It’s been a while since we visited the shadowy world of the Guild of Dishevelled Assassins. Last time a tricky situation was “managed” confidentially and unpalatable truths uncovered. To recap, embezzlement and “accounting errors” initiated a major investigation. The matter threw the higher echelon of this venerable institution into a frenzy of recrimination and soul-searching. One of their own was stealing from them and senior members were also implicated. It was the kind of issue that soiled one’s soul, and many of the Guild took the insult personally.
The perpetrator was apprehended and put into protective custody. He was eventually moved to an unknown location in a cold climate, a fitting punishment in view of his fear of snow. Meanwhile, the Guild’s best specialist was asked to investigate the “sordid business” as one elderly member commented through gritted teeth. She was unorthodox in her methods, combining the best of ancient and modern techniques. Poisons and necromancy were her weapons of choice. The woman was a mere youngster (2008 on her last birthday), with many Guild specialists averaging 7000 years. Regardless, she carried wisdom and knowledge that was worthy of a senior Guild Assassin.
The Guild was established to act as a sentinel, Watchers as they were known in certain quarters. They were Overseers of balance in this world, for the Universe was a place filled with all manner of shadowy entities crawling out from the Abyss. The morality of their work was debatable to some, but someone had to clean up the detritus proliferating in the corners and behind wardrobes. Metaphorically speaking of course. Although one specialist unit operated as a cleaning service, they gained entry to many places without raising any suspicion.
The trail had left north London and made its way to a remote village in the Languedoc, France. Meanwhile, the specialist, let’s call her Ms M, made her base in a property owned by the Guild in north Wales. It was used by all operatives who worked on cases that were considered a little “unusual” by the Guild’s standards. Which meant high level misdemeanours. Ms M kept to herself, the story being she was renting a cousin’s cottage for several years. It would take that long to investigate every minute detail of evidence. Her cover regarding work was an administrative job in the nearest English city, Chester. It was a mundane existence on the whole but nameless things were stirring beneath the surface.
Ms M was liaising with a number of contacts nationwide in the course of her investigations, fellow guardians of portals forbidden to all but the “prepared.” Their work involved clearing the immense levels of toxicity generated by humankind. Unnamed entities fed on this negative energy and milked their human victims, thus ensuring a limitless supply of food. It was a task that had continued for thousands of years, and likely to continue for several more. Her work occasionally impinged upon theirs. Suffice to say these collaborations were difficult at times, especially in relation to this investigation.
Ms M’s sources in the Languedoc reported back, events were taking a strange turn. The Guild operatives on site were managing to contain the situation, and the clean-up process was swift, seamless even. All the individuals brought in for questioning had mysteriously died, and not in a particularly clean way. Meanwhile in the UK, Ms M was preparing to appraise this case with a different approach. Communications had stalled and it was frustrating her. She finished encrypting her email, hoping it would reach its destination. The late afternoon sun streaming through the window made no difference to her mood. What would the next day bring?
Here endeth the second chapter in the story of the Guild’s investigatory and “cleaning” activities.