Rise of Dorn
Rise of an Emperor Series
This is the tale of Dorn Bruce. He will later become the father of Caleb Bruce and Captain of the President's Elite Guard. This prequel will follow this legends rise from the bottom, to become the most famous and feared warrior of his time.
From his hidden perch on the mountain side. Brother Matthew of the Dominican order gazed down at the advanced training academy, with holy intent. Murder of course was a sin. He Knew that. What they planned to unleash on the infidels below was in his eyes, sanctioned by god himself. His brothers of the crimson moon called it Jihad. His order however had a different name for their war in God’s name – Crusade. Previous attempts to bring back the light of God to man had been utter disaster. Even he sometimes had to question whether they were being punished by the almighty in his wisdom.
Then it occurred to him that the constant failures may very well be a test. God would require sacrifice, even from his most devoted disciples. The scars on his back bared witness to Brother Matthews’s complete dedication to his Lord. Through his thick dark robes, blood seeped from his fresh self-inflicted wounds. Each lash from the ritual whip had hurt him deeply. The pain was necessary. For his sins and the sins of man he would punish his flesh, to cleanse the evil from the soul.
Beside him lay another of his order. A beast of a man named Brother Peter. Unlike other sects within their faith, the Dominican monks had become militant. Like the elite force they would attack. The brothers of Saint Dominic trained to make themselves perfect weapons of Christ and God. They had been up on the cold mountainside for over an hour now. Their hard muscled frames had gone numb long ago, which was a blessing really. Their scarred backs were given a gentle reprieve from the mornings lash.
‘What numbers do you think we face?’
Peter asked, trying not to stutter in the chilling snow.
‘I would guess around fifty inside the walls. Maybe there are another fifty within twenty minutes of the place. God willing our work will be done by the time they can mount any kind of counter attack.’
Peter grinned with yellow stained teeth. For a holy man, he did enjoy to punish the unbelievers. He had given himself an extra thrashing before they came here for this sin of pleasure. Gods work after all was duty.
‘Can we take that many brother?’
Matthew was concerned with Peter’s lack of faith, but would not chastise him here on the mountain.
‘We will have two hundred warriors of the faith. I would say that would crush a normal company of soldiers. But you are correct to be cautious. We will attack them in conjunction with the crimson moons galactic wide assault. I will be with the rest of our order to take out the President. We must trust in God that we will be victorious. You will lead the attack on this training facility.’
Peter spat in the direction of the enemy academy. It was unlikely that they would survive against earths most skilled fighting force. But he would guarantee that his blade would take as many of the heathens as he could.
‘I would be honoured to lead Brother. When do we attack?’
‘We attack in one month. I will let you know over our usual secure channels. In the meantime we must prepare our warriors for what they face.’
Neither man was stupid. They both knew that this coming war would take martyrs. But with the anarchy that would be created across the galaxy. The movement to restore Gods will; would be one step closer. Both men; as were all of the brotherhood, were all prepared to die for their cause. The tyranny of the age of science would come to a bloody end. Of that Matthew was certain.
Having seen enough, they both slipped stealthily down the mountain. Ensuring they were not seen by any watcher on the many towers of the academy. It was a painfully slow process, and after what seem like days, they both made their way back to the dark and inconspicuous car that had brought them here. The drive back to the farm, which served as a kind of headquarters for the Dominicans to launch from, was several miles away. It was completely isolated within a valley of mountainous peaks, where a river supplied them with water. The farm was at a much lower altitude from whence they had come. Both men were grateful when the temperature began to rise in the summer sun. Comfort was for the week, so neither man would admit to the joy of warmth, as they cruised towards their temporary home.
They arrived to a hive of activity. To a casual onlooker the men going about their tasks could have been mistaken for farm workers. In reality the soldiers of God were preparing for war. Pulling into the large barn at the centre of the farm, Matthew and Peter exited the car solemnly and looked over the men practicing with weapons and grappling hand to hand. Some of them were topless, showing with pride the lattice of scars from the multitude of self-inflicted whippings. They walked through to the end of the barn and walked up the stairs, where a roofed balcony sheltered ten men on their bellies from the baking sun. They were all expert marksmen. The limitless supply of funding that flowed from their wealthy benefactors ensured only the best weapons were at their disposal.
They all took their shots with rifles capable of shooting over a mile. The silent retorts from the guns spat the bullets in unison all taking the heads of straw dummies in the hazy distance.
‘Good shooting. Carry on like that and the unbelievers will be dead before they even know there is a war on.’
Peter said to the shooters that stood to the attention of their superiors.
‘Tell me brothers. Who is the greatest shot amongst you?’
A blond man stepped forward without hesitation. His long hair was tied up in a tight top knot, making his face seem taught and cruel. He bowed deeply to the imposing Peter, who stood at least a foot taller than the sharp shooter. Peter acknowledged him with a nod.
‘You are with me when we hit the perimeter. I want the rest of your guns on the watchmen on the walls. I hope you are prepared to die for our saviour brother.’
The question was rhetorical, but the man answered Peter anyway.
‘I am brother. I have trained all of my life for this moment. If God decides to take me in his arms then so be it.’
Matthew was pleased with his devotion, and made the sign of the cross. It was wise to use the sharp shooters in this way to begin the battle. If the opening of the attack was not silent, then they would be doomed to fail before they even started. With his plan in mind he summoned his council of war. The members were all leaders of their own group of ten. They all sat around a large oak table that had purple cloth runner rolled out across its length. Jugs of red wine and loafs of bread were there to eat and drink if anyone so wished. No one touched a morsel, as the council began. It was becoming late now; the darkness was only brightened sparingly by a few large candles that had been placed around the large room within the barn. The candles on the table lit the monk’s faces, making their features seem sinister to behold.
All were seated, save for Brother Matthew. He circled the table like a predatory shark looking for prey. Even members of his own order had become wary of his sudden turns of temper that could quite easily see them placed on a rack of torture. Or some had also been known to receive a death sentence from the master of their faith.
‘Brothers; we will soon embark on our most righteous Crusade. The age of science will soon be over. It will be washed away in the blood of revolution.’
All of the men in attendance crossed themselves reverently. Their faith had been pushed underground for far too long. At last they had the strength to strike a decisive blow to their enemy. It had not sat well with some of the order to be allying themselves with the old enemy of the crimson moon. Matthew had shown them all however that there was no other way. Once the government had been overthrown and its leaders burned on pyres. Then they would establish an inquisition to root out Satan wherever he may be. Matthew reinforced this with his next words.
‘No one that is found wanting in the eyes of God shall escape the flames. I know some of you are concerned with the crimson moon fighting at our side. Know that this alliance is but a temporary measure. For now; let us use them to end our common enemy. Black and his Regiments will be the first to burn.’
Matthew noticed a hand rise, at the far end of the table. It was not a surprise to see who the question came from. This monk in particular had been a rival to Matthews guiding hand, ever since he was elevated to High Master of the Brothers of Saint Dominic. Brother Simon held his gaze without fear. He still had power after all within the order.
‘Brother Matthew; I am sure we will be successful. But if we do fail, Black will not stop until he has hunted us down and annihilated us all.’
Matthew felt the cold steel of a small hatchet he kept concealed under his robes. It had served many functions since he had blessed the weapon several years back. Sometimes he would chop wood with its keen edge which never failed him. But on other occasions; much like this one. All he wanted to do was bury the blade inside the skull of the person that had openly confronted him.
Brother Simon had predictably cast doubt over this movement, and the urge to remove him immediately was overwhelming. Matthew also had another kind of steel under his robes. Against the pale skin of his thigh, a ring of crude barb wire hugged uncomfortably. With a slight squeeze of his legs, the sharp points bit into him, causing an instant reprimand for his sinful thoughts. As blood trickled down his leg, he released the pressure. So used to self-harm he did not wince at all from the pain inflicted. He would have to humour Brother Simon. He was not yet powerful enough to get away with killing this doubter. Matthew would have to enlighten them of his attack plan. Show them its brilliance. One thing was certain after this meeting though. Simon would be in the first wave of attack.