The Iron Hand
Three men were in a crystal bridge in front of Conrad Structhem, the leader of the Axis Brigade of the FREE army. Conrad had to do something while The Crystals regenerated, he knew that it would take some days still to regenerate them. The one he sent to Asgard was only at 10 percent capacity just enough to send it on its way but not enough to withstand the power of someone that could weild lightning. Just my luck I wake up a million years later and there is another warrior of light on this planet that stands in my way of conquest, so I can get the horn of Jericho and free our lord.
The three men looked impatient they were waiting for two others. But Conrad knew that one of the two men wasn’t arriving. Blast that warrior how dare he destroy Diablam, he was one of my best subordinates! Conrad rapped his fingers on the side of the desk in front of them. The other three men there were part of the elite warriors of the Dark Prince, called the Iron hand.
The tallest and strongest, as physical strength was concerned, was a man simply known as Herse. He was a big man who looked like he could lift an elephant with his pinky. Arms and shoulders three times as big as any other man that Conrad had ever seen. Herse had tan skin which rippled through the clothes he wore which were dwarfed on him by his body alone. He had a greying beard on his chin and a bald head which came from a razor rather than with age.
The Spine Buster was what he was known on his planet, Herse had become leader of his planet when he overthrew the old hierarchy singlehandedly, he quickly joined Conrad when he saw that the armies of Conrad were much stronger than anything he had ever seen.
The shortest of the men but still quite as deadly was Oscar Kongus son of the Lead General Aries Kongs. The final man was simply known to Construct as The Gorilla. Oscar was skinny and still looked very young, but he was none-the-less deadly. He was a master of a martial arts known as Abadaan Altanazulat, literally meaning never wavers. He was shortest amongst the men roughly half the size as Herse but that didn’t mean anything he was just as deadly as everyone else. Oscar had short black hair on his mostly tan skin. The Gorilla, however, he was someone that definitely needed his attention the most.
The was a force to be reckoned with. He was rumored to be at least five times stronger than Herse, if not more than that. Even though he was not as massive as Herse he was still big, and Herse feared him like an elephant would fear a mouse. The Gorilla had a presence to him that filled a room and gave everyone the shivers. Even Oscar was uneasy standing next to this man named the Gorilla.
The Gorilla was extremely rugged, he had seen many wars in his life. He came from the planet called Htraeth, it was apparently a planet far away, but it was one the first planets that the Fakirs had visited in their deep space travel. His race learned how to reach the endless reaches of space ages ago, what is left of Htraeth was thought to be nothing but a wasteland. The Gorilla was one of those warriors that was rumored to not die no matter what sort of powerful thing would attack him.
Prince Xavier Yanez Zuniga soon appeared in the room he looked around and sized Albert, who sized him back. Conrad’s eyes darted to the Dark Prince. A man he had not seen in a million years. Though loyal to the Dark Prince there was no love lost between the Gorilla and the Fakir Prince Xavier Yanez Zuniga. Xavier was the son of Baltimore Zuniga, and emperor of the Fakir Empire, the Fakirs were extremely proud group of people of the planet Saffar a planet also far away from here.
Xavier still looked like a young man, which he was he probably was a bit older than Mexcatli when he joined up with the likes of Aries Kongus who wanted to overthrow the old empire. The Dark Prince was the reason a civil war started a million years ago which lead some Fakir rebels to come here to Asgard. They called themselves the Carrions, for they had carried on beyond their homeworld.
“Hail to the prince of Fakirs,” The Gorilla suddenly said. He snapped his feet together and put his hands to his chest as Xavier walked into the room. A million years without seeing Xavier Yanez Zuniga and yet Conrad knew this was not the same Xavier he knew, no he was another Xavier, a one millionth copy of the original Xavier Yanez Zuniga that Conrad knew, but this did not make him any less evil. If anything, this Xavier was eviler than the one he knew.
“Hell, of a stupid maneuver you did there Conrad.” Xavier said
Xavier sized Conrad, which was saying something because Conrad was a head taller than the size as the young Prince, and yet he had no desire to back away from him. Xavier twisted his neck around and moved his legs in place. Xavier had tan skin and black hair. He was wearing a white shirt and tie (kind of out of place in the ship where everyone was wearing Armor, but he was too proud for that, who needed armor when he could protect himself, he said)
A strange gold emblem was on his left chest it was a gold seal with two sea horses by the seal. Beneath it was a banner with the word “GLORIUS ONDUS RETURNUS” glory onto returning is what it meant when translated directly a more correct translation would be returning onto glory. It was a seal of the Fakir prince all knew well.
“It was my decision to make,” Conrad said.
“Slam into an ice cap hoping to kill everyone in your wake?” Xavier said as he clasped his hands and looked at the others in the room.
“Yes, well I hardly had a choice.” Conrad said, he quickly added, “My Prince.”
His eyes darted again between Xavier and The Gorilla both men looked like they would not stand him for long being in the same room without throwing punches and yet they both were there. Conrad was sure that he was lucky the two had not decided to start beating him to a pulp.
“We seem to be missing the idiot of Diablam, did he get himself killed?” Xavier said as he walked around the other man sizing all of them up even Herse who somehow (even though Herse was taller) he still looked down on.
“Yes,” Conrad said, “My prince” he quickly added nervously. “But not by the crash”
“Oh?” Xavier said as he turned away from the men in the room and he looked at Conrad. “What do you mean by that?”
That Diabolical aura around him was much stronger than when Conrad had last seen him. Was it because of that mask? That Diabolical Mask? Conrad knew what this mask was, it was the Mask of Damus.
“He was killed on this planet, he had somehow, woke up years before we did and did not bother to wake us.” Conrad said. “He did manage to steal the Aniahalon project and try using it like a fool, but he failed.”
“You’re still with that stupid liquid diamond thing?” Xavier said as if he was talking to dirt. Conrad tried to hold his own, but Xavier was a prince of a planet whose arrogance was amazingly far beyond any other planet. He would hold onto that pride in front of the supreme being himself. Or so it was said.
“Why have you called us here anyways?” Conrad barked suddenly, and Xavier turned back to him as if challenging the much bigger man. Conrad gulped he knew he had spoken out of line.
“As much as I hate to admit it, but you have a point now why have I called you?” Xavier said.
“We have a dire situation.” Conrad proclaimed suddenly.
“More so than waking up a million years after you stupidly slammed the ship into an ice cap?” Xavier said turning only slightly towards Conrad.
“We need to know where the horn is.” Conrad said instantly while both The Gorilla and Xavier stared at him. While both men giving him a deadly stare, Conrad gulped and wet his lips and he continued trying to maintain composure.
“What horn?” Xavier said as he walked towards Conrad acting as if he had no idea what Conrad was talking about. Of course, he knew, his smirked proved it.
“Do you speak of the horn that was taken by the defector?” the gorilla proclaimed.
“Yes,” Conrad said uneasily.
“And you clearly know where it is right?” Xavier said putting his right leg on a nearby chair.
“Lying to the Fakir Prince is a crime punishable by removal of one’s index finger.” The Gorilla said as if Conrad needed to be reminded, that he was dealing with the Dark Prince.
“Who the devil do you think is in charge of this operation?” Xavier exclaimed
Just like that without as much of a flinch Xavier cut off Conrad’s right index finger with a dagger that he had in his hands. The Dagger was gleamed with his blood. Conrad grabbed his hand in pain. This was why Xavier was so dangerous. He had a weapon that could forge into any category of metal even that which cut through diamonds like the one that had just cut through the thick diamond hide of Conrad’s gloves. Xavier cleaned his dagger as if he was cleaning filth.
“Let that be a lesson to you for lying to the great Prince of Fakirs.” The Gorilla said.
“Damn you I will not….” Conrad started but he flinched the moment that he saw Xavier glance at him with a malevolent grin.
“Yes…yes Conrad.” Xavier said. “You forget you fool I am the leader of a planet, not some sort of General that became a leader of a defunct army my father dismantled. I made people like you grovel at my feet and bow before the great Prince of Fakirs!”
“As you were saying Conrad?” Xavier said.
Conrad looked like he nearly jumped out of his skin when Xavier looked at him. Why did I meddle with these two? Conrad thought. He knew when he first met Xavier and The Gorilla that these men could easily kill hom. Now I am missing my finger because of this lunatic named Xavier Yanez Zuniga.
“The Horn of Jericho is here on this planet.” Conrad said his hand still bleeding a bit even though he had managed to close the wound using some of his crystalline technology.
“Yes, you said that already,” Xavier said he paced the room and put his hands in his pocket twisted his head in awkward positions as if he was stretching.
Xavier clasped his hands and turned back to Conrad who jumped from his desk at least two feet. Go burn in hell Xavier! Conrad thought as he massaged his knee, which he had hit it when he jumped from his seat.
“Why did you not tell us that the very weapon that can free our lord is here on this miserable planet!” Xavier yelled. “So why did you not bother to tell us about the horn?”
“Remember, you lie again and the Prince will remove something more precious just a finger.” Fort Gorilla said. Conrad shifted uneasily, he did not need to be reminded.
“You would have more than just the Prince chopping your fingers off Conrad I suggest you answer well.” The Gorilla said and the others agreed while Xavier stared at Conrad. Conrad gulped knowing the full danger of the situation that he had gotten himself into.
“Well…you see…” Conrad began hesitantly.
Xavier suddenly grabbed the back of his head and slammed it hard on the desk with so much force that the desk broke in half upon impact. Conrad was on the floor, his face in a terrible bloody mess. Conrad on the other hand was too proud to let something like that knock him out. He got back up and looked up at Xavier as his face still bled. None of the others were doing anything either because they were too afraid of Xavier, or they all believed that Conrad had gotten what he had deserved.
“That was for thinking you could lie to us,” Xavier said simply as he pulled out a kerchief from his pants pocket and wiped the blood off of his hands looking disgusted as he did this. “So, Conrad, why did you think it wise not to inform us that the horn was here?”
“Because I didn’t know…” Conrad said as he nearly burst into sheer terror when Xavier stared at him, as if judging whether, or not he had told the truth.
“I find that highly convenient.” Xavier said measured what Conrad had said, slowly and deliberately.
“The Great Prince of Fakirs can take anything from you if he judges it to be a second lie to him.” The Gorilla proclaimed. Xavier put his hands in his pockets, stretched out his legs and neck, and then looked at Conrad.
“So, let me get this straight,” Xavier started as he walked around still looking down on everyone again and then glared at Conrad. “You mean to tell me that you did not know the horn was here on this planet? Then why have you come here then?”
“There were rumors said that it was brought here by that Carrion Warrior.” Conrad said.
“Yes, yes Caledfwich was his name.” Xavier yawned as if it were old news. “At what point did you know the horn was here Conrad, as if you didn’t know it from the start?”
“It was when I saw Caledfwich use it on So Do Poh.” Conrad said while trembling.
“Oh, that fool glass warrior,” The Gorilla said mockingly.
“Yes, I remember him, the idiot that he was.” Xavier said. “But if I remember correctly that was before you stupidly decided to SLAM THE SHIP INTO A BLOODY ICE CAP BURRYING YOU FOR A MILLION YEARS!” Xavier raised his voice so loudly to the point that Conrad coward in tears in Xavier’s shadow. Conrad feared the Prince of Fakirs in his time he was called the Dark Prince.
“There is a reason why I went looking for the Mask of Damus on that stupid moon,” Xavier said as if he was saying the simplest of facts. “To teach pathetic sniggering little boys like you to never do something so stupid!” Xavier yelled.
“You postponed the conquest of this galaxy for a million years Conrad,” Xavier said before Conrad knew what had happened. Xavier had taken his tie off his neck and tied it around Conrad’s throat and started pulling on it hard with a boot to Conrad’s back. Conrad felt the life drain out of him as he struggled for air. “Feel my wrath Conrad Structhem for your lack of discord and delaying our plan for conquest for a million years. You will die straggled to death by the stupidest thing, a tie of all things!”
“Enough Xavier!” something said which made Xavier loosen his grip on Conrad a bit. He thought it was Albert but when he stared at Albert there was a look of glee in his face as if he wanted Conrad to die, it was not him. “We still need him the old fool is the only one that knows how to locate the horn.”
“Turn that screen on,” Xavier said pointing at a nearby screen.
“Hunraken,” Xavier said pushing Conrad away as he gasped for breath.
“Indeed,” the man said on the screen. “Perhaps I chose idiotic when you Conrad to oversee this venture. He still has some use to us.”
“Yes, I suppose he does,” Xavier said.
“The old goat still has some use in him.” The man said. “Firstly, it is his technology which located the horn in the first place and by the by he did lie when he said he did not know the horn was here. He was fully aware of it. Feel free to take his hand if you wish.”
“Take my hand! B-b-but… my lord…” Conrad said to Xavier but before he could continue Xavier had taken that strange dagger out of his side and with a sick thud, before Conrad could react, his left hand laid severed on the floor. Xavier watched Conrad as he bellowed in pain holding his bleeding arm where his hand once was.
“And for your lie to me Conrad,” the Dark Prince smirked widely as he saw Conrad look at him with a look of sheer terror.
“I did not lie to you my lord.” Conrad said.
“Lies!” the Dark Prince said.
“Greed is supposed to be supporting me and is on his way!” Conrad said.
“Greed is on his way?” Xavier asked questioningly.
“No, I stopped him from coming here just before we arrived here.” The Gorilla said. Xavier looked at him and laughed.
“You are my eyes and ears there now Gorilla, as ranking officer amongst those who are there I expect everyone to fall in line.” Xavier said clasping his shoulder.
“Yes, my lord,” They all said.
“As for Conrad’s punishment….” The Xavier gleamed from the other side of the screen. “Castrate him.” The man said simply as if he was just ordering a piece of pie at a restaurant and Conrad froze in place. Xavier turned to him as he fixed his tie.
“A Castration,” Xavier said fixing his tie.
“You cannot do this to me I am…” Conrad started but Xavier interrupted by grabbing his head and slamming him on the desk again knocking him fully unconscious this time.
“Do not fail me again do you hear me!” Xavier said.
“I won’t my Lord.” Conrad said shakenly.
“Remember keep him as a front for now, we don’t want them thinking there is far more powerful people in the shadows just yet.” Hunraken said.
“Yes, fine.” Xavier said he turned to Conrad. “Get this heap of meat out of my sight.”
“Yes, my lord,” The Gorilla said eager to do as he wished. Xavier turned to the others.
“You heard what I commanded.” Xavier said as he acted as if he was especially making sure that Albert knew his place. “Herse, I want you to find this boy that Conrad was so infatuated with, the one that he mentioned when he originally called us here. Test him out and find out what you can.”
“Yes, great prince,” Herse said bowing respectfully and disappeared.
“Oscar, I want you to find some means of figuring out Conrad’s stupid technology. If anyone can decipher what this old goat was doing it would be you.” Xavier said.
“Yes, great prince.” Oscar said with his hand to his heart and walked out of the room.
“I have something you might be interested in,” Xavier said to Hunraken.
“What is that?” Hunraken asked.
“If I remember correctly your arch nemesis came from this planet called Asgard, you know that girl that escaped you like 9 times” Xavier said snorted.
“Yes,” Hunraken said.
“What if I told you that I have evidence she has a relative here?” Xavier said.
“Then we should find this relative.” Hunraken said
“I thought as much.” Xavier said smirking.
Xavier walked about smiling and fixing his tie, he then sat in the chair Conrad was operating in before. He should have been the leader of this band of misfits in the first place.
“All hail the Prince of Fakirs,” a stranger said as he walked into the room.
“Atlas, you are here as well?” Xavier said
“Yes,” the stranger known as Atlas said
“There is something I want you to do with the technology you have.” Xavier ordered.
“I’m listening.” Atlas said.