The guardsMature

The three guards were standing around a large crate, with a large lantern sitting on it that didn't quite illuminate the whole room, casting huge shadows across the walls and leaving enigmatic patches of darkness in the corners. Into one of these corners, Slagir crept, moving slowly and silently, raising the crossbow as he moved. Claria moved down another wall, with the same stealth, judging the distance between herself and the nearest guard, watching for Slagir's move.
The next few moments were fast and crowded. She heard the faint whisper of the crossbow's release, and saw the furthest guard collapse, with black blood pouring from his smashed helmet. Before he had hit the ground, she leapt, landing both feet into the armoured chest of the second guard and stabbing her claws into the gap between chestplate and helmet, warm blood gushed out of the wound, and the Agetian staggered back as she jumped back off. The third turned to face her, drawing a huge blade from his back and swinging it back for a strike. Claws on both hands fully extended, hands covered in the black blood of her victim, Claria stood her ground, baring her canines and hissing viciously at the armoured giant towering over her. The guard suddenly jerked, lumbered forwards a few paces, and then fell forward, a bolt lodged firmly in the back of his head.

"Nicce work." Slagir stepped out of the shadows and crept over to the bleeding guard, jerking the bolt from his broken skull.
"I'd say the same, but you really had me worried for a moment there, I thought he was going to charge me." Claria wiped down her claws on a rag from her pocket before retracting them.
"I wouldn't have stood a chance."
"I wasss very impresssed at your ssstand off." Slagir hissed, examining the other corpse, "Ahh... would you look at thisss; bolt broken, sssome people have jussst don't have the courtesssy to fall backwardsss."
"Huh, maybe being shot makes them less inclined to convenience you." Claria turned her attention to the vault door, and immediately regretted it. It was a ten foot circle of solid metal. The handle alone looked like it weighed more than her and Slagir combined. There was no visible lock.
"By the Emperor..."
Slagir turned from his inspection of the bodies and padded over to join her,
"Ssso, thisss iss it? It would ssseem to live up to itsss reputation."
"And we have to get in there somehow."
"You can open any door, no?"
"I can open any LOCK, this door doesn't even have one!"
Slagir thought for a moment, then reached into his shoulder pad, and pulled out a small datapad. Flicking it on, he scrolled through the briefing that Oracle had provided.
"It sssaysss the lock isss voice activated." he read on a bit again, then tapped at the screen. A grotesque, tentacled head emerged from the screen and spoke a few, unintelligible words in an equally grotesque voice.
"Gods!" hissed Claria, "What in Grim's name was that?"
"Our employer, apparently. I don't-"
Slagir was cut off by a dull, grinding noise. The huge handle of the vault door had begun to turn slowly, and, as the two thieves looked on in awe, the door slowly began to swing open.

The End

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