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Chapter 4

Beneath the streets of the Royal Mile in Edinburgh was Mary Kings' Close. A city beneath the city, so to speak. It was really just an assortment of underground passages, long since abandoned and recently opened as a tourist attraction. The many ghost stories and mysteries surrounding Mary Kings' Close had attracted many people to explore the tunnels and hear the stories from a guide, who tended to make them jump every once in a while in the tunnels. The stories included a piper that had gone missing, a cobbler who'd been killed while building the street above and many other tales which chilled the tourists and gave them the thrills they seeked.
However, one story the guides neglect to mention is of a man once known as Garker. Garker's story is not a very well known one, only told by people in the right circles. The tour guides and tourists don't know anything about him, however he watches all of them as they pass him in the tunnels of the city. He watches them and says nothing, not even going near the groups of frightened yet excited children and adults. This is because he can't go near them. He can't leave his prison. Garker is chained in a room of the Close, his chains magically bound and made from an alloy of titanium and steel, and they're wrapped all around his body, binding his arms and legs while keeping his head chained to the ceiling. Garker can't move an inch. His mouth had been sewn shut centuries ago and his nose had been sliced off. His eyelids, too, were stitched closed. All the stitches in Garker's face were very badly done, uneven and it was obvious they'd been painful when they went in. His head was bald and had a single, incredibly smooth scar running from the back of his neck to the top of where his nose used to be. Garker didn't breath but he knew the tourists were there.
The batch of mortals were passing Garker, who was invisible to them, and listening to the tour guide's story of the piper who'd investigated the tunnel under the Royal Mile, only to disappear. The amount of tourist groups that'd passed the chained prisoner was impossible to count and not a single one of them knew about him. He was hidden from view, trapped behind what looked like a brick wall. In actuality, the wall wasn't even there. It was an illusion, given off by the chains binding Garker and putting up a facade of a wall. It was a simple and primitive trick but effective. Garker paid no attention to the story or the peopel passing in front of him. Although he couldn't physically see them, he could sense them. And that's what he did best: sense things. Garker had once been the most notorious and feared assassin in the world. His magic let him know where a person was, what they were doing, how tense they were and more. Nobody could take him by surprise and he took everyone by surprise. That is, of course, until he'd been caught. Rust Lycan had taken Garker by surprise. The only time anyone had ever taken him by surprise and he'd paid for it by being trapped here for eternity. After the first century, Garker had stopped struggling and hoping that someone would free him. He simply hung there, suspended, his unseeing eyes staring directly ahead and looking at nothing but blackness.

Then, he felt something. Something in front of him. A person. After a little concentration, Garker determined that the person was looking at him and was separate from the tourist group. He tilted his head and felt the man smile.
"So, you're alive." Came the voice. The voice had an Irish accent and was deep, as well as bone chilling. Of course, spending four centuries down in these tunnels, the voice simply washed over Garker without effect. "I have a job for you, Garker. Should you accept it, freedom will be yours immediately." Garker simply tilted his head. "I need you to kill two people. One Janice Thorne and one Rust Lycan. And before you ask, yes you can kill Lycan slowly." There was a laugh. "I may require you to kill a third, although that would be a bonus. He's a child, hardly worth a second glance. Do you accept, Clarigan Garker?"
The man bound in chains was still for a second. Then came a nod. There was a brief pause, then the countless chains binding Garker all began to crack, shake with stress then suddenly crumbled into tiny metal fragments. The man they were holding fell and crumpled to the ground, his body extremely thin but still healthy thanks to the magic in the chains, which had kept his body sustained. The assassin stayed on the ground for a few seconds, then pushed himself up. The roofs of the tunnels were very low, making him have to nearly double over to get through them.

Garker found the exit and stepped out into the night air, his bones and joints cracking as he slowly stood up straight. The street was empty, a light snow beginning to fall. He finally straightened up and turned his head left and right, still not breathing. He was nearly twelve foot tall and he towered above the doorway with his large hands by his knees. Garker had been dead for a long time, far longer than he'd been imprisoned and because of this unlife, he had someone to thank. He bent his legs slightly and jumped, easily clearing the lip of the building across from him and landing gracefully on the roof, not making a sound.

Across from him, a small boy was sprinkling breadcrumbs in an assortment of cages which all held pigeons. The child was about seven years old and wearing a thick jacket, mittens and a woolen hat with earflaps. He had his back turned to Garker and didn't notice and immensely tall, lanky man take a single step, which took him directly behind the boy. Garker's long, spindly fingers reached out like grotesque spiders, settling on the boy's head. The boy paused and turned, a large smile on his face. The smile dropped when he saw the face behind him, the face that had none of the regular facial features. Before the child could scream, the fingers were a cage around his head and the fingertips squeezed, snapping bone and seperating the boy's skull from his spine. The boy fell to the ground, dead, as Garker stood up. The boy's skin was unmarked, as were his muscles, vocal chords and everything else except his spine and spinal column. The long man took another stepped and jumped, the wind whooshing through his ears as he flew throught he air and landed on a spire of Edinburgh Castle. Garker strained slightly as he opened his mouth, stretching the stitches on his lips and revealing the tongueless, toothless hole that led to his throat.

The guttural, terrifying screech was heard all throughout Edinburgh, conveying anger, happiness and freedom to even the darkest alleyways.

Clarrigan Garker was free.

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