The OppressorMature

Rayna stole herself away from the crew to gather supplies from the nearby town of Galsborrow before its inventory was completely depleted by the mob of travelers heading in that direction. She grimaced as a fleet of engine bikes tore past her on either side. She wondered how long would it take to get to Galsborrow market by feet dragging a supply cart behind her.
Hours. It took four hours. By then most of the good supply was already gone. Rayna glanced at the reminents of a crazed mob. Bushels of apples and other fruits and vegetables were toppled over revealing the bruised fruit that everyone else had passed up on. 
Most importantly Rayna stocked up on gunpowder and equipment that the Asterius badly needed. She even thought to throw a couple wool blankets in her cart as the nights were growing colder. The cart was heavy before she even reached the fruit and canned goods. Rayna knelt down to the dirt ground to pick her way through the most editable looking fruits. 
As she reached for a roll away apple a tall leather hide boot nearly crushed her fingers. She glanced up to tell the intruder to mind his step. When her eyes connected with the owner of the boots her breathe caught in her lungs.
 "Malachai," she whispered in awe. It had been years since she had seen him. Those dark eyes, that jet black hair. The only time she ever saw him anymore was when he was haunting her dreams. 
"Have you missed me wife?" His voice was laced with venom. 
Rayna stood up and wiped her now dirty hands on her trousers.
Malachai eyed her cart suspiciously. "Are you supplying an army?"
Rayna shook her head. Her voice was still stuck in her airway somewhere as her heart was lodged in the pit of her stomache creating a hollow in her chest.
Against better judgement Rayna reached out towards Malachai. Her hand sought his. She noticed he wore his wedding band. Malachai arched an eyebrow when he caught her studying his hand. "Aye. My ring. Perhaps you remember the vows we took?" His voice was gentler this time. For a moment Rayna could detect grief in his expression though it quickly hardened and turned to anger.
Rayna pulled her hand back. "I'm supplying a local farm."
Malachai laughed bitterly. "You left me to become an errand girl?"
Rayna closed her eyes and envisioned herself anywhere but here. Perhaps he was a mirage and would be gone when she opened her eyes again.
No such luck. 
Selfishly there was a part of Rayna that was overjoyed to see the man. There was also a part of her that felt guilty and weighed down with regret. She remembered the lie she fed him all to well.  She told him she no longer loved him upon discovering his secrets and his enemies all who would be after them soon enough. Had Rayna not had secrets of her own to protect she would have stayed and fought by her husband's side. But no. It had become too risky. There was no happy ending for anyone involved. The only reward was life itself.
" I must go," Rayna whispered.
Malachai reached for her arm once more. "Be safe wife. If you can evacuate the area. I hear the fire in Grenshaw was just the start of disaster."
Before Rayna could fathom a response her eyes were drawn to a chain around Malachai's kneck, exposed by the few undone buttons on his white tunic. On the end of the chain was a tiny hour glass filled with white sand. Malachai released her arm. "Are you familiar with the expression 'Time heals all wounds'?" He asked.
Rayna nodded slowly. 
"It's a goddamn lie Rayna." With that Malachai left her.
Rayna paid for her supplies and solemnly pulled the heavy cart back towards the docks at Grenshaw.
"I want to kill," the Oppressor informed his quartermaster. Under his own iron mask a cruel smile formed. Through the peepholes his eyes narrowed in contemplation. Today he was in a particularly foul mood.
The Quartermaster  grinned revealing several gaps in his cruel smile. This time he would be an obedient servant lest he wanted to swallow anymore of his own teeth.
"How can I oblige you in this request sir?"
The oppressor scratched at his dark beard. " Have you located the Iron Viking?"
The Quartermaster nodded eagerly." I have sent out the spies sir. In due time he shall be brought to you."
"Alive remind them. The Viking has overshadowed my greatness for far too long. I want the pleasure of driving my sword through his chest no one else!" The Oppressor roared.
Without remorse the Oppressor felt he was entitled to the power that the Iron Viking often stole before he could get to it. Charms, victories; all of which should be his. Before the Oppressor could come to rise he needed to weaken the Iron Vikings Allies and gain his own. He would be respected than hated, that was all fine by him. He was the Anti Iron Viking. He donned his own mask not in flattery but in competition of the IronViking. The people seemed to eat up everything the original masked vigilante did. After the Crew of the great Asterius had been knocked down one by one and after the Iron Viking's untimely death the people would need another hero.
The Oppressor bit back laughter.Soon they would be eating seeds of Poison out of the Oppressors hand.  

The End

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