Maxyzne, A Simple Job
A Simple Job
The boss sits in a large chair in his richly furnished office. Standing at the door are two large elves, Dúranu and Dínenír, and a dark-eyed, cowelled ealdrin, Grindol, sits on the corner of his desk. The door opens and Maxyzne walks in glances at the others in the room a bit surprised.
"I had assumed I would be meeting with you in private, " she offered, "to discuss this delicate matter."
The human waved his hand and encouraged her to sit in the chair in front of him though she politely declined. They had not asked her to remove her weapons and so sitting would be a bit uncomfortable with the two longswords still at her side. She was amazed that they had let her get this far with them. Even with the his guards, she would be able to kill this man. Yes, she would die in the process, but he was clearly making a statement by allowing her to approach him with her instruments of death.
He took a sip from a glass of wine and started, "You think you know what we are going to talk about but you do not really understand what we are going to talk about. I know what it is you are usually hired to do and that is a good thing. But we are not going to discuss things of that nature. We will speak of philosophy and of fate and then you will get paid. Do you understand?"
She didn’t understand completely but she was willing to play along with his game. "Very well, what is it you want me to do?"
He laughed, "My dear, you are too blunt. When you have an itch, do you scratch it? When you are hungry do you not eat?"
He continued, "I once had a business companion, that is his picture over there," he gestured to a painting on the wall, "who was a great friend of mine. Unfortunately he has since decided to pursue other areas of intest. This in and of itself would be fine. Do you not agree?"
"My old friend, by the way, still does business here in Overlook." He paused and sipped his wine before continuing, "What do you think about people who go around telling stories about people that aren’t true? That make things up to make people look bad? That isn’t very nice is it?"
She shook her head.
"No, I don’t think so either. I don’t like it when people take things from me that don’t belong to them. Do you think that is reasonable?"
"That seems reasonable," she agreed.
"Quite. When people take things that belong to someone else they should suffer a consequence. They should be made an example of so that others don’t engage in similar activities. On this order our society maintains its civility. Would you not agree?
"To me it is not so much important that that thing be returned as that there be a consequence. I am of the opinion that the threat of consequence is what helps to maintain order in our civilized society. If someone took something from me, it would be reasonable for me to have that someone suffer a consequence, right? That would be part of wanting to uphold the bounds of culture, don’t you think?"
"That’s what I think too." He took another sip of his wine then stood up. She stood up as well. Apparently the converstation was over. "I’ve enjoyed our discussion. Grindol will see you out and see to your payment." As she left she noticed that he was standing looking at the picture of his former business companion.
Maxyzne had studied her target for the past week and found out that the mark was Demetri Cartwright.
It had taken her a while to piece together her conversation with the client (she was…as someone had described her once with the lights on but they flicker a lot). Eventually she took the client to mean that she was to find this former business partner and do what she does best. She had figured out that her employeer had been pretty smart actually in that he had asked her to take the job without technically asking her to take the job. Had anyone asked her, or even used magic on her, she could truthfully say that he had not said to kill the target. But she knew that that was what his intent was. Besides, his arguement was convincing, it was the same one that her Order supported – ensuring peace through the judicious application of force and consequence.
She did a small bit of investigation, she didn’t need to find out too much, the client hadn’t asked her to. Apparently, Demetri had broken business ties with the client and had stolen something from the client, what it was Maxyzne hadn’t found out and she wasn’t going to – it wasn’t part of what she needed to know to do her job. She was going to make an example of the former business partner as the client had requested.
He was working out of a small shop that backed up to a warehouse in the Tradetown district. He had a small group of hired hands that worked for him, most of whom where innocents, but two were childhood friends who had been with him in all his dealing and who would be with him at all times. They would also be likely to try to protect him should he come to trouble, the one called Danyel was trained as a warrior and the other, Vasilyi, was trained as a mage.
She had been waiting in the rafters, balance on the beams in the shadows of the warehouse since the night before when she had easily broken in making no one the wiser for her presence. Waiting for her opportunity which had almost come once so far today, but she could not take it. Demetri had been with one of his accountants, an innocent. To kill Demetri she would have had to kill the bystander as well which would go against one of the primary tenents of her order, "stay your blade from the flesh of an innocent." The goal of her order was to ensure peace in all things and they felt that political assassinations and the death of the corrupt will bring peace and a true sense of security to the common people. Slaying innocents and civilian bystanders who do not need to die goes a long way towards spreading strife and discord in addition to ruining the name of the Order of Maat itself. She could wait, there was no hurry with this job.
Finally she was given her chance, Demetri was sitting at his desk while the two friends were lighting a pipe and all the others had left the room. She would only have a few minutes before any of the others would return but that would be plenty of time. Silently she launched herself from her perch and struck Vasilyi, knocking him to the ground and driving one of her longswords into his right shoulder before anyone could react, with a furious growl she ripped it free causing him to pass out from the pain and in the same motion flipped around Danyel making a small cut on the back of his hand.
Demetri had the presence of mind to say, "Danyel, get her!" Danyel meanwhile was still trying to get his bearings and couldn’t quite figure out where his opponent was. Maxyzne centered herself and listened to the motion of the air to tell where his weapon was going, it would be easier to avoid his attacks, he would not know how to disguise his movements. She released a vial of acid onto her sword and reached out to the spirit of Maat to cloud the minds of her attackers and striking true she cut across his belly with a shallow cut but deep enough to get the acid into his skin where it would begin to burn away at his insides. Realizing that she needed to end the threat of Danyel quickly she quickly struck again with a quick riposte hoping to draw him into a position of overextension. Not realizing his error, Danyel took the bait and Maxyzne quickly thrust under his attack before he could land the blow, weakenig the attack and throwing his attack off preventing him from finding any purchase. As she pulled her blade from under his armpit he slumped to the ground and she slid across the desk to land in the lap of Demetri both swords poised on either side of his neck.
"I can pay you twice whatever you’re being paid," he stammered, "…triple!"
"I’m not really being paid," she answered. "This is more a matter of principle."
"Please, I have a family, I beg you. Spare me for their sake," he was starting to cry.
"I understand that your former business partner is an honorable man and that he has made guarantees that your family will be well cared for. May you rest in peace." And with that she removed his head. Quickly wiping the blood from her blades on his clothing. She made a mighty sprint and bounded up the wall and back up to the rafters and out a skylight onto the roof just as some of the hired hands were entering the warehouse to discover the carnage she had wrought. It had happened quickly enough that they would have questions as to how it had been done. That was good.
Now she need to slip away unseen and make sure she followed the second tenent of the order, "Always be discrete." She quickly climbed down the building on the alley side and pulled her dress over her battle harness and strapped her swords under the dress. Calmly walking out onto the market street she entered the throng of sellers and buyers and slipped away in the crowd – let the people mask you such that you become one with the crowd. As she slipped away, she heard in the distance a cry as her handiwork was announced to those nearby the shop now far behind her.