The story so far:
She woke up with an exuberance she had never felt before in her life; it was if for the first time she was alive and enjoyed that fact. Under her pillow, she pulled the pair of stones. They rolled together like two giant, deep, blue bearing oiled by gold. For the first time, she could examine them both in the sunlight. They sparkled and shimmered as if wishing all ills away.
She lamented the thought of having to lose one of them, but her duty was still absolute and punishment to any infringement to that duty was severe. The mission accomplished kunoichi checked her email on the clan's secure server. Her eyes widen in horror as she read the message from the Clan Master. It translated to: “You were to steal only one stone. Now, I need you to acquire them all. Augmentation has been sent to ensure your mission success.”
Success was determined by mission accomplishment or death. Every clan member knew when augmentation was sent to assist a mission, usually the clan's numbers would reduce by one. She knew she would have to acquire all the stones before they arrived. Her hands trembled in fear, not even the shimmer of the two stones could help her ease the tension that had suddenly swelled inside her body.
“Get some sleep guys.” Grey examined his watch. They had worked through the night to set up the trap and lunch time was rolling around. “Ninjas work at night. I'll stay up while you get some rest. After you get six hours of sleep, I'll get four. Then, all four of us will stay up for the rest of the night.”
“Makes sense to me.” Blackjack quickly turned without another word in order to crash for his six hours.
Teddy Bear watched Blackjack leave and with a shrug, left as well. Jahlil remained. “If you don't mind, I'd rather get some sleep later.”
Gray shrugged a consent, and Jahlil walked out of Gray's sight. Plastic guns? Magnetized walls? The great Graymalkin was an idiot in the eyes of the football-player-gone-security-guard. Since when was a sword more dangerous than a submachine gun? Jahlil cursed his fate and the bad luck that brought him to this end.
Only a year ago, he was a professional NFL player, so what if he had slipped an extra-potent laxative in the starting quarterback sports drink? He just wanted to get some field time so everyone know who he was; he was tired of siting as the second string. It wasn't like it would kill him; just take him out of play for a night. Unfortunately, the couches, managers, and the NFL committee members found out about his little trick. No one would play next to him after that.
Jahlil sat against a tree in the thick vegetation that surrounded the island outside Craiter's mansion. He should be a sports star right now with more beautiful groupies than the rest on the island knew existed chasing him. He shouldn't be chasing after some over-dramatized, fictional-type, ninja-woman.
Jahlil sighed, and continued to stare at the serene tropical forest before him. Good luck finally gave him a favor. In the distance and in the light of day, he saw her. Her black outfit that would blend in the darkness of night, only accentuated her against the green, tropical backdrop. If he brought her single-handedly to Craiter, Jahlil would be the new number-two-man, and he would no longer have to listen to that Graymalkin. Jahlil found a broken tree limb on the ground and began to creep up the master of sneakiness herself. How deliciously ironic...
She toppled as he brought the full weight of his body leveraging the tree branch against her small frame. His contentedness was obvious as he casually flung his makeshift weapon aside and removed the sword strapped to her back.
“Too easy,” he mumbled, “I wonder what all the fuss was about.”
Jahlil large, dark hand reached down to her face and ripped the mask away from her face. “You are a pretty one aren't you?” He said as he began undoing the belt around his waist. “Hell, Craiter won't care what condition I bring you in.”
He threw the sword aside and tackled her using the full weight of his body. Easily her robe parted to reveal the perky, tight, small breasts underneath. Greedily, he attacked them. It had been too long since he was able to feel the touch of woman; he had no remorse forcing himself on her.
His right hand restrained her and held her close, while his left hand alternated between helping his mouth on her breasts, working the zipper on his pants, and opening her legs for easier access. Jahlil should have heeded the warnings of his boss and watched her more carefully. She found it too easy to remove a couple of hairpins in her hair and bring them down forcefully against his neck. Expertly, she punctured two holes: one into his jugular vein, the other in his carotid artery and both drained into the trachea.
She easily wrestled herself free as his attention turned towards the newly created wound. She could tell he tried to hold his breath, but that wouldn't stop the blood from filling his lungs. In moments, he would collapse. A few moments after that, death would come for any remnants of a soul. She lamented killing him—it should have never come to this.
Sensing danger advanced her prowling, fighting, and escaping abilities. However, distraction must be eliminated in order for the senses to be heighten. She realized that her mind was scattered to the four winds; her body ached from the recent attack; and her spirit was torn as duty and desire conflicted against each other in myriad of levels: she wanted to keep the stones; she didn't want to die; and she didn't want to kill anyone.
She fought against tears of self-pity forming in her eyes. She was a kunoichi of the yamabushi, the elite mountain warriors passing traditions of the tengu for centuries in seclusion. She should not fear death; she should not concern herself with killing; and she should not rebuke the nights that the shape-shifting spirit from another world would honor her. Self-pity was not an option.
Resolutely, she sat down folding her legs in a lotus position. One of the many arts the tengu taught her was the art of kuji-in. With special mantras and and hand signs, it would help her reclaim that which she had lost. Slowly she recalled the nine major seals for nine major powers: Rin, mental and physical strength, she must have the resolve for success. Pyo, energy channeling, by channeling her energy other feats would be possible. To, harmony, once the mind, body and spirit became as one, distractions would be eliminated. Sha, healing, by fixing what ails the mind, body and soul, the senses would heighten. Kai, sensing danger, her prowling, fighting, and escaping abilities would improve. Jin, reading thoughts, she would know her enemies making her more effective. Retsu, mastering space and time, she would become faster, stronger, and more powerful. Zai, controlling the elements of nature, the wind would blow favorably for her. Zen, enlightenment, she would have the tools she needed to accomplish any mission given to her.
With the nine seals reestablished, she stood and wiped the bloody hairpins, so she could use them for a makeshift repair on her mask. If she was seen, it would make it that much harder to blend in with the Japanese tourists visiting the main island. If she was photographed, it would make it that much harder excusing her life before the clan augmentation. Breathing deeply, she glanced at the large, dead man before reaching for the machete she bought at Saint Martin. It wasn't like the many Japanese swords she had trained with, but it was easier to buy any tools locally than raise questions carrying an arsenal with her as she traveled. Then her attention turned towards the mansion that she would invade for the last time.
As her body continued to ache despite her best efforts, she lamented leaving the two other stones in the hotel room. The was no doubt in her mind that somehow that would have helped her establish stronger kuji-in seals. However, there was no time for hesitation or questioning her abilities; she had successfully collected stones twice before. With every step, she convinced herself that this time there would be no difference.
Easily, she opened a window and entered the mansion. Two days prior she had mapped the surveillance of the video cameras, and knew how to walk through the halls invisible to the electronic eyes. As she entered the kitchen, she smiled as, this time, she silently approached one of the guards whom was oblivious of her presence. Quietly, she removed a thin, garrote wire from her pocket. The day prior she wouldn't even consider resorting to killing anyone, but she had already been caught once and couldn't risk a second time. She paused a moment before she struck as she considered the irony: the penalty for her imperfection, the guards would pay in blood.
While Blackjack was already in bed, Teddy Bear prepared his ritualistic pre-bedtime meal. He scoured the fridge for what looked liked the makings of a killer pastrami sandwich on sourdough bread. He backed away after securing the handfuls of the necessary ingredients. With a free foot, he swung the fridge door closed. That was when he saw her. Face-to-masked-face, only a foot away, she stared into his eyes, then with one quick motion, he screamed in pain.
“Gray! Gray! Gray!” Teddy sobered on the floor of the kitchen scatter amongst the ingredients that could have been used to make a killer pastrami sandwich.
“What happened?” Gray asked as he stooped down to examine bloody hands cradling a disjointed noise.
A still living Teddy said, “I think the bitch broke my nose.”
“YOU MEAN SHE'S HERE!” Gray sprinted away from the rouse as quickly as possible. He cursed Teddy's stupidity. How many minutes had been wasted traveling to the kitchen? How easily could she have bypassed him? Where was everybody else?
Gray rushed into the room to find that the kunoichi had yet to flee the scene of the crime. Quickly, he activated the switch to magnetized the walls. She was stunned as her sword, hairpins, and throwing knives flew from her body and attached themselves to the walls. As the hairpins left, her veil gingerly fell to highly polished tiled floor revealing her face to Graymalkin.
She answered in a thick Japanese accent with one of the nine words she knew in English: “Gray?”
Two floors underneath their feet, Blackjack continued to snore in his sleep.