"It's nothing personal. I'm just here to kill you."


My name is Skye.

My mother, who raised me alone, never mentioned a familial name. My second family had a half-elven surname, of course, but as they were not truly my family, I see no reason to carry their name with me. I suppose the closest thing I have to a surname would be my house affiliation, but even that is not truly descriptive of myself, and recent events have proven it to be quite conditional. Simply “Skye” is enough. Any other name seems to be an unnecessary burden.

I have little to say about my early years. They weren’t unpleasant – in fact, I remember many bright moments with my mother. The only truly negative memory I still revisit is the memory of her death. And growing up in the village amongst the half-elves was agreeable enough. I was treated well, and I learned much. But again, I did not belong there, and the life I led there was only a preamble to my eventual purpose.

I was recruited into my profession when I was 20 years old. This profession goes by many names, some euphemistic and some more direct. Assassin. Problem-solver. Hired killer. Cutthroat. Professional Murderer. Infiltrator. Within the Thuranni Shadow Network, I was known as a Phantasm. My designation is “Pale,” since I am entrusted with subtle contracts which require a bit of finesse: sabotage, spying, information-gathering, and the aforementioned elimination of marked individuals.

Or at least, I was entrusted with those contracts. For the past year or so, I have been working on my own. It is not a willing separation from the Network. I was betrayed, dishonored, and subsequently discharged from active service.

The story is complicated and regrettable, but suffice it to say that I made three mistakes, all of them particularly dire for an assassin of my rank. First, I completely trusted someone who had much to gain from my downfall. Secondly, I grew proud and did not listen to the whispers and threats of my rivals. And thirdly, I did not do my own research. For these failings, I found myself in the midst of a terribly botched job. I was spotted, attacked, beaten, and nearly killed. A house guard slashed my cheek, and another held me to the wall by my throat, irrevocably damaging my voice. Somehow, in the midst of the chaos, I managed to disable my immediate captors and slip away, though not without an entire house-wide alarm being raised.

As I limped back to the Network safehouse, I realized exactly what had transpired. One who professed to care for me had given me false information and alerted my target to my presence. Jealous of my skill and perhaps threatened by my advancement, he had purposely done his best to eliminate me. At my review, my protests went unheard, and it was decided amongst my superiors that I should be placed upon disciplinary leave. I was to depart from the Network, maintain a low profile, and reflect upon my failure. When the Network had made a decision regarding my continued membership, I would be contacted.

At this point, I don’t know what will happen. I am unsure whether the Network will invite me back into their ranks, and in what capacity I will serve if I am allowed to return. The fact that no one has come to kill me in my sleep shows that they are not yet certain that I am useless to them, and they do not think me an immediate danger. But this could change, especially since my betrayer no doubt still wishes me dead, and he has the ear of some influential people. Regardless, I will do whatever I can to survive. If I cannot clear my name, perhaps I will simply make a new one for myself. That is, after all, my specialty.

There are things that even the Shadow Network does not know. Especially about me.


Future Perfect Solanjey