From darkness faded a blurred vision of a simple interrogation room the Assassin Brotherhood’s flag draped under the mirror, the arctic fox only mumbled to himself as he tried to shake off the disorientation. The room was dead silent as he stared at the one-way mirror in the room. His vision sharpened even more as stared at himself. His short blood red head hair and his ice blue eyes were the only color that the fox had on his body that was visible, aside from the blue jeans and the dark red inner lining of his hooded sweatshirt. “What the fuck happened…”
A scrambled voice came from a speaker directly above him, “I apologize for these circumstances, but I can’t compromise the integrity of the brotherhood, Vanbael Cayosin.”
Vanbael could sense that something was up, “you sure went the extra mile on that then, drugged me and knocked me out.”
The scrambled voice interjected, “we have to keep this location a secret, the Templar opposition is trying to learn more about the higher ups in this. You would be a new target, since this is the first contact for—”
“Three years, I know. I was put on a passive assignment to build up a normal background, going to school and keeping out of reach from you guys wasn’t my idea of a vacation though. I was told that if my parents were still alive that my background would have been more easy to create,” Vanbael said methodically.
He closed his eyes as he thought about his parents,
A three year old arctic fox sat in the living room of a house as he watched his parents hug once more. His mother had a bag slung around her back as she wore that strange shirt with the small peak in the middle of the hood. He never understood it but it was what his mother would wear when she went to work, “Take care of Vanbael for me,” she said smiling at him. Vanbael smiled wagging his tail waving goodbye to his mother.
“I will hon, now go give them hell.” His father said as he kissed her cheek.
“I love you,” she said back to her mate before turning to Vanbael, “and I love you my son.”
Vanbael smiled, “love you mommy,” he waved again as he watched her leave the house. He ran over to the couch and climbed up the window and watched his mother drive away in a sedan.
He didn’t even know that was the last time he would see her…
Vanbael was almost 4 years old as his father went into his room and found the arctic fox cub playing with his toy cars, “Vanbael,”
Vanbael stopped playing and turned to his father, he saw for the first time a look in his father’s face that he never saw before. “What is it dad?”
His father entered the room and picked him up hugging him while he sat down on the twin bed with red sheets. “Its about your mother,” he said softly.
“Is she staying at work even longer?...” Vanbael said sadly. It had been four months since she left.
“I’m afraid that she won’t be coming back…I was told that she went missing,” his father said softly watching his son tear up hug his side.
“Is there any way to find her?” He said as he tried to dry his tears staring up into his father’s green eyes.
“My friends are trying hard, but it isn’t working.” His father said softly. Vanbael could only break down into sobs, “I miss her too son, but we have to keep going. Just don’t forget her.”
He didn’t, memories of his life flowed through his mind. His father and him moved across the US more than fifteen times. He knew his dad had work, but he didn’t know that it was actually for safety that they were moving. It wasn’t until it all caught up to them.
A sixteen year old fox was reading the Forgotten Realms Series when he heard his father answer his phone. He knew that his work has taken them across the country, and he anticipated hearing about the need to move again. Their house didn’t have much in it, a television, beds in the bedrooms along with simple clothing chests in each. He knew that he’ll have to get a van loaded by midnight again before heading out. But he suddenly heard his father sound anxious, “Vanbael!”
Vanbael quickly tossed his book aside and ran down the stairs, “What’s wrong dad?”
His father had a very concerned and ominous look on his face, “You need to run to the library, fast as you can,” he said as he held Vanbael by his shoulders.
Vanbael stared puzzled but nodding, “What’s going on dad?”
“Some people have found me, people that I didn’t want to find us,” engines of vehicles could be heard in the distance in the suburban town, “Son, I love you, and if I don’t see you, carry me, and your mother in your heart. Mr. Axton, the librarian will help you…”
The sounds of vehicles stopping in front of the house set the adult arctic fox off, and he pushed Vanbael towards the back door of the house before the adolescent had a chance to stay anything. “GO! AND DON’T STOP!” His father yelled before opening a lock safe.
Vanbael burst through the back door and immediately climbed over the back fence of the yard and cut across the neighbor’s yard. After running a couple blocks, the cracks of gunshots filled the air. Vanbael shed a tear but kept running as could only assume the worst now.
From then on he was adopted by the brotherhood of assassins and had joined the ranks, and found a greater purpose than simple vengeance.
“Vanbael, I know that this seems a little off putting to you, but we need to reactivate you for an important mission. A diplomat is being manipulated to the will of the Templars. We need you to eliminate his advisor,” The scrambled voice said urgently.
Vanbael nodded, “But you took my weapons to build up my cover—”
“There’s a new set of weapons waiting for you on the table behind you.” Vanbael got up calmly and walked back to the room and found a combat knife, a silenced pistol with spare ammo, a belt of throwing knives, and an older looking Hidden Blade. His paws fell to the hidden blade right away, right when he felt it he knew from memories before when he saw the safe open, that it belonged to his family. “How did you get this?”
“We recovered it after the attack on your father,” the voice said as Vanbael put it on, after having some trouble strapping it to his wrist; he flexed his paw and watched the blade extend. A tightly folded piece of paper fell out of the sheath as it was pushed out by the blade. Vanbael knew the interrogators didn’t see it. He unfolded it and saw familiar writing:
This hidden blade belongs to the Cayosin family lineage. If ally recognizes this name, do not trust the ones that give you the blade. The silver handled throwing knife has a 1 second primer, the rest you can use however you want. Fight on brother, and give my weapons to a mentor so they find the proper owner.
Vanbael looked at the wall as he felt the dormant beast within flare up. He never had a chance to take down the ones who took a part of his life away. He took the belt and slides it on through the belt loops before placing all the throwing knives into each slot. He then placed his paw silver handled knife, and pressed the primer button activating the fuse for the concealed explosives in the blade, “And now they will continue their job.” He drew the throwing knife out of the sheath and quickly turned throwing it towards the one way mirror. His adrenaline heightened as he watched the knife flip end over end. He watched as the tip hit the glass of the mirror.
The tempered glass of the mirror shattered from the fragmenting knife blade exploding. As the glass began to fall in a cascading waterfall, Vanbael began to dash at the stunned figure behind the glass. He leaped over the ledge as the stunned Dane tried to react. The arctic fox quickly extended the hidden blade slashing the dane’s arm, creating a deep wound. He the door to the left opened up as a couple security guards, an otter and a red fox, entered drawing their pistols. Vanbael shoved the Dane to his right and drew his combat blade and singled out the fox who had a baton drawn. The assassin drew his combat knife and blocked a blow from the fox as he swung the heavy baton. But pain shot through his back as he felt the impact of the otter’s baton. Adrenaline subdued the pain for the time being as he wheeled around as he slashed through the guard’s shirt drawing blood across his chest with a light wound. Vanbael raised his blade to slash the otter again but felt a heavy weight push him towards the floor. He looked and it was the Dane, “This one’s compromised! He knows who we are!” The Dane shouted as at the guards.
Vanbael knew that these were Templars, and he had to get out or he would be killed in the process. As he saw the Dane’s bloody arm drop to a holstered pistol, he freed his left arm and flexed his hand. The hidden blade extended again, Vanbael trusted his hand and stabbed the guard in the chest. As he felt the blood drip down his wrist, and the body go limp. He pushed the Dane’s body off to the side as he saw the fox grab a radio, “This is interrogation, get backup and our medic up here, we have heavily wounded, and the assassin is armed.”
Vanbael quickly retracted his blade then kicked his feet up and used his is arms to spring his lightly framed body up. He landed on his feet and righted himself before seeing the security guards draw their guns. The assassin quickly grabbed the fox and turned them both of them around just as the otter fired his pistol. The bullet hit the fox wounding his abdomen. Vanbael saw the look in the otters eyes when he accidentally achieved friendly fire, he let the fox fall to the ground and drew his own pistol aiming it at the otter. Vanbael drew a breath “Rest in peace…”
He pulled the trigger and with a loud crack, a burst of blood spray hits the wall behind the otter from exiting 5.7mm bullet. The arctic fox holstered the 5-7 pistol and exited the observation room as he scanned his surroundings. He blinked a couple of times as he recognized the layout, “they took the library,” he said to himself as he raised his hood. He knew it was the same library he ran to, the library that became a home, and where he met the family that finished raising him. Now the enemy occupied his home, “nobody will be alive to say they occupied this, except me…”
Footsteps echoed down the hall, Vanbel’s eyes were vigilant as he observed three different possible points of cover down the white painted hall; a door way to the left that lead to a private library room, . He closed his eyes and identified four different pairs of feet from the rhythm and tone. He began walking forward and he heard the movement stop. One behind me, one in the doorway, two at the end, he thought to himself. He broke into a run and turned around reaching to his belt. Grasping the first throwing knife he flung it behind him, as he turned around the first guard wearing his collard security guard shirt was there holding a P90. The knife pierced his chest, and the leopard doubled over falling over in pain. The arctic fox whirled around and kept running. Seeing the doorway approaching he readied his left wrist. As he brought his arm across his chest, his sharp ears heard stirring at the doorway. The hidden blade slid out of its sheath with a satisfying metal sliding sound. With perfect timing, Vanbael swung his arm slashing the neck of a ram, all in the motion the blade retracted.
The two guards at the end of the hall emerged around both corners and aimed their sub-machineguns at him. Vanbael’s eyes widened and he stopped ducking back into the door way. As he slammed his back against the wall, the sounds of small caliber rapid fire echoed through the library. When it stopped, he drew the combat knife holding it in his right hand ready to attack. The hidden blade on his left wrist slid out of its sheath again, stained with the blood of his the past victims for the day. He closed his eyes hearing soft but cautions footsteps advanced down the hall. Opening his eyes he charged out, the armored guards were seven feet from him. He leapt into the air and came down between both of them, the hidden blade driving into the neck, and the combat knife doing the same to the other guard. He fell with the dying guards to the ground. He ignored the weapons on their lifeless bodies and kept going.
He saw the main atrium of the library, though it looked the same, he knew the books were not. Vanbael didn’t have time to go through his mind on them censoring information. Shouts were heard across the library and focus returned to him. He had to get out. Sounds of shouting and footsteps filled the floor below him; their sources were obscured by the draping tapestries hanging above the main aisle of the library floor. Then it was quickly reduced to silence for a second before small clicks could be heard across the room.
Gritting his teeth, he saw the laser sights in the dusty air make their way to him. He looked down and saw a shelf right under him. He gripped the railing and vaulted over it landing on top of the book shelf. He spotted the sources of the lasers right after he landed, the shelf shook under his feet wobbling a little as the red lines illuminated through the dust in the air traced towards him. He started leaping across the aisles from book case to book case, trying to keep the lasers off his body. His blue eyes scanned across the musty air spotting the armored rifle men, short bursts filled the air. He saw them on the other half of the library. The arctic fox stopped on a book case changing his direction, “I don’t have a beat on him!” one of the riflemen shouted. Vanbael quickly ran for the hanging tapestry, he leaped and grabbed the tapestry, swinging across the twenty-five foot gap. He landed on the other side and changed direction crossing the book cases running towards the riflemen. And older voice shouted, “Where is he?” the sound of a of an older male said. Vanbael cautiously listed his route over towards the center of the library spotting a one more figure, and older husky holding a katana and a pistol.
He’s the one you want… Vanbael told himself, he jumped across a couple more shelves, getting within leaping range of the possible leader, his left hand on three throwing knives, each between his fingers. As he reached the end of the book case he saw the husky aiming the pistol him, right as he jumped into the air he threw all three knives at him. The husky quickly dropped out of the way, rolling towards the library information kiosk. Vanbael landed on the ground next to him and rolled out of the way from a katana swing. Planting his foot against the ground he launched himself towards the husky extending his hidden blade. The husky attempted to take aim his pistol at the arctic fox, but with an extending hidden blade, Vanbael slashed the forearm of the he husky pushing him back. The husky staggered a little his right hand covering the open bleeding wound. Vanbael immediately saw the two rifle men, one to his left and the other to his right. He immeditly closed the gap between the husky to not give either rifle wielding felines a shot at him. With a pistol in his right hand, and a hidden blade in his left hand, he quickly aimed the pistol at the husky. With a feral grunt the husky knocked the pistol away with his wounded left arm and swung his katana at the arctic fox again. Vanbael raised the bladed hand blocking the katana. The sound of metal on metal was heard echoed off the walls, and embracing the slyness of his animal side, Vanbael kicked the rear leg of his opponent setting the husky off balance. In that second, he raised his FN five-seven at the rifle wielding cat to his left. A couple of cracked deafened the scene, the first armor piercing shot ripped through the chest of the templar. The second shot shattered the helmet visor, blood sprayed behind the cat as it fell to the ground. The husky leader regained his balance and stabbed his sword at the assassin. Vanbael stepped to the left using his hidden blade to knock the sword blade down to the ground. He aimed the pistol at the last guard and fired, three more shots blared through the library, each shot ripping through the body armor piercing the lungs and heart of the cat. The templar doubled over gripping his own chest as he breathed his last. The assassin quckly spun avoiding an upward strike from the katana. Vanbael holstered the pistol and ducked avoiding another swing from sword blade. His right hand latched onto the right arm of the husky, holding it place as his right knee jabbed the husky’s gut. The force knocked the air out the larger canine, causing him to lose control of the katana. Vanbael’s left hand ripped it from grasp of the husky, and in a fluent motion he turned the tip on husky.
Breathing in he looked at his target victim and jammed the sword through the body of the husky crying out in rage, pain, and revenge. The sword blade spilled blood from both sides of the husky. The assassin with drew the blade and tossed it to the side as the husky fell backwards to the ground. Vanbael kneeled down to the side of the templar as the world around them faded. “you were the one who set this up, who captured me, who killed my father…”
The husky gasped, “…I did, and he was getting too close to our secrets. Shame that we didn’t catch you then…You seem to have become a very valuable asset to your ‘Brotherhood.’”
He stared down at him as blood pooled around his body, staining his knee, “You’re wasting your time, I may be skilled but I’m not that embedded.”
“And still you don’t see the potential in you, that is why your mother and father were both eliminated from the picture…” he gasped trying to stave of death’s embrace, “…a top operative, and one of the better field scribes…both carry blood lines dangerous to my order…”
Vanbael gritted his teeth in anger, “And what was it that you were going to make me do?”
He laughed a little, “convince your naive brain to kill supporters, of your order…nobody will know of this though…”
Vanbael saw his left hand reveal a remote detonator, as the world faded back he quickly jumped to his feet and started to run towards the exit. Sunlight was showing through the exit as he heard the button click behind him. His run turned into a sprint as he closed in to the door. He leaned forward shoulder first hearing small electrical charges whine up across the library floor. He rammed his entire body into the door and swore out loud when they didn’t give way.
He looked to his left seeing the library commons, a corner with windows for sunlight. He pulled out his pistol again and fired breaking a window. He ran towards the open window as fast as possible, the chair in front of it provided enough height for the fox to jump head first through the small window.
Landing on the lawn Vanbael got up seeing a couple of civilians walking on the street a good distance away, he holstered his pistol and yelled, “GET DOWN!” as he got up trying to run further away but the first blasts of explosives rocked him. He stumbled trying to keep his balance as more blasts echoed through the neighborhood. They were getting closer in sequence. He made it to the middle of the street, eighty yards away when a closer explosion threw him off his legs as pieces of masonry and brick pelted his body, bruising him as most of what was the wall landed on the lawn.
The assassin lay on the street, his sleeves blood stained from the templars he killed, ears ringing from the explosion. His sight was blurred as figure wearing a black hood ran over to him, the female voice pulled on him. “Get up! Come on!” She said urgently. Vanbael slowly got up, his body aching from the shrapnel, he head was still spinning from disorientation. He tried to see who was helping him but was still trying to regain balance, “There is no time for me to explain, run home now.”
He shook his head as he got his balance, the female who helped him turned away concealing her face, he only noticed the white fox tail on her, “home?” he asked puzzled.
The female said quietly, “the last one you had,” Vanbael could barely pick up but heard what she said over the ringing in his ears, but the words stabbed him in his mind hard as he knew which one.
“Why…” he said resistant to the idea, the place where his life changed forever, and the place where he lost the last of his family.
“Further instructions are waiting for you, just go! There are more coming,” the vixen said as she started to run. He saw why she was running away as well. The familiar black vans the Templars used were coming into view around the corner.
He got up and ran, knowing that tough memories will be relived but answers will be given. At this point his life depended on it as he began to cut through the same yards he did before. As he vaulted over a wooden picket fence he saw a family of horses stared in confused at him, as he passed through he saw that he had a bat and the children were wearing base ball gloves. The father of the family yelled at him, “Hey what’s the big idea?”
Vanbael slowed to a stop before the other fence turning so that his eye peeked out of his hood seeing the family both scared a cautious to his presence, “If you know what’s good for this world, you will understand this; nothing is true, and everything is permitted.” He vaulted over the fence as he did so he whispered to himself, “I am an assassin…”