Another week, another Chuck Wendig challenge. This one was a little different. There was something different about this one. One needed to write a story with a cliffhanger. Do not finish it, leave the reader wanting, and mocked : ). Here’s my entry.
My Life for Your Life
This is why I need to go independent. Working for the guild is no fun, I thought with a shake of my head. Nothing more boring than escorting some preening, unimportant Noble from one place to another. This one was frantic. Sweat poured off him. The powerful scent wafted up my nose. I patted my trusty gun, Tiff, and kept watch.
The walkways were clean, and only a few people about. A few slaves, obvious by the plain white clothing they wore, drifted back and forth between the buildings. Typical High District traffic during this part of the day. “Grand Lord Devon, calm yourself.”
“My life is in danger, would you be so calm?” He snapped wringing his ring ladened hands.
I eyed him for a moment before gazing back the glittering spires around us. I wish I lived in such a nice district. “Every time I go on an assassin’s guild assignment my life is at risk. Guild Vook are bodyguards, Grand Lord. My life for your life.” Don’t roll your eyes, Vena, don’t do it.
He huffed straightening his tunic. “I know Sotho is after me. His house has been cross with me since our last business venture.” A cocky little sneer popped on his face. “Not my fault he didn’t read the contracts properly.”
“Of course not. There is no excuse for poor contract reading skills.” A sneaky, underhanded bastard, a vaero in the flesh. My life for his, I don’t think so. This job might not end so well for Grand Lord Devon.
The walkway cleared all the slaves gone, as we approached his apartment. My arm went out. “Stop.”
“Don’t make a fuss now. We are nearly to my home.” He tried to push against my arm.
There should be people going in and out of the massive housing complex. This was the usual work end time, and the building housed over a thousand people. And, yet no one stirred. “Engage your personal shield.”
“Don’t order me around.” Devon snapped at me.
“Do it!” I was not going to let him die, putting a mark on my record, because he wouldn’t engage his damn shield. A low hum from him put me at ease. My rifle lifted upward, both arms holding it steady. “Get behind that artificial tree display.” I motioned at the cylinder with a plastic tree on it at the end of the walkway.
Devon grumbled. “Hiding behind a tree, how ridiculous.”
Please, let the attacker be a sniper. I took a slow step forward. The overhang was shadowed and I could see something underneath it. In a very even motion I pulled a secondary shield off my belt, pressed the activator and threw it at Devon. It landed next to him triggering a second layer of shielding. I knelt down and my auto cover activated.
A laugh echoed across the empty plaza. “I heard you were good, Vena. I’m glad this won’t be boring.”
In a nearly silent voice I said. “Back camera activate.” I’m not going to be tricked into believing he was in front of me.
A shot came from the far west side and bounced off my cover. I tossed a grenade in that direction. The bang caused debris to fly. An armored figure rolled out of the smoke, and took off at a run.
I fired at his feet. He took a large, boosted leap to behind a statue.
A tug at my weapon with a powerful voice. “Vin, a kinetic.” I pressed my back to my cover holding the gun behind it. Another rip nearly dislocated my arm. Another grenade went flying. It emitted a high pitch squeal. I fired four more shots.
A blast of power knocked me flat. The gun tumbled away off the walkway. “Great.” As I struggled to sit up my weapons were being pulled off my belt and getting thrown off the side. I gripped my fabricated material sword between my two hands. His power seemed to be ignoring it.
“If you want to give up now, Vena, I’m sure Guild Vook would understand. They can’t expect you to fight with no weapons.” Arrogant little idiot.
“Hardly fair of you.” A few changes to the set up of my auto-cover. That would do the trick.
“I’m a murdering assassin, fair isn’t something I do.”
My feet dug into the ground and sprinted forward. Using the same tech as him I leapt over the statue landing on him.
A swing of his leg caught me in the stomach sending me back. I rolled in time to miss his feet landing on me.
Then, I defended against his sword attack with a slash. My foot caught him in the knee. Off balance I cut upward. He recovered fast. I was forced to defend losing ground.
A hard object came against my foot. He backed me into the statue. I rammed into him with my shoulder. For a moment, he was forced back. He came back with rapid fire attacks. The fear of doom and failure crashed over me. For the first time I worried I might die.
Another slash, my arms growing tired already. I didn’t sword fight. A cry of despair echoed from far away. Oh right, Devon. I am not going to die to save that whiny loser. I blocked with my arm and punched with the blade hilt. The assassin stumbled with a cry. I slammed into his ankle. A cross cut against his thigh.
A rumble behind me distracted me as he pushed me down. The statue crashed down in my direction. Before I could move, he tripped me cutting into my leg. I only had one second to think.