It had been four months since the near-decimation of the world at the hands of Sha and Final Arrow. In the time since then things had begun rebuilding. It was a fresh face, a new era. Many had died, close friends, an uncatalogued amount of innocents, all for a failed attempt at annihilation and conquest. It left a bitter taste in everybody's mouth. The Order of Sancta Camisia was no more and in it's place a new fraternity of assassins had risen up; La Corp de Hiboux - The Court of Owls.
To the complete frustration of Cassidy, Jean had reunited with his soul mate, Sha, despite the events she had put into place. Upon their self-imposed exile into the mountains of Tibet, Cass and Kaz had taken leadership of the Court. This was their destiny - to lead the world's foremost group of elite assassins into glory.
A black silk dress clung to her lithe dancer's body as she entered the study where Kaz spent most of his time, researching the tomes left to them and finding any information that he could on Esther Cotillard, the illustrious assassin and fabled businesswoman. It seemed that the details of her death were greatly exaggerated. As she leaned against the couch to balance while slipping on her Christian Louboutin heels, she peeked over his shoulder and looked at the tome. "You're going to go cross-eyed if you look at that much longer, you know." The slight smile was enough of a response for her. "I'm going out for the night, a business meeting with an old contact of mine. He went through our old channels and says that he has some pertinent information regarding some acquisitions I had put out feelers for. I'll be back in a couple of hours, I'm sure I'll see you then. The kids are with Kastiel, so there's no need to worry about that." She grabbed her clutch off the table and held it under her arm as she looked back at him. "Really, though, Kaz, Try and get some fresh air, yeah?" She'd seen Jean get like this before, so immersed in something that nothing else mattered. She'd done it herself, it never turned out well.
An Hour Later
The restaurant was bustling with the elite politicians of the country and various royals and diplomats from throughout the world. On the outside, everything appeared respectable and above board, but in reality it was a hot spot of covert activity and secret trading on neutral ground. It was also one of Cassidy's top five favorite places in the world.
Her sea green eyes lit up as she leaned forward, enjoying her top notch food immensely. Taking a small sip of her wine she began business. "What's the deal here, Gregory? It's been seven years since we last spoke. Why now all of a sudden?"
The polished exterior of Gregory hid a killer instinct. Cass had seen him kill innocents in the name of the cause without blinking an eyelash during work in the private sector. "There are mumblings going around that you're looking for a specific piece of technology. There's also chatter saying that you are not so secretly in charge of an elite group of assassins." His eyebrow arched as he casually sat back in his chair.
"That'd be correct. On both counts. Why does it matter?" She only half paid attention to what he was preluding with as her attention was caught by two men sitting at a side table. They looked out of place in ill-fitting suits, the lines of which were ruined by hidden guns. "Excuse me for a moment. I need to use the ladies room." Innocuously pushing her chair out, she grabbed her clutch and slowly walked to the bathroom, using her peripheral vision to keep track of the two men. She'd gotten halfway across the room before one of them got up and slowly followed her to the bathroom.
Closing the door behind her she leaned down and ripped off the bottom part of her dress, almost whimpering at the shame of ruining a piece of couture. Standing to the side of the door, she waited until she heard the approaching steps. Weaponless, it was going to be an interesting encounter, undoubtedly. The door opened and immediately her elbow was in his face, trying to break his nose. He shrugged it off as if it was nothing and reached for her throat. Ducking underneath his arm she swung her leg out, trying to swipe his from beneath him and knock him down to the floor.
It failed miserably. He had some sort of healing factor and super strength and nothing that she did had any effect, at least so far. "Stand down, woman. Don't make this harder than it has to be." His hand connected that time and he grabbed her by the throat, slamming her against a sink, her back slamming into the mirror, shards digging into the skin that the backless dress left open.
Closing her eyes so that she could focus as her breath left her, she slipped off a shoe and kicked out with her bare foot, poising it in a nerve strike right beneath his ribs, resulting in the arm that was choking her going numb. "My name is Cassidy Lockhart-Starks. I'm not sure who sent you and I don't care. But you'll be the message for them to never send somebody for me again."
As she spoke the door behind her opened and the other man entered. One on either side of her and she had to assume that they were both durable. Leaning forward she extended one arm towards one man and her right leg towards the other in a move that showed every ounce of her ballet training with the languid grace in which she moved. Using the Tiger Claw strike simultaneously on two men, she left them on paralyzed heaps on the ground. Able to feel excruciating pain, but not able to scream or move, that's where they'd stay until somebody found them.
Exiting the bathroom appearing as nonchalant as possible she looked over to her table and wasn't surprised to find Gregory gone. It had been a set up, one that bore further inspection upon her arrival back at the Aerie. Stepping out onto the marble stairs leading down from the building she hailed her car, a demure (for her taste) black BMW.
Careful not to hit her torn back on the back of the seat, Cassidy slid into the back seat and shut the door behind her. She was immediately caught off-guard by a needle piercing her skin before she could stop it. "Wh...what?" There was a burly man she had never before seen in her life in the back with her and one look up to the driver let her know that her car had been commandeered. This was the back up team in case the two men sent in hadn't been able to do their job.
Feigning to be faint, she slumped against the car door, double checking to see if she had been locked in. Of course, she had. The car pulled into traffic and headed in the opposite direction of her home. Biding her time, she waiting for her moment and struck the man next to her, breaking his neck in one clean move. Lunging forward toward the front, she grabbed the wheel from the driver's grip and steered them directly into the embankment on the side of the road.
In a grinding moan of metal the hood crumpled and the vehicle tipped onto the side that Cass wasn't on. A moan leaving her mouth as she her seatbelt kept her strapped in, she unbuckled it and fell down to the window, hitting her head against it. Crawling over the man who had been in the back seat with her, she used her telekinesis to break open the window facing skyward and pulled herself out of the wreckage and onto the side of the road.
There was a crowd gathering and she was far too recognizable a face. Limping off into the shadows she pulled a communicator from inside her bra - she was nothing if not prepared. "Aria, send a vehicle for me." It was four minutes before Halle Romanova, one of her closest friends pulled up. The two exchanged a look and not a single word was said between them, knowing each other well enough to know that now wasn't the time.
Her dress was in tatters, her shoes missing, her artfully coiffed hair falling around her face and there were smears of blood covering her pale skin. She limped from the study down to the training room, knowing that if she hadn't found Kaz in the first, he'd be in the second. His back was to her and he was in deep meditiation, something that Cass had never quite gotten the hang of. A grimace of pain crossed her face as she mistakenly leaned her torn back against the doorframe and a hiss of breath escaped her lips drawing Kaz's attention.
"I'm okay, I'll be fine. Somebody's moving against us, though." She pulled out a slip of paper that she'd found in the pocket of the now deceased carjacker. On it was the coordinates of the LCH headquarters.