Alright folks, Im just getting over a little writers block so I wanted to try this portion of a story i'm working on. Please let me know what you all think. Thanks family. Prologue They moved silently through the darkened forest. Quickly and stealthily they approached the gaping mouth of the cavern, guns drawn. Entering the cavern the leader stopped and signaled. Everyone dropped the hood of their massive monk- robes. The leader spoke. “I cannot stress the importance of the tribulation that lies before us.” He allowed his words to sink into the minds of the followers. “Tonight a large portion of you will die, simply stated.” No sound of disagreement could be heard. Within seconds a fierce wind blew through the cavern as the sky outside lit up suddenly. Sounds of thunder followed quickly accompanied by a sudden and intense downpour. It was then that some of the followers began to make the sign of the holy cross. The leader’s face took on a look of sheer fear for a moment before he hurriedly began to speak. “Let us proceed.” The procession of some seventy-five individuals progressed quickly and deeper into the cavern. The leader estimated that they were about a mile deep into the mountain and with a sense of purpose he doubled his pace. Within the next 15 minutes the procession stopped before two large stone and bronze doors inlaid with various semi-precious jewels and the large symbol of a double headed man, the double-headed face of Janus, god of beginnings and endings; and a dragon. The leader quickly pushed the heavy doors opened and they all stepped into a large stone sanctuary; already candlelit and furnished. The sanctuary included columns rising high into the dark of the vaulted ceiling, many icon’s and spiritual relics graced the walls and the room was completed by many pews fashioned into a semi-circle around a large stone dais on which rested a complete silver altar flanked by two large candelabrum of gold. Upon the altar lay a large book, yellowed by age. The leader quickly ran toward the altar and placed his hands upon the book, a look of pure fear and wonderment in his eyes. A sick smile spread across his face. “The book!” He exclaimed to himself. “I’ve finally got my hands on this accursed book!” He laughed a little to himself and closed the book; picking it up and standing at the podium. The rest of the members stood still, the candlelight creating shadows and illuminating the gold thread of the double-headed man and dragon symbol embroidered on the robes of black. The silence was now replaced with an air of fear. The leader stepped forward and spoke, his dark voice reverberating like the thunder outside. “Children, we finally have it! We finally have the ‘Mortis Invito!’” There were a few gasps and the group pressed forward. The leader spoke again. “We have it and now we must destroy it! We must destroy this …this…this dark book!” With that he gestured to one of the robed members and bade him come forth. “Christos, prepare the pot quickly!” He hissed. The man called Christos, called on two others and together they created a fire that began to burn rapidly beneath the large stone pot. “Each member gathered around the pot in semi-circle fashion as the flames grew hotter. The leader slowly began to walk toward the pot, the book stretched toward heaven and a look of insanity in his eyes. He walked and walked and the fire seemed to call him. He could feel the book growing hot in his hands; feel the hum of power run through him, calling him and teasing him. He was approaching the stone pot. Soon it would be over. He now stood less than two feet away from the white-hot bowl. As he closed the distance between himself and the pot a disturbance occurred. He didn’t notice at first; his attention secured to the leaping flames and the intensity of the book in his hands. Just before reaching the side of the pot someone stepped in front of him and his gaze shifted to the Walther his adversary held in his hand. His face registered anger and then instant fear as the gun exploded; the bullet shattering his head like a massive melon. The body stood there for a minute as though frozen before the death convulsions set in and it began to tip backwards. The man with the gun grabbed the book out of the still outstretched hands and turned toward the stunned audience. He began to shoot. Pandemonium ensued. Everyone was striving to escape. The hooded man threw off his cloak to reveal his hunter green uniform with the swastika emblazoned on it. Seven other men surreptitiously threw off their habits to reveal similar uniforms. “Töten Sie sie alle!” (Kill them all!!) The man with the gun commanded in German. Each of the seven took strategic points around the room and began to shoot. The atmosphere was filled with anguished, bloodcurdling cries of the people being killed. The sound of bodies being riddled with bullets brought a smile to the face of the man who now held the book. The stench of death rose to a stultifying height as the last person was gunned down. Dead bodies littered the blood soaked floor as the other seven men began to cheer and laugh a little. Not one of them observed the man holding the book retrieve a machine gun from behind. “Scheint wie dieses Band der Juden erhielt, was sie wie Kapitän benötigten?”(Seems like this band of Jews got what they needed eh Captain?) One of the men asked laughing gruffly. The Captain smiled and nodded; behind his back he pulled the pin. “Ah, Gentlemen, I must thank you all for your help in what has taken place tonight…” He said. “Without you all, I must confess, I don’t think this little endeavor would have gone through.” One of the men stepped forward. “That’s all fine, but when do we get our **** payment of gold?” The Captain stared at the strapping blond haired, blue eyed man before him. “Oh, you will receive payment as soon as we clear out of here.” The men began to pick up the discarded robes and walk toward the entrance. “Stumme Esel.” (Dumb *****) The Captain muttered under his breath as he pulled the machine gun from behind his back. “Herren des Guten Abends.” (Good evening gentlemen.) He said softly as he pulled the trigger and a stream of bullets surged out, catching each of there targets. Each man, one by one fell dead.. When the man smoked cleared the Captain found himself standing in a sea of blood and dead bodies. He smiled and grabbing his robes; placed them on again and walked quietly out of the sanctuary, shutting the doors and placing the padlock on them. He then paused and lit a cigar. Smiling to himself he headed toward the entrance of the cavern where the storm still raged. He stood at the mouth and waited. After about forty-five minutes the rain let up and he stepped into the wet and cold darkness of the forest. Walking along the same route that was used to get to the cavern brought him to the designated clearing. He paused for a brief moment, drawing the cloak tighter around him. Within seconds of his arrival a black Daimler pulled up. A man got out of the car and beckoned him over. He came and was told to get inside. He got inside and settled against the pleasing warmth of the leather interior. The man in the car spoke. “Did you get it?” His voice was cold and impersonal. The Captain smiled and taking a long draw of his cigar nodded. “Ja Ihre Anmut.”(Yes your Grace.). The man stared at the captain. “Let me see it!” It was more of a command than a request. The Captain’s smirk vanished and he quickly placed the book in the man’s hands. The man caressed the book, his gaze intense and somewhat maniacal. “For over three hundred years this book has been the center of constant religious battles and the source of greed. Do you know what this book is?” The Captain nodded his head no. The man spoke again. “This is the ‘Mortis Invito,’ the book of the dead so to speak. Any man in possession of this book can become immortal, having power over death and power like never before.” The Captain regarded the man next to him with a little bit of fear. The man that had gotten out of the car placed his head through the open window. “Herr Bishop, we must be returning to Berlin quickly.” The Bishop regarded the man and nodded turning his attention back to the Captain he spoke once again. “My thanks to you Captain for retrieving this artifact for me, and now the time has come for us to depart…you to your place of rest and me back to Berlin.” The Captain’s smile was instantly replaced with a look of fear and disbelief. He immediately pulled out his gun. He never fired a shot. Within seconds of him pulling out his gun, the man behind him pulled the trigger of his Walther and shot the Captain in the back of the neck. The shot was clean and without any spatters of blood anywhere. The Bishop settled back into the upholstery. “Thank you Hans, now kindly remove his body and let us return to Berlin quickly.” Hans nodded and pulling the body out of the car, he placed it upon the ground and got in the car. The Daimler sped off toward Berlin and the Bishop chuckled grossly. Chapter One Schloss EisenKreuz ********************************************* He stood on the south-side balcony overlooking the looming, snow-caped peaks of the Berchtesgaden Alps which appeared to far away, but were really close. ‘This was indeed a great location.’ He reasoned. The Schloss EisenKreuz sat on Eisen crag within an almost hidden valley of the Berchtesgaden; in dark and brooding splendor; mystifying and defying the elements and onslaught of man. His family had chosen this location almost 150 years ago for the secrecy and impenetrability of it. Baron Wolf Karl Maria von Rhineslaupten paralleled the gothic majesty of the Schloss, so aptly named EisenKreuz, or “Iron Cross.” He presented a very good looking façade in a more chiseled manner. He was a tall and powerfully built man, all dark with a haunting charm. His piercing grey eyes sat under rich ebony hair and graced a face likened to marble. The Lord of EisenKreuz was a force to be reckoned with. He continued to stare at and toward the mists of the mighty Alps when the ringing of a phone broke his quiet reverie. He continued to stand and ponder even when he felt the presence of someone quietly approaching from behind. “Ich bin traurig, Sie zu stören Herr. Baron…” (I am sorry to disturb you Mr. Baron...) “Ja? Was ist es Hedwiga?” (Yes? What is it Hedwiga?) “Es gibt jemand, zum mit Ihnen zu sprechen, ein Anrufer, der vom Nest des Adlers anruft.” (There is someone to speak to you, a caller phoning from the Eagle's Nest.) Wolf sighed and turned to Hedwiga. “Ich nehme es hier heraus, danke Hedwiga.” (I'll take it out here, thank you Hedwiga.) She bowed and quickly returned inside the mansion through his private offices. He picked up the phone. “Wolf, here.” He spoke in perfect, clipped English. “Hiel Hitler! Herr Baron.” A whiny voice replied." I was starting to believe I would not be able to get in touch with you.” He laughed roughly, ending in a fit of coughing. The Baron’s face grimaced in a scowl of impatience. “Hiel Hitler! Herr Streiker. I have indeed been a very busy man.” Julius Streiker was the last man he wanted to talk too. It was one thing to be a propaganda minister, but Julius Streiker was also a well know homosexual who was sadly effeminate and in possession of all the traits of a woman; and being a gossip was at the top of the list. “Bitte Herr Streiker, I have a million things to get done this evening, that can’t wait. What can I do for you?” Normally, he really wouldn’t have given a **** what Streiker wanted, but seeing as how he was now one of the ‘favorites’ of the Fuhrer, it would be wise of him not to be too disdainful toward the imp. “Herr Baron I am calling you on behalf of our glorious Fuhrer. He will be having a small gala here and of course all of his closest friends have been invited. You are among those friends.” He said apparently pleased with himself. The Baron thought a moment. Of course it was no secret in all of the Fatherland that the Altes Regime, ‘old nobility’ of Bavaria held great distaste for the ‘little Austrian weasel,’ as they termed Hitler, and many felt that they should be included in his little gauche soiree’s nonetheless. Listening to Streiker, the Baron began to sense an underlying reason for his presence being requested. “Selbstverständlich Herr Streiker.” (Of course…) Please convey to Mein Fuhrer that I will be there.” “Ah! Yawohl Herr Baron that will do quite nicely. Then we will see you two days from now.” And with that the connection was cut.