I was an orphan and taken by the unseen clan, they were assassins. They found orphans that had ... gifts and trained them. In my case I had great potential and they wanted to exploit it. The younger children all lived and slept in one large room until they demonstrated some ability for the clan craft.
In my case it came at the age of six. I had been spying on grandmaster Rava and realized how he managed the trick of vanishing. Master Charles caught me and threw me across the room and stalked after me as he pulled a knife. We were beaten and cut often and that was what I expected but this time was going to be different.
Master Charles was the most violent and cruel of all the masters and I hated him. When I rolled to my feet I pulled my eating sticks. He sneered and did not even slow and I stepped and vanished. What I really did was remove my image from his eyes. I stabbed him in the stomach with one of the sticks and ducked.
He grunted and slashed at where I had been but I had moved and he went to his knees. I was behind him and stabbed with all my strength like they taught. The eating stick went through his spine and into his brain and he fell and spasmed as he died. Killing a master was serious but I had vanished and that was what both saved me and made me enemies.
The grandmaster himself began to teach me and at eight I killed another older boy. We were on the display floor using knives in a fight. I had been cut four times and master Holgren told Sanchez to kill me. None of the other masters had said anything and the grandmaster was not there, Sanchez was twelve and a bully.
I was not allowed to step into the unseen unless the grandmaster was there. I calmed as he stalked towards me and then I moved like a serpent striking. Until then I had not been able to touch him. I stabbed his left hand with my right as he lunged and twisted and pulled. My left hand went over his extended arm.
I cut his throat and then spun him and stabbed him through the spine like I had master Charles. Master Holgren wanted to kill me right then but the other masters stopped him. That night I did not sleep in my bed and knelt beside the door. I was unseen and practicing meditation and healing when Master Holgren opened the door.
He threw spikes into the bed and walked in with his knife out. Like master Charles he died with my eating stick through his spine and in his brain. I killed three more before I was sixteen. Two were clansmen trying to kill me and the third was grandmaster Rava. That was when I escaped and fled the clan and the planet.
I had killed the grandmaster because he had demanded I kill one of the younger children that had tried to escape. When I refused he had attacked me and we had fought until I had taken his head. Now the clan hunted me and would kill me if and when they found me. I had also stolen the grandmaster's comp which had clan contacts and their accounts.
I moved through the crowd smoothly and slipped into the huge building. I knew the watcher would follow as I crossed to the lifts. I nodded to the constable when I stepped out of the lift and into the lobby of the penthouse floor. She grinned, "hey wonder boy. This one is right up your alley."
She gestured to one of two doors, "the crime scene techs are still here and inspector Murphy is waiting."
The door was open and I crossed to it and peered in. My eyes flicked over everything and I knew the dead man had been killed by an amateur. I stepped in and glanced at the tech, "did you pull anything from the hidden vid camera in the display case?"
She stood and turned to look at the case, "what hidden vid camera?"
I shook my head and moved into the room, "the one on the fourth shelf at the back right corner."
I looked at the four inspectors and one grinned, "Andrew."
I nodded to him, "sir."
I looked at the dead man on the floor, "jealous lover?"
The others snorted and he shook his head, "we do not think so. This is the fifth man killed like this."
My eyes searched the room again before I knelt and yanked the body up and over. They hissed and growled but I ignored them, "it was a woman and she was very passionate or angry with this one."
I gestured to the several wounds, "all but one were angry strikes. See how there is an indentation around the edge of the wounds? They were made after the kill shot which was the smooth and very precise strike under the sternum. The killer also searched the room but did not find what she wanted."
I stood and Murphy cleared his throat, "how do you know she searched? Nothing is missing and there is nothing to suggest it."
I gestured to the wall of shelves to the side, "things have been moved and the secret room beyond is still closed."
They turned and one glanced at me, "what room?"
I crossed and reached in to press on one shelf. It tilted and there was a click before the wall swivelled, "my guess would be it is his safe room."
As they came to look into the room I shifted and glanced at the door. One of the clan was here and I smiled before looking at inspector Murphy, "excuse me."
I stepped and vanished as I began the game of stalking. I was in the empty and silent bedroom when the master appeared. I stepped out of the shadows and waited as he looked at me. He was calm but I knew that was only on the outside. He moved to the side, "you broke our trust."
I turned and waited and he stopped and glanced at the door before looking at me, "these will not protect you."
I started towards him, "I do not need them to protect me. If you have come to kill me than try. The grandmaster was a coward and a bully. I would not and will not kill the helpless,"
He grinned as he shifted, "all who survive the training are bullies."
He turned at a call from one of inspectors, "I have not told the clan that you are here yet."
I stopped a couple of steps away, "why?"
He smiled as he looked at me, "outside the city is a large estate, five Solaman Run The man that lives there collects ... things. He has something the clan wants. If you bring it I will tell the clan you are dead."
I snorted, "you are more than capable of..."
He shook his head, "he has the protection of another clan we have a pact with."
I smiled, "and what is this thing you wish me to steal?"
He gestured, "it is an ancient data encryption box. He keeps it locked in a vault that is filled with gas when locked and ... You steal this and give it to me and I will not tell the clan you are here."
I vanished and moved away, "I will think about it."
I stood still and waited and listened and knew when he was gone. His reasons for not breaking into the estate were false. The unseen clan would do as they wished, when they wished to do it. I stepped and appeared as I walked back into the other room. I stopped in the doorway to the safe room, "the woman will hunt again and soon."
Inspector Murphy turned from looking at a vid screen, "we have her image now."
I shook my head, "by the smell near the body she changes the color of her hair often. She is also using a combination of chemicals to mask her true bioscan data."
I turned to look at the constable by the door, "she lives in this building."
I was at the door when the inspector stuck his head out, "wait!"
I turned and he cleared his throat, "how do you know she lives here?"
I looked at the constable, "she did not use the lift wearing the masking chemicals. From the strength of the smell at the door I would say she is between five to seven floors away. Use a sniffer in the stairs and you should be able to back track her."
He snorted as I started for the lift and the constable shook her head. One of the things I had done after reaching this planet was select a detective inspector. I appeared at one of his crime scenes and from there he has called me whenever he gets the hard or strange deaths. My mind returned to the master and what he wanted.
I knew the clan and the masters and even if I got what he wanted he would still try to kill me. I vanished before the lift opened and slipped out and moved through the building and came out a maintenance door with several people. It was not easy moving through crowds of people while remaining unseen.
I used the tram and then a public transport vehicle before walking the last few kilometers. That was when I saw the hidden vid cameras and the sensors. I kept walking as artificial animals followed me on the other side of the wall. I smiled as I became visible and turned in at the gate. I touched the announcer and it was answered quickly, "yes?"
I looked at the animals through the gate, "why does one of the clans wish to steal the ancient data encryption box?"
I saw the animals shift before the gates started to open and the man answered, "come in."
I walked through the gate and watched the animals as they shifted and walked on each side of me. The manor was a huge square with a large central patio courtyard. I was led through the house and out to the patio where a very old Asian man sat. He looked at me calmly as I ignored the servant and sat across from him.
He waved and the man backed away, "you have my attention."
He gestured to a glass and pitcher but I shook my head, "my name is Andrew..."
He snorted, "I know who you are and what."
I nodded, "than you know my clan hunts me."
He nodded and I sat back, "so when a master appears and tells me he will ignore that if I steal your data encryption box I would learn more."
He chuckled, "you think he will..."
I shook my head, "he has already told the clan and will still try to kill me."
He relaxed, "so why did you come to me?"
I leaned back, "I was curious."
I turned to look at the two naked girls as they stepped out and stopped. I looked at him, "why would he tell me about your data encryption box?"
He stood and gestured to the girls before looking at me, "because I am old and when I die the Sea clan will get it. The clans may be at peace but that does not mean there is peace between them. The data encryption box would allow anyone to unlock each clan's encryption and see all their secrets."
I straightened before standing, "the clans are not united?"
He snorted as the girls approached, "hardly. If given a chance a master will kill any from another clan if he can do it and get away with it."
He looked at the girls for several moments before looking at me, "you wish the data encryption box?"
I smiled, "not really."
He bowed and then smiled, "perhaps you can help me in another way."
He looked at the girls, "this is Miko and Sania my great granddaughters. When I die the Sea clan will take them for breeding."
He looked at me, "if they are not already bred and belong to someone."
I looked at the girls, "you do not want your clan..."
He gestured, "they are not my clan and they are good girls and do not need to become clan whores."
He smiled, "take them and I will give you the data encryption box."
I looked at the door before looking at him and nodding. He whispered and a servant suddenly appeared and walked to us with a small metal device. I accepted it and he gestured to the two girls who looked at him for several moments before turning to me. I glanced at him, "they need clothes."
He chuckled before looking at them, "go dress and pack."
They bowed and left and he sighed before looking at me, "take care of them."
I bowed and slipped the device into my shirt, "you know one will come for you when I leave?"
He nodded, "it is past time for me."
I looked at him and wanted to stay but he shook his head, "it is my time. I would suggest you find a young colony and in a few decades all the clans will forget about you."
I smiled before turning to look around the courtyard, "perhaps I will."
An hour and I was walking out with the two girls following behind me. I was thinking as we walked out the gate and turned to head for a public transport stop. I paid and one appeared a few minutes later. Instead of switching to keep anyone from following I fed in a address and sat back to look at the girls.
I leaned back, "I am Andrew."
They looked at me while clutching their bags and one finally cleared her throat, "I am Miko."
The other almost whispered, "Sania."
I smiled, "do you know how to shop?"
They looked at each other before looking at me. I shrugged, "your ... grandfather thought we should seek a colony world."
I smiled as I glanced behind the transport, "I was thinking of someplace beside the ocean."
They giggled and Miko bumped my shoulder, "you do not need clothes if it is warm."
I chuckled as I remember them walking into the patio, "and you do not like wearing clothes."
They giggled and shook their heads and I smiled. When the vehicle stopped I helped them out and felt the watchers. I led them through the huge building and into the back of another. I knew there were followers as I logged into the lift. I looked at the girls as I thought and used my comp.
We got out in a lobby between four huge penthouses. I moved to one of the doors and unlocked it with a bio scan print of my elbow. I entered a large set of numbers into the alarm system before closing the door. I pulled the girls after me and through the huge penthouse. In a large bedroom I stopped.
Next was a set of elaborate steps and turns and suddenly a wall slid back. I pulled the girls in and looked at the small room with a narrow bed, "stay here until I come for you."
They nodded as I moved out and the opening into the room closed. I went into the huge and empty living area. I moved to the side and took a set of swords from the wall. I set the data encryption box on a shelf and went to stand in the center of the room and began to wait. Black clad men slipped into the room moments later but they were not the only ones.
They moved around me and one shifted and I turned a sword and slashed to knock a thrown dart away, "sloppy."
The rush came a moment later and I leaped and flipped. I stabbed down into the neck of one man lunging at me with a knife. I landed and spun as I slashed out to one side. The blade cut another man's throat as he leaped with his knife stabbing down. I punched out and to the other side into what looked like air and a man appeared holding a sword.
Mine was through one eye and he fell as I yanked it out. I spun and slid to the side as I brushed a dart away and took the hand of a man lunging at me with a knife. I danced back and slashed down to knock another dart away and stabbed to one side and into a leaping man. My other sword slid to the slid and brushed a sword away.
I turned and cut and a man screamed as I took a hand holding a short sword. I shoved my other sword through his mouth and his other sword fell. I side stepped and brought a sword up to push a knife away as I turned. I sliced with my other sword and cut the throat of a man charging me with knives in both hands.
As quickly as it started they fled and I watched them before I straightened. I murmured and an automated sequence unlocked and opened the front door. It was barely a minute before the constables charged through. The clan members wounded and left behind killed themselves before they could be restrained.