A quiet cemetery in upstate New York. It is mid-afternoon on a wet autumnal day, a grey film of cloud covering the sky. The colours of the season; reds, oranges and the greens of the grass and pines add contrast to the dull grey of the clouds and the heavy rain that tumbles from them. An ageing man kneels before two headstones, their cold marble surfaces dark. He is a tall man and broad of shoulder. Age has left its mark upon him, his black hair streaked with silver, his body no longer lean. His face, whilst handsome, is weathered. His eyes show great burden and stress, and despite the torrents of rain that lash him, they are damp with grief and loss. He wears a black suit, tailored and obviously of high quality. He clutches a small gathering of Anemones; vibrant purples and whites that cut through against the sombre atmosphere. Stood slightly to his right is a younger man. He is tall and bears a striking resemblance to the kneeling man beside him. His hair is black but with a soft reddish hue. His hand gently rests upon the shoulder of the kneeling man, his own gaze turned to the headstones in front of them.
The knelt man whispers softly, to himself or an unseen presence, before kissing his fingers lightly and resting them against the smaller of the two headstones. As he does so he lovingly places the flowers at the base of the headstone. He then looks between the two graves, slowly reading over the words imprinted into the marble.
‘Sarah Reid, Beloved Wife and Mother. She walks in beauty like the night of cloudless climes and starry skies.’
‘Bethany Reid, Cherished Daughter. She walked once, briefly, through a world she barely knew. She returns now to our Mother and walks in the fields of our ancestors.’
The silence is broken by distant shouting and both men are wrenched back to this world. A man in a dark suit approaches them and leans in whispering quickly, then the three men turn to look in the direction of the shouts. A group of eight similarly dressed men, personal security, are gesturing angrily towards a copse of trees with compact automatic weapons; thrusting them at its centre. The leader of the security detail draws a pistol and holds his arm out in front of both men, moving his own body in front in a protective movement.
A lone figure stands within the copse, shadowed by the trees. It is of medium height and slight build. The shadows cast by the trees make it near impossible to determine any features, coupled with the fading light as the afternoon begins to turn towards evening. The figure sways softly, shifting weight. It is clear by its stance that it is hostile, its hands relaxed by its sides but its body coiled, ready to strike. The grass surrounding the figure is undisturbed, indicating that it had been watching for some time, its presence kept hidden until it decided to reveal itself. Light furrows had formed around its boots, waterlogged by the ever-present rainfall.
The men of the security detail press closer to the figure, unintelligible shouts ringing out in its direction. The men are well trained, keeping their weapons at the ready, able to react quickly to the situation. They continue to close in on the copse when the figure moves. Its hands stretch then close into fists as it suddenly surges forward, its form blurring as it moves. It reaches the first of the detail in less than a second, a blade opening him from navel to shoulder in a blur. The men react by opening fire upon it, bullets whistling past it and ricocheting off of its body. The figure weaves and darts rapidly, its movements graceful and precise as it despatches another two men with a blade, the lush green of the grass corrupted by droplets of blood for a moment before the rain washes the deep crimson away.
The remaining members of the detail try to surround the figure whilst keeping out of the range of the blades it carries. The combat reaches an impasse for a moment as the figure crouches low, becoming stationary. In the light, no matter how dull, it is seen that the figure is female. She is slight of build, but beneath her bodysuit she is lean and strong. She is covered from foot to neck in a slick black bodysuit coupled with black military boots. She carries a short blade in her left hand, the grip reversed so the blade runs across behind her. Her right arm is cybernetic, jet black in colour with some steel accenting. In her right hand, she supports a long-curved blade, akin to the weapons wielded by ancient samurai. Her face is covered by a dark mask. It is simple of design, a plain black covering with two slits for eyes. These are covered by black plastiglass preventing any retinal identification. Long auburn hair spills out from behind the mask. It is braided and plaited to hold it towards the back of her head resembling the styles of those who live outside of polite society.
As she remains still raindrops fall onto the blades, the droplets lightly rolling across the cold steel before falling to the grass below. The guards continue to circle, watching her closely for any movement. She then suddenly moves, her body springing into action with blinding speed as she surges towards the closest man, to her right. Before the others can react the blades flash and his body slowly falls to the ground. The gunfire begins again and she darts between them, the muzzle flashes attempting to follow her path. By the time the last man has fallen, most the team are killed by friendly fire as they attempted to hit the assassin.
She stops and looks around her at the collective dead and shakes her head. Kneeling for a moment she lays her sword on the ground and rests her hand over the face of one of the men. Her hand lightly runs down his face, closing his eyes.
“Go to them in peace.” She whispers softly, her words synthesised by the mask. She remains still once again for a moment before gathering her sword and standing, her body turning gracefully towards the three remaining men. She stalks lightly over the ground as she walks towards them, the last of the security detail holding his sidearm at her, eyes wide with fear. The pistol shakes and he squeezes the trigger as she nears, the noise ringing through the now silent air. The round ricochets off her right shoulder and she continues forward, a silver mark scored into her shoulder where the bullet tore through her bodysuit and hit part of her armoured cybernetics. She raises her sword and holds the blade out towards the guard as she walks.
“Take the young one and leave. My quarrel is not with you.” She calls out, her face turned towards the older man. The guard steps forward and then pulls the trigger on the pistol once again, squeezing off three more shots towards her. Her left hand sheathes the short blade as her right spins deftly, the sword altering the course of the bullets away from her form. Her left arm then raises and she is holding a pistol. It is a large calibre judging by the size and she fires a single shot at the guard. The pistol kicks as though it was a shotgun, indicating she has more than just her right arm cybernetically enhanced. Her arm barely moves as she controls the recoil. The round from the pistol striking the guard in the chest and lifting him from the ground as his chest practically explodes from the impact. His corpse lands three feet behind where he was stood and rolls another foot before coming to a stop. She holsters the pistol and then walks towards the two remaining men.
“Richard and Steven Reid, CEO and Executive Director of Reidtech Industries.” She states as she comes to a stop in front of them. The blade in her right hand raised towards the younger mans’ throat then towards the older. “Father and Son together.”
“What do you want from us?” asks Steven, the younger man stepping forward his arms folded firmly across his chest.
“I want nothing. I bring your judgement.”
Are you enjoying my ongoing story? Please let me know what you think by leaving a review! Thanks, Amy NewarkWrite a Review