The dirt road had not seen water for months, Rhune’s excessive speed sent clouds of dust into the air as the wheels cut a definite path in the rarely used road. The arid surroundings supported the feeblest of vegetation and even that was sparsely populated. The ground was flat and Rhune only had to keep one disinterested hand on the wheel. The jeep’s engine loud and the open top meant the air would race past Rhune’s ears. Despite the uncomfortable noise Rhune’s mind wandered.

“I am Rhune forth born of Odyseus.” He whispered to himself. “I was unleashed onto this mortal plain to crush all those who would defy my father’s vision of existence.”

A sudden S-bend in the road broke Rhune’s concentration. The jeep responded to the slightest of movements of the steering wheel and he took the turn effortlessly. With his philosophical moment shattered Rhune turned his attention to his surroundings. The open step became a valley and the quiet dirt road became flanked by rolling hills and plateaus. As soon as he took his eyes off what surrounded him, his mind once again wandered off.

“Born without a mother’s love, free from our father’s control is there any doubt we are truly the most dangerous creatures alive. If we were truly born of women would we not be nurturing and compassionate? I know from where my blood was forged and it was from a heart far darker then any women could ever be. Life is not sacred. Its sole purpose is to wither and die and those few born outside the cycle of life are destined to hasten its demise.”

Rhune’s dark words began to trouble him. He looked down at the arm that rested on the door of the jeep while the other held the wheel. His scars were a constant reminder of the brutal truth about his existence. He tried to break free from these dark thoughts and focused his eyes on the road ahead. Then from a high plateau another set of eyes watched the road, he also watched Rhune. One armoured figure stood vigil over Rhune’s progress.

“Finally.” Xangcris exclaimed to the night air.

The Solis Ankh that scarred his face flared and glowed an intense red. Xangcris gripped the lower corner of his cape and wrapped it around as he turned away from the edge of the plateau. Vanishing from sight he left Rhune to progress. The road took another sudden turn, bending just before the ground fell away off into another plateau. Rhune hit the brakes and the jeep skidded to a halt alongside the edge. They city below him was aged and dying. The agents of chaos had preceded him and had either been destroyed by those who Rhune was forced to call ally or the chaos had laid waste to those who lived there in a show of force in a bid to shake his resolve. The result was two edged, he would not likely encounter any hostiles but it would be unlikely for him to find a suitable cache in order to resupply.

He drove on down the slight inclined path that led to the city. The vermin had already laid siege to the scraps that remained. Rhune swore under his breath and continued driving. Only the sudden cry of a human female gave him pause. Hitting the breaks with such urgency he cause his free hand to smash into one of the rear vision mirrors. Shaking the shattered glass from his hand, he looked round for the source of the sound. His eyes narrowed to the sound of a struggle. Stepping down from the jeep he reached into the back and retrieved his sword and shotgun. With the shotgun secured to his leg and the sword over his shoulder, he followed the noise.

He growled at the scene that greeted him. One girl more frightened then hurt was in the clutches of one of two armed toughs. The slighter of the two lifted her off the ground by the front of her shirt tearing the fabric slightly. Both toughs chuckled, thrilled by the fear she couldn’t hold back. Rhune did not know why he had come here, the female was of little to no concern to him but the sight of the Nazca symbol of the Phoenix each man wore just below their right shoulder now sealed their fate.

“Such a tragedy that the vermin of this city is not limited to the rats.” Rhune delivered in a cold monotone.

His words had their desired effect. They lost interest in the girl and released her. Still traumatised and filled with fear she only moved into a huddled mass. The two thugs stood off against Rhune, almost delighted to see him.

“Its him!”

“You’ve been waiting for me?”

“Its time to see if the man equals the myth.”

Rhune drew his sword and held it off to his side at a forty-five degree angle from his leg. In what could only be overconfidence the two thugs raised their fists. Rhune narrowed his eyes again and slid one foot back behind him.

“So be it.” He hissed.

Both men roared as they charged at him. Rhune quickly reversed his grip on the sword and with one upward swing the slender man was sent off his feet. Rhune brought the sword down onto his muscular companion. Despite the savageness of the attack he was barely slowed. Rhune didn’t hesitate bring the sword back round slicing through the man’s pectoral muscles. One swift kick to his mid section Rhune sent him to the ground. Rhune anger subsided and he looked down at his blood soaked blade. His eyes began to glow as he focused his power, channelling it into his sword the metal heated up and the blood flaked away into nothingness. As he sheathed his sword, the slender man rose to his feet.

“Bastard I’ll kill you!” He snarled even as he clutched at his chest trying to stem the flow of his own lifeblood.

“Just curl up and die!” Rhune snapped returning to his cold monotone.

Before the man could move Rhune raised the shotgun and emptied both barrels. With the integrity of his chest already compromised the two shotgun shells ripped him apart. The man’s lifeless remains feel limp into a river of his own blood. Rhune discharged the spent rounds and was about to replace the shotgun to its leg holster when he locked eyes with the girl he had indirectly rescued. With the same look of contempt he had used one the two he just disposed of he stared her down.

“Please don’t hurt me.”

The shotgun was raised, with his finger on the triggers he was poised to shoot. Rhune hesitated and the shotgun wavered. Once again his mind slipped and was granted another insight to the dark words that had troubled him.

“It has been said that the enigma of life was never meant to have been. There was only light and darkness. Through oversight pawns were created to fight on the battlefield that came to be known as the Chaosphere. Through countless wars the need for new life, new warriors emerged. Thus the eternal struggle began. From beings with powers beyond the godlings to the mortals that walk the plains one power will emerge to end the chaos. Unified powers of life, death, blood and sacrifice will give rise to Sekcubra…he who will end the chaos.” He whispered

Rhune’s words were faint but audible; she just managed to hear them. Although their eyes were locked on each other’s his consciousness was clearly somewhere else. She reached out to him as if she was concerned. Rhune suddenly found his center; he re affirmed his grip on the shotgun and started to apply pressure to the two triggers. She did nothing but utter a slight gasp, startled by Rhune’s change of mood. Rhune hesitated again, this time without faltering. He replaced the shotgun and began to walk away.

“Th…ank…you.” She spoke hesitantly unsure of what his reaction would be.

Rhune paused in his steps. He turned his head to the side and stared at her with one eye.

“I would have killed those men regardless of your existence, you need not thank me for sparing your life. As all born of the female condition, your purpose is to fuel the life of this planet. Regardless of my stand point, the saviour too needs a mother.”

Rhune faced forward once more and walked to his jeep. The girl transfixed by Rhune’s words just watched him leave. She soon came to her senses and looked round at the destruction and carnage he had unleashed remorselessly in a matter of seconds. Again driven by fear she ran in the opposite direction. Away from Rhune, away from the blood.

As Rhune drove away, the armoured form of Xangcris once more. A cold wind caught his hair cape, blowing it to one side as he watched Rhune escape the crumbling walls of the city. Xangcris then turned his attention to the figures below. He noticed one was still alive. Despite two strokes from Rhune’s sword, the muscled one had not died.

“Your shattered soul has been tainted by them my brother. Far beyond redemption you still spare the life of those who are our enemies!”

Without hesitation Xangcris leapt from the building. He landed perfectly bending his knees and steadying himself with one hand on the ground. He rose to his feet as the wounded man crawled towards him.

“Help me…” He pleaded.

“You were born into this world as tainted as all those before you. You shall die like the rest. Washed away in a cleansing wave of fire. I will purify this realm and not even a memory of this chaos will remain. Flesh will rot, metal will rust and all knowledge will be lost.”

Xangcris raised one of his metal boots and drove the heel into the man’s back. Twisting it sideways on its downward path it Xangcris shattered every rib he cam into contact with. The man’s cries of pain were garbled with his mouth filling with blood as the last of his air was crushed from his lungs. With the grizzly deed over, Xangcris turned his attention to the retreating form of the girl. The sleekness of her frame did not escape his eye but he was lost as to why Rhune had spared her as well.

“What is it about them? Why do the fallen find them so irresistible? Is it the swollen glands that unleash the sweat that feeds the offspring? Is it the offspring created from the union of flesh? Or it is just the act itself? The pleasure derived from their bodies corrupts the weak so easily. You are numbered amongst the weak Rhune if you think our salvation lies within the mortal female.”