Wolfsong

The Brotherhood has existed in the shadows since many ages past. Enter Daciana, a promising Assassin for the Brotherhood. After a Mission where she couldn't pull the trigger has left her questioning the life she lead up till now.

Daciana took a small breath, looking straight ahead at the man before her. Giving her report was a formality, of course, but it was a comforting one in many ways. It was the final step, the conclusion to each mission. She always stood in the same spot on the floor, the tiny scratch on the floor in front of her toes as familiar as the scar on her right hand. The man before her was one she had known for most of her life, the man who had trained her to be one of the Watchers. He was the Hyena, brutal and relentless in his pursuit of the ideals they all followed. She admired him for that and did all she could to emulate his passion for their work, even though her own methods were quite different. She was the Wolf, after all. Silent, cunning, and utterly capable.

"The target is dead. The surveillance went as planned. The security on the building was exactly as the report stated. It was easy enough to get in the building with the janitorial uniform provided. The lock was simple to pick on the target's filing cabinets and desk."

"And the files?" The creak of the chair was familiar to Daciana as her mentor shifted in his chair. This was their usual routine, his occasional interjections. He knew she could give the report flawlessly without them, but she expected him to interrupt. She purposefully did not fill in all the gaps to give him an excuse to raise a question. Over the years it had become more a conversation than a report, but they still held to the appearance formality. One eyebrow arched above his dark eyes, prompting, and she nodded.

"They were there. The shipping manifests, the financial records. The computer took slightly longer to hack, but I still got all the relevant reports copied. It was exactly as expected, he was clearly playing both sides with the deals. The weapons were not going just to legitimate buyers, not just to legal organizations. All the fronts were there, all the companies that covered for foreign arms dealers and the militant groups we knew about. I found his next delivery listed and determined the appropriate time to come back for him. He was utterly predictable, no changes to the way he behaved with a deal coming."

Daciana felt vindicated and a certain amount of satisfaction entered her voice as she continued her report. That man had deserved to die, and she was glad she had been the one to end his life. "I was waiting when he returned after going out to grab his supper the way he did every night. I had the syringe ready and was letting him settle in before I slipped back into his office."

Her mentor leaned forward slightly, a frown drawing a line between his brows. "So what went wrong, Daciana?" She could hear the chastisement in his voice, see the tightening around his lips that suggested his disappointment. He expected her to behave flawlessly, just as she always did, but this time things had not gone according to plan.

"His contact showed up. I heard them discussing the next deal and the fact that the shipment was coming in early. The contact was impatient, did not want to wait. They were going to go immediately, both of them. I could not let that happen." Daciana drew a breath, nervous. She had acted within the mandates of the Watchers, had stopped a deal that would have put thousands of lives at risk when the weapons were delivered into the hands of the monsters who had intended to use them on the innocent. The second man was just as guilty.

And yet, he was not her target. It had gotten more complicated.

Her mentor simply nodded noncommittally, gesturing with his hand that she continue.

"The poison we had chosen was a slow-acting one. There was not going to be time. I had to act. I am aware that the contact was not my assigned target but he was on the list," she blurted. Immediately she regretted it, knowing she should not have explained. Her mentor knew this. He already knew everything that had happened. Giving the report was for her benefit, not his, and in explaining, in justifying herself she had displayed uncertainty in her own actions. But she was certain. She had done the right thing, and she knew that.

Her spine straightened slightly and she clenched her jaw for a moment before she continued. "I had a ceramic gun as my backup so I took the risk and entered the office, shooting them both before either could react. It was a calculated risk, but a necessary one. It only took me a few moments to stage everything appropriately. The papers were left on the desk, signatures copied in blood. Everything will suggest that the two men shot each other. The police will have no reason to look beyond that. It is neat and tidy and easy. And, of course, should they look beyond that we both know what they will find."

Both the Wolf and the Hyena smiled slightly at that thought. The police officers who chose to investigate this crime too thoroughly would find that their superiors did not appreciate their diligence. There would be other cases, other priorities.  Or there would be quiet discussions behind closed doors. It rarely needed to go further than that.

Daciana's mentor leaned back in his chair again, his eyes trained on his student. No longer merely a student, but a student still. She had years before she would move far enough up the hierarchy to be above that label. There was time, however. She was young, a fervent believer in their cause. He had high hopes for her and what she would eventually become. She was already one of their best assassins. But she still had lessons to learn.

"That will save us time later. Unfortunate that the plan had to change, but clearly necessary. Any other options would have been overly complicated. Smoothing this out will be easy enough." He paused, his thoughts running to the implications of the change in staging and the consequences the contact's death would have, the ripples it would cause.

"Very well," he said, finally returning to the present and looking to the door behind Daciana where a servant stood silently. "Make sure you replace your gun as I assume you destroyed it and disposed of the pieces appropriately. The files you copied will be distributed and added to the databases. You have an hour before your next training session. May I suggest having the salmon if you were planning on lunch? It is excellent today."

A hint of a smile played around his lips and Daciana saw hints of his pride in her. She had made the correct decision, done exactly as she ought to have done. Her own smile was quickly wiped away as she bowed her head before turning and following the servant out, down the hallway into the main area of the compound. Lunch sounded like a good idea and he knew she was especially partial to salmon.

The End

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