Happy New Year!
I hope you can make all your dreams come true in 2015.
Now back to the story:
The Assassin Part 3
“How do you know my real name?” she asked, breaking protocol for the first time in the fifteen years she’d been an assassin.
“I’m a prophet, remember. Sol lets me know what I need to know.” That sounded like religious double speak to her but she didn’t know any other way he’d know her real name. She hadn’t gone by Suzie since she’d been recruited by the Maidens of the Antichthon.
Recruited wasn’t exactly right. When she was five her parents had won tickets on a pleasure yacht cruise around Mars, her home planet, all two hundred passengers were killed in a bombing. The “Free Mars” terrorist group had taken credit. It was the first major attack that eventually led to the assassination of the royal family. She’d been left without parents and without anywhere to go. The Maidens found her, raised her, and trained her. When she’d graduated to full field operative she’d been given the name Helena.
Taking her silence to mean she thought he was lying he added, “And we may have met.” He rolled over and for a moment she didn’t recognize him.
When she finally did, she drew her sword, “You!” she yelled.
“Just my luck. A beautiful woman walks into my quarters and the first thing she does is draw a weapon, story of my life. Remind me to tell you about the last time I visited Calisto.”
Gently placing her sword on his throat she said, “Explain!”
When she’d been training to be an assassin, she’d spent two weeks at the Psionic Clan Academy, as an “exchange student.” The program had been designed for regular people to learn how to interact with telepaths, but for her and the Maidens it gave them the chance to learn how to shield themselves and hide from the telepaths.
It was at the Academy that she’d first met him, a goofy, gangly boy who was eventually kicked out for having somehow faked being a telepath. He had been, and still was, the picture of harmless.
Over the years she’d thought about those days and had come to the conclusion that he had been partially responsible for exposing the corruption at the Academy.
Later on a job she’d lost her target, she had effectively disappeared and she couldn’t find the target. She’d been given the order to give up but had met him again walking in the halls. He’d smiled at her and winked before literally disappearing around the corner.
“Everything you’ve been told about me is wrong. Suzie you have to listen to me,” he said.
“I don’t even know your real name.”
“My name is Hal, nice to finally properly meet you.” He reached his hand out to shake hers. She didn’t move the blade and he eventually put his hand down. “I’m a meddler. Sol gives me information and I do my best to help people.”
She should have killed him right there but something told her she shouldn’t. “Kidnapping the rightful heir to Mars and blowing a hole in the Venusian royal ship is your way of helping?”
“I didn’t kidnap the kid unless taking him back from the Venusians and making sure he’d be raised by a Martian to grow up and rule justly is kidnapping. And it was only a little explosion. No one died. I even cured a deadly disease while onboard.”
“That’s not what my intel says.”
“Someone’s lying to you and it’s not me. I hate lying, takes too much memory space,” his words were glib but his eyes were exhausted.
“Why would we get the wrong intel?”
“The Maidens didn’t get the wrong information, you did.” The full implications of what he said hit her like a brick.
The Maidens had been her life, her family for so long that it was impossible for her to believe they’d lie to her. But she still believed him, there was something about him that made her trust him.
Despite all her training and her natural disposition towards paranoia, she trusted him. “Give me one reason I shouldn’t kill you right now.” Her sword hand stiffened and she put pressure on his throat.
His head swayed back a little and he smiled. He probably it thought it gave him a rakish look and she could imagine that women, or men, had swooned at that smile. “Someone is lying to you. If it’s me killing me would be the right thing to do. If it’s your bosses I could be a powerful ally in exposing them and helping you.”
The idea that the Maidens could be lying to her filled her with dread, “How could you help me?”
“I have diplomatic immunity which is extended to my crew,” he smiled that damned smile again. Her intel had been right about one thing, he was dangerously charismatic.