“He will be here shortly to read you your last rites,” stated one of the soldiers. They stood on the gallow platforms. The Man stood there quietly in his manacles. “Should we remove his mask?” another asked. “No leave it so they know its him. He will be a proof that we don’t need more vigilantes running around. Looks like you finally met your match in us.” The guard laughed while the other spat on his cloak. The hangman pulled the lever to test the trap door. All was working. The crowd began to gather in a small town as rain sprinkled down from the heavens. They were here for the bishop. The holiest of the area. He served the god’s, but took money on the side. If it weren’t for the fact that kidnapped people and sold them to be killed in festivals, he would probably be a pretty decent guy. The Man still had the smell of death on him from discovering the holy dumping grounds only a few days earlier. They waited in silence.
After a while the bishop and two of his henchmen rode up the town streets. The crowd rushed to meet him and ask for blessings, while ignoring the missing posters ironically sitting on a bulletin behind them. They wouldn’t understand. Does anyone? The bishop cleared a path with his henchmen and one of the guards went below to calm the crowd. “Hang the creep!” they shouted. ‘’Glory to the Church of Light and Dark! May his soul be cast into the pit of Old Ones!" The priest made his way up and send his henchmen below. This was it. The Man would finally meet his end. His fate would be swift like the dagger that rested next to the edge of the platform. Ready to take his life. The guard placed the noose over the Man’s neck. He looked the bishop in the eye. For the first time he came out of hiding. It took enough of his lackey’s deaths to bring them face to face. It was a bummer that he happened to get caught though. The bishop smirked and whispered into his ear, “You have been a thorn in my side. One I intend to remove today.” He smiled and addressed the crowd. The dirt was giving way to mud at this point. The bishop stepped back when done and began chanting his rituals. The crowd got angry at this, “Kill him now! He doesn’t deserve your blessings!” The bishop finished. The Man glanced around the platform. There was no tools he could use to get out of this one. He looked at the guard standing with his arms crossed. He looked out over the town. Ignoring the people, save one not in the crowd. With that he stood on the trap door. This was it. Time stopped as the lever was pulled. Crick! Thunk! Thump! An arrow whizzed by as the Man fell landing on a dagger placed conveniently for the landing. He jumped back up as quickly as he landed on the dagger. The guard came at him only to realize that the manacles were on his crossed arms and not the Man’s. The Man roundhouse kicked the guard off the platform. The crowd was shocked and so was the bishop. He fell right into the plan. The Man grabbed his robes as bone claws slowly pushed their way out between his knuckles. ‘’May Khonsu accept this offering," he whispered into the bishop’s ear and sunk the bone deep into his chest. Arrows began flying over the heads of everyone landing into the building behind the gallows. The Man ran over and began climbing the well placed aids. The guards and henchmen swarmed to the aid of their dead leader. People screamed. No one would be bringing him back in this remote town, but just to be safe a flaming arrow lands on the platform and ignites a previously undetected substance.
The Man quickly made his way to his horse. “You’re late,” said The Whisp. She stood there in her mask. It’s smirk was clearly not hiding the similar emotion below. He climbed on his horse and smiled under his mask.
Picture from Dark Matter Props.