Sunday, January 29, 2017

Ghosts (Part 11)

This was no simple matter of faith. Regardless of what any of these 'rebels' wanted to believe, her skill should never be attributed purely to 'faith'. She was no lucky individual. Her survival was not a matter of the cards turning in proper succession, through sheer chance. 

Instead it was a matter of careful preparation. Of scouting, and of subtlety. When they had landed, she had taken her time to examine the Hutt's little 'palace' from afar. Potential entry points were decided upon, and the guard patrols were prioritized. Those that could be avoided, those that could be overtaken. All of it was a puzzle to be solved, and her mind continued to process the possibilities even as she crept through the night.

After she knew her mark's domain, she retreated to the ship, and ordered everyone else to disembark. Once they had left, she took to marking off the remainder of her tasks. The first matter was the making of a strong concoction. A recipe passed on by her mother, it was a quick mixture of herbs, crushed gently. But there was more to its creation. It needed to be worked upon by the spirits, which required the use of various magicks to call upon them. This was the longest dedicated amount of her time, as the ritual was intended to have multiple participants. A long chant later, and her potion was prepared. 

Tucking that into her belt, she left the ship for a second time, and returned back to a rooftop adjacent to the Hutt's palace. She neglected to acknowledge the disparaging looks of her 'crewmates' she passed as they moved back up the ship's ramp, muttering to themselves about the smell.

To them she was some native. Someone who lived in the woods, with little education. But in this particular matter, she was an expert. If anything, this was what she had been raised to do. The wars long ago had left her sisters' predecessors as a fearsome set of assassins, and such traits had carried forth. Now it was time to show such. 

Taking a knee on the edge of the room, she produced the potion, tipping her head back to down it in one quick gulp. Soon after she disappeared, invisible to any happenstance onlooker. She drew her black and red hood upward. Taking in a breath, she closed her eyes, centering. This was her moment. The time to take the stage. To strike at her foe from the shadows. They had numbers. But she had skills, and the will of the spirits.

With a strong press of her right leg, she flung herself from the air, arms spreading out to guide her to the distant ledge that was the roof of the palace. Turning forward in midair she struck the ledge with her back, rolling forward and coming to a stop on her feet. Her stance fell low as she crept towards a door inside. She bobbed and weaved through the patrols she had seen outside, giving them a wide breadth where able, and drawing into the shadows when they were too close to keep such a distance. 

Inside she was operating more blindly, but there were enough clues about for her to determine her direction. The position of the guard, the way they moved, where they moved from. All of it gave her a better idea of where the Hutt was. Once she had determined that they were all circling one large chamber, she found her way to the second floor, determining that there was small balcony from which to work from there. 

Much to her surprise, the Hutt's chamber was filled with life. Life of all kinds, all shaking and moving. The floor itself felt alive as the masses below shifted along to some terrible beat, swaying in dance, or stumbling due to being intoxicated. Bright neon lights filled the room, flashing on and off in such a way as to make one ill. 

From where she stood on the balcony, identifying the Hutt was no challenge. The slug sat in a corner of the room, on a raised platform, looking over their domain with an amused smile on their face. Every now and then whoever was in charge of the music would make an announcement about the Hutt's generosity, which would prompt the audience to turn and cheer. After which they swiftly returned to ignoring the slug. 

She had to wait some fifteen minutes for this to happen again, but once it had, she took her time to strike. Maneuvering over a short outcropping of the wall, she inched closer to the slug, until it was directly under her. Taking in a breath, she drew the blade she had been given, and dropped straight down. 

The Hutt's head turned toward the noise of her landing, but she didn't give it time to react. Before it could twist its large body around she had jabbed the knife straight in its back. She could feel the guards at the edge of the room turn and begin charging towards the Hutt, who conveniently hid her presence with its girth. Taking in another breath, she began chanting. At first it was just for the Hutt's pleasure, who without even seeing her began screaming of the Imperial worm that was stabbing her. Once his guards drew close enough, they two were going to start seeing an Imperial. In fact they were going to start seeing two of them. 

In their minds they resided in a room in which two Imperial assassins had just struck at the Hutt. They now leaped forward, dashing across the room and making for the doors. She paused, waiting for the sound of the guards leaving before she struck the Hutt again and again, twisting the knife with each strike, until the thing ceased moving. 

Once she could feel the potion's effects taking effect once more, she crawled over the body, and began making for the door for real. She was forced to push her way through the crowd, but they all seemed too stunned to notice the invisible presence among them. Out in the hall she discarded the blade in a potted plant. It was sloppy. But it was supposed to be. 

With that, her task was done. Departing via the roof, she made her way back over to the building she had started on, before continuing off into the night.

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