It had taken only a few seconds for Crow to land squarely on the man and, without a moment’s hesitation, to slash his throat with her sword. The old woman let out a whimper, then clasped a hand to her mouth, terrified. Crow took only two strides to reach her and, stretching her fingertips towards her, to render her unconscious.

“Nicely done.”

Crow’s cloaked eyes shot to the voice but, noticing who it was, narrowed.

“What do you want, Falcon?”

The man who had spoken hopped from a nearby building and glided to the floor before her, sandy wings and hair bright against the blanket of night. He was dressed in a black suit not unlike Crow’s own, but looking more like cotton than leather. Rather than a hood, his face was only half concealed by a black cloth, covering his nose and mouth. A gleaming silver chain was tightly gripped in one hand, but his twinkling blue eyes were full of mirth.

“I only wanted to offer my congratulations. You have clearly found a quick, systematic approach to our duties.”

Crow smirked, wiping the blood off her blade, and slid it into the sheath on her back. Another twin blade was sheathed there as well, both strapped in tightly.

“And what would you know about that?”

Loud footsteps kept Falcon from his answer, sparking annoyance in his eyes.

“Where are you man? I got the money but cops are on the-”

The masked man who had just entered the alley glanced from Crow, to Falcon, and then to the dead body of his partner. He let out a curse, but before he could run, Falcon had whipped the chain around his neck and pulled him with ease to the ground between him and Crow. He placed a booted foot on the man’s shoulder and, with a sharp tug, broke his neck.

“Not half-bad yourself.”

Falcon let out a chuckle at Crow’s compliment, before coiling the chain back around his palm.

“I suppose. I wish to ask something of you, however.”

“Oh?”Crow said, mock curiosity in her voice.

“Yes. We wanted you to join us.”

Crow noted the dark figures lurking on a nearby rooftop. It seemed the bird had brought his flock.

“And if I refuse?”

Falcon shrugged, kicking aside the body in front of him.

“Then there is nothing to be done. But, be warned, we will not be on friendly terms.”

Crow could feel weapons training upon her from the darkness, and instinctively reached a hand back for the comforting handle of her sword. Realizing that she was completely outnumbered, Crow let her gloved hand drop to her side.

“You didn’t have to drag out the cavalry.”

Falcon smiled, making the cloth on his face shift slightly.

“That would have been suicide.”
“Fine, then. You win. For the first and last time.”

Falcon grinned at Crow’s words and, spreading his wings, tucked the chain into his belt.

“Great. Welcome to the team.”

The End

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