Chapter 3: Ulysses (part 1)Mature

Garviel walked concealed in the shadows under the concrete supports of the train-way above him. He had removed his mask earlier and any utilisation of his powers would require concentration for brief usage. The train-way he now walked under had been crammed between two textile factories on the bank of what used to be the Irushnasa river. The river had been dammed to form a reservoir to provide water for the city's population, as well as electricity at the dam to power the city's tram lines and street lights. Where the two factories met the reservoir there was a raised brick wall. Over the years the wall had slowly began to crumble and leak, thankfully, he noticed someone was doing something about it. A pair of stilt walkers stood in front of the wall, electricity flowing into the conductor batteries on their backs from a nearby tesla coil that had been set up. The machines rose eight metres on their skinny legs to where the operator sat, Each man appeared to be setting in new bricks and adding a cement like covering. Contrary to the their name, the stilt walkers had servo hip and forward bending knee joints as well as taloned feet for more agile movement. Garviel eventually reached the spot where he found the corroded manhole lid. He lifted it up by its hinged and dropped down before closing it.

He climbed down what he guess was about thirty metres before he reached the bottom. The tunnel he found himself in appeared to be hewn from the rock itself. it was damp enough for the phosphorous fungi that illuminated the tunnel to grow here. He walked towards a slightly rusted iron door and heaved it open. . The yellow glow of tungsten bulbs that were usually on was absent. Garviel grew alert. Was this a test of some sort? he wondered. He thought now that he had completed his first kill he would be done with that sort of thing. A fist lashed out of the shadows to strike at him, he dodged expertly and grabbed his attacker's wrist. They broke free of his grip, slid around him and got an arm around his throat, he grabbed both of their arms and hauled his attacker over his shoulders who landed deafly in front of him. "So you were paying attention in training after all" the lights came back on and Garviel saw  Nina standing before him. Her wine red hair was short on the right half of her scalp and hung as far as her cheek on the left. She was dressed in casual clothes, black of course, her favourite colour. Her pale skin almost pure white in the harsh light."Is this how I will always be greeted?" Garviel demanded. "No" she replied with a mischievous smirk. "Only when you fuck up, like you did". She was still smirking. "What!?. Impossible, I killed the general and no one else got hurt!". She shook her head. "Just clean up and talk to Ulysses, he will explain" she said, smiling almost pitifully at him. Garviel sighed and continued down the tunnel. He considered Nina a friend and he hoped she saw him that way too. 

He continued until he entered a large open area with several corridors leading off in different directions.. In the centre stood a granite square pillar on which the code of the Fraternity was inscribed. This was the heart of the Fraternity, at the heart of the empire it protected. There were maybe fifteen here at most, the rest were scattered across the land on their missions of assassination. He headed down the nearest to the right, in the direction of his own quarters. On the way he stopped by at Adam,s room. Adam was another member he called a friend. He found him on his bed, tapping out tunes to the songs playing from the radio set he had. He smiled when he saw him in the doorway. "Hey Garvy". "How do you get reception down here?" Garviel inquired. Adam smiled, a chance to show off his intellect. " I have an antenna that goes all thee way up to the surface" He said, pointing a finger to the ceiling. Garviel smiled before leaving and continuing to his own room

His quarters had little personal belongings, which he was allowed to keep few of, not that he had really had many worth keeping. A picture of his sister in her imperial navy uniform and a small puzzle cube his father had made when he worked with the mechanics guild. He removed both the clockwork devices from his wrists and set them inn their appropriate holders on his desk. Adam would collect them to tinker with in his own time He went to the small sink and washed his face. He stared at his reflection for a moment. His hair was black as night and hung down to his shoulders, he had stubble on his cheeks and face, his skin was a slight shade darker than that of most citizens of the capital. And his brown eyes stared back at him. He decided against changing out of his dark trench coat and boots and headed straight to where he  knew he would find Ulysses.


The End

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