Meanwhile in town, Gulez woke in a hospital bed. He turned on a light on a nightstand next to his bed and roared for the doctor. The doctor entered the room, turning on the ceiling light. “Yes, General. You call?” the doctor asked.
“I did, worm,” Gulez hissed. “How long have I been here?”
“You’ve been here for nearly nine hours, sir,” the doctor informed. “We had to put you under in order to treat your wounds. You’re very lucky, sir. Another two hours and your wounds would have killed you.”
Gulez sat on his bed, stewing in his hate. “Do I look like I’m stupid, maggot!” he snarled.
“No, sir,” the doctor replied with fear rising in his heart.
“Your incompetence has cost me valuable time. The renegades have escaped my grasp! They will die...all of them!” Gulez roared. In an instant, he rose from the bed and lashed out against the doctor, striking him on the side of his face with the back of his hand. The hit sent the doctor sprawling across the floor, coming to a stop next to the wall. The General pounced on the doctor, grabbing him by the throat and lifting him up off the floor. “You have cost me valuable time, maggot!” he hissed venomously. “But because of your loyal service to me, I’ll not kill you this time.” He threw the doctor across the room up aside a wall. The doctor cried out as he crashed against the wall, falling to the floor in a heap. The doctor managed to look up at the General as he glared at him. “If you fail me again, I’ll have your guts torn out while you still breathe. Now get out of my sight!” Gulez snarled. The doctor pushed to his feet and fled from the General, with the General kicking him in the butt as he left the room. He fled down the hall and out of the hospital into the night, never to return.
Gulez found his clothes in the closet and changed out of the hospital gown into them. He cursed and snarled as he dressed himself. “I’m surrounded by god-damned incompetent morons!” he growled. “No one gets the better of Ramone Garcia Gulez and lives. I’ll personally rip them all to pieces and that Beowulf and his pet cats will rue the day they got the better of me!” He finished dressing and stormed out of the hospital into the night to assemble his elite troops for battle. The nurses and orderlies fled before him and hid as he stormed by, fearing his wrath.
Five thousand miles away in Washington DC, the President of the United States lay asleep in his bed at Camp David, Maryland with the Secret Service on guard. The phone on the nightstand next to his bed suddenly rang. It rang insistently, waking him. He reached over and picked up the phone, putting it to his ear. “Yes,” he muttered into the phone.
A voice came through the phone saying only one word, “Brutus.” The phone went dead and the President’s countenance fell as fear rose in his heart. He hung the phone up and tried futilely to go back to sleep.
At the same time, deep beneath Aconcagua in the Amacian underworld, the Emperor called his top general to the throne room. The general walked to the dais and immediately bowed with his face to the floor before the throne. “Did my Lord Emperor summon me?” he asked.
“Rise, my general, and approach,” the Emperor commanded. The general rose and walked up the stairs of the dais to the throne. “How go the preparations for the invasion of the surface?” the Emperor asked.
“Everything is proceeding according to the plan. The rebel element will soon be extinguished, and our forces will be ready to move on your command,” the general informed.
“What’s the status of Solomon’s Passage? Have there been any more problems there?” the Emperor inquired.
“No, your Majesty…there have been no excursions by the rebel forces to retake Solomon’s Passage in more than two months,” the general replied. “Even if they do try, we’re more than a match for them. We’ll annihilate them just like we did the last time and the time before that.”
“These rebels are a constant irritant,” the Emperor hissed. “All great cats have fleas. It’s simple enough to scratch…double the guard at the Passage. They’re hiding, biding their time. They must not retake the Passage or penetrate outside the caverns; do you hear me, General?”
“Yes, my liege,” the general replied, “As you command.” He bowed and the Emperor dismissed him.
As the general left the throne room, the Black Prince whispered into the Emperor’s ear, “You mustn’t let the rebel forces link up with Beowulf. Wipe them out, all of them.” The Emperor smiled evilly at the thought.