The Black Willow (1)
Author's note : After many requests Willow/Mary's story
(This takes place twenty four years before the Princess and the Captain)
In the cover of darkness he moved. Staying in the deepest shadows he crept along the edge of the manner. Looking at the slight sliver of the moon he knew that he didn't have much time to accomplish this. He was paid alot to perform this and it had to be done. To think that the Lord of this mannor had paid him for this. Avoiding the guards again he crept forward, eased the window open and stepped into the room. The moon shone fully into the room he could see the 2 cribs against the wall, the small bed next to them.
Damnit! where was the boy? Shit he was supposed to get all of them. Reaching for the two bassinets, he dropped a little, very little sleep potion into a hankerchief and briefly put them over the noses of each child. He made sure to keep them apart so he knew who was who later. Looking around the room again he cursed his luck damnit he would lose some of the money, he needed every cent to be free. Sighing he moved to the window, silently he crept out looking both ways and into the shadows.
Ten minutes later as he left, he looked back at the mannor as the alarms went off. What the hell! they shouldn't be any alarm till later. Back in the room the tall lanky boy had walked into the room and noticed that his sisters were missing, also their bassinets were gone they were never gone unless their parents were gone. Alerting the guards the mannor became a beehive of activity as his mother screamed at the empty room. "What did you see? Where are they? Talk to me boy NOW!" she screamed into his face her face flushed her eyes bulging out as her breathing came in gasps her nostrals flaring , her eyes boring into him.
"I don't know mother, I just walked back in here I had to use the toilet" he whispered.
Grabbing him painfully by the shoulders she slapped him hard across the face "find them you little bastard, find them now or I will personelly cut your balls off"
Running out into the night he started looking with the guards when he saw a shodowy figure outside the gate "I see someone!" he shouted as the guards rushed to the gates. The man started to run now, how did the little brat spot him? The boy shouted more as the gurads gave chase "don't hurt my sisters!"
Damnit he hoped his contact was there he would have to fight his way out of this. Rounding a corner he sighed as his contact stepped from the shadows.
"Here take them this one is Mary, the other is Ann guard them well I will return soon these sre instructions if I can't get near for a while." he said as he handed a thick packet to the shadowy man. The man just nodded then seemed to vanish into the shadows damn he's good. Running he sped away from the alleys and open road. Rounding another corner three blocks away he met up with a contingency of guards with the young at the front of them.
"Now, bastard where are my sisters!" he screamed as the guards lunged forward and grabbed him.
Laughing he just replied, "somewhere you'll never find them"
"We'll find them you don't know the resources we have" the boy screamed in his face.
"You mean that you DID have I have heard that your family is on the outs with the emporer and that he will soon send you all to poverty!" as he laughed harder in the boys face the guards took him back to the mannor. Once there the boys mother took charge of interrogating him. True to his word he never said a word to the woman or the guards but it cost him dearly as the woman had him chained to the wall, stripped naked, a red hot poker shoved up his ass, his scrotum tied around with a rope, then it was pulled by a pulley system till they were tore from his body. As his screams died down the mother became angrier as she continued to slap the boys face till he was unconscious. When the father arrived home moments later he grabbed his wife and struck her across the face knocking her to the ground.
"You fucking WHORE! don't you ever raise a hand to OUR son AGAIN!! I took you away from a life on the streets and I can put just YOU back there again!" Grabbing his unconscious son he took him into the master bedroom and called for a healer as his wife glared at him but sat shrunken and defeated in the corner.
Across town after many narrow escapes and detours the shadowy man entered a hidden room in a back alley way. Looking at the two girls he just shook his head he wasn't the fatherly type so he hoped that the rat would come get them soon. Opening the packet he read and almost choked on what he read. Cursing he thought to himself if the guards didn't kill the rat he damn sure might. He and the rat raise these children? he had to be out of his mind! Taking off his cloak his blonde hair springing forth, the many scars on his face throbbing as he tried to think of a way out of this. Falling asleep he thoght to hisself what has he gotten me into now?
Taking the girls to a wet nurse, he had her take care of them while he went out each day honing his skill even more, he was already a notorious assassian but he didn't think his skills were good enough. At the end of the day he came home to the two happy little girls still waiting for word from his patner the rat. 2 months later he heard word of an execution that was to take place a man had kidnapped two children from a mannor of one of the emperor's advisors. Sighing he went out to the public square to see. As he drew nearer the crowds began to thicken, and as he entered the square there was the rat chained to pole in the center many guards around him.
After the charges were read a squad took up positions with plasma rifles and the order was given to fire it was a hell of a way to die, the plasma eats its way slowly into the body when fired slow like this was, it takes hours to die and unfortunately once started there wasn't really a way to stop it. The blonde man just shook his head and walked away what the hell was he supposed to do now? He couldn't give the girls back to them they would kill him even slower than they had his partner. Damnit rat you were an idiot! You never did know how to make a good back up plan, now I am stuck with these two waifs to care for at least you had the sense to leave me money to care for them.
Ten years later Mary moved into the shadows and vanished, she liked this game that her guardian played with her, she was actually quite good at it now. He had taught her all he knew and she learned a few tricks from some of the other thiefs and assassians around the royal city. Her sister Ann really didn't want to play she was more concerned with being a girl being pretty, but not Mary she liked to hide, jump out and scare people it was the most fun she had. With only 2 or 3 years between her and her sister, Mary did her best to look after Ann.
Now at the age of 13 Mary was concidered one of the best in the city as she proved it the last time she went out with her guardian, sighing she knew he was getting old and wasn't as good as he once was but he kept up appearances for the sake of Mary and her sister. She was afraid that the next time would be the last time and he wouldn't be back. He had been grooming her each day for years she was fast almost undetectable her reflexes were sharper than his had ever been. Mary thought of his number one rule don't trust ANYONE unless one they CAN kill you and don't and two they start wanting to make a deal, that way you know they don't have complete control. Always have at least three ways to escape and always make sure they are completely different and unexpected.
As she practiced with her knifes she heard excited yelling coming from the street. Running to see she saw that many posters were being put up for volunteers in the civil war that threatened to rip the empire apart, a special squad of killers with special skills. Mary laughed as she took the poster so fast no one saw her or so she thought. A tall man across the way started to follow her looking down every few seconds. as she ran back to her practise she didn't hear him approach as he slipped behind her, he stood there and watched her throw.
"You're very good you know," he startled her out of her thoughts.
"Who the hell are you and what do you want?" she paused in her throw at the target.
"I was watching you from across the street you are very good, your reflexes are extremely sharp" he winked at her.
"Uh huh so.... actually what the hell is it you want with me?"
"I need people like you with the skills you have to help the empire," he stated matter of factly.Mary started to laugh, then to REALLY laugh so hard she almost fell on the ground.
"Why," she gasp out between laughs, "would I want to help a bunch of bullies and non caring ass holes who only want to grab as much power as they can, step on everyone else and kill anyone who says different?"
The tall man was taken aback as he leaned back and let her rant and rave about the empire. On many of her points he agreed with her but he wasn't about to tell her that. Finally she took a breath and stopped.
"Ok how about you do it to help me make the empire like it should be" he sighed as he looked at her.
This time she just smirked, "as if,"
Sighing again he started, "how about you do it 'cause I could have you thrown in jail for destruction of property of the state?" Mary stiffened at that, ready to bolt at any moment.
"You wouldn't dare hurt a private citizen besides you have no proof," as she again smirked at him.
Leaning over his arm he stated, "replay the scene across the street from where I was"
As it played, her mouth opened and she knew he had her. Mary had never seen a surveillance system as detailed and high tech as this just who was this? After it played out he looked again at her "I have need of your services you will work with me directly not the empire" he didn't want her to know he had his own issues with the governing body. "After a little training..." he started
"I don't need training I have been all my life" as she growled back at him.
"I know that, it's for the tech that you will be using and" taking a big breath he wasn't sure if this would clinch it "you will of course get to 'share' and keep any tech that you and I develop"
Now he was talking! This was what she had been waiting for! She reached out her hand but quickly withdrew it as she thought of one other thing "I will be paid this isn't strictly volunteer?" she breathed out
"Of course we aren't barbarians" he replied almost offended that she would think that of him he was if nothing else, an honest man, a man of his word.
"I'll need a place for my family to stay no details just a better place than here" she almost whispered "no details and no one is to know who they are"
"That will be easy to arrange" he began to breathe easier as he body language relaxed.
Over the course of the next week Mary moved her sister to a much better part of the city along with her guardian who was surprised that she had gotten the offer, Mary told him she was working for a covert operations department with alot of tech she had never seen before, she begged him to retire as she would be making enough that he didn't have to do what he was any more. As he thought it over he knew she was right his last 2 jobs he had almost been caught plus he had to take care of Ann, so he agreed and they settled in. AS the weeks drug on Mary was about to get bored as she and Jim (she found out later that was his name) had developed a small matter through matter phase apparatus problem was it only lasted for a minute and a half. The cloak idea she had was the one they were working on now, while his AI was trying to discover why the matter phase didn't last.
A year later the war wasn't going well for the empire and a courrier arrived with their first important mission. As Mary and Jim were briefed she was thinking of her sister who was in school now and could actually read something she really enjoyed. Jim poked her as she reached for her knife and he grabbed her hand almost as fast as she moved barely missing getting his arm sliced open. It seemed Jim had gotten faster also, to keep up with her. Their first assignment was extremely important, if they accomplished it it could almost end the war. Afterward Mary and Jim prepared to go, he was her back up and the only one she wanted anywhere near her. They had traveled to the rebel planet and set down near the capital.
Mary donned her cloak and new holo imager, looked at Jim and went into the city. Walking to the address, many people waved as she passed after all she did look like the leader of the rebels. Damnit she hoped this voice simulater they had worked on for the last 6 months actually worked. Walking up to the back wall she activated the mtm and went through the wall (much more improved now with a larger power supply 10 minutes of continous use) shutting it off she moved silently through the halls to a certain room. Entering she found her target and slipped up to him. Removing a hypo she injected him with it to make him more suggestible.
Taking another holo imager she put it on him and activated it as she watched around him shimmer, he now looked like her. Mary had to smile at that she and Jim had put in long hours on these to get them right. leaning down she whispered in his ear, "get up and walk in front of me." As she commanded him they walked out of the room towards the kitchen area. there at the back of the building they met no one as the man didn't have many who knew where he was thank god Jim's tracker could follow anyone. She was still pissed he wouldn't let her have one but she understood it to a point and with her brains, thought she could recreate it.
As they walked toward the waiting ship Jim met her outside, "any problems?" he watched as they approached.
"No, none, it was as the intel said he didn't hardly have anyone in the house it was alot easier than I thought it would be." she hated to be out in the open like this, "we need to go I don't like being in the open, too easy to be attacked."
Jim agreed and they loaded up and left almost as easy as they did coming in, they were almost out of the system when a patrol ship stopped them.
"Unidetified craft stand down and prepare to be boarded" came over the speakers.
Mary again hoped the simulator worked "how long will this be I really need to check the out lying defenses" she said in an almost perfect copy of the laeder's voice.
On the view screen a young officer snapped to attention and said "sir we didn't know you were here"
"If I announced where I was I would have been executed long ago, will this take long?" Mary sighed exasperated hoping that it would do the trick.
"No sir, we are checking all ships per your instructions" the young man a bit intimidated to be talking to the greatest man of the rebellion. "I am sorry sir to delay you" as the young officer caught sight of a young petite woman in the back of the cabin gorgeous long hair and legs flowing off the bed, damn, the leader always got the hottest bitches!
"We have completed a scan of the ship would you like a escort to the outer defenses?" he breathed a sigh that they wouldn't have to board the leaders ship the man could be a real ass when he was disturbed.
"No you idiot, as I told you I don't want anyone to know, damnit, I'll have to change my route now" Mary growled at the young officer.
Moving the ship away, Jim finally let out his breath that he had been holding "I am so glad we spent the extra time on the ship holo imager"
Mary nodded her head she thought they had been dead also as she heard a low beeping and her holo imager faded. "Damnit! at least we got almost the full 2 hours from it, I think we need a smaller and more powerful micro nuke generator"
Jim was in agreement as he prepared to jump out of the system back to the heart of the empire as Mary started working on the holo imagers to replace the power supplys.
"We'll be there in 20 hours get some sleep and I'll work on them you haven't slept in 2 days" he replied
"No! I want the equipment I use to be working just in case something comes up like that patrol ship" as she went back to work.
Jim only nodded in agreement, he really like this girl's work ethic. Sighing he settled in for the trip back.