Astrid the Fox is an assassin. Trained in the art of killing and she is the best at it. The darkness is her weapon and she is unseen by most. But before she became the master of this art, she had to train herself. She had to learn, and she learned from the best. But she would soon find out that her teachers are her enemy...
- Astrid the Fox
- The Prophet
- The other seven members of The Clan
Birth of the Assassin
Chapter 1: Alone
The Capital, Anglian Islands - November 20th 2011, 21:10 PM
In the run down streets of The Capital's outskirts, the sound of breaking glass and bar fights filled the air. The roads were dirty and the houses were old. Under a bridge, alone, was a 15 year old fox. Her fur was a reddish-brown colour and her eyes a brilliant hazel. She wore torn jeans and an old grey hoodie. The hood was up covering her face. No one walked by and asked what was wrong and no one would give her any food. She was homeless. All she owned were the clothes she wore and the wet piece of the cardboard she was sitting on.
She was only like this because recently, her uncle had died of a cancer. After that, she had no where to go. She never knew her parents, she didn't have any local friends and the only friend she had lived quite a few miles south, in Southern County. She sat there and sighed. A small tin can sat next to her. In it was one single coin. She was starving, she hadn't had a proper meal for almost two weeks. Any food that she had been getting were either from trash cans or stolen from people's houses. That night's dinner was an apple that she had stolen and it wasn't too fresh either. She hated the way she lived. She had no friends, no family and one useless coin. She cried. She sat under the motorway bridge and cried. There was nothing left for her. She had no more goals, no more happiness... no more life.
At least that's what she thought. As she sat there, sobbing about her current state, a human approached her. He was wearing a very thin, hooded outfit. He was also wearing a cloak over the top. The darkness from his hood covered his face.
"What is wrong, child?" he asked in a very mysterious tone.
"W-what?" Astrid replied, wiping her tears.
"You seem troubled."
"Like you care."
"Oh, I do," he said, again very weirdly.
"You're lying," Astrid said in disbelief.
"I'm not. We have been watching you."
"What? Why? There's not much point. I'm just some hobo on the street."
He chuckled, "'Hobo' or not, you're still very interesting."
"Why? What's so special about me?!" She asked angrily.
"Your skill with a bow," he stated.
"My skill with a bow makes me interesting. Not the fact that I'm sitting homeless, underneath a bridge while it's bucketing with rain!" Astrid angrily rose to her feet.
"Both are interesting. Why is a person so skilled, such as yourself, homeless?"
"My uncle died," she stated calmly.
"Oh, I am so sorry for your loss," he said, continuing to talk mysteriously. It was as if he was seducing her.
There was a brief moment of silence. Astrid was still mourning over her dead uncle. She loved her uncle as he was her only family.
"Now, follow me," the man ordered.
"What? Where?" Astrid said, wiping her tears.
"Your new home."
"You're not serious, are you?"
"I am very serious, child."
"Oh my... thank you," she said smiling.
"There is one condition though."
"You must be trained in the art of combat."
"Yes, yes. Anything that will get me off of the streets," she said excitedly.
"Good," the man said in a slightly darker tone, "Come, your new home awaits."
Astrid followed excitedly, not knowing the dangers that this person could cause. She didn't know who he was or what his job was. Was he in the army? The secret service? Astrid would've asked herself these things, but she was too overjoyed to think about them.
Chapter 2: The Clan
Unknown Location, Anglian Islands - 20th November 2011, 21:50 PM
Astrid and the hooded man came to a forest and in it, was a wooden house. It was still dark, about ten in the evening and the trees were silent and no wind came blustering through. It had stopped raining for quite a while now. The man walked over to the front door of the house and unlocked it.
"Please, enter," he said.
"Gladly," Astrid replied, rubbing her arms.
The house was also silent and dimly lit. There were cobwebs hanging in the corners and picture frames lay crooked against the wall. The logs in the fireplace were old and charred and all of the embers that previously erupted from the logs are long since dead. The entire downstairs area of the house was lit up by nine candles that were resting on the mantle. In the corner of the room was a door which was somewhat clean though. It looked like it was one that was used frequently. The mysterious man opened it.
"In here," he said weirdly.
Astrid walked in and the man followed, securely closing the door behind him.
"What is this place?" Astrid asked.
"This is where we live."
"Very secretive. Do you work for the government?" she asked.
"You could say that," the man replied very vaguely.
They entered a hallway which led to a set of stairs.
"Go on," he said, "Meet the other members."
"Okay," Astrid replied.
She cautiously walked down the hallway and down the stairs and into a room shaped like a dome. The roof was low and thick stone pillars kept the roof standing. The members were all gathered around a burning fire.
"Hello, Astrid. Welcome to our home," a small hooded man said.
"Wh-what? How the hell do you know my name?" Astrid asked, now worried about who she had went with.
"Sshh, do not worry, my sister. In time you shall know. What I will tell you is that I am known as The Prophet and I now personally welcome you to The Clan."
"The Clan?" Astrid was confused.
"Yes. We are a group of assassins that work for the... government. We assist them in quietly taking out targets assigned by them," The Prophet replied.
"Tell me now, do you kill bad people?" Astrid asked sternly.
"Hm, I believe you will be a powerful asset to us. And yes, we take out 'bad people'," The Prophet replied.
Astrid scowled, "Fine, I'll join."
"Good. You shall begin your training immediately."
Chapter 3: Assassin in Training
The Clan's Hideout, Anglian Islands - 21st March 2012, 20:50 PM
After the short exchange, Astrid began her training. She trained for weeks on end, only taking short breaks for food, drink and sleep. At first she began hand-to-hand combat training, which she wasn't very good at. But as her training continued, her alertness and reaction time to a person's attacks got better and better.
She then began training with a blade. Astrid was given a dagger by one of the members. Each member had their own dagger and each dagger had a name. Her dagger was given the name of Silentus. During her blade training, she used the skills that she had learned from her hand-to-hand training to take out dummies that the members had set up. Astrid also learned how to kill without making a noise. She did this by going out into the nearby woods and hunting for food. She would have to always sneak up very slowly and quietly at first, but as her training progressed, she learned how to move quickly, quietly and swiftly in order to achieve her goals.
The last section of Astrid's training was with the bow. As she already had quite a lot of experience with it, she blazed through this section of the training in a very short time. Again, she was pitted against dummies and she rarely missed any of her targets. She was either hitting them in the head, the heart or the knee, hardly ever anywhere else.
Then came Astrid's first challenge. The members of The Clan had given her all of her weapons and had placed her in the training area. At first she thought she was going against more dummies, then she heard a loud growling sound.
"That does not sound like a dummy," she said to The Prophet.
"You are correct child," he replied.
Then as soon as he said this, a hell hound came from one of the tunnels in the room. It pounced at her and was travelling at an amazing speed. However, Astrid used her new found skills and shot the hell hound whilst in mid flight. It fell to the ground, with an arrow in it's forehead and turned to ash. Then another came from behind her, although this one did not pounce. It simply charged straight for her. She quickly caught notice and pinned it's head to the ground with her dagger. As more and more came, she used her skills to take them down.
"Am I done yet?" she asked, breathing heavily from all of the movement.
"Almost, my child. You have one more enemy to face," he replied in a menacing way.
As soon as he spoke, a trap door opened on the floor in the middle of the room. Something was rising from underground. Was it another, bigger hell hound? Was it one of the members? No. Astrid was shocked when she saw her final challenge.
"Help me!" said the man strapped to a chair.
"You want me to kill this man?!" she asked angrily.
"You do not understand, my dear Astrid," he said, "The government has deemed this man a traitor to your country. We have been told to relinquish him of his life."
"What did this man do?" Astrid asked.
"Oh, he has committed a serious crime. He has killed a very important member of you government."
"Wh-?!" the man exclaimed.
"Quiet, prisoner!" The Prophet yelled. "Now Astrid. Kill him."
"I don't want to... It's wrong," Astrid said, hanging her head.
"Ah well," The Prophet said.
One of the members of the clan then opened the door to the training room and walked in. He slowly walked over to the man, then without any mercy, he killed him. Astrid gasped when she saw this. She was shocked to see one man kill another so easily.
"I think it's best that you sleep, my dear."
Astrid followed The Prophet's words and walked to her chambers, still with shocked and slightly scared look on her face. What she saw that evening, could never be undone.
Chapter 4: Betrayed
The Clan's Hideout, Anglian Islands - 22nd March 2012, 02:30 AM
She was lying in her bed. It was about two-thirty in the morning and Astrid couldn't sleep. She couldn't stop seeing the man's face as the assassin's dagger was plunged violently into his throat. He looked frightened and his short life came to a very abrupt end. Astrid was still shocked by what she saw. After a few hours, her mood began to change. She went from very shocked, to angry, almost to the point where she wanted to kill everyone. She got out of her bed and slowly and quietly walked out of her room. The lights of the hallways were dim as everyone was asleep. At least that's what she thought. She walked up to the Prophets room and overheard him talking to himself at his brightly lit up desk. His back faced Astrid.
"She shall be the one to do it. The one to kill my most hated person. The contract has come through and now it is time. Time for you to die, Mr. President," he said, laughing quietly, yet manically.
The rage that had been building up in Astrid, was finally about to be let loose. She crept slowly into one of the other assassin's bedroom. This just happened to be the one that murdered the innocent civilian. When she recognised him, she got out her dagger and quietly vented all of her rage. She stabbed him quietly and violently, multiple times. She then went into the other rooms and did the same. They were all killed by the blade that they bestowed upon her. They were all killed by one of their own. She then came to the last person. The Prophet. She opened the door and walked into his room, covered in the blood of the assassin's.
"You are bloodied. This could only mean one thing: That you have succeeded in your initiation," he said darkly.
"I have succeeded in nothing. You manipulated me. You taught me all of these skills just so that I could kill innocent men and women!" Astrid said angrily.
"Well, everyone has their own opinion," he said, "But now, there is one last thing."
"What is it, murderer?"
"Look," he said, pointing to three masked people, "Someone has committed a crime. It is your job to figure out which one."
"I already know," she said, walking slowly and menacingly towards him, "You."
She then raised her dagger and plunged it straight into his chest, piercing both his heart and one of his lungs. However, he managed to let out one final sentence.
"Lord of darkness... let me into your shadow... Well done... child..." The Prophet said, as he took his last breath.
Astrid ripped the dagger from his chest in anger and then began crying. She didn't want this. She then looked at her hands. They were covered in the blood of eight different people. She thought of herself as a monster. However, this was when she stopped. She now realised that despite being a monster, she could help people. She could use her new found abilities to help and save people from threats. So, she stood up and walked over to the Prophet's three prisoners and untied them.
"Thank you, so much," a human said. She looked very neat and was dressed as if she were royalty. Astrid then freed the two others. They were brother and sister. They looked very much alike too. They were a hybrid of wolf and coyote. The girl looked to be about fifteen, the same age as Astrid, and the boy looked about two years younger.
"Thank you," the girl said.
"No problem..." Astrid said, still recovering from her anger.
"What's your name?" the girl asked.
"Astrid... But I don't even know if I'm worthy of a name anymore..."
"You saved us. I think you are. My name's Nicola, by the way. This is my brother Joseph," she said politely.
"Nicky, my name isn't Joe. I'm Voltric, the most powerful hero ever known!" the young boy said, happily.
"He likes pretending that he's a superhero," Nicola said, giggling at his comment.
"Yeah... You should go now. Leave this hell," Astrid advised.
"I agree. C'mon Joe."
"My name is Voltric!" he yelled.
"Yeah, yeah, whatever," she said jokingly, "Oh and Astrid."
"I hope we meet again. Under better circumstances," she said, leading her brother out.
"I hope so too..."
After the two had left, Astrid grabbed a nearby torch out of it's sconce. She then tossed it onto The Prophet's corpse. As it and the rest of the room set alight, she walked out saying, "I hope you all rot in hell."
She then left the burning hideout and entered the old house again. Only this time, something was different. She walked out of the door and closed it without noticing that the house was now only lit up by one burning candle.