In a darkened room, far back from the crowds that filled the city on a Saturday night, far back where no one would accidently stumble upon them, sat three of the most dangerous women in the world. With them, was one very terrified man.
A single lighter lit up the room for a brief second as one of the women lit a cigarette, the flame dying to be replaced only with the red glow of the cigarette.
"If you know anything about her," one of the other's spoke slowly, her voice low, a slight Chinese accent underlying the words, "I suggest you tell us. Now."
"I don't!" The man – English, Manchurian from his accent – cried. "Please you have to believe me! I don't know anything about her!"
"We take it very seriously," the smoker drawled, smiling at the man "when one of our own goes missing."
The Chinese woman reached upwards, stretching her back and allowing the sleeves of her t-shirt to ride up gently. On her left shoulder sat an elaborate tattoo, the Yin/Yang symbol etched into the skin, stark white versus pitch black, shaded spikes around its edge. Beneath this, a Chinese dragon curled around her arm, tongue reaching out to lick the end of its tail.
The smoker, American, pulled from the heart of New York City, wearing a plain black vest top, had the same Yin/Yang tattoo on her own left shoulder. Underneath this, however, a bald eagle stretched out its wings across her arm.
"You're in a very dangerous position, boy."
The American glanced towards her Asian companion, grinning in the light of the cigarettes cherry. The third woman had remained silent throughout this whole exchange. Like her companions, she too carried the Yin/Yang tattoo as well as an emblem of her own country. A lion was etched onto her own arm, a sleek golden coat rippling across its body. She didn't look like a tomboy, with her long blonde hair and immaculate makeup, but the girl was a huge football fan, and usually reserved her voice for matches when she could scream obscenities at the over-paid players.
Neither the Chinese or American woman expected their English friend to speak. She wouldn't waste words on a low life such as the one in front of them.
"I swear," the man blurted, "I didn't even know you existed until two days ago!"
"Sure you didn't." The American rolled her eyes, taking one last, long drag on her cigarette before stepping towards the man. She grabbed his wrist, flipped it so the palm faced upwards, and jammed her cigarette into it.
"Twenty-six is very important to us," The Chinese woman sighed, as the light from the end of the cigarette died and the man screamed. "She is the youngest of the twenty-nine, and is, what you might say, a light in the darkness. But you know all this," she waved a hand in the air before continuing, "It is no surprise that she is the one they have taken."
"Maybe...maybe she left of her own accord!" He cried, whimpering from the pain in his palm, identifying the woman and their positions now only by their voices. The darkness scared him, though he couldn't decide whether it would be better to see the malice on their faces or just to hear it carried to him via their voices. "Maybe she didn't want this life!"
The slap stung, much harder than he would have thought. He coughed, allowing his head to tilt to one side as he wondered who had delivered the blow.
"You don't know any of us!"
The American took a deep breath, feeling enraged by the man's words. A gentle hand came to rest on her shoulder, pale, English.
"Do not let him anger you."
From across the other side of the room, the Chinese voice filled the small space.
"Remember your training."
"Please, please just let me go," he whimpered, "I won't tell anyone. I don't know what happened to her it was...it was just a one night fling."
"A stand you mean!" The American hissed. "She is like a sister to us, and to you she was just a one night stand. Typical. Still, your home marks her last known whereabouts. So where did she go, dickhead?"
"I don't know!" he cried. "She was gone when I woke up!"
"Do you know anything about her?" The Chinese woman's voice was low, gentle and, despite the circumstances, strangely soothing.
"Her name." He turned his head to where he thought she was standing, to where the voice had come from. "Her name. What music she liked. That she had read a few books I had. That she was...was a student, but that's not true, is it? That was a lie, right? A cover-up?"
"She was a bright kid; she didn't lie. She just..." The American pressed down on her lighter, the flame lighting her face for a few seconds before it flickered out. "Omitted the truth. And we need to find her."
"If I could help, I would. But please, you got to believe me. I don't know what happened to her."
A light flickered on above them, a stark white bulb. Suddenly, he wanted to be plunged back into darkness; the looks on their faces scared him, the steely determination, the anger, the hatred. Sweat glistened on his forehead, their faces were like stone, or, more aptly, he thought, like marble. Beautiful statues come to life.
The door opened and in stepped a tall woman, red hair tied back in a practical ponytail. Her skin was pale, a few freckles dashed across her nose below a pair of emerald green eyes. She stepped forward slowly, gracefully, until she was near enough in front of him.
"Follow the light."
Her voice was barely more than a whisper in a soft Irish accent as she raised a gun to his temple. "We have no need for you now."
A/N: Another for the 100 Theme Challenge! This one is loosly based off a dream I had the other night; where I came into contact with 29 of the most dangerous women in the world, all part of a elite group of assasins and all with a strange Yin/Yang tattoo on their shoulders. I'm considering expanding on this; this is just a kind of quick sketch of one of the scenes - in my dream, I was helping to look for #26, who had recently gone missing. It was...weird. Anyways, all feedback is welcome and returned.