#1 Edited by Akube (854 posts) - - Show Bio

The strong African sun showered down on the blessed land of Bandari, amber fields swaying in the gentle breeze, the warm winds carrying into the jungles of the small nation. Ushundi, the capitol city of Bandari, was bustling, busy with work to do, sites to see and lives to be lived. Populated by people who had just recently been freed of endless suffering and impending death, the city was thriving, joyful and alive in the early morning.

People strolled the steps of the capitol building, venturing into the white stone edifice. Over the passageway were engraved in Latin the words, "Acquiritur Discordia", "Acquired by Strife".

On the top floor was the office of Akube Mahatu, President and founder of this nation. Despite his democratic position, many of his people still fondly referred to him as 'King Akube', regardless of how it vexed him. Still, they were simply showing their gratitude. He was beloved, but his popularity came with a price. In the last ten years, countless attempts had been made on his life. Fortunately, the dignified leader of Bandari doubled as its protector. The people of Bandari knew that he was the man behind the mask, but the rest of the world had been lead to believe that the man in black was merely Akube's bodyguard.

Akube worked diligently at his desk until Amala, his adviser, entered, draped in a kaftan, her hair rapped in fine cloth. Akube wore less traditional clothing, a tan short-sleeve dress shirt, a white undershirt, khakis and his bifocal sunglasses. His hat was rested on his desk. He glanced up from his work as he heard her come in. "What is it, Amala?" he asked.

"The Chief of Security is here to speak with you." she replied. Needing no further introduction, in strode a man with arms like trees, chest encased in a thick bulletproof vest. His green cargo pants were tucked into his combat boots and the hair was shaved completely from his head. He eyed Akube with eyes black as coal, yet filled with respect. This was Koba, leader of the nation's security force, an elite group that served in place of a formal military. They were assembled by Akube to compensate for the fact that he couldn't be in two places at once. They protected all of Bandari, and Akube trusted them with his life.

"Greetings, sir." Koba said politely, "I'm afraid some bad news has arisen, and as a matter of security, it seemed fitting that I be the one to tell you."

"Very well, then, Koba, what is the problem?" asked Akube.

"Last night, between midnight and one A.M. by our estimate, the three on-duty border attendants were murdered in their station. The attacker came from outside. I've ordered my people to patrol the borders in case this was the beginning of some form of attack, but no evidence has pointed to that."

"And what do you believe it is, Koba?"

"An attempt on your life, sir. So many assassins have failed, I now believe that they are playing at you psychologically. Of course, outsiders have no idea what you are capable of, and they have not yet learned to fear me." he clenched his gloved hand into a fist as he spoke.

"Stay on high alert, Koba, but don't rouse any panic among the people. I don't want another Burchek Street fiasco."

"Yes, sir." answered Koba, turning to leave just after Amala.

"Koba..." called Akube just as the soldier was about to leave.

"Yes?" he answered, looking over his shoulder before turning to face his leader once again.

"You know how I hate that weapon." said Akube, gesturing with his eyes down at the kukri sheathed at his waist.

"My apologies, sir." Koba replied with a nod, "But my orders are to protect you, to protect Bandari. If I fail in my duties, you may destroy our enemies however you wish."

"Not destroy, Koba." Akube stated firmly, "Never destroy."

"Very well." said Koba, turning once again and walking away, "Stay safe, Mr. Mahatu."

As Koba shut the door behind him, Akube sighed, taking off his glasses and pinching the bridge of his nose. He opened the bottom right drawer of his desk and peered down at the armored shirt he so often called his skin, reached into his pocket and took out the mask he so often called his face. He closed his eyes and thought of his childhood, of the parents he had left behind, the brother who never got a chance to grow up. He remembered everything that brought him to this moment, every memory that cried out for him to keep fighting, that told him there was a purpose to all this madness. The people needed a champion, he needed a persona that could fight back against everything from his past. In the end, everyone needed the man in black more than they needed Akube, even him.

#2 Posted by Little Death (161 posts) - - Show Bio

It had been a tedious process gaining entry into the country and even more difficult to continue on her way once she had done so. Savannah Campbell was a rising start within the White Tiger Clan, an ancient sects of assassins operating out of China. Little had she known at the age of seven when she had been sent there by her Senator father to explore her family roots that she'd come out a highly trained and incredibly skilled killer.

She had been tasked this mission by her direct superior - her mother. The Clan was matriarchal in their leadership and perhaps one day if she proved herself worthy enough, it would be hers. There were factions out there who wanted the lauded 'President' (although everybody referred to him as King, much to his chagrin) of Bandari dead. His death would cause a power vacuum in the country and allow somebody with more sinister motives to take his spot, placing them in control.

It was a plan as old as time and one that had been enacted time and time again. It was one that Savannah had no intention of letting fail. They called her many thing. Silent Death, Darkness, Little Death. She was a small, light girl, but appearances were the most deceiving thing in the entire world. Beneath that China Doll exterior was the heart, instincts and skills of a killer, as well as the power of darkness.

Savannah had played it safe upon her arrival into the country, immediately heading to the market square and bartering for clothes to wear. She had traversed ground swaddled in their native clothing, a scarf wrapped around her head and obscuring her features. Remaining demure and inconspicuous, it had taken her only several hours to find her way into his compound. A delivery had been scheduled for that evening and she had taken the liberty of sneaking herself into it. Using her power of darkness manipulation, she had wrapped the shadows themselves around her, remaining hidden from all.

That had been three hours ago. It was now 1 AM and the President had laid himself to rest. Finding an empty bathroom, Savannah unceremoniously stripped her clothes off, ditching them in the wicker basket laundry hamper. The marble floor was chilled on her bare feet, but she paid it no attention. Whipping the rucksack pack off of her back, she pulled out her uniform, the ceremonious White Tiger uniform. The majority of the costume was white, which lay in direct contrast to her powers and there was a sacred jade tiger totem in the center of her sternum, a constant reminder of her duty and honor.

The thinnest of masks slipped over her face, illuminating the eerily gold color of her eyes - there was no mistaking them for something as mundane as brown or hazel, it was if gold had been melted down and placed in circles in her eyes and they were eerily reminiscent of tigers themselves. Last but not least was the treasured katana of the White Tiger Clan. Said to be able to cut through anything those who wielded it were allowed to do so only by the honor of winning open combat. Savannah had managed to do so three years running.

Switching off the lights in the palatial bathroom, she sighed a breath of relief. The darkness truly was her element. Able to see in it better than she was during the day and able to twist it around to her own uses, including transportation through it, which was what she was about to do just now. Stepping backwards into the shadow, she let the inky darkness surround herself and stepped out of it and into the bedchamber of the one and only Akube, President and savior of Bandari.

The moonlight streaming past the curtain that danced in the wind of the open window gleaned off the silver of her katana. She moved silently and gracefully like a cat, approaching the bed of the President. This was the moment of truth, this was her chance to prove that she truly was befitting of the legacy being passed down on her. This was her chance to make a name for herself and she refused to squander it. "Sleep tight, Little King." Brandishing the katana like the master she was, she brought it over her head and then straight down in a simple wielding move with every intent of spearing Akube through the heart.

#3 Posted by Akube (854 posts) - - Show Bio

Akube joyfully fell into bed in the dead of night, throwing the covers over his exhausted frame. He hadn't even the energy left to change out of his clothes, as was usual on his schedule. He simply shuffled into bed, put his glasses on the nightstand and his hat on the headboard, and fell asleep within moments.

Of course, it would hardly seem right if something did not awaken him from his dreams, something which threatened to kill him. Akube's eyes shot open just as a shimmering blade reached its zenith, arcing down on a course for his heart.

The President died.

The bodyguard took over.

Akube rolled out from under the blade, his arm still cut by the age, but he was alive, and it was only a small wound. He tumbled out of bed, tossing the covers around in a way to tangle up the sword. He should have attacked, he should have taken on the killer in the darkness immediately, but even conflicted by exhaust and adrenaline, his mind was engaged in finding reason. This was the assassin Koba had spoken of, an outsider. If he was to keep his secret, to remain as two separate figures in the eyes of the world, he would have to maintain one image and abandon the other. He would have to play coward.

The leader of Bandari ran frantically for the door, nearly tripping over himself as he fled, passing right by the dresser opposite his bed that contained his equipment. He slammed the door behind him and raced across the cold stone floor of his apartment. If he were lucky, she'd be stuck in there long enough for him to change, but he knew that wouldn't be the case. He vaulted over the counter separating the living room from the kitchen, snatching a pan from the rack overhead. He had the bottom half of his costume on underneath his clothes, but he couldn't use any of that equipment in front of her. Not until he could make the change. He rested with his back to the oven, pan held tightly in his hands. He acted out of breath from the ordeal. There was no way he could hide from an assassin of her skill in a situation such as this, so the performance didn't change much. Soon, she would find him. He would have to know what kind of move the weak, diplomatic Akube Mahatu could make that would save his life.

#4 Posted by Little Death (161 posts) - - Show Bio

The white silk sheet drifted on the air as the President attempted to make his escape and put distance between the two of them, an attempt that would in the end, be useless. His endeavor was valiant, but all it did was irritate the assassin. Swiping the sheet away with the flat of her blade, she stood in the room for a minute, listening, waiting. Her hair now slightly static-y around her face, she couldn't care less.

Feeling the vibrations of his movements with her bare feet, Savannah internally plotted her next course of action. She'd been surprised by his agility, resourcefulness and quick thinking, all aspects that she would now take into her planning and execution of his death. The tribal katana of the White Tiger Clan held firmly in hand, she exited the bed chamber of Akube, slowly following his course throughout the abode, moving slowly in a completely non-plussed manner.

The trail of disheveled belongings and the vibrations of the floor led her straight to the kitchen. It was quite oversized with plenty of hiding places. If she hadn't been on the job, she'd have taken a few moments to remark upon the superior quality of the granite and to envy the top-notch set of cooking utensils that hung from a hook above an island counter.

Wrapping the darkness around her, she sent it out, similar to echolocation, in order to ascertain his exact location. Seeing through the indents he caused in it, she called it back to her and surrounded herself with it, obscuring herself from view in the inky darkness. Taking a small step back, she held the blade above her head, both fists around the cloth-wrapped hilt and took a running start for the banister that divided the living room and the kitchen.

Sailing over it, she thrust downwards with the blade, coursing over the head of El Presidente and hoping to have obtained a killing blow. Using her own momentum, she executed a flying flip, landing on her feet with her back to him. Quickly turning around, she trust forward with the blade, aiming directly for his stomach and hoping to finish the job if she had not already.

#5 Posted by Akube (854 posts) - - Show Bio

Without warning, the assassin leaped over the kitchen counter, her blade flashing out of the darkness and striking into the counter just above his head.his head, sliding out without a care. Again, she lunged her blade, aimed straight for his stomach. The President fell on his side and left his pan in the path of the blade. CLASH! He glanced up and saw... the sword had stabbed clean through the cast iron pan.

"Keep it!" Akube shouted as he let go of the pan, still stuck halfway up the length of her sword. He sprang to his feet and ran for the end of he counter, reaching up for the array of cookware dangling from the ceiling. He ripped it all down and brought the rack, along with every piece of metal cookware falling down on the assassin's location. He turned and ran from the apartment, knocking the door of the woman across from him. She opened the door and smiled as she saw him. "King Akube!" she said gleefully.

"Don't call me that!" Akube replied sharply as he brushed past her, running into her apartment. He flung open the window and perched on the windowsill, jumping out into the cold night air.

For a moment, the woman simply looked at the empty window with a wide-eyed stare. "Busy man." she shrugged, closing her door.

The wall of the building rushed by Akube, the ground drawing closer with each passing second. Somersaulting through the air, he unbuckled his pants and kicked off his shoes, revealing the bottom half of his black uniform, his second skin. Only seconds from the ground, his hover cycle flew out of the night sky and swooped beneath him, gradually swerving upward as he landed firmly on the seat.

As the bike leveled out, he set it to a rising hover, throwing off his shirts and unveiling the many scars decorating his back and chest. He reached into one of the steel boxes on either side of the saddle and pulled out his black shirt, a thick bulletproof plate bolted to the chest and back. He threw it on, along with the gray gloves, and finally, the mask. The charade was over. The bodyguard had been unleashed.

The mellow whir of engines echoed throughout Akube's apartment. Outside the field of windows, the man in black rose up, standing atop his hover cycle, arms crossed as he glared down at the assassin. "Welcome to Bandari."he said in a voice that left the glass trembling, "I am not happy with you."

#6 Posted by Little Death (161 posts) - - Show Bio

His ability to react quickly in dangerous situations was what saved him. It was, however, the bane of Savannah's existence. This was supposed to be a fairly clean cut job. In, kill, out. His security was supposed to be the hard part. The reputation of Bandari's president being soft and easy had been greatly exaggerated, much to her dismay. The clanging of the pots and pans threw her off and a growl reminiscent of one of the large cats trickled from between her lips as a gash appeared above her brow, trickling a small flow of blood into her eyes.

The whir of engines caught her attention. Still slightly discombobulated from the clanging of the pots and pans, some of which glanced her head, Savannah stood as non-plussed as she could at the base of the building, looking through the huge floor-to-ceiling windows at the bodysuit-clad man on an ever so interesting hover cycle. With a sly wink and a nonchalant tucking of a stray strand of black-red hair behind her head, she took a chair and threw it through the window, straight for the hover-cycle. Knowing that he could easily avoid it, she kicked away stray shards of glass from the frame of the window.

Hopping up onto it, she used one hand to brace her for a moment before gaining her balance. "If I was worried about whether or not you were happy with me, I'm absolutely sure that I would not be here attempting to kill your boss, would I? Let's use logic instead of attempting to sound intimidating." Wiping the blade of the kimono against the white fabric of her ceremonial suit she slid it into the sheath on her back. Taking a leap from the base of the window, she flung her body in an acrobatic flip directly at this new challenger in an attempt to knock him off the hover craft and gain the upper hand.

#7 Posted by Akube (854 posts) - - Show Bio

Akube remained standing and caught the chair by its legs, not even flinching at the attack. He had no reason to hide his skill now. No reason to hold back or play the coward. He was the bodyguard, and his opponent would soon learn why he was feared.

Glass crunched beneath the woman's feet as she stepped to the very ledge, staring up at him with a quiet resentment. She despised him for interrupting, spoiling the ceremony of the kill. "If I was worried about whether or not you were happy with me, I'm absolutely sure that I would not be here attempting to kill your boss, would I?" she asked, "Let's use logic instead of attempting to sound intimidating."

With impressive swiftness, the assassin leapt out of the gaping, shattered window. With skill matching the Olympic, she cleared the distance between the ledge and his position hovering in the air, arcing straight towards the man in black even though the cycle was levitating considerably higher than the floor from which she had jumped. It was a good thing that he had learned so long ago not to underestimate his enemies, or she would have killed him then and there.

As the killer drew close enough, Akube swung the chair from right to left, the four legs aimed directly for her ribs, and attempted to knock her from her path and slam her body into the wing by his side.

"It was not meant as intimidation." Akube stated in a calm, powerful tone, "It was a warning. Obviously, you failed to recognize it." Without warning, Akube swung his right leg, aimed straight for the assassin's neck. Following the same fluid motion, he spun on his heel, dropped to a crouched position, and aimed to swipe her feet out from under her with his left leg. She had forfeited her safety the moment she tried to kill him. Wherever he went, people asked why Akube walked the streets alone, as if there were not a thousand prices on his head. Every time, he answered that he had a man looking out for him, a man who could be everything he could not, a man who could retaliate. Now, he was that man, and that man did not negotiate with murderers. He defeated them.

#8 Posted by Little Death (161 posts) - - Show Bio

"Warnings are heeded only by those who have something to fear. I don't fear anything from you." The words were spoken prematurely. This man moved with the lethal grace and agility of a jungle cat. All coiled muscle and sprung moves, taking even an astutely trained assassin like herself completely off center. Normally she was considered quite agile,but unfortunately, she paled in comparison to his speed and dexterity. Before Savannah knew what was happening, his leg had connected first with her neck and then with her shin, removing her center of balance and resulting in her cascading off the side of the hover vehicle.

Completely discombobulated, she remained painfully silent as she dropped through the air, the full twenty or so feet onto the ground. Having been unable to regain her balance due to the destabilization of her center of gravity, she had landed painfully on her side, wrenching her hip and left leg beneath her. Biting her lower lip, she fought through the pain. This was nothing compared to what she'd experienced during training.

Pulling the darkness around her as a cloak, dark enough to obscure her, but not so dark that it would blatantly give her position away, the cunning assassin reached into the sash tied secrely around her waist. Pulling out three shuriken, all of which were laced with a lethal neurotoxin known only to the White Tiger Clan, she slotted them between her fingertips. Running across the sidewalk, her balance still off and her grace effected by the wrenched hip, she used the building as a springboard. Placing her foot there, she bounded off the side and into mid-air, making it about ten or so feet up.

Tucking herself into a neat front spin, she managed to come relatively close to the hover craft, which is when she released the shuriken. The three went flying through the air with uncanny precision, all aimed for presumed weak points of the suit he was wearing. Continuing to turn head over heels, she landed in a cat-like manner on the sidewalk, once again jolting her hip, this time a noticeable wince traveling throughout her entire body. Turning around to face the hover-craft, she pulled her katana from it's sheath, holding it straight up and down in front of her face, her eyes closes briefly as she found her center. Next move was his.

#9 Posted by Akube (854 posts) - - Show Bio

Akube couldn't help but be impressed by the girls speed. She was quick, nimble, and knew how to dart from side to side in such a way as to throw him off. Before he could regain track of her, she was flying through the air straight towards him. He prepared for an attack, but the silvery glint of steel in the moonlight was too little a warning, and far too late. The blades split the air as they flew toward him. Akube put up his right arm to protect himself. The first shuriken struck the overlapping steel strips on the top of his glove and bounced off, leaving him unharmed. However, it pierced the durable fabric and exposed the light metal plating beneath. These stars were devastatingly sharp.

The second blade cut a long trail from his left elbow up the length of his arm. The cut was shallow, but it had drawn blood. It had done its job. The third struck the side of his left leg, just above the knee, and snagged inside. This one had cut him deep. He ripped the protruding shuriken from his thigh and turned his eyes to the ground to face the young assassin. She stood, sword in hand, ready to take him on.

The man in black looked at the sheer steel shuriken in his hand, stained with his blood. The cold silver edges began to blur in his vision. He started seeing doubles. Everything was spinning until he couldn't tell which way was up, if he was about to fall, or if he was already falling. He tried to control himself and felt a tense jolt through every muscle in his body as he pulled himself back down to earth. The girl had closed her eyes for a moment in preparation. He seized the opportunity and hurled the shuriken at her, aimed for her right shoulder in the hopes of crippling her skill with that oh so daunting blade. He immediately dove from the hover cycle, aiming to kick her to the ground, but not without punching some commands into the hover cycle before he hit her.

He set the targeting system on her before he jumped, and now, as he rolled along the sidewalk, away from his opponent, the cycle turned towards her and opened fire with a hail of rubber bullets. Akube ducked into an alley and lay with his back against the dumpster, trying to catch his breath and retain his composure before whatever toxin coated those blades took hold of him.

#10 Posted by Little Death (161 posts) - - Show Bio

That one moment was a moment too many. His agility and skill, the prowess and grace with which he moved were unprecedented in her ample experience. If it had been another time and place and more favorable circumstances, Savannah would have requested training at his hands. As it stood now, he would simply be an obstacle to her ultimate goal. His leap was successful in knocking her to the ground and her result was her head crashing against the pavement, resulting in the skilled assassin blacking out for no more than a couple of seconds.

As she came to, her body was sore, but her blade was right there next to her. He hadn't disarmed her, which meant that he was injured and possibly attempting to go to ground, or at least that's what she assumed. It seemed that as if the second she had regained her own senses, the barrage began. Falling back into her impeccable training, Little Death managed to dodge the majority as she backed towards the edge of the building, cutting through others with the quicksilver swipes of her blade. However, the barrage was just too much and every now and then a bullet would make its way through, striking her in the shoulder, ribs and abdomen, weakening her physical and moral resolve.

Managing to duck around the side of a building she sighted the hover craft coming for her around the corner. Using the top of a trash can lid as a reflector to show her where it was coming from, at the very last moment she swerved around the corner and cut clean through the bike with one expertly wielded swipe of the blade, applying all of the skill, technique and strength that she'd been taught. Gripping her abdomen with her free hand, she bent over and attempted to catch her breath, despite every muscle in her body aching and her tendons screaming out for sweet release.

Scraping and scrounging, she tip-toed through the alleys, clearing all corners and checking all shadows. It took fifteen minutes for her to hunt him down from the minute noises he was making and the scent of his blood in the air. Holding her back against the flat brick of the alley wall, Savannah crooked her neck around the corner before gather her wits and resolve and darting straight for him, her blade held in front of her as she helicoptered it around her head to build momentum, finally ending with a swing straight towards his neck in a move to behead him.

#11 Edited by Akube (854 posts) - - Show Bio

Akube's vision blurred. Every time his eyes rolled in his head, the image of what he had seen before lingered on the edges of his perception. His pulse boomed in his ears. The sounds of the alleyway, and the city beyond, were dulled as if all of Ushundi had been swallowed by the sea. His breathing grew faster. Even the smallest of sensations was blown out of proportion by the toxin charging through his veins. The warm blood streaming down his arm and leg now boiled against his skin. Cuts, the likes of which he had endured with ease a thousand times over, now left him paralyzed in agony.

He pressed his hand against the dumpster and struggled to rise up, at least onto one knee, but he hadn't the strength. He tripped the spring mechanism on his glove, which sprouted claws from his fingertips, melded seamlessly with the cloth of his gloves. The claws sliced into the dumpster and he dragged himself upright, daring a few steps, nearly toppling. He kept his claws buried in the brick wall for support, but could eventually feel the strength returning to him, at least enough to stand on his own.

Suddenly, a white blur shot straight at him, a silver blade gleaming as it twirled through the stark black of night. Akube did exactly as he had been tempted to do from the moment he tried to stand, he dropped to the wet ground as the blade sliced through the air where his neck would have been. He watched as the shimmering steel passed harmlessly over his head, the elegantly curved katana appearing to his strained eyes as a rusty machete. The dark night was alive with furious fire. This toxin had weakened more than his body. It had stolen his ability to hold his memories at bay, to keep old nightmares from affecting his work. Now, the horrors of his youth flooded the forefront of his mind, and his delirious nature allowed them to take hold of him. Suddenly, the night sky was alive with fire. Tents and huts burned around him. Trucks filled with soldiers charged through the sands, AK-47's firing into the air. Some poor soul was caught in the path of one of the oncoming trucks, and was run down without mercy. Akube did now exactly as he had done then, he ran. He escaped the reach of the machete. He was allowed a single glimpse of clarity, and used that time to reach down and grab a length of discarded pipe from the asphalt, flinging it at the assassin like a spear. His aim and strength had dissolved to nothing, but he had no choice but to try. He continued running, and in the night air behind him, he heard the desperate screaming of his name, the final cries of his brother.

Expending the last of the power in his legs, Akube jumped up and caught the bottom rung of a fire escape in his hands. He swung up and flew over the railing, landing shakily on the iron framework. He climbed to the roof and felt the night air against his skin. The breeze entered his costume through the eye holes, and through the fresh cuts at the arm and leg. He almost forgot that death was on his heels, both in his mind and in reality. He kept running, and with each step, Tayete's screams grew louder. He kept running. He had no idea where he was or how far he'd gone, but he knew that he needed to keep running. The city was bustling beneath his feet, but his ears could only catch the tranquil chirping of unseen creatures on the midnight plains of Africa, and the chaos on the horizon at his back.

Akube jumped over a rock, but the bodyguard flung himself over the edge of a rooftop, crashing through the window of a neighboring, and thankfully empty, building. He rolled along the cold concrete ground, glass crunching beneath him. As he opened his eyes, peering up at the moonlight raining in through the tall, empty windowpane, he came to his senses and frantically dragged himself into the darkness, moving on his back with his hands and violently kicking legs. He came to rest against the wall, staring up at the high ceiling, at the cold, empty night sky, before collapsing, cradling his head in his hands as he sobbed, "I tried, brother... I tried to be strong... I tried so hard. Please... forgive me. I tried... I tried..."

#12 Posted by Little Death (161 posts) - - Show Bio

Every inch of her body was screaming out in tired pain. Her joints ached, her muscles burned, she was weighed down with exhaustion, but powered forward by pure intent. The trail of blood and small ruckus that followed him made him easy to track and Savannah did so with little effort. What did take effort was dragging herself through the wreckage, debris and buildings of the city. Even injured so dreadfully, his speed was still incredibly impressive and despite the toxins that were in the process of poisoning his body, every movement with lithe and full of the grace akin to the giant cats.

The manner in which she moved was akin to a large cat stalking its prey; confident, graceful and almost painfully self-assured. Savannah knew that she could take as much time needed to track him down to what would hopefully be his final resting place. The cool wind of the impending twilight evening blew her silky straight hair around her face, the blood on her dampening it slightly.

Favoring one leg over the other she entered the room that held the fallen body guard of the king. Broken glass crunched beneath her boots as she stalked through. Wisps of darkness floated around her and entered the room, darkening it to almost pitch, the beams of moonlight only barely shining threw.

She crouched down in front of the destitute, frantic man and for a second, a fission of remorse snaked its way through her gut, only to be quickly quelled. "It was a valiant effort." She knew that the apologies were not for her, by all means it was indicative that he was delusionally rambling, but she had every intent of using that to her own advantage. "You can let go now." Drawing a shuriken from her belt she held it between her fingers before standing straight and tossing it directly at his neck, hoping it would cut through.

Taking a step back, Savannah drew her sword, her pure gold eyes glowing cat-like in the moonlight. In a single thrust full of force, of skill and of murderous intent, she drove it forward, aiming directly for his chest cavity in a coup de gras.

#13 Edited by Akube (854 posts) - - Show Bio

"You can let go now."

Akube stared into the darkness, the pale moonlight shimmering off of the shards of glass covering the dark floor. A tapestry of stars brought down to earth. A great man bloodied and thrown to the earth. The man in black could no longer remember who he was. Was he the leader or his bodyguard? With the poison charging through his veins, he could no longer remember which mask he wore. He raised his hand to the best of his strength, fingers twitching slightly. "How do you destroy a kingdom?" he whispered, "Do you destroy its leader?A president will be replaced. A king will have his heir. You must kill him in the courtyard. Show them his blood. Then, they will all know what risks they take by changing the world... what will happen to them if they dare to dream. No man envies the king. No child dreams of being president. That is how you destroy a kingdom. Do not kill the man..." his hand dropped to the floor and he buried his face in shadow, "Kill the dream."

His legs straightened out on the dusty concrete floor, feet churning the sea of broken glass. "Countless people have tried to kill my dream. Many have come close. But there was one thing that none of them ever considered...something that they could never have foreseen..." Suddenly, a sound filled the air, like the swarming of wasps, growing louder, clearer, stronger. It was all around them, and as the chanting reached its climax, the Bodyguard whispered in conclusion, "It's not just my dream anymore."

The people of Bandari pulled themselves away from their televisions, turned off the display of violence between their guardian and the assassin. They stuck their heads out of their windows and roared in unison, over and over,





"This dream did not come from blood. It came from hope, from strength. It came from those people out there. It came from their spirit. It came from their strength." In his paralyzed fever, he barely, yet no less effectively, threw up his arm, catching the shuriken in the thick forearm of his glove. "And it was not built by letting go."

The Bodyguard allowed her blade to sink into the bulletproof plate over his chest. It sliced through almost without fail, and he felt the sting of sharpened steel against his skin, but the thick plate of kevlar, steel, and ceramic had done its job. It had taken the strength from her killing blow. That was all he needed.

As blood dried his suit to the wet skin of his chest, Akube lashed out, twisting his body and chopping at her wrist to wrest the sword from her hands. In the same motion, he kicked his leg up, attempting to hook his foot behind her neck to hurl her headlong into the sea of glass. She brought him down into the dirt. He would give her to the stars. Before this night was over, they would both bleed.