And Now For Something Completely Different (click)
Jessika zoomed around the office, moving files and such in to different folders. The place was cluttered with stuff; her new assassination business with David had soared at its new location in the Salamander Islands.
The Salamander Islands were know for many things, and kind, decent living was not one of them, hence the location choice.
Jessika finally dropped into her seat, sweating furiously.
She grabbed a flask of water, downing the lot. The Salamander Islands were also know for extreme temperatures; hot and cold.
As she sat the flask down and sighed, she heard a knock on the door. Jessika did a few buttons up on her shirt, then shouted out,
The door handle turned quickly and as the door swung open the familiar face of David peered in. "Jess!" he greeted her happily, stepping into the room and carefully shutting the door behind him.
"David! Buongiorno!" Jessika shouted back, running up to kiss him on the cheak. "What's new?"
"Remind me again why we chose these pathetic little islands to live in." he commented as he lay his sword down on his desk, smiling and patting Jessika on the shoulder. "And whoever is this Buongiorno you speak of? Did you find a better offer than me for a man?" he winked.
Jessika gave him a smug look. "It means 'Good Morning'. Nothing wrong with culturing yourself, is there?"
David shrugged and held a finger up. "A little culture would be fine if this island had any. I'm not sure this place agrees with me." he said, wiping some dust of his long black coat he insisted on wearing, despite the temperature.
"Why, what have you been getting up to?" Jessika questioned.
David pulled open his coat and rolled a sleeve up, revealing a long bleeding cut on his forearm. "I would say business. A few men tried to rob me."
Jessika quickly jumped to a cupboard and made a potion materialize from nowhere. "Here, rub this in to the wound. It'll hurt quite a lot," she said, smirking.
David rolled his eyes. "And why would I do that, ma cherie?" he asked, making a golden spark dance on the end of his finger. "I'm not completely hopeless at magick."
Jessika sighed. "Well who else is going to use my potions? I've got about 3 years worth in here that I might as well throw out," she said, dumping herself on the chair. "Anyway," she continued, "To business."
As he ran his finger along his wound, sealing it up, David swung into his own chair, and placed his heavy booted feet on his desk, suspiciously empty of anything approaching paperwork. "Sure thing. What've we got?"
"Well," Jessika said, grabbing a couple of sheets of paper, "First off we have same old same old. Some crazy wife wants her cheating husband killed... debt collector wants us to take out and rob and non-payer... easy stuff really... ah, but then there this."
She pulled a sheet out from the bottom of the few pages she was holding. "Arino Tajular. Arrived from Spalos the other day. 8 month voyage... all the way to here. Why? No-one's sure, but this mysterious client is willing to pay a fortune for us to kill him. And not just kill him, but kill him at an exact time and date too."
David reached for the sheet , his brow creased. "Why on earth does that matter? What an odd thing for a client to want. Does the pay justify the specifics?" he asked.
"Oh yes," Jessika said. "They said they'd pay 120,000 dollars."
David scanned the sheet. "That seems like a lot. We should take it, Jess."
"For sure," she said, leaning back. "Apparently he's going to a meeting on the day, and all we have to do is kill him when he's close enough to the meeting party that they can see him die." Jessika laughed. "This guy's got to be crazy!"
David raised a brow. "Crazy, sure. How are we gonna get away with this one?"
Jessika was about to talk, when the door creaked open. In the doorway stood a tall man, with greying hair and a neat moustache.
"Can I help you?" Jessika asked.
"Yes... I was the one who contacted you about the 120,000 dollar bounty" he replied.
"Oh, right!" Jessika said. "Take a seat."
The man looked around the room, then moved a box off of a seat and placed himself there carefully.
David took his feet off his desk and leant forward, shifting the massive zweihander forward. "How may we help you then, sir?" he asked, staring at Jess and holding up one finger.
"I wanted to brief you on how I would like Tajular to be killed," he said. "I would like him to suffer. Let him see you before he dies, and make sure he is in as much pain as possible."
David beamed and rubbed his hands together. "Ah, I see. That shouldn't be too hard to arrange. In fact, for a little extra money, I can personally guarentee a psychotic vampire will perform the murder. How does that sound?"
The man did not laugh. "No. Just get it done." And with that, he left.
David ran a hand through his hair and sighed. "I think I'm a better mercenary than I am an assassin. " he noted. "I've got no idea what that's about, and I'm suspicious."
Jessika shrugged. "We keep the customer's confidence. That's our job. And we get paid accordingly. You just got to stay alert, and you're fine."
"Alright then. We need to make him suffer too. How are we going to to this?" David replied, standing up.
"I was thinking I shoot a few death-riddled ice shards at his legs, then quickly go up and put him out of his misery," Jessika replied.
David crossed his arms. "That's far too quick, I think."
Jessika shrugged again. "It's not as if this old guy's going to know. And if he has someone watching, then he'll see the initial shot and hopefully that will cause Tajular enough pain for him to put on a good show. Sound alright?"
David sighed. "Let the records show I have a bad feeling about this. Sure, we'll do it though."
Jessika gazed over the peak of the tiled roof, keeping prone. There's only three minutes left before he arrives... better start getting ready.
She peered behind her.
"David, can you help me out?" she whispered.
David, lying down just behind her nodded slowly, scanning the distance as he spoke. "He'll arrive soon... what do you need?"
Jessika slowly produced a couple of razor-sharp icicles, making sure they were light for fast travel. "Fill these with death energy," she said. "But make sure it's not enough to kill him.
David frowned. "I need Vade to do that, did you forget?" he quickly whispered back.
Jessika frowned. "Is there anything you can do to make it more potent? I can't shoot these things that fast over long distances."
"Erm... I guess I could fill them with light energy... or I could use a crossbow." he said finally, biting his lip.
"Will the light energy make it travel faster?" Jessika asked.
David grinned. "Oh yes. Very fast indeed." he assured her. A pause. "But much weaker..."
Jessika frowned again. "Don't worry... as long as there's more power, I can bulk up the icicles to do more damage." She reached over and fiddled with the shards for a bit, then handed them to David.
David tore his long gloves off and whispered under his breath, watching the shards gain a soft golden hue to them. "Keep them coming, we haven't got much time."
Jessika handed him the other two, and he did the same. After the icicles were charged, Jessika got back in to position.
"Okay, I can see him coming from the end of the street. I'll take out his legs, then you go in for the kill, capiche?"
"Gotcha. I'll jump down and do him in." David acknowledged, drawing his long blade and a short stilletto to accompany it. "On 3?"
"Yeap. Just let him get closer..." After a few paces, she continued, "Okay... in 3, 2, 1... Go!"
Jessika threw the first icicle, propelling it with her magick. A stream of light flew out of the back of it, launching it like a missile through the air. Immediately, Jessika threw the second, the same effect occuring. The shards entered through both knee caps of the man, flying out the other side. He gave a gasp, and collapsed. David watched the man collapsed and threw himself from the roof, rolling as he hit the ground and coming up right in front of the man, driving the stilletto deep into the man's stomach, for a long but not immediately fatal wound.
The man coughed, a splatter of blood spraying across David's shirt. Then... he smiled. A long, wide, ear to ear smile. In a faint whisper, he said, "They're coming." He rolled to the ground; if not dead, then dead soon. Blood oozed on to the bricks.
Jessika jumped down, about to congradulate David on a job well done, but then noticed something.
"Where is everyone?" she said, looking around the barren court. Then a look of dread played on her face. "Oh no."
David looked up with Jessika and swore, seeing as she did dozens of archers pop up from hiding, their bows strung and notched, aimed carefully at the pair standing over the dying man. "...Dammit." David said slowly, weighing his options up.
Jessika turned around, calculating how many of them she could pick off. "There's too many of them," she whispered. "And my guess is we'd be scewered if we tried running. Any other ideas?"
David grunted. "Well I see three. We can surrender... or I can cast a shield for us both..." he whispered, holding his zweihander out at arms's length.
"And the third?" Jessika asked.
David shook his head. "Well I basically let Vade free, but that's a risky option..."
"Agreed" Jessika said. After a few seconds, she said, "I doubt that a sheild would help us for very long... their men are everywhere, and there seems to be no escape..."
She paused, then unsheathed her sword and placed it on the ground.
David groaned. "This is never going to work..." he said, letting his long sword clatter to the ground, leaning down and placing his dagger down next to it. "We surrender!" he called.
For a moment, there was a silence, the archers still at the ready. Then a voice projected itself across the court. "So, the famous assassin couple... I have longed to meet you."
A few archers on the pathway stood aside, and a large man in a red outfit barged through. He was about 5 foot 7, and looked like he weighed a tonne. He wore a French hat on his head with a feather sticking out to one side. He had a thick accent, though it was hard to tell where from.
"Did you know, that outside of these criminal filled islands, where the law has some effect on the society as a whole, there is a bounty for both of your heads?" he drawled.
David laughed and held his hands up slowly. "Of course I do, though you'd have a lot of trouble trying to collect it, compadre. Now what's your problem? If you were going to shoot us you would have done it already. Or at least tried." David winked.
"That is correct," the man agreed. "However, I don't think you quite realise the extent of your bounty. Only last month, the government of Aegis called for the capture and trial of all the DeMor family for treason againt the King and for murder... something which you," he said, notioning to the body lying on the ground, "...Know a little about, eh?"
"Well let's be honest. My family is a bunch of lying murderous bastards who happen to be immortal vampires. I don't think any of them will be caught, regardless of the bounty." he nodded, agreeing with himself. "But I must ask again. What do you want?"
The man laughed. "Well, as you can see, I've come to collect that bounty! And unless you feel it possible to escape from me, then I suggest you come with me to Aegis!"
David laughed louder, taking a half step towards Jessika at the same time. "I think it's more than possible to deal with you, old boy. You know my family? Some of them are afraid of me. What makes you think you have any hope of taking me on?" he demanded angrily.
Without so much as a word, several vines came shooting out of the man's arm, wrapping themselves around David, constricting him.
"I'd be careful with your words, my friend. You are not the only one who knows magick; and I am not a common magickian, oh no... I am an Eden Shifter! One of the only ones left in the world," he said proudly.
Now come, we have much to do," he said, releasing David. Several guards surrounded Jessika and David, prodding them forward.David rolled his eyes. "What a show-off, eh Jess? Just say the word and he's dead." he said loudly, stepping forward as he spoke. One of the guards blunt-ended David in the back.
David fell flat forward on his face. "Fine. Aegis it is then..." he grumbled.
TO BE CONTINUED...
Set in... the future? I don't know; a time completely separate from the main/dead plot. Jessika and David have set up a business on an island in a place full of island. Carribean type thing. It's a mercenary and assassin company; whatever the customer needs. They're hired to kill someone with a high-paying reward. Read on to find out more.