No one seemed to notice her, just another face in the crowd. She had been hunting this Kchronaen, Amrender, for moons, studying his habits, his preferred routes, even who he ate meals with and how often. She had been training for this moment for Decades, maybe even centuries, as the other servants went out on missions, then retired to train her, and finally to leave her alone again as they died.
Most of the people there ignored her, a few offered her a sweet. She looked much like a young girl-child of the folk around here. She could do that, take on the form, almost perfectly, even to the point where she would be able to breed with them, if she was actually old enough to do so. Which she wasn't, yet.
Only two things, Kya told her, marred the perfection of her natural disguise. Her "Aura" signature, and a certain genetic marker that was always present in a "Shar'Rin" or Rin as those who even KNEW of her race called them.
She had spent most of her life being trained to hide that signature, to blend it in with those around her. If she failed even in her sleep, it was brought immediately to her attention. Cold water to awaken her, then punishment, often on hidden parts of her body, taught her quickly to listen and obey. She had to hide what she was from EVERYONE, especially her prey.
And her prey this time was NOT be an easy one. This Amrender of Kchronos, the "King of Worlds", or to her mind the en-slaver. He didn't look like what Kya told her he was. A Murder and lord of Murderers. She watched him speak with the merchants, give a child a treat.
He didn't act like someone who would kill innocent children in cold blood. Then again, when you watched Kya she didn't seem much like a "Mother" but she was the only Mother now that T'kala had. The girl barely remembered when she wore another name and called another woman Mother, when she was one of dozens of foundlings and orphans who lived in what she still considered a dream-place.
She had to watch for his two friends as well. Most prey she could read their minds, but Kchronaens, they were different. Kya had let her scan a prisoner once, it caused a "Ringing" in her head, and that one had looked right at her and had KNOWN what she was. The look on his face haunted her still, because after that Kya slit his throat.
His friends moved away, to deal with others on this poor, soon to be enslaved, world. She had watched as the despised Amrender worked to bring another world under Kchronaen slavery, honey words and sweet lies, then you had to be exactly what they said.
She would save them from that fate. Like Kya had saved so many other worlds. Kya had warned her of these Kchronaens, even as she had taught the girl to hunt for herself, to care for herself, to need no one but herself.
She trailed the man in his blue and brown, waiting for the right moment to strike. He was heading for the central market. And T'kala couldn't believe her luck. a VERY good place to strike. Many people, but no one paying attention to anyone else, except to be sure their coins were not stolen.
She couldn't have picked a better killing ground herself. her hand went to the blade hidden under her clothes. She was told it was one made especially to kill a Kchronaen. Amrender seemed distracted to her, He kept watching something ahead of them both.
Her first solo hunt of a Kchronaen, she hoped she would do Kya proud when she brought back whatever she could of his to prove she was as good as she was supposed to be.
A part of her felt sad that she would have to kill this man, she couldn't kill that regret, though she had spent years trying. So she learned to ignore it, it got in her way. She carefully inched her way closer, she couldn't spare him, she couldn't spare any of them, instead she could do one thing, make sure her strike was quick, clean, and that they NEVER knew who or what hit them.
If she could it would be THERE, where the head and neck joined, sever the nerve cord there and he would be dead without even realizing he had been struck, no pain. She KNEW that from touching the minds of her victims as she struck. Just oblivion.
The darkened blade of her knife moved swiftly, without a single error or wasted bit of energy when suddenly Amrender was staring into her eyes, his left hand pulling her blade away from her. She froze as she watched those rainbow hued eyes looking at her, or was it into her, changing slightly as the lighting changed.
She could see his blood drip to the ground in front of her, yet for a moment she was held helpless by those eyes. They looked to innocent to be murderer's eyes. Yet Kya wouldn't lie to her. She wouldn't!
The young girl tore herself away, shoved as hard as she could and darted between two booths, and found herself in a dead end, she put her back to the wall, on either side she saw the Kchronaen's friends, the female spoke, "Is our assistance needed?"
Her victim shook his head, "Not right now, the girl merely needs to understand kindness; she is not lost." it was obvious to the young Rin that they were distracted.
T'Kala moved then, the only way out she could take, she jumped, catching the pole over-head and using it to swing past them. She hit the ground running. Trying to loose herself in among the booths and tents of the commons.
She looked back and then forwards and had to fight to be able to stop, how did her victim get AHEAD of her. She crashes into him and it's like hitting a wall, she hits the ground and he slides back a few feet. WHAT is he! She trembles in fear. He reaches out a hand, his words obviously bait in a trap, "Don't be afraid." She knows better than to touch him and grabs a stone from the ground and throws it at him, it strikes him in the shoulder causing him to grunt and buys her time to get back on her feet.
She doesn't see the other two and moves in, trying to get her hands around his neck, if she can just snap it, she can leave, run with mission accomplished. But the male moves with incredible speed, she has thought she was fast, but he kicks her hands away then lands another kick to her chest, forcing her to stagger back. She leans against another of the stalls and tries to summon a gate, it's obvious to her now she's out-classed. She'll be punished, but better that then dead.
The Kchronaen will NOT stop coming and he kicks her legs out from under her, and she realizes someone ELSE is cutting her off from opening the gateway. Every time she tries to find the path through the dimensions someone or something blocks her.
Then she hears the female's voice again, "Where are you skipping away to, pretty one." T'Kala watches as the woman closes her hand slowly and the gate finally vanishes completely as if it had never been, and her victim, this Amrender is coming closer. She's cornered, escape blocked.
The Pity in her victim's eyes burns like acid to her soul, "You're so angry," His voice is soft, soothing, like one barely remembered, "Why so much anger at a Friend."
That last word is what lets her shake off the spell, lock down her emotions and make herself mind-dead, "I have no friends."
The male in front of her stares with eyes of liquid amethyst. he reaches out once more to her, offering his cut hand, "Lying is not a good thing, Pretty one."
The female moves closer too, "After all, you have us. And yet you want to hurt your friends, why?"
T'Kala growls low in her throat, why are they being KIND to her. It doesn't make sense, "Your NOT my friends. I don't have friends! Friends die and leave you alone!"
She can see that Amrender is ready for her to strike as is the female. she is desperate, she has to get away.
"We don't die" It's a new voice, a male voice. Behind and to the right, "And we're here now, aren't we?"
"You die like anything else, Kchronaens, Hit you hard enough and in the right spots."
Suddenly the third male is RIGHT beside her and she reacts instantly, a small knife drops from her sleeve and before he even realizes what's happened she strikes, his words Ironic, "You sure about that:?" ON the word that his body is ripped open by the small knife and the girl takes off. letting him drop to the ground.
For a moment her foes are frozen but only for a moment, and she'll have to use it She moves til she can feel things change and then starts opening a gate even as she hears the unwounded male shout, "I'll make sure he's fine. Get her."
She dives through the gate, heading for her usual safe-house, closing it behind her and going through the door. Malik is there to take her report. she can see the frown on his face as she reports that Amrender is alive. Then there is the look she has come to hate. He would want her to share his bed. Kya allowed such, saying she needed to learn to disassociate herself from sex so she could kill her target.
He contacts Kya, and T'Kala can hear her judgement. Five minutes with the pain-orb. T'Kala had actually expected worse, she had failed, but Kya praises her for slicing up the body-guard. And that after she takes her punishment she is to return to base for more training.
She shivers as she takes a biped form once more and feels her wrists locked in the cuffs that will hold her hand to the orb, even worse is that she has to accept whatever Malik wishes to do at the same time. Luckily for her it's over quickly, Malik has no stamina, and he is finished even before her time with the orb is done. She drops to the floor winded and in pain. Every nerve burned. Every inch of her skin felt raw, she gasped and closed her eyes, then forced herself to her feet.
She takes the time to stretch out ever muscle, releasing the pain as she does so, making herself limber again. Malik watches with greedy eyes, not speaking to her. Malik never speaks except to Kya. Then again, he doesn't need to.
It is something that is almost but not quite a sound that alerts her. There was something out there, and she tries to pinpoint it. It isn't easy, whoever it is is almost as skilled at hiding as she. They are moving in, she puts herself between Malik and the door. But that isn't enough. A figure appears, T'Kala recognizes her, the Woman from the square.
The woman looks at Malik first, her eyes flashing with anger, her voice dripping with contempt, "To think one would treat such a LOVELY girl in such a way, as to make her but a TOOL." The woman's skin crackles with lighting, those eyes blazing with rage.
Then the woman looks at T'Kala, it's then the young Rin realizes her clothes are torn, that there is the remnents of Malik's passions on her legs. The Kchronaen female's eyes grow hard as she turns to Malik, "Shame's not one of your strong points, is it?" T'Kala moves between Malik and this woman. Even though she despises what Malik uses her for, she knows he provides for her on missions and that it is her duty to guard him.
The woman is fast, and strong, and T'Kala hasn't yet recovered from her punishment, she feels herself go down hard as her legs are knocked out from under her even as she tries to strike the woman's throat. The fall nearly knocks the breath out of the young female. And the Older one is obviously a better fighter.
The woman quickly has T'Kala down and Malik runs. The woman's voice is strangely soothing, "SO defensive and protective of those you serve. Impressive, child. But we didn't come here for your current controller." The woman keeps T'Kala's hands pinned behind her back. yet helps her to her feet.
One she's stable on her feet she finds herself looking once more into the face of her prey. His hand is gentle on her cheek before slowly clenching into a fist, his voice is the last thing she hears before she feels the darkness close over her, "We came here for you, lovely one."