Lotus Assassins

No planning, just a bit of on the spot fun.

The estate gates towered into the night, its steel bars barely visible in the poor light, the rough shuffle of guards echoed from inside. Flavius slunk into the shadows and considered his options, the estate walls were always a welcoming prospect. Chuckling to himself he rolled his shoulders, feeling the muscle and drawing confidence. He set off at a brisk jog around the wall and at the next stop he listened carefully for a sound, his trained ears picking up the hustle of a kitchen, late as it was.

His breath came in small gasps as Flavius unravelled a short grappling hook from round his leathered body, he  flung the heavy object over the wall and pulled until it jammed, testing the hold with a few strong tugs. He climbed easily, the soft brick crumbling as his feet scrabbled higher, and the ground below was sucked into the darkness. With a final heave he pulled himself onto the cold wall, peering below for danger. The stars seemed somehow closer and for a moment Flavius felt as if he was floating in darkness, a grating noise wrenched him from his thoughts and the ground below was flooded with light as a door was jarred open.

A chattering slave emerged and spat an insult into the shadows, followed by a slab of rotten meat. He didn’t notice the shadow pressed down into the wall. Two black dogs slinked from the darkness, growling menacingly at each other in competetion. One of the animals leapt forward and sunk its teeth into the meat. The other was moments behind and Flavius wasn’t one to miss an opportunity. Moving past the snapping dogs he slipped through the side door, peering in cautiously and thanking the careless slave who'd left it ajar. He padded into a dimly lit corridor, following it until he reached the atrium. He was shocked at the splendour of the house. A golden fountain trickled softly from the centre and the floor was a delicate mosaic seeming to reflect the tall painted ceilings.

Flavius unfolded a small map of the house, he found where he'd come in. He traced his gloved finger along the parchment and towards the master chamber.  He slinked down another passage, this one narrowing. As he delved further, he sensed another presence, the soft breath barely audible. He imagined a guard had been placed and wondered if Ericidian had known someone was after his blood. Trying to pin the position of the guard, Flavius unhooked a small wooden object from his belt and dipped a tiny bolt with poison. Drawing back the miniature crossbow he shot blindly, satisfied with the sharp slap that followed afterwards, no doubt the man thought he been bitten by an insect. After the guard dropped Flavius quickly unhooked the keys from the dead body and slowly unlocked the door. He winced as the lock grated and then clicked open. Easing the door free his chest fluttered as he caught site of Ericidian asleep in his bed.

Flavius opened his coat to reveal a mass of tools, vials and weapons. Extracting a needle, a thin metal tube and the poison of a tamarind scorpion, Flavius pierced Ericidian’s tanned skin, grinning at his own skill as the big man didn’t even twitch. Next he fed the tube down his victims arm, emptying the poison into the metal cylinder and straight into Ericidian’s blood stream. Flavius's excitement boiled over; even if he didn’t escape, the traitor would be dead by morning.

Fumbling his stuff away, Flavius stepped over the body of the guard , eager to report his success, he hurried back the way he’d come. Sprinting past the dogs Flavius leaped and pushed up the wall, just managing to grip the edge, his leather gloves preventing the brick from damaging his fingers. The grapple hook was where he left it and repositioning it meant a tug at the bottom would set it free. Touching his feet down Flavius punched the air in triumph, no one expected him to return from his first assassination, and by morning Rome would be in chaos.    

The End

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