy release. He tried to move but could not.

Suddenly a voice spoke to him,  “Here, let me help you.”
He looked up to see the face of an angel. The eyes, the colors of a rainbow, bored into his very soul. They reminded him of Slide and he thought for moment about her and the welfare of the Circle. He was distracted from his thoughts as the angel spoke again.
“Here, give me your hand.”
The Protector reached out to the Angel and was immediately filled with warmth and strength as they touched.
“Come follow me.” Said the Angel.
He did so, going out the door and towards the brightest, fullest white light he had ever seen. He hesitated for a second and looked back towards the room, but the angelic voice spoke to him again.
Come Protector, do not look back. Your mission is complete, time for you to rest.
With that the Protector turned and followed his Angel through the Portal of Light and was gone.

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