Secret War: Warhammer 40,000

Chapter 3

As before Glaitis sat at her desk. Reclining her long, lithe form back in her leather chair, feet planted on her desk. She looked positively relaxed but her piercing blue eyed glare said otherwise and I had to fight keep myself from wincing under its intensity.

My breath caught in my throat as I saw her and my heart sped. She was, she was-.

Then my jaw set. Taryst was right! Glaitis must know! She must've used it to manipulate me! Why had no one in the company ever mention it?

Glaitis would have ordered them not to, of course. My fear was replaced by giddying disgust and I found myself reconsidered my decision on Taryst's proposition.

"Mamzel Glaitis, here he is, as ordered," said Elandria behind me, her smooth, soft voice flowed like silk. But the pistol never relented in sticking in my back.

"I can see that, thank you Elandria, " said Glaitis. "Good work."

I glanced over my shoulder as the pistol finally let off. Glimpsing the young assassin bow slightly- likely she had never noticed Glaitis sardonic tone and turned to leave.

"Stay Elandria," ordered Glaitis as she sat forward, leant her shoulder on her desk and cupped her smooth jaw in the palm of her hand. "I have a task for you which I will tell once I deal with him."

"As you order," said Elandria.

Then Glaitis turned her glare on me. I met it, unflinchingly. Although it took all my will power to.

"Why did you do it?" she asked bluntly and despite myself, I flinched. I had expected her fly straight into a rage fuelled lecture, saying things like: 'you have disgraced our company!' Or 'your idiocy could have cost us our reputation!'

I hesitated, no matter how hard I tried Glaitis always out witted me, it was infuriating. In all my years under her tutelage I could never predict what she would say or do.

"She asked you a question worm! Hurry and answer!" I flinched at the sudden words erupted behind me and even Elandria started in surprise.

I clenched my teeth, recognising whom the voice belonged to. And turned to see Darrance approaching. He was one of Glaitis most senior employees and a right bastard. The true epitome of arrogance and snide superiority. I knew nothing of where he came from but I could hazard a guess, and my guess was this: he was some son of some member of the Imperial Hierarchy who had squandered and spoilt Darrance and thus creating this monster. How and why Darrance became an assassin was beyond me, perhaps the governor got sick of his creation and threw him out into the cold on day.

Despite my dislike for the senior assassin I could not deny his skill. Neither Elandria nor I had any idea he was in the room until he chose to reveal himself.

My jaw set as I turned back to Glaitis, this just emphasized how much I had to learn.

"Yes, young Attelus. I did indeed ask you a question," said Glaitis, an evil smirk curling her full lips. "Has a feline stolen your tongue, by chance?"

I could think of a no more fitting cliché at that moment.

"Hey Darrance," I managed through clenched teeth but I kept my attention fixated on Glaitis, "I see you have returned from your assignment as well, and so I assume it was a success, then?"

"I am not here to waste time tarrying words with a fool like you!" snarled Darrance. "Mamzel Glaitis asked you a question and you will answer or so Emperor help me I will-!"

"Darrance," interrupted Glaitis her eyes were attached to my own and her voice soft but the warning in it obvious, but I could detect slight amusement in the words and her eyes. What did she find so entertaining? My audacity of taunting Darrance who was three decades my senior and who could potentially beat me in a fight with his eyes closed and one arm tied behind his back? Or perhaps the sheer idiocy. Either way, I was making progress.

The senior assassin said no more.

"Now, child, please would you finally deign to answer my question? Why indeed did you beat up on poor little Vor?"

"I believe it is pronounced, Vax, mamzel," corrected Darrance, timidly.

"Oh yes. sorry. Indeed it is, why did you beat up poor little Vax?"

"Vex," I corrected gruffly.

"Sorry young one?" she asked.

"Vex! His name is Vex," I said impatiently, so she cared so much about the poor kid that she would forget his name.

No, I corrected. Glaitis' memory was almost photographic. No way in hell she forgot, especially when she was only informed a few short hours ago. She was testing me again.

I glanced side long at Elandria, my fellow squad member must have informed Glaitis of my meeting with Taryst and Glaitis. Glaitis must be testing to see if I had betrayed her.

"Hmm, indeed," said Glaitis as she sat back, tapping her perfect nose with an index finger. "I know you, young Attelus. To all but the most educated you seem…chaotic, strange, random. But you really are not, there is some method to your madness. Some surprisingly sane reasoning as to why. Funnily enough, nothing like your father who was always as straight and narrow as anyone can get. That is a trait I can admire, one that would help you if you ever meet the requirement of making you a full fledged assassin…That is if you live that long of course, but for me it makes you predictable."

I smiled, now I knew the game, so could play. But decided I could not tell her. If I confirmed her of Taryst's proposition, it would take away any potential leeway I may have in the future and so, I followed one of her many teachings, "the best way to lie, is to tell the truth."

After hissing out through clenched teeth and I said simply, "the little bastard told."

"Told? The little bastard told whom? And of what! Answer straight, young one! I begin to tire of your meandering!" Glaitis snapped making everyone but me flinch in fright.

"I had made an agreement with Vex, a few weeks ago. I paid him to search the systems for more detailed information into Taryst's past. Just in case. But came up with nil for anything of any use. Taryst hides his tracks very, very well."

"And so you were stupid enough to be surprised when this young hacker betrayed you? So you strangled him right in his very office? Right were dozens of witnesses could see you do it?"

"Pretty much," I said, trying hard to keep my cool and to keep any remorse from my voice. "I let my anger over come me. I was idiotic, stupid and foolish. I make no excuses and am ready to face my punishment, mamzel."

"Punishment young one?" sighed Glaitis, and she could not hide her rising ire in her voice. "Believe me, Attelus Xanthis Kaltos you will face punishment. But for now you escape it, we have far more important matters to attend to."

"What!" both Darrance and Elandria exclaimed together incredulously and I could not help but smile. This I had actually seen coming. Both Darrance and Castella just suddenly being here, Glaitis earlier saying that she had a "task" for Elandria. I had gambled on this and had won and I could not help but wonder if Glaitis knew this, and that was why she was so flustered. Knowing the game, indeed.

"Quiet, both of you!" she roared. "I like this no more than you do! We have this task and we are to act before Taryst can know, and we need all of us to do it!"

I grinned and asked, "and what is 'it' that we have mamzel Glaitis?"

Glaitis eyes narrowed, "information 'it' is child. Information on the where abouts of this 'Brutis Bones.' The man that Taryst seems so desperate to hunt down."

Elandria and I sat in silence in back seat of the old Hesuitor 89. We watched as the hive outside drove by. It was mid night, but the lighting of the hive conquered the darkness in a blazing haze of artificial day and the hustle and bustle of traffic had not abated.

A hive city like Omnartus never slept. Imperial bureaucracy was everything. It was more important to the survival of mankind than the Magistratum, the Ecclesiarcy, the Adeptus Arbites, the Imperial Guard or even the Adeptus Astartes. Everything rode upon its ever turning cogs. As long as Omnartus lived, millions upon millions of serfs would sit and type upon their cogitators, every second of every day, monitoring countless upon countless lines of information.

The thought made my mind hurt. To know that more counted upon them than those who fought for the Imperium, than those who have given their lives for the war. They say that they fight for their Emperor, but in all honesty, it is so this organized chaos can survive.
To say it was quite depressing, really was the understatement of the millennia and many more millennia to come.

I could only thank goodness that I wasn't one of them.

Beside the countless bureaucrats coming and going from their daily drudgery. Many were party goers, wishing to temporarily alleviate their boring lives with a foray into the night life. We were driving through Omnartus' night district, and at its peek. I wore a high quality silken suit with white shirt, black blazer and black pants. Castella had told me it was the latest in men's fashion, and yes, I had noticed many in similar attire along the way.

Elandria sat next to me, and was stunning. Her black hair was tied back, revealing her attractive high cheekbones. Some how, her pouting in anger made her even more appealing, also she was wearing make-up. A first for her since I had met her six months ago.

I sighed, placed my elbows on my thighs, intertwining my fingers together and began to relay for the umpteenth time, Glaitis' plan.

After the master assassin's revelation, immediately Castella burst into the room, grinning almost from ear to ear.

"Ah yes indeed information retrieved by yours truly, of course!" said Castella, with an exaggerated bow. "You can all thank me later if you like."

Initially, Castella's entrance took me aback, but this was replaced by sudden revelation and I turned to Glaitis.

"So I see that you have been doing your own extracurricular investigating while under Taryst's employ, master?" I said.

Glaitis grinned, "why of course, my young apprentice," then she looked to Castella. "And do not take all the credit for yourself. Do not forget that Hayden had as much of a hand in it as you did."

Castella hunched forward with an animated pout, "pah! Details!" Then she grinned slyly. "And now I'm betting that you are wondering how I knew what you were saying, right?"

"No," said Elandria. "We can all see your ear piece quite clearly."

Castella grimaced, another extremely animated expression that made me smile.

"Pah! Details!" she repeated.

"All right enough of your clowning," sighed Glaitis but I could hear the amusement in the master assassin's voice. "Now we move onto business."

"We have located through much investigation the possible location of Brutis Bones," Glaitis said. "His all evidence points toward a bar in the night district of the hive as his bas of operations. It is a highly popular for the locals, it is named "The Twilight bar."

Castella let out a derivative snort which made me smile all the wider, I could not have agreed any more. "The more I hear that name the cheesier it sounds," said Castella.

"Yes I know," sighed Glaitis. "But the bar provides an almost perfect cover for the gang leader, it is high class, quite sophisticated and-."

"And so it wouldn't be believed by anyone looking because it would be to obvious" I cut in. "What do they call that? That's right, refuge in audacity."

"Indeed, young one," said Glaitis. "Taryst being the utter genius he is, had left that area for last in his investigation as you and Elandria may know."

"Yes," said my squad mate and to my surprise I could detect an undercurrent of annoyance in the young woman's voice. Evidently, Elandria did not like being left out of the loop. In all honesty, neither did, but I could hide it, and by then, I was used to it.

Glaitis could also tell Elandria's dislike, emphasized by the master assassin's patronizing glare.

Glaitis moved on, "thanks to Hayden Tresch's hacking ability. We were able to get a full layout of the plans for the bar." Glaitis pulled out a control wand and with a flick of her wrist the lights died and a large, sophisticated hologram sprang out from the middle of her desk.

"It is located on the far North West end of the night district's main street, the Dawn of Ages Boulevard. As you can see there are three entrances, the main being on the south east from the Dawn of Ages Boulevard. The other two, one is placed on the northern side and the other on the south all are guarded constantly and all are placed on surveillance cameras. The security is very tight indeed as befitting such a leader."

I shrugged, "but I'm guessing no tighter than any other club in the district, so they don't draw suspicion."

"Indeed, and also it is no match for us at all," said Glaitis. "Here is my plan, Elandria both you and Attelus, both of you dressed satisfactory for the occasion, will enter into the bar via the front entrance. Posing as legitimate patrons. As a dating couple, of course."

Beside me, Elandria stiffened in obvious distaste. Making me more upset than I cared admit.

"But, mistress," I said. "If you send in Elandria and myself…with our activities together over the last six months the odds of them knowing our faces would be higher than if you sent in Castella or anyone else."

Glaistis smiled, "of course and that is what I gamble upon. That viewing your entrance into the bar will spike up the suspicions of the ones running it. They will not turn you and Elandria away for fear of spiking your own suspicions. I believe that you two will be very, very closely monitored indeed."

My jaw set, "so we are the distraction, then?"

"Never miss a beat then, do we, child?" she said. "But that beat was about as subtle as an explosion. Yes you and Elandria are the distraction once inside I want you both to-."

"Start a bar brawl?"

Glaitis frowned, "yes, child. Start a bar brawl and we need a big one, indeed. One that will distract the vast majority of the moody hammers acting as bouncers so both-."

"Darrance and Castella can slip in unnoticed and plant bugs in the bar? But why not just have us plant them? It would be easier."

"Actually, child. I was going to say that Darrance and Tresch do it. While what you say is true, what we are not sure of is the surveillance in the bar. It is well hidden. But what we do know is two elite assassins in syn skin body gloves will move unseen, we just need you to distract the hammers for long enough to do it. Also, we don't want them just placed in the bar itself but in the back rooms, too. Otherwise it would be just pointless, wouldn't it?"

I shrugged, it made sense. But why was she doing this? I knew Glaitis and she would only move if this information was one hundred percent confirmed. She never did anything half way. I suspected she wanted to plant these bugs so she could find the reason why Taryst was so desperate to find Brutis Bones, but there had to be more.

I set my jaw.

"So, there is the plan," said Glaitis. "Whether you take it or leave it is immaterial we are doing it. I have a transport readied for you both in the parks and suitable clothing. After, of course, you take a shower, Attelus! You smell like you haven't washed in days! Dismissed. And Castella, make sure that you go over the details with the lovely couple for me."

"As ordered, mamzel," said Castella with a bow and I frowned in annoyance as we all turned for the door.

"Oh and young one," called Glaitis at my back, making me to freeze. "Do not for a second believe that you are off the proverbial hook. You will face your consequences one way or another and you will keep that in mind, understood?"

I swallowed noisily, "y-yes mamzel."

"Oh and young one, stop interrupting me in mid sent sentence you are not doing yourself any favours."

"Y-yes, mamzel."

"Good, now leave before I make you leave."

I did as ordered and quite hurriedly indeed.

"We are here," growled a voice knocking me from my revere. Darrance glared over the driver's seat at me as the car was coming to a stop. The senior assassin's face foul.

I grinned. "Yes, thank you good driver," I said in my best up hive accent. "We must really be getting to the party chant us, dear?"

It was Elandria's turn to glare at me, "what are you doing?"

"Why getting into character, my dear."

"Well if you call me "dear" one more time you will find yourself sorely lacking a head."

I grinned even wider, "well, good luck with that endeavour, my dear. Since you lack the proper appliances to pull through with said threat."

Elandria started in remembrance. Both of us were unarmed so we could go through the bar's detectors. Then she smiled, "I have not tried it with my bare hands yet, 'dear.' But then there is always a first time for everything. Isn't there?"

"Shut up you two and get moving!" snarled Darrance, "I have yet to get into position and I will not have this mission ruined by your unresolved sexual tension!"

I flinched in embarrassment and moved quickly, opening my door of the old limousine, swiftly got out, walked around and like a gentleman of old opened the door for my "date." All the while I fought the urge to cover my eyes from the blaring lights.

Elandria clumsily climbed out, she was still unused to wearing Stilettos and I frowned as I wondered if it was wise sending her instead of Castella. I offered her my hand which she reluctantly took.

Gently pulling her out, I placed my arm over her shoulders, pulling her close and steadying her walk as we moved down the street. Almost immediately, the old Hesuitor violently drove off leaving a cloud of exhaust in its wake.

"W-What are you doing?" she said, though only slightly struggling.

"Making sure that you don't fall on your face my dear," I answered and then cried out theatrically and so loud that many a passing pedestrian look my way in bemusement: "Oh Emperor forbid! That my lovely date would slip and break her nose on our very first engagement! I would never hear the end of it from father! Oh Emperor forbid!"

"Lovely?" she said wide eyed and we started to approach the bar.

When I saw the long line of potential patrons waiting for entrance into the Twilight bar. I barely stifled a curse. I hated waiting in lines it was my anathema. Well, one on a long list with many more.

I sighed. Then Elandria, my arm still over her shoulders, glared at me.

"What's wrong now?" she growled.

"Nothing, nothing," I said lightly. "I am just so entranced by your-."

"Shut it!" she snarled, "Your 'character' is even more annoying than you are."

I smiled patiently. Elandria's constant grumpiness was beginning to get on my nerves, "may I ask you a question, my dear?"

"No," she pouted, "but I know you will anyway."

I grinned, "now that you have said that, I will. Have you ever done undercover operations like this? You have always sat out our earlier missions as reserved reinforcement."


I frowned, it was obvious from the start that Elandria's skill set seemed more militaristic than the other assassins of our organization. Seemingly the cult that trained her had neglected to teach her the complexities of civilian infiltration in favour for battle field and stealth specialization. Hence why she could barely place one foot in front of the other while wearing high heels or act like a high class hive citizen for more than three seconds.

I sighed, "I guess that answers a few questions, yes. But could you, at least try, to be in character when we line up?"

"But I thought we were to make them suspect us as being undercover?"

My jaw set. Why she was being so insistent on antagonising me so? Actually, I suspected she wasn't doing it on purpose at all.

"That is true, but it does not mean we can't be professional. We are gambling on them knowing our faces and even if they don't, the fight we start will hopefully suffice for the distraction even without the extra attention. Perhaps acting convincingly may cement any suspicion of our position in Taryst's private investigatory force."

"What ever," was her reply, causing my anger to rise. But before I could reply we arrived at the end of the line. It was depressingly long. I did a quick head count, of the crowd of young, ostentatiously dressed pretty people and found that approximately sixty locals in total waited for the huge hammer acting as the bouncer to let them in.

Inside the bar, the music blared and the boom of the bass line tingled my teeth.

Despite it being called a 'bar' the Twilight Bar resembled a club first and foremost. Prior booking was a must to gain access and thanks to Hayden Tresch's hacking expertise we were on the list. Under aliases, of course.

That made me wonder, how long had mamzel Glaitis actually known about this club and its connection to Brutis Bones? Just judging at how long this line is alone that a booking needed to be at least a week prior to guarantee entrance.
Perhaps Tresch had not hacked into the system at all? Perhaps they had made the booking legitimately? But if that was the case why act now?

I could hazard a myriad amount of guesses. But the most obvious was, once again, that Glaitis was testing me, and if so, whether it was a test of my abilities, or if I had betrayed her was another question, entirely.

Or perhaps, I just needed to get it through my thick head that the universe didn't revolve around me and my idiocy.

"Attelus Kaltos, stop it," Elandria's voice abruptly ended my revere. "Stop leaning on me."

With a start, I let off my weight, feeling my face flush in embarrassment. "S-sorry about that."

"Lost in your little world once more were we, dear?" she said with a contemptuous sneer that seemed to exclaim my idiocy and hypocrisy at once.

The corner of my mouth twitched. I needed to learn to keep myself from being lost in my thoughts. I shrugged.

"Oh I do apologise my dear, oh how my idiocy knows no bounds, please forgive me! Please do!"

Elandria gritted her teeth then turned away. I grinned, that made her shut up and again, I took another sweeping look across the crowd.

I flinched midway through as I saw through the crowd two young, very attractive women eyeing me with enthusiastically flirtatious gazes.

I felt my face turn bright red. Then tore my attention away, up toward the three surveillance cameras watching us from above. Castella had informed me of their positions during her in depth briefing earlier, but I wanted to see for myself. Just in case.

When I looked back, the two women were still looking at me luridly. I tried to avoid their eyes by looking down at my wrist Chron. In all my research into Omnartus' culture I never could recall reading about the local women being so obvious about their attraction. This despite the guy of interest having another woman already under his arm. Perhaps they had a sixth sense? They could they just tell by instinct that Elandria and I where not a real couple?

I looked side long at Elandria, who still had her attention away. My jaw set, or perhaps she was just making it so frigging obvious it wasn't funny.

I sighed and reached into my pocket for my Lho's. It had been while since my last smoke and the cravings were getting to me.

I lit the Lho clenched in my teeth, using the activity to try averting my attention from the two women, who were still looking even now. The line then finally made a step forwards and I began to tap the tip of my shoe on the rockcrete sidewalk.

I am not a partier, I am an assassin who kills people for a living. And being the dangerous job it is and that I would quite like to live past my twenties, I spend every waking hour for training. Making sure I have the necessary skills to live to see the next day.

The line was speeding up. Already, we had made another step. I glanced over my shoulder and to no surprise saw that five more had lined up behind us and as I did this I accidentally caught the eyes of another young woman.

I flinched, turned and sighed, hunching animatedly then Elandria looked to me.

"You're strange," she said.

I looked at her side long, exhaled smoke and slipped my ceramic Lho casing back into my pocket. I was used to Elandria's extreme lack of subtlety but it took a hell of along time to acclimatise to.

"Yeah, well. Tell me something I don't know."

"There are many things I do not understand, like how after so long training in martial arts and weaponry that your posture could still be so terrible."

I immediately straightened, Elandria had a point. If I were to act as an upper class hive citizen I had to stand like an upper class hive citizen, who were stereo typically straight backed and refined. Both traits I sorely lacked. Perhaps that was the real reason those two young women were looking at me so intently, they must find my bad posture entertaining, and at that I inwardly cursed. That had to be it, no other reason could explain it.

"There, is that better?" I growled.

"Now you are just over doing it."

I sighed and went back to being hunched again.

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