~How We All Met?~
A bell rang as the door to a pawn shop. A man looked around the little shop. His gold eyes were scanning everything, committing everything to memory. As he walked, his black coat followed behind him, a silver gun was occasionally visible. His silver and black hair fell to about his lower back. He barely showed any emotion as he looked at the merchandise.
A small creature, a Neuw, sat on a large desk. It was a pearl color and was about six inches tall when it sat on its haunches. A blue and white laced bow was wrapped around its neck and tail. There was a small gold bell on its long thin tail. It looked up at the stranger and blinked. The Neuw twitched its tail and rang the bell. After that it continued writing down profits in a large book.
The door on the left wall opened and a man walked in. He glanced at the Neuw then at the stranger. The man smiled widely and snickered hysterically. He wore a long grey cloak with a purple sash that was held in place by skull and crossbones, they were fake, of course. The man’s hair was a silver grey and its length was much longer than the strangers. His bangs covered his eyes. There was a long scar that traveled over the ridge of his nose and snaked to under his right ear. Another scar was across his neck and a small one across his little finger. His hat kept his hair in place and a long piece of purple cloth draped down from it. He smiled at the stranger.
“So nice to see you in here this week,” he said, “always a pleasure.”
His voice had a hint of an English accent to it.
“Yes,” the stranger said, “some one bought the reindeer.”
The shopkeeper looked where the stranger was looking, “Yes, I suppose some one did. Amazing memory you have there. If you wanted one I could see what I have in the back or special order one for you.”
“No, thanks,” the man said.
The stranger walked over to the man at the desk, “Undertaker, I need a job.”
The Neuw looked up at the shopkeeper.
The shopkeeper smiled widely with mischief, “Now, young lad, as much as I would love to hire you, there isn’t much to do around here. Besides there is no one here with the name of Undertaker.”
“Funny,” the stranger said, “I’m never wrong.”
The stranger stared at the shopkeeper who, in return, smiled knowingly back. There was a moment of silence before the shopkeeper laughed hysterically.
“What is your name, boy?”
“Fang? I was told I’d be expecting someone by that name in a few days,” the shopkeeper said, “It’s been a while since I’ve been called that: the Undertaker. I don’t do that anymore. Now I’m just a lowly shopkeeper.”
“I’m here for a job,” Fang said getting back to business.
“Right, right,” a large smile appeared on the Undertaker’s face.
He pulled out a set of keys and opened one of the drawers of the desk. There was a folder inside and the Undertaker brought it out and set it on the table.
“The Tower says that they could use an ex-assassin like yourself in their ranks, but,” he paused as he paged through the files.
The Tower was an organization based on an island that no one knows about except for its inhabitants. The Tower’s job was to keep the peace in the world. The inhabitants, some of which were Agents, were born with special abilities or acquired them through a temporary death. Any threat of world unrest, the Tower would do what they can to prevent it.
“‘But’ what?” Fang asked.
“But they have more than they need, however…” the Undertaker smiled.
Fang stared at the older man, “‘However’ what?”
“For that information, you’ll have to give me something,” he laughed.
“How much do you want?” Fang sighed, reaching for his wallet.
“Oh, no, I don’t want that,” he stuck his tongue out, “I want a joke.”
The Neuw shook its head. If one listened hard enough they might have heard a sigh.
“Hush now, Reighn, I’m listening to my joke,” shushed the Undertaker.
“You must be joking,” Fang stated.
There was a long silence.
“You know,” Undertaker muttered to Reighn, “he isn’t the funny type, is he?
“Neope,” the Neuw nodded.
The Undertaker sighed sadly, “No, fun. But I’ll tell you anyway. The Tower might not be looking for knew Agents but they are looking for a ‘Black’ team.”
“Black sounds good.”
“Black is a secret team that officially doesn’t exist, even to the tower. If there are very sensitive missions that need to be done but without the Tower being directly linked to it they send Black teams. Currently they have one, but would like to have a few more.”
The Undertaker smiled as he could see Fang thinking. Fang was intelligent. Give him any problem and he could figure it out instantly. If his kind were more accepted he could be considered the next Isaac Newton. His mind thought though the pros and cons in an instant. He seemed to space out for only a moment when he made up his mind.
“Sure, why not,” he said.
“You’re willing to be a dog to the Tower?” the Undertaker said with a large smile.
“Yes,” Fang said, “all I need is a team.”
“I think I can help with that,” Undertaker snickered playfully, “First I’ll need to tell the Tower they have a new dog. After that, I think I can be of great help. Excuse me while I make a call.”
The Undertaker left.
“That’s enough,” a voice said, it had a hint of pleasure.
A boy in his mid twenties stood amidst a field of fallen assassins. The red glow of the alley lights gave the scene a certain seriousness. The boy’s white and black hair was stirred slightly as he turned to look at who spoke.
An older man smiled at him. His black hair swayed as he walked slowly over. Others were standing just behind him but they didn’t move unless they were commanded to. The older man had a large sword showing just behind his right shoulder but made no motion to use it.
“What’s your name, boy?” he asked.
“Fang,” the boy answered.
“I’m impressed. You managed to take on twenty trained assassins without even harming any of them. And you say you have never fought before. Why do you want join our ranks?”
“I’m bored,” Fang said, “I’ve done everything I have been expected to do but I wasn’t happy.”
“Interesting,” the man said, “I like you, I guess I could take you in as my apprentice. My name is Alpha. At least, that is what you’ll be calling me.”
The man smiled.
“Okay,” Fang said, “when do we start?”
“Right away,” the man laughed.
Fang ran through a burning building. He coughed as he squinted through the smoke and flames. It had been about ten or eleven years since he first became an agent and had been showing increasing promise of taking Alpha’s place. Apparently Alpha had heard the rumors and didn’t like his position being challenged. Fang had no intentions of taking Alpha’s place but nothing he said seemed to make former master believe him. He looked behind him and coughed violently. The building was coming down and he couldn’t find a way out.
“Fang!” Alpha shouted, “Where are you!?”
Fang coughed and staggered down the hallway.
He received a summons to an abandoned building. His orders were to go inside and wait for further instructions. That was where Alpha met him and that was when he started running for his life. Alpha tried to attach him several times. In the conflict, some cases of old gasoline caught on fire and soon the whole building was in flames.
“Fang! I will find you!”
Fang pulled himself up a flight of stairs still untouched by the rising flames. His breathing was becoming more and more labored. He wasn’t going to last this much longer in this condition. Finally, he reached the top of the stairs and saw an open window. He practically ran into the window when he felt a hand grab him from behind.
Alpha grabbed his collar and threw him back. Fang gasped for breath as dark smoke rose up the steps.
“I have no intentions of becoming the leader, Alpha. I don’t know who told you but I swear I never wanted to become leader,” Fang pleaded.
“So are you calling Beta a liar?” Alpha shouted.
Fang kept silent. He didn’t know how to answer. Beta and Fang never got along. Fang thought it was a seed of jealousy that Alpha was paying more attention to the new kid that him. Or Beta felt threatened by the newest protégée. Either way, he had managed to make Alpha believe that Fang was nothing more than a backstabbing, conniving mastermind that posed an immediate threat to his position.
“I’ll teach you to mess with me!”
Alpha drew his sword and charged and Fang. Fang rolled over in time before the blade ran him though. He got up on his hands and knees. The floorboards were getting warm.
Fang quickly got to his feet and dodged another attack. He reached for his weapon but it wasn’t there. Suddenly, he remembered that he lost it somewhere on one of the floors below.
“Alpha! You have to understand! I’m not the one you should be worried about!” Fang shouted.
Alpha’s eyes showed rage and anger, “You keep your mouth shut!”
The room was getting warm. The floorboards were smoking. Alpha took a step forward when the floor gave way. Fang reacted and lunged to save his master and mentor. He managed to grab his hand and keep them both from falling into the inferno below.
“I’ve got you!” Fang cried out.
Alpha didn’t say anything. The old building began to creak.
“It’s all right! I’ll get us out of here!” Fang reassured himself more that his master and friend.
Sanity seemed to return to Alpha’s features he looked past Fang for a moment then looked into his eyes.
“I’m sorry,” he said, there was a loud snapping sound, “Don’t let him win.”
Then everything when black.
In that moment of darkness, Fang died.
For a good thirty minutes, his body lay lifeless. He was a human but had a special gene. A gene that separated humans from the Others.
Fang opened his eyes again. Charred wood lay all around him and on top of him. He felt different, stronger, smarter, faster, alive. He managed to get the wood off of him and crawl into an opened space. Fang looked around, everything seemed brighter in color, the sounds were more piercing, and the smells were more real. It was as if his senses were all heightened dramatically.
He looked around for Alpha but he was no where to be seen. Somehow, Fang already knew that. He did find, however, one of Alpha’s belongings. It was silver gun. Fang kept it as a gift. He made his way out of the half standing building alive and soon realized what has happened to him.
Then he came to the non-existing island looking for a job.
The Pawn Shop
“I wish I could have saved him,” Fang muttered to no one in particular.
“Can’t have our way all the time,” the Undertaker said as he re-entered the room with six folders, “All we can do is plan the future. And I am here to help you with yours.”