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.
The temptation of the flesh was man’s greatest weakness. Khalid looked upon the vision before him and then cursed his lack of devotion. At that moment all he wanted to do was to devour the woman on top of him. Loose himself in a whirlwind of ecstasy. But he had shared his bed for long enough with the beautiful assassin. They both had work to do; holy work. They had been planning this galactic wide attack for years now. Khalid had taken sinful pleasure from the silk sheets, which draped them both in a soothing kiss of luxury. Life in the camp had been hard. The leader of the rebellion, much to his shame, had granted himself this final night of pleasure. It could very well be his last, after all.
He rolled the beautiful assassin off of him, and sat on the edge of the ornately made bed. He gazed at nothing in particular, lost in thought of the attack to come. The woman who lay next to him shared those same feverish eyes. They had fanatically killed and fought for their God ever since they were young.
It was a steaming brew of tea that had stirred Khalid from his murderous scheming. She brought a tray with two cups, which he accepted graciously. In another world he would have married this woman. Fate however, had set them both on different paths.
‘Do not worry yourself Khalid. Every detail has been planned to perfection. Whatever happens from now on is out of your hands.’
Her name was Aisha. She had met Khalid long ago at another theatre of battle. She was young then, perhaps in her late teens. She would later become a master of death. But even then she was as ruthless and devout as any true warrior of their faith. The Crimson Moon had used her and her talents, to wreak judgment on the infidels before.
Aisha and the others of her order were different from the regular martyr at his disposal. It was their sacred vow to live. The very meaning of her name was to live. Never could an enemy take this lust for life as weakness. For their life was only valued for one reason; to kill the enemies of God, until they were killed themselves in glorious battle. Then they would be welcomed to heaven, and rewarded justly for honing their skills to stay alive to accomplish their life’s mission.
She used her beauty as she would any weapon at her disposal. The Maidens of the Needle only accepted the prettiest and most athletic into their ranks. Khalid knew she was right when she told him to relax. But even he could doubt sometimes.
He rose from the bed and stood to face Aisha. She ran a tender hand up his well-muscled stomach, appreciating his powerful form. Play time unfortunately must end.
‘I know you are right my dear.’
He said to her, stopping her hand gently from caressing his body.
‘I have called upon your Maidens of the Needle many times. This may be the battle that finally ends your vow to survive. ‘
‘It is what I was born to do Khalid. Every single one of us hopes to live to fight another day. But I agree that this endeavour will be the end for many of the Maidens.’
‘I would not ask this of you if it were not important to the cause Aisha. You know that don’t you?’
She returned her hand to his cheek, and for a moment she lost the look of the killer that she was. For a fleeting time, she looked at him with a loving heart.
‘You do not need to explain to me why you send me. I would go into the very pits of hell if it served our cause. I am ready to do what must be done.’
He took her hand again, only this time he did not remove it. Instead he kissed it lovingly, smelling the sweet perfume that mingled with her own sublime scent.
‘Of all my resources, I will mourn your loss the greatest if you fall. It is good that you are ready. Much of our success relies on your efforts.’
She turned and began to dress herself in the formal attire that would give the impression she was someone important.
‘As I said, I am ready.’
Nothing would please Khalid more than to climb back under the covers with this marvel of a woman. The comforts of paradise would have to wait until they were either dead, or by some miracle, they met once again after her virtual suicidal mission.
She left his enormous tent without looking back, nor saying goodbye. She would be preparing her thoughts now on the task at hand. Khalid himself should have been hurrying to his duties; especially today on the eve of the attack. But he allowed himself the luxury of watching the temptress sway gracefully to a weapons rack nearby.
He watched her arm herself with the tools of her trade. All of which were concealed cunningly under her garments. Among the small arsenal she carried, were many silenced pistols, garrotte wire and her most sacred and prized weapon of all. A weapon that all of the maidens of the needle must carry. It was a curved dagger of the Order of the Needle. All of her sisters would have to master its sharp edge before they could call themselves worthy to serve. Only then would they take their vow.
She tucked the blade into a fold in the small of her back. From there it could be drawn in a matter of seconds. Khalid had witnessed its lethal bite many times. Soon it would taste the blood of the infidel. Soon it would cut the throat of a President.
He would let her go with a heavy heart. Tarik his number two in command was due any minute to go over the phases of attack. They had done so, many times. This was necessary of course to make it work. They would be prepared for the fight. Unlike the unknowing enemy, that had not the slightest idea that their world would be soon to crumbling into dust.
It was not long, when Tarik appeared at the mouth of his tent. Rolls of paper and data tablets were in his arms. So many in fact, that it was an extreme effort not to drop them.
‘Good morning Brother Tarik. I trust you slept well. Put all of that over there my friend.’
Tarik placed the scrolls and data tables down on a large table at the far side of the tent. With the heat of the jungle, both men were sweating in the baking humidity. Tarik had seen the assassin leave the tent moments ago. He considered that she must have been given last orders before the attack. Now inside Khalid’s quarters, he guessed that it was more than likely that the Maiden had stayed the night with their leader.
The bed was unmade and the mixed smell of perfume and sweat indicated that they had indeed been intimate recently. This was not forbidden these days. It was only frowned upon. It would take a brave person indeed to dare to cast judgment on the leader of the rebellion though.
Tarik himself had slept with one of the local whores last night. They could all be dead soon and most of the warriors would be having some final comforts. Their brother allies of the order of Saint Dominic would beat themselves bloody for thinking such lustful thoughts. Their devotion was so absolute.
‘I have received a long range communication from the Alpha Centauri system. Our brothers there and across the outer colonies are in readiness.’ Tarik said as he unravelled some scrolls.
Khalid looked over the star maps and even he had to be impressed at how far humanity had advanced under the tyrannical reign of President Black. That was part of the problem and the solution. When humanity turned to science they had thrown off the laws of God, and rejected the faith for the sterile belief of nothingness. But spreading so finely among the stars had enabled the Crimson Moon and its allies to strike at when it thought it was at its zenith of power.
The people of science would realise soon that they were actually ripe for the picking so thinned were their resources.
‘They think the more they expand and colonise, the mightier their clutch of power grows Tarik. They are half the force they used to be when I was young. Peace has granted them nothing but a tender belly to open up at our leisure.’
Tarik smiled; at last they would draw the blood of their enemies. This would be their last council of war and he was energised and eager to begin.
‘Tell me Tarik; what of Brother Matthew and the Dominicans?’
‘They are in position. We will meet him at a café not far from the Palace.’
Above them a transport hovered making the area hum as its gravitational discs repelled it from the earth in a controlled decent. It was time to go.
‘Good; arm yourself my brother. We go now to cut the heart from our enemy’s chest.’
Khalid could not wear armour like the heathen men he was about to kill. To the naked eye they would look like tourists on a sightseeing tour of the city. If they were fast enough, they would not need any amour. Aisha was even now setting the path for them.
‘What about the camp? Do we just leave it like this?
Questioned Tarik; after all of their plans, they had forgotten to consider what would become of the camp when they left it. He hoped that they had not forgotten any other detail that could cost them dearly.
‘Burn it. Burn it all. We will not need this place after tomorrow. We either succeed, or we die.’
Tarik nodded his agreement solemnly. With everything in place they watched the hustle and commotion of fighters leaving for their destinations. He knew most would die with their places in heaven assured. But many of them would see a world where the fires of the Crimson Moon would burn the age of science from existence.