Chapter Three: Natalia Takes A Job

Start from the beginning

“Meet me on level three, Sylvia.” She said, leaning over the bar to talk to the bartender. Sylvia nodded as Natalia went for the stairs and headed quickly upward.

Passing through the second floor, Natalia once again noted that the decor was slightly better than that below it, and furnished with some of the “Treasures” the Sontas had collected over time. The furniture was of better quality and the people slightly fewer. As Natalia moved up to the next level, the decor became much fancier, and the people much tougher. That was how it worked in the Sontas: the higher you ranked among the underground, the higher up you could go. Natalia was proud to say she had freedom throughout three of the four levels, the fourth being the office of their leader, The Boss. As Natalia walked through the room, she took in everything. There were beds and plush seats, weapons and an area for training. The room was state-of-the-art, and had all necessities. Natalia flopped down on one of the seats and felt her body instantly relax.

She took a deep breath and closed her eyes. It had been a few days since the royal screw-up and she hadn’t taken a job since. Closing her eyes and leaving herself alone with her subconscious had only served as a constant reminder. As she relaxed Natalia thought again about how she had hissed (hissed?!) and dropped a few feet out of the window and onto a balcony below. Just then, she heard footsteps nearby. Without opening her eyes she said, “Sylvia.”

“Hey there Knight, how are you?” Sylvia asked, sitting down next to Natalia on another seat.

“Awful, really, Sylvia. I can’t get my mind off what happened a few nights ago.”

“And what did happen?” Sylvia asked.

Natalia opened her eyes and looked at Sylvia. “I was on the Pamuk job, you know, the technology tycoon? But when I got there, I was ready to just throw a dagger and leave... but there was this girl, in a bedroom with him. And... I think she was The Rose, the Citadel’s Rose.”

Sylvia looked shocked and horrified. “My god, really?” Sylvia listened intently as Natalia detailed the whole thing, and how she hadn’t taken any more jobs afterwards. They sat in silence for a moment, and then, finding a resolve, Natalia walked over to the training area. She pulled out a dagger and viciously attacked a training dummy.

“I can’t see how you do that.” Sylvia said as she got up to stand next to Natalia. “I could never stand to kill someone, no matter how cruel.”

Natalia stabbed the dummy in the chest, right where the heart could be. “You’re not too better. You flirt with men and get them to drink, so that we can reason with them.”

Sylvia plucked the dagger from the training dummy and did some damage herself. “But I’m damn good at what I do, considering that I’m allowed on Level Three.” This was true: by using Sylvia, the Sontas had successfully infiltrated many strong businesses. The fact that the owners kept mysteriously dying only meant more control, and more rewards to reap.

Natalia turned and smiled at her friend. The two of them were the only two women allowed up so high in the headquarters and had bonded over it. They had shared stories and eventually became like sisters, something neither of them had ever had. When something went wrong they stuck together, and would always have each other’s backs. If a time ever came to fight, they would protect each other with their lives.

As the two reassembled the training area, a boy of about fifteen, only two years younger than Natalia, came up the stairs.

“There’s someone here to see you, Knight. They say they have a job for you.”

Natalia was unsure, once again reminded of the failure.

“Well go on.” Sylvia said as she made a shooing motion with her hand. “This is exactly what you need.”

RequiemRead this story for FREE!