Friday, August 25, 2017

Busy Work

Despite some hesitance to actually fall back on it, she couldn't bring herself to say that an assassination gig wasn't without its merits. Sure it didn't come with a great health plan, nor was any sort of dental offered, at least not without signing on to a more official outfit. But her health hadn't been a concern for years, and at this point she wasn't even certain which of her teeth were her original teeth anymore. The fact that she, for the most part, got to make her own hours made up for it, at least a little bit.

There was also a nice simplicity to it. This particular job came via letter, which even if it came with a number of pages of build-up and reason, could easily be boiled down to a few simple facts. Someone wanted someone dead. Said someone was willing to pay a fine fee for the deed to be done. And Saney was willing to take up the task. The remainder of the letter was absolutely useless. She hadn't even read it. Due partially to the fact that she could barely read to begin with.

What she had read had given her all the necessary information, without all of the backstory. Backstory only created issues. Gave impressions that put some emotion into the work. Made it harder to stab anybody. At the end of the day all that mattered was that a pretty lady elf was willing to pay for some man elf to get his throat slit. She had been smart enough to include a common location for the mark, and a prime time for the slaying itself.

From there it had been a matter of sharpening her weapons, slinging a belt of knives over her shoulder, and getting inside. A bit of scouting brought her to the conclusion that the best route inside was via the rooftops, as it often was in her experience, and through a conveniently open window. One of the nearby towers allowed for access to the roofs, and now she stood, precariously balanced on the edge of a Silvermoon abode. Waiting.

She was good at waiting. A skill earned through a lifetime of having to do so, and an undeath of not being able to sleep very often. In the past weeks she hadn't had to do much waiting. All she'd had to do was go wherever she wanted, without much regard for anything. It had just so happened that apparently all she wanted to do was stop through a bunch of populated places and bug the people there. Even passing through a rather large occasion up in the frozen north. Now her coin pouch was empty, and even if she didn't have much want for things, that left her feeling as though she just had to refill it. Thus the job.

Blinking, she peered off above the rooftops. The sun had finally decided to sink down below, allowing the sky to take on a redder hue. Craning her neck to glance over her shoulder, she noted the stars beginning to pop into existence as the dark seeped into the sky behind her. With a short grunt, she heaved herself over the side of the roof, dropping down to the ledge below her.

What short stint of observation she had already performed allowed her to bob in and out between the various guards that stood about the walkways she passed by. On occasion she almost felt the need to bob one upside the head, but she refused to let herself creep completely out of the shadows. Besides, she couldn't determine where exactly she would have stashed them.

There was a certain thrill to shooting between shadows. Skulking behind planets, under a bench at one point. A balcony here, a gutter there. Forming her own demented pathway to her goal. Below her life went on, people passing here and there. She crossed through a communal square, where a number of small pockets of people pecked away at various topics of conversation. Soon after that came a short street that was lined with vendor's stalls, all of them loaded up with goods to be hawked.

All of it went ignored as she crept along. Soon enough all of the guards, as well as anyone who might have felt the need to call for one on account of the undead flinging herself across rooftops and walkways, were far behind her. The only thing that remained in front of her was a window to be entered through, and a man to be stabbed. Of the two, the window would prove the easier challenge to surpass. It had been left open, thanks to a few odd habits. Some people liked a nice draft during the summer, and apparently the elf was among that crowd.

Pressing herself against the wall to the side of the window, she poked her head out, peering inside. Just as expected, there was an elf inside, scribbling away at something at a desk. She paused for a moment, waiting to see if any guard happened to pass through the room. When one didn't her eye turned to the floor, looking for any tell-tale shimmer of a rune. Of which there appeared to be none. The same could be said for any hidden traps. In fact the room was so devoid of any sort of protection, that she became even more suspect about such a thing's presence.

Deciding not to allow her opportunity to slip by, she slowly slid herself through the window, and lowering herself to the floor. When nothing shot at her, or spontaneously caught flame, she considered her chances to be fairly decent. Said chances only seemed to increase as she crossed the room without any issue. Slowly rising, she silently drew a blade from her belt. Even as she slid the blade across the elf's throat, nothing in the room so much as creaked.

When the deed was done she paused, waiting for some dead-man's-spell in the room to go off. If there was such a thing, it never did. She imagined something halfway across Azeroth exploding suddenly, and snickered in amusement at whatever might have been caught in the radius. When the silence had been allowed to settle once more, she slunk around the chair, slowly reaching a hand into both of the man's pockets. All she managed to produce was a small purple sphere, with some sort of metal casting about. Leaning away from the chair she turned towards the rest of the room, examining the thing in her hands. Determining that it wasn't going to do anything useful at present, she pocketed it, and proceeded to start poking around elsewhere.

The main pieces of furniture in the room was a set of drawers, which she found to be brimming with robes crafted from some sort of high-quality thread, a bed, with sheets of a similar make, and a mirror. It was the last of these items that managed to catch her eye as she passed by it, because for a moment, she wasn't even aware that the thing was a mirror. All other points would have led one to believe that the object was in fact a mirror. She could see the remainder of the room reflected in it. The mirror's occupant happened to mimic each and every single one of her motions. Yet said occupant happened to be a blood elf.

Slowly approaching the mirror she allowed her hand to fall to her side, ready to draw a blade and slash when necessary. The sunny elf did the same, growing ever closer. Between them, there were so few differences that Saney felt she could have counted them on her fingers alone. The obvious point of departure between the apparent reflection was the fact that it was of an elf. An elf that appeared to be very alive, not even a sign of decay to them. Beyond that, everything else was rather similar. Their clothes were a complete match, their actions were in sync. Even the elf's stance was similar to Saney's, though it lacked her decayed hunch.

Eventually it clicked that she could be staring at nothing else but her reflection. For a moment the very thought of it sent her mind racing. As though through some fantastical means she had suddenly been given the gift of life, renewed and restored and given a second chance. She wouldn't even complain that it was as an elf. She certainly wouldn't have wanted to have been resurrected as a human so deep in what would have suddenly been enemy territory.

One glance at her hands, for confirmation, dispelled any notion that that was the case though. Where she hoped to find flesh covered appendages, she only found her usual skin-pocked bone. Letting out a sigh, she turned from the mirror, and whatever enchantment it housed. She couldn't help but feel that just looking at the thing was bound to make her ill. Or at least, as ill as one could get when their stomach couldn't churn the way it used to.

Pacing back across the room, she prepared to spit on the elf, who apparently had items to do his taunting for him, even while he rested in whatever afterlife there might be. She stopped cold the moment she caught sight of 'him'. Where once there had been an elf, wearing bright red robes, now sat a gnome wearing purple robes. Saney blinked a few times, thinking that eventually the elf was bound to reappear. He never did. Leaning in closer to the desk, she noted that the gnome's throat was slit in just the way the elf's should have been.

Frowning even more, she produced the orb from her pocket, and set it on the desk. Stepping back in front of the mirror, she was greeted with the usual piece of rotting flesh she had expected prior. Craning her head to look back at the orb, she couldn't help but let out a short "Huh." Crossing the room again, she pocketed the thing. Rubbing the back of her neck, she stared at the gnome, a thought suddenly crossing her mind.

"Why the hell do you have this?"

As if on cue, a loud knocking came down upon the chamber's only door. The noise sent her scrambling for a moment, finding some sort of cover in case anyone decided to suddenly invade the space. Her eyes darted to the window for a moment, burning a hole into it as she slowly planned her escape. From the other side of the door, a lower voice managed to work its way through the wood.

"My lord, is everything alright?"

Her fists clinched. She tried to push herself to make a mad sprint for the window, to fling herself through it and begin her path back out through the city. At the same time, she considered trying to pass the orb back onto the gnome. If he was found in this state, she wasn't certain that her contract would still be fulfilled. But the risk of doing that could be made moot, especially considering the man's pockets were bound to be emptied soon after he was found.

The very moment she made her decision, to leave the gnome as she was, at the very second began her mad scramble for the window, the chamber door was flung open. It slamming against the wall was enough to make her stumble, an action that chained into her completely slamming her face into the ground. Blinking to regain her focus, she looked up, only to find herself face to face with what she could only assume was the guard's pike.

Within moments, the man dropped his weapon, letting out a short snort.

"Oh. It's you."