The hall of the Silent Guild was one among many in the bustling business district of Niori City. The Silent Guild Hall was not the tallest nor the flashiest, they didn’t even have a sign. They didn’t need one, or any excessive trappings to make themselves known. Their reputation was known enough, and their true nature well hidden.
It was early in the morning, the sun glowed behind the fog and between the tall buildings that reached into sky like thin hands playing cat’s-cradle, the towers were connected by bridge-halls and sky-tunnels. This was the wind-less season in Niori, the humidity hung thick in the air. Kimi’s inky black hair stuck to her face.
Inside the Guild Hall it was somewhat cooler. She took a seat by a bench in the lobby. She was a slight thin girl, built like a stick, dressed in dark browns and grey, simple loose pants and long sleeved jacket shrugged over an undershirt. She had a moon shaped face, dark round lips and thin black eyes all topped off with flat un-layered black hair that trailed down to her waist. She prefered to keep her appearance simple, the unremarkable face was easily forgotten, eyes slid over her slightly stooped shoulders in a crowd.
She took a seat on a bench in the lobby, and pulled out a small palm-sized device. It unfolded like a small laptop. She donned a pair of square glasses, then began to idly trace the touchscreen with her fingers.
After a few minutes, a man sat down beside her. “The next one is going to be a bit different.” He had a mess of curly black hair atop his head, he wore a white coat with a pointy hood that buttoned on the far left of his torso. He was a guild officer, and Kimi’s uncle.
Kimi closed her device and pocketed it. She listened and nodded as her Uncle spoke. “I won't be going with you this time, You’ll have another partner, someone more suited to the job.” He reclined on the bench like it was a lawn chair, while she tried to imagine a job her uncle wasn't suited for. His skills were diverse, she knew that she had only seen a small portion of his skills. She nodded and remained quiet, but her Uncle didn’t continue speaking, or leave.
“Okay… Who Is it?”
At the precisely correct moment, a young woman who appeared about twenty-two strode in and looked at the pair. Her hair appeared a dark red, and was currently tied up in a tight bun on top of her head. She wore an old shabby-looking brown coat and pants, but carried herself like she owned the city. “The name's Jinkora. I have a score to settle in my hometown, Sintar, on Tarkana VI. I will be exterminating the seven top ranking officials of the Black Hand. Seeing as this job could possibly require more than individual, I have, against my better judgment, hired the help of the Silent Guild. Three thousand credits have already been transferred to the drop account. Another three thousand will be transferred when the work is complete.”
Her mind had already taken good stock of the male and female who sat in front of her as she spoke. The young woman who, it seemed, would be her future partner, did not appear terribly experienced, but Jinkora knew better than to judge solely from appearances. Besides, when trying to exterminate leaders of a group as powerful as the Black Hand, she really did need all the help she could get. But minimal involvement from the Silent Guild was really all she could afford, without branching her work into more “distasteful” services. And she no longer provided those, and never would again, if she had anything to say about it.
The young woman looked familiar, very much like someone she recognized from another gang of teens just a few years ago. Clearly she had found a way to escape the way of life that had raised them, just as Jinkora herself had. She took out a 7-inch tablet.
“All of the details that you need to know are in this report. My ship leaves at 0500 tomorrow morning, system time. If you are late, I will leave, and will expect a full refund.”
And just like that, Jinkora stalked out of the room.
- - - Updated - - -
The woman’s presence was a storm wind, there suddenly there and nearly bowling the girl over with her words that like a gale, then just as abruptly gone. Leaving Kimi bereft in her wake.
“Sintar? Exterminate?” She turned toward her uncle, her face paled.
“Yup. Sending ya back to Sintar. It’s a good job for you, you know the turf.” Roi examined his nails.
“A-A-And Exterminate?” Kimi had never killed anyone before. She was a burglar, a hacker, a… a… someone who would sneak around and took care of things not… not people. “I’ve never… I-I-”
“It’s a figure of speech.” Roi turned to her, scowling a bit.
Roi straightened and narrowed his eyes. “What is this? Your hearing the wrong things, did you hear three thousand credits… then… Three thousand credits? I hope you can add, girl, that is six thousand credits! Be a professional, show me your real face.”
Kimi shut her mouth and shook her head, color returned to her face, lines smoothed over, and she once again wore an impassive somewhat bored expression.
“Good. Here is what you are going to do, you are not even going to think about any of that, or wear that face ever again.” He waved his finger around in the air, indicating her previous state and thought. “You are going to show up on time, and you are going to do anything that woman wants you to until the mission is complete. Because you are a reliable professional and productive member of The Silent Guild, and she’s giving us six thousand credits.”
Kimi nodded. “Understood.” She understood that to cross her uncle would be the same as crossing the Guild. She knew the consequences of crossing the guild...
~~~ The Next Day before 0500 ~~~
Kimi surfed through the briefing over and over again on her tablet as she walked. Soon she came to the place on the map which indicated Jinkora’s ship. She lifted her eyes from the device to see it…