Venasa stirred slightly as she just barely caught the sound of her door swinging inwards – she’d locked that, hadn’t she? Had she really been so tired as to forget such a basic measure of safety? Slowly shaking sleep away, the assassin still remained as still as she could while she tried to assess the potential threat level of whomever had entered her quarters.
Fluidly, almost too
naturally, Venasa coiled into a sitting position and quickly pulled herself into a crouch, her dagger glinting in the very dim light as she brought it out in front of her defensively, looking for the intruder. She had been expecting to deal with a thief, or maybe an unthinking patron, but the collected and unmistakably clothed man at the end of her room was the last thing she’d expected - or ever hoped - to see.
The robed assassin was scowling under his hood at the dunmer, though he didn’t speak right away. When he did
speak, his voice was clearly displeased, but deceptively calm.
“You’ve caused me a great deal of trouble, Venasa.” Two of his fingers tapped against one folded arm.
“I’ll be honest. Nothing would please me more than you kill you and be rid of you.” His voice had turned into a growl.Gods, they found me.
How did they find me?
the dunmer’s brain swirled with half-baked theories and confused conjectures as she started to fully comprehend her conversation. But maybe, just maybe they're not here because of the Tong. Safest to play dumb - as dumb as I can in this situation - unless given a reason to act otherwise.
“And why would that be?” Venasa replied, genuine confusion in her response as she did her best to mask her growing anxiety.
The robed assassin didn’t answer for a moment--in truth, the man was battling a flare of irritation, and he breathed deeply. When he did speak, his voice had become a low growl.
“I am here to give you a message, on the behalf of the Black Hand. You have recently killed an informant to the Dark Brotherhood, and the Black Hand demands…compensation. You
will provide that compensation--with your life.” He paused.
“Or servitude.” He spat the last word as though it disgusted him.
Venasa’s eyebrows rose in confusion at the mention of the informant, genuine surprise visible in her eyes. That
would be my luck. I killed one of their damn informants.
“I was not aware of that. The count put a bounty on that camp and I cleared it. This is… very unexpected.”
However, the offer of ‘servitude’ he gave her was enough to stun the dunmer into silence. The fool is giving
me the option to be inducted into the Brotherhood? By Mephala, this is quite the opportunity. I'd be a moron not to accept, but…
Venasa wasn't a fool enough to think infiltrating this organization would be easy. Particularly if her actual organization likely didn't know she still drew breath. Not seeing much of a choice otherwise, though. Even if I managed to kill this guy without armor, which probably isn't likely, they'd send more.
Giving the assassin a confused look, she added slowly, “What makes you think I would be any sort of useful addition to your murder cult?”
The corner of the assassin’s mouth twitched in mock amusement. “I don’t. The circumstances of your violation are not important to me, be they accidental or intentional. I am merely the messenger--or the executioner. That is entirely up to you, but make your decision quickly, Venasa, for you are running out of time before my patience with you wears out.” The man’s tone grew more terse by the time he was finished speaking. It was obvious he was going to tell her nothing until she did in fact make that decision.
“Well, seeing as you've given me so very much to work with, I don't really think I have much of a choice. I suppose
I'll work for the Brotherhood. Hail Sithis, and all that.” The dunmer replied flippantly, unfazed by the assassin’s visible frustration. In fact, she had to say she was close to amused by the current string of events. This might not be ideal, but she could make it worth her while as long as she played her cards right.
Whatever the assassin thought of her response was masked by his scowl, which seemed to be permanently affixed to his features.
“Then here is what you must do.” He recited to her a clearly well-rehearsed list of instructions. She was to travel to Cheydinhal, locate the abandoned house which sat up against the eastern wall, enter, and locate the Black Door. She was to recite the password, and there she should speak to either one of two people, whose names were Ocheeva and Vicente, for further instructions. He gave her no more details other than that, and when he was satisfied that Venasa knew what she was meant to do, the assassin left her as quietly as he’d arrived, becoming invisible once more.
As soon as she felt his presence abate, the now ’rogue’ assassin fell fell back onto her bed, exhaling loudly as she let out a breath she hadn't realized she'd been holding.
Just what had she gotten herself into?