The Black Willow (2) By demand part 2 of the Willow/Mary story ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- After succeeding in their mission they were in high demand. Mary was pissed that they didn't let her and Jim work on their tech much, she had many ideas and wanted to get on them. As the months passed many of the missions they accomplished pushed the war closer to an end.
As they accomplished more and more the money that she earned helped her sister and her guardian settle into a much more easy life.
Ann had started in school and was doing extremely well, her guardian was leading a much more easier life now and wasn't putting his life at risk anymore, Mary was glad, she wasn't ready yet to lose him, he had taught her everything and she felt that he should retire. Mary thought that the rebellion never had a chance with all the tech that her and Jim had no one really had a chance.
Although she hadn't been told to, Mary had used the assassian skills that her guardian had taught her. As the war went on her skills improved ten fold with each mission (the tech didn't hurt either) she became almost undectable. After 2 years, the war was finally reaching a conclusion and Mary felt she was ready to start business on her own.
At the age of 15 only a week away from being 16 and many missions under her belt with Jim, Mary found that killing people didn't bother her at all.
Her body had toned to the point that she could move without any sound, her reflexes had improved to the point that when she moved she was simply invisible. Even Jim who had trained her and had trained with her was really no match for her but he was still the only one who was fast enough to spar with her. At the end of the war the department was heralded as the heroes of the effort and the emperor had wanted to reward them each with a medal.
Mary looked at Jim with a scoffing roll of her eyes when he had told her about the ceremony. " I really have no interest in that, I don't want some damn fucking medal I only did this for the tech and to help you and YOU only." "this is supposed to be a great honor" replied Jim "Great honor my ass, he just wants to take credit for everything WE have done to help end all this shit" she sneered at the thought of meeting the emperor.
"That pompous ass wants to be the hero so that the people love him more, you and I know the truth, you, he won't be afraid of, me on the other hand, he has a reason to fear I won't go after him for the sole reason he has helped my family but if he comes after me then all bets are off.
Jim was taken aback a bit at the venom that she was spitting about the emperor he knew she had issues but he didn't think that they were that bad.
Thinking back for a minute he really didn't have all that much to be grateful himself towards the empire as they had almost thrust his family into poverty, had it not been for his father they might have ended up on the streets.
Damn, but his father had been a great statesman, the way he had convinced the ruler that he had to be kept on and that without him all would have been lost had been a stroke of brilliance. Mary sighed she had grown to really like Jim in the years they had spent working together, if she had ever had a brother he was what she wished he would have been like.
The thought of leaving the lab and Jim made her a little sad but she knew when she started that it wouldn't last forever. Mary knew that her identity was safe all but 2 of the agents that had worked with her had been killed in the war.
The two that were left, one was in critical condition and the other was Jim and she knew he was way too strong to get killed that easy (he was a general pain in the ass actually something she admired about him but wasn't about to tell him that.) Taking her leave of Jim and everything she had grown accustomed to she made her way to the space port. Mary had set up a small network and had put her name as the Black Willow on it for hire for impossible jobs and assassinations.
Pulling out her comp she opened up her network and stared at the already pouring in of job offers. She smiled at the heading she had put in bold letters at the top of it. * If you want it done, if it is impossible, leave me a message and I will show you that it is possible, you pay my price, you don't renig or you will be the next target and I do not miss.
I do not go after children, but I will those that do, assassinations will be discussed on price as it will be my main * The Black Willow She found it funny that she had picked that name, one of the other agents she had worked with (once) had called her that after a mission. He had said that she moved graceful and swayed like a willow in the darkness hence the term black willowshe had nearly killed the asshole after that, as her reflexes were so fast she had hit him 4 times before he had even raised his arms to block her hits.
Afterwards she had felt bad about it but wasn't going to show remorse for herself or her actions. Besides after that he had trained 10 times harder and had lasted til the end, as a matter of fact he was the one that was injured.
Shaking her head from her thoughts she scrolled though the jobs that were offered. Hmmm a few disbelievers she would have to do something big to clear the minds of the many. Picking a high ranking duke, she knew this was a trap and had just the demonstration for him, as he seemed to be the biggest nay sayer against her. That night she moved through the darkness soundlessly as she approached the Duke's residence.
Her small lith body molding into the shadows as if she were darkness itself. Stopping outside the walls around his manor she switched on her holo imager and the image of the guard at the sentry post appeared around her.
Damn she and Jim had improved it it lasted a whole hour now more than enough to get the job done. Walking up behind the guard she injected him with the hypo after she used the paralysis wave on him. It was her own invention and she needed to fine tune it more but that would come soon, she meant to make as much money as she could and possibly do SOME good along the way. Damn Jim for installing that in her, she was happy being a non discrete killer taking who she wanted when she wanted now, sigh, she had a damn moral code thanks to him.
Walking into the court yard none of the other guards gave her a moments notice as she entered the manor though the servants entrance. Mary walk the length of the manor til she located the Duke asleep in his bed chamber. His wife was asleep next to him, damn that was odd the lower royalty usually slept in different rooms unless they were having sex and even then they never fell asleep together. This might be harder than she thought but Mary liked a challange. Pulling the hypo and the paralysis wave she first got the Duchess as she knew that the woman was a light sleeper, then she got the Duke.
Pulling a flat square from her bag she expanded into a cot like apparatus and slid it uder the Duke to move him off the bed. Taking another holo imager from her bag and attaching it to his shirt she activated it as the Duke appeared to be another guard. Moving to the wall she pressed the matter through matter module and walked through the wall with the duke.
Unlike the earlier models of 2 years ago this was almost like walking in the open air with hardly no resistance at all. Outside the manor wall Mary quickly moved to a waiting speeder. Racing away she knew that the wave wouldn't last much longer and the Duchess would soon raise the alarm she only had 20 minutes left in her imager so she wanted to be as far away as she could.
30 minutes later after securing the Duke in a cabin a few miles away she sat in another room replacing the power supply in her imager, the Duke began to stir as she walked back in after assuming the guise of the Duke. "who the hell are you?" he demanded "and just where in the hell are we? this isn't my manor, what have you done with my wife?" "My dear Duke I am the Black Willow," as the Duke's eyes grew large.
"You!" he glared angrily at her "I will have your head for this!" "For one thing idiot," she shouted in his face "you don't know who I am or what I look like no one does, for another had I wanted to, you would have been dead, in bed, next to your wife and I would have been long gone and possibly off planet, so don't piss me off you wouldn't like me like that.
The Duke stared in amazement that anyone would speak to him like that though he did have to admit that he was right if he had gotten him away from the manor this easily then he probably could have killed him as easily. "Alright what do you want? Money? Fame?" he asked "I just want you to spread the word I am as good as I said I am, you are proof of that, I do live by a code and I will not leave that code." "I see so, I am not a target of yours?" he asked surprised.
"No, this was just a demonstration to prove my point," she said with a sigh. " I will leave word where you are to be found after I am gone, don't think that you can find me this is not my voice either," Mary laughed at her little joke as she was using the Duke's voice at the moment. The Duke could only stare at the person before him the willow was right there was no way to find him unless he made a mistake and from the look of things he had alot of his bases covered.
"Oh and Duke," Mary started as she was heading out the door, " If I do find out that you are looking for me and I will, I have eyes and ears everywhere, then you WILL become a target is that understood?" the Duke nodded his head vigourlessly as Mary left the room and headed out of the cabin into her speeder. Changing her appearance again she headed to the Duke's manor. Upon arriving she took the note from her pocket and handed it to the sentry turned and left they didn't question her as she appeared as the emperor's herald saying she was told to bring it there and return to the palace.
Mary was tired more than she had been in a while she had been running on adrenaline for almost 3 days getting everything ready and executing her plan as she had. Dumping the speeder she walked the rest of the way to where her sister and guardian were living.
The next day after sleeping almost 12 hours she awoke refreshed. Her guardian now having taken the name of Thomas, walked into her room as she arose from her bed. "I hear tell of a new assassian in the city that can move through walls and appear as anyone.
They call HIM the Black Willow," as he chuckled out loud Mary smiled at the joke. "You always taught me to hide in everyway I can.
I thought that this might be the ultimate disguise," she replied matter of factly. Thomas chuckled more as he leaned in to kiss Mary's cheek. "You were the greatest assassian I have ever seen or heard of, your skills have no equal at least none I have seen," he stated proudly as he hugged her close.
Mary didn't want to tell him that while she and Jim had been training and sparring, that she had a hard time staying ahead of him. He had pushed his self as hard if not harder than her, she was sure if it hadn't been for the extra training she had recieved, she also wouldn't have made it. Damn that Jim now she owed him 2 fucking favors shit if she didn't quit thinking of it there might be more and she didn't like to owe anything to anyone.
Her guardian saw the perplexed look on her face and guessed what was the matter. "So how many favors do you owe him?" he stated as a shocked looked appeared on her face, damn still as good at reading people as he used to be. Sighing she replied. "two but I don't want to think on it more, there might be more and I don't want to have to owe him forever" Thomas just laughed as he thought back he had been that way with the rat, the job with the girls had been the last favor he had to pay back and then he thought he was free.
Then that idiot had gotten caught and executed leaving him to care for the two girls he had left with him. He had to admit at first he didn't think he could handle it, hell he was as horny as the next guy but getting sex and having sex with two little girls around him alot of the time had been a distraction.
How much his life had changed after they had entered his life. "So when are you planing on telling him that you owe him these two favors?" he asked of Mary as she stretched into her morning excerises and he moved into them with her he might be older but he knew that to get docile was to invite death.
"I'm not sure but I know that he won't collect on them unless he has to, he's alot like you proud and stubborn he likes to do everything he can alone til he needs help and sometimes he even tries to keep going," she said as she remembered Jim pushing himself as hard as she had to finish the tech they had worked on to try and perfect it so they weren't killed. "Hmmmm sounds like you have a bit of fondness for him, maybe even some respect," he blurted out as he got a worried look on his face Jim was with the empire and Thomas didn't like that one bit at all.
Mary knew what he was afraid of and reassured him, "no I am not in love with him and yes, I do respect him to a point, I also know that he has a few issues with the empire also, he worked like a beast to perfect our tech and. ah shit Thomas you had to open your mouth didn't you?
Now I owe him 3 favors" as she swung and hit Thomas in the arm, him chuckling even more he sighed thinking that Mary was growing up and would be a woman soon well. actually she was now as she could kill with the best of them.
Later that day Mary looked at her network there were a few jobs here that she could do, nothing big she didn't want to be off planet this month as she knew that Thomas would be doing something for her birthday. Leaving with her bag she headed to the first job. It involved scaring a minor noble into paying another what was owed to him. Mary had thought it over when she set up the job, then she thought why not just take what was owed and giving it to the owed party.
Contacting the noble she asked if this would be suitable, he accepted but stated that he also wanted the other noble to be afraid to do it again. Mary sighed when she told him it would be extra he had complained, then mentioned the incident with the Duke, it shut him up rather quick. As she moved to the address to check everything out she noticed how paranoid this minor noble was he had guards everywhere it was the most secure place she had seen outside of the royal palace and that place was almost impossible, she smiled as she remebered sneaking in there one night to look at the emperor's plans.
Had Jim and her not perfected the cloak and the mtm she would never have made it. Again she looked over the manor then smiled as she saw a serving girl exiting the manor by the servants door. The next night Mary laid in wait for the servant girl, after putting her to sleep for an hour or two she moved into the court yard as the girl. Entering the kitchen she moved outside the door and changed her appearance again to look like one of the top guards. The minor noble was locked in his accounting chamber with at least 4 guards outside the door.
She smiled as she moved past them and the door to a far wall well out of sight, activating the mtm she moved through the wall towards the chamber. Upon emerging into the chamber Mary saw that she was behind the man, pulling her paralysis wave she shot the man and gently lowered him to the floor bending over him she whispered in his ear.
"I am the Black Willow, I have been sent to collect what you owe others and to give you a warning, next time it will be your death and it will not be pleasent or quick" she then noticed that the man had soiled his pants and the wet spot was continuing to grow, "I will give you the same warning as I did the Duke do not look for me as I will know, I have eyes and ears everywhere." Grabbing two large bags of gold she headed for the wall the noble was facing away from then she bent down to whisper in his ear again "also I am not the serving girl you will find her asleep near the north wall, you will be able to move before she wakes up, help her or I will be back and believe me you won't stop me." the noble's eyes grew large as she turned and left again.
With everything accomplished she left completely through the wall to the outside of the walls of the manor, checking on the girl momentarily then heading to the rendezvous with the other noble. Stopping for a moment she again changed her appearance and looked at her power meter, damnit she only had half an hour left she'd have to replace the power cell before she met with him. Contacting him she told him she would meet him in an hour.
Approaching the arranged meeting place she saw the guards hiding all around the place. Moving away far enough she contacted him again as she was pissed she held nothing back. "You fucking little worm, I told you to be alone 2 guards minimum there are guards everywhere" spitting daggers she looked at his image. He just started to laugh at her, "You ass, as if I would pay a minor player in all this" Mary calmly stated as she held her anger in, "You have one day to contact me with the payment" she breathed in a shaking breath, "then I will visit you everynight and you will lose a finger, a toe, or I just might remove your cock and shove it up your ass." Again the noble laughed at her, "you won't get near me" Now it was Mary's turn to laugh, "you obviously don't know who you are dealing with, ask the Duke if I can't get to you, he was easy you," she sneered, "you will be nothing compared to him." Now the noble was starting to sweat he thought that the story he had heard was just that, a story the more he thought about it the more he began to believe that it was true.
"Ok, I will meet you where you choose," he said visably shaken. Mary smiled she was glad that the incident with the Duke was impressing upon them the seriousness of her threats. "Remember my fee is now double unless you want me to keep these two bags of gold af payment" she said as she showed him the bags on the com, his eyes grew large as he quickly agreed to meet. After meeting him with no further incidents she also warned him to not try to find her as she was everywhere and would know.
Slipping around the corner she adjusted her look and calmy walked away as the palace herald again sure that no one would stop to question her. Heading home after 30 minutes checking everywhere that she wasn't being followed, she finally walked in and plopped down as her guardian came out to rub her shoulders. "Was it that bad?" he asked worried that she was alright. "Yes, I was scared shitless even when I had the upper hand but I have done it before so I am getting used to it now.
By the way," she tossed him a large pouch of gold, "tonight's profits." Thomas eyes grew large as he looked at the small pile of gold, my god it was more than he had ever made after 4 jobs.
As he looked at Mary with a new respect he knew she was on her way to being the greatest. To be continued