Authors note: Ok due to the enormous amount of support that I have received on the last chapter I am going to release another a little bit early even with the looming threat of exams. I'm really happy with the amount of support that I have been getting and I want to say thank you very much with this following chapter so enjoy.

Chapter Two - Bringing down the House

Eddie realized that defeating the "Nine" would be a lot harder than he thought. Within the space of a few days they had managed to refortify the path to Lionwhyte's palace. Battersmith had been fortified with wooden stakes and several roaming squads of what appeared to be Headbangers. Blocking the entrance to the large gates was a massive stage with an impressive looking drum kit. "When did this happen?" Eddie asked The Baron.

"When you were unconscious, the gits decided to move in," he replied in his gruff voice, "so what's the plan Eddie? Storm the gates and annihilate that monstrosity?"

"Yeah sounds good but we need to be careful, we don't have as much firepower as we used to."

The Barron lit a cigarette and moved to his bike brooding, "I'll get all the guys together," he informed Eddie, "heh this will be one heck of a party."

The Barron started up the engine of his chrome hog and sped away. Eddie took one last look at the fortifications and turned away. Questions flooded his mind, what did the Nine want? Where did they come from? How the heck did they build a stage without the assistance of a noticeable road crew? Eddie sat in the deuce for a while thinking. "Why did that Eight guy call the Guardian Ozwald?" he thought out loud, "More importantly who an earth names a guy Ozwald?" He knew where he could get some of the answers he needed. But now was not the time, he needed to focus on the threat in front of him. He turned on the deuce's engine and sped towards the Killmaster's lair.

On the Battersmith plain several of the workers heard the sound of Eddie's deuce firing up. Looking to where they thought the sound was coming from they dropped the wooden stake they were hammering and made their way over to the stage. They wore the black military uniforms similar to their new masters; their heads glinted in the sunlight as the light bounced off the polished metal surface. The Headbangers as they were previously known had followed the sound of the Dark Metal and their masters to the chrome volcanoes. There their heads were dipped in the molten chrome and remodeled and molded by the dark powers that their masters possessed. Their necks were thicker and stronger due to the new coat of chrome and their faces were more rounded, the chins less pronounced. Their mouths were filled with razor sharp teeth, similar to the steel-trap jaws of the Tollusk's that roamed around the edge of the plain. Their masters had dubbed them "Metalheads" due to their chrome appendages.

The group approached the newly built stage they had recently completed, searching for the person known as One. He was sat atop one of the speakers at the side of the stage looking at the sky and twirling a drumstick in his left hand. His mask was plain white with black tears streaming down from the eyes. His lips were also blackened; his long hair fell to either side of his face, the overall effect made him look like a doll.

"What do you want?" he questioned. His voice sounded like a death rattle and sent shivers down the Metalheads' spines.

"We heard the sound of an engine my lord," said the biggest Metalhead, "we think it might have been Eddie Riggs."

One stared at the Metalhead for a few seconds. "Good, prepare the defenses," he whispered, "We will crush him and the rest of his rabble right here."

XXX

The remains of Ironheade were camped at the base of the mountain leading up to the Killmaster's lair. There were fewer numbers than Eddie would have liked, Magnus greeted him and told him that everyone was waiting at the top. "Cheers Magnus, get in I can drive you up to the top," Eddie offered.

"Nah dude I've got to fix up the bus and give her a thorough check over to make sure she don't break down on us, haven't needed to do anything with her since you defeated Doviculus." The trainee roadie smiled and then set to work on the massive vehicle. "I guess he will make a good roadie some day," Eddie thought as he made his way up the mountain pass.

Once he reached the top he walked over to where every one was sat in the small amphitheatre. They stopped their heated discussion as he approached. "Do you have a plan?" Lita asked him.

"If we attack the stage at Battersmith now we may have a chance," Eddie suggested, "Their defenses are crude and they aren't defending it as well as they could, an all out assault might be able to do the trick."

The Barron smiled "I like this plan."

"I've got no problem with it," said the Killmaster "just bring me the wounded and leave me out of the fighting."

Ophelia smiled "guess it's just like old times eh Eddie."

"With out the Zallia we may be at a disadvantage but we should pull through," Lita thought, "Tell the troupes we march now!"

XXX

The Bus reached Battersmith without a hitch but setting up the stage in front of the enemy's lines would be difficult. "You sure this is a good idea dude?" Magnus questioned, Eddie nodded "This is the only way,'" he simply stated. Flapping from overhead caught Eddie's attention. One of the Nine was flying over towards them, Eddie reached for the newly sharpened Separator and took on a defensive stance. The masked figure landed gently in front of him. From his back came two large black feathery wings making him look like an angel, Eddie knew better, this was no angel. "You don't need your weapons for the moment," the former Titan spoke with a deathly whisper, "I have come to agree on the conditions for this battle."

Eddie was reluctant but saw that the man was unarmed and did as he was asked and sheathed his weapon. "What do you want?" Eddie asked.

"Firstly to introduce myself I am known as One," he stated. "Secondly I wish to agree on the terms of our battle which will be thus, only infantry units will be fielded and lastly, should I win, you will swear allegiance to us."

"Fine I accept but you must give us time to prepare our stage."

"Agreed, we will give you ten minutes to prepare," with that One flew back to his stage.

"Eddie what are you doing man?" Magnus questioned, "What happens if we lose?"

"Do you honestly think we are going to lose?" Eddie smiled "well hurry up we have ten minutes till we thrash these guys."

"Oh right I'll get to work," Magnus rushed over towards a group of roadies who built the stage in a matter of seconds.

"Done Eddie," squawked Magnus over the radio.

Eddie felt rumbling underneath his feet, and watched as the green light of the fan-geysers erupted into life as if they sensed the forthcoming battle. "Magnus sent out two units of Headbangers, Razor girls and Bouncers to the three fan-geysers in front of us," Eddie ordered "once you've done that, get as many people out here as you can."

"Got it boss."

XXX

Within five minutes Ironheade had amassed a large force to equal the enemy before them. So far One had kept his word and left Eddie's forces alone. Lita walked up to Eddie with her Halberd in hand.

"What now?" she asked looking out over the plain, "should we attack?"

"He gave us ten minutes but I don't see why not," Eddie mused, "In the end you're the leader of this army Lita, I'm just a roadie."

She nodded "You're right, sound the charge."

Eddie smiled and leapt into the air his wings unfurling from his back. "I never get tired of this," he thought charging straight at the enemy's stage unsheathing his axe. Below him the various infantry units of Ironheade rushed forward to meet the units of Metalheads in front of them. Eddie picked a unit and flew straight down, slamming his axe down into one of the Metalheads shoulders. The force of the blow separated the man's arm killing him within a few seconds. Eddie aimed his second swing at another's head. There was a loud clang as metal hit metal. The Metalhead looked stunned but unharmed, the chrome had shielded him from the deadly blow. Eddie quickly regained his composure and aimed a blow at the Metalhead's chest. Within seconds Eddie had decimated the unit and was joined by a group of Headbangers. "MOSH PIT!" Eddie shouted moving forward banging his head as he ran into another unit of Metalheads. Suddenly Eddie heard a scream from his left. One of the Headbangers was thrashing about covered in what appeared white wriggly worms. Within seconds the things had devoured the guy.

The worms wriggled over to a tall gangly looking person, whose flesh was peeling in certain places. His clothes were dirty and ripped in certain places, and sack covering the head hid its features. The rotting corpse shambled forward under the influence of the mass of maggots that burrowed and nested in its skin. Eddie reached for trusty Clementine and struck a cord sending pyrotechnics erupting from the ground in front of the maggot carrier, setting the corpse alight incinerating it.

Eddie turned his attention to the stage ahead of him, searching the field for One. Since the battle had started he hadn't moved from his position atop one of the speakers at the right side of the enemy's stage twirling a drumstick in one hand. Sighing, One stared up at the sky watching the clouds pass as the carnage of the battle unfurled next to him. "I suppose its time to finish this then," he jumped down from his perch and moved over to his kit. He sat down behind it flexing his muscles and stretching out his body. He quickly tested each drum individually and focused his energy on the job in hand. "Time to die," One whispered raising his hands twirling both drumsticks in complex patterns. Bringing them down hard on two of the cymbals, One let out a massive shock wave that brought every one on the battlefield to their knees. He then started to play a savage and vicious beat using the dual bass drums. "Shit he can play," Eddie thought as the beat from the drum kit rose in speed and volume. One started using various drums on the kit creating a thundering pulse that reverberated across the plain. Dark tendrils started to emanate from One's hands as his power began to increase. Eddie swore he could see a glint in the Titan's eye that looked like a cross between glee and madness as he pounded out the savage rhythm. Eddie felt fear when he saw this; the powers of Dark Metal were a terrible thing that consumed those who wielded it. The ground began to shake and rumble underfoot as One started to use the cymbals on the kit. Laughing he poured all of his dark power into the last section of his solo bringing his sticks crashing down on the two large cymbals. A large crevice opened in front of the stage swallowing up members from both armies. Eddie moved as quick as he could to avoid getting swallowed by the darkness, too slow, he fell along with the others into the dark pit. "EDDIE!" screamed Ophelia diving after him.

Authors note: Ok I know that I didn't include another character but trust me they will be making an appearance soon. As for the origins of the Nine and how they came to power all will be reviled next time along with some audience participation with a poll. Meantime let me know what you think and please be patient as my exams will now take priority.