Crouched between two chimney pots, protected from detection by the setting sun, Thomas-James Barksea, Aka Thomas Swift, settled in for a long wait. Shifting ever so slightly so as to not disturb the few lose roof tiles, Thomas opened his pack and with drew the dried meat and nuts packed for him earlier that day. Nibbling on a piece of dried meat Thomas-James reflected on all that had brought him to this place, his first night on the job.
For many years he had made his living through the art of his sword play, living out a meagre existence eating as and when he could afford, if he didn't spend his coin of flagons of ale or in the houses of certain lady's of the night. This was the norm until one faithful night when he tried to relieve the wrong man of his purse, a fight broke out once the man realised his coin was gone and Thomas the only suspect. Climbing out a nearby window, on to the low roof of the stables Thomas made his escape, his victim close on his tail. The chase began then in earnest, along the rooftops of the poor quarter. Eventually Thomas-James managed to get away by ducking down into a deserted alley and hiding behind a bin filled with rotting meat. The man giving chase presumed he ran straight down the alley and preceded to follow in that direction, having escaped the random maniac chasing him Thomas thought he was on the home straight and with a sigh which was more to do with exhaustion then relief, began the slow journey home, taking care to stay within the shadows of nearby buildings just to be safe. Upon his arrival home, Thomas was shocked to find a note lain on what could be described at best, as the pile of rags that was his bed, the note simply read "Tomorrow, Sunset, Warehouse 15." Tossing it aside without an extra thought Thomas climbed into bed and fell into an exhausted sleep.
The next day Thomas awoke feeling good about the last nights venture, fingering the newly acquired coin purse he went for a gander at the fifth day market. After a day of wandering around the market looking at various stalls and vendors Thomas made his way back to his loft space above an abandoned fish mongers and went about making his evening meal. It was only then that he remembered the note and decided that as it was nearing sunset he'd best think about what to do, seeing no harm in not going and being very tempted by not knowing how or why the note came to be in his room, Thomas decided that he may as well scout out Warehouse 15 to see what was occurring.
All seemed quiet around the Warehouse District and Thomas thought to himself why anyone would schedule a meeting here of all places. Sensing that all was well he decided to take a closer look and creeping around pallets of lobster cages and fish barrels, made his way to the entrance of Warehouse 15. Rounding a corner, Thomas was faced with a decision continue on through the door of Warehouse 15 or turn around and go home to his hot meal and warm bed. just as he had decided that it would probably be best just to forget this stupid note and go home, Thomas felt himself swaying a little, looking to his side as he felt a prick in his stomach, sticking out of his side was a small dart, about the size of an adult index finger. Thomas cursed himself for being so stupid and having fallen for such a blatant trap and slipped into unconsciousness.
Coming too Thomas noticed his
wrist were bound and ankles tied together, preventing any attempt
at escape, as his eyes were came into focus and trying to ignore
the dull throbbing currently assaulting his brain, he tried to
establish his bearings when out of the darkness came a voice,
"Sorry about that," the voice sounded male and Thomas began to
calm down, the fact that the mysterious male apologised calmed
Thomas and he began to think about what had happened. "What do
you want with me...? Are you going to kill me?" Thomas shouted to
nowhere in particular.
"If we had wanted you dead, you would not have made it to the market this morning let alone here tonight."
"We?" Thomas shouted back, "Who's we?"
Silence followed, until after a short pause, the voice shouted out again sounding closer this time, "You'll find out soon enough." And then he was gone, Thomas knew the man had left, he could feel himself alone, and with his head still pounding he let himself slip into a light sleep.
Someone kicked his foot
causing Thomas to wake with a start. The warehouse was lighter
than before, so he assumed it was after daybreak. As his eyes
came into focus Thomas noticed his wrists were no longer bound
and a skin of water lay before him on the floor, picking it up
Thomas drained it in one, not realising how thirsty he was.
Bending down to untie his feet, Thomas-James Barksea wondered why
his wrists were untied and deciding that someone was most
definitely watching him, the thoughts of escape were pushed from
his mind, all he could do now was sit and wait. He didn't have to
wait very long before the same mysterious voice called out,
"How's your head?" Looking around Thomas still couldn't see where
the voice had came from but decided it'd be best to answer anyway
and shouted out, "a bit sore but I've been worse." And then
remembering the water, "thank you for the water by the way." The
mysterious man had started walking closer, Thomas could hear his
footsteps, "I supposed you're wondering who I am, why you hear,
"The thought had crossed my mind" Thomas admitted half laughing to whoever was slowing walking towards him. "Who are you?"
" My name is unimportant. All you need to know is that I have a proposition for you." The voice sounded extremely close now and Thomas could just make out a silhouette just on the edge of the pool of sunlight streaming through a hole in the run down roof. When Thomas didn't reply the man continued, "What would you say to the promise of a fine home to live in, more money than you've ever imagined and the respect and help of some of the cities toughest people?" Thomas thought for a minute, now growing up on the streets had made Thomas a little wary of strangers and their offers but at this precise moment he was in no position to barter, and knowing how the poor quarter worked Thomas knew that if he declined this offer he would most probably be found in the morning floating next to yesterdays rubbish.
"If I am going to accept your offer I would at least like to see the face of the man I'm dealing with," Thomas thought that this would at least buy him some time to think. The man shifted slightly as if weighing up what to do, then replied "You're a cautious one, caution is good, caution keeps you alive in this line of business." Thomas took a deep breath, knowing that he could be making a grave mistake by talking to this stranger rather than accepting or declining his offer, but just as he had resigned to the fact that he might die tonight not knowing who his killer was, the mysterious man stepped into the pool of light. Thomas was taken aback as stood in front of him was the man he had robbed the previous night, "Look if this is about your coin, I'll give it back. I'm sorry, What do you want with me?" Thomas called out to the man.
The strange man looked at
Thomas with an almost apologetic look in his eye and then
proceeded to kick him in the side and sat down on an up turned
bucket. It was in this light that Thomas took in the man's
appearance. He was taller than Thomas by about a head and Thomas
guessed that he was in his late twenties or early thirties, and
was well battle worn; his longish black hair was pulled out of
his face by a dirty red bandana that was tied in a rough knot at
the side of his head. His dark brown eyes bore down onto Thomas,
who felt both frightened and comforted in that stare. Finally the
silence was broken when Thomas asked the man "what's your name"
and upon hearing no reply said "I'm Thomas, Thomas-James
Barksea." the man looked at Thomas and smiled, "names Toronto,
but they call me Toro." After a few seconds silence Toro got up
and walked towards Thomas, "Hungry?" he asked, Thomas didn't
realise how hungry he was until Toro produced so cheese and bread
from his jacket. Handing it to Thomas he then bent down and
untied the ankle bounds around Thomas' ankles.
"Thank you," Thomas said through mouthfuls of nutty cheese and sofa bread, "Why have you untied me?"
Toro sat back on the bucket and began to chew on another piece of bread. "I don't think you'll run, I think you want to know why I have not killed you and what I have to offer you" Seeing Thomas incline his head Toro continued, "Last night you... acquired a purse of coin from me, and fled across the rooftops to evade me, to be quite honest I was going to kill you but when I saw your skills upon the rooftops, I knew to kill you would be to waste your talent. So here I am with an offer for you. I am part of an underground organisation who, to put it nicely dispose of any unsatisfactory people among our society. What we dois not exactly legal but we help Tulan by dealing with the people in a way she can not."
"so you're assassins?" Thomas asked looking Toro in the eye.
"Precisely." Toro said without batting an eyelid. Tearing off another piece of bread he continued, "What we offer to you, is a place among our ranks. you'd have to start at the bottom, there are rules you must adhere to but you'll be safe, looked after, with a secure roof over your head. No more run down old fish mongers. Plus the thrill you get... it's just... indescribable." Toro looked at Thomas, who by now had finished the cheese and bread and was looking back at him intently as if mentally weighing the pro's and con's of joining the assassins.
" What happens should i decline?" Thomas asked more out of curiosity then reason for actually doing it, he already knew what he was going to do and he already knew the answer.
Thomas looked Toro up and down, sensing that he was sersious, and having nothing better to do with life at this present time, Thomas got to his feet and held out his hand, " Deal, Teach me to be an assassin," taking Thomas's hand Toro smiled, "Welcome to the Sacred Hand."