What will result? A new beginning, or a new end?
“It has begun.” Chief raises his hands to the sky and falls to his knees. “Nine. Nine is the key.”
The nine girls stand in more or less a circle around him. Seohyun, Yuri, Yoona, Taeyeon, Tiffany, Sunny, Hyoyeon, Sooyoung and Jessica.
The girls stare at him as if he is crazy in the head, but he does not move for a full minute.
Finally, he gets up. “Alright. Time for work. No fluff, no comfort, nothing. We start right now. Yuri, Yoona, show the new girls the basement. Sooyoung and Sunny, come with me.” He steps into his office, with Sooyoung and Sunny in tow.
Yuri looks at the five new people. “Names?”
Taeyeon crosses her arms. “Taeyeon.” She provides no further explanation.
Seohyun flicks her hair back. “Seohyun. Knife specialist, from Switzerland.”
“Hyoyeon. A driver of sorts.”
There is an extended period of silence, until everyone turns to the two remaining assassins. Tiffany and Jessica stare at each other, astonished.
Tiffany tilts her head to the side. “Well, I guess it’s nice working with you for a change.”
Jessica grins. “I suppose.”
Yoona coughs. “Reunions can wait, introductions first please.”
Tiffany flashes her bright teeth. “Of course. I’m Tiffany, from America. I suppose you could call me… a saboteur. Or a poisoner. Or just Tiffany, that’ll do.”
Jessica rolls her eyes. “Jessica. Computer specialist, and, well, hacker. Although that term doesn’t begin to define what I can do.”
Yuri studies them all. “I’m Black Pearl, from here, Japan. This is Im Yoona, a martial artist. C’mon.”
She heads to the stairs, and the group follows her, down to the basement and to the hideout.
Chief plops down onto his chair, and Sooyoung and Sunny come stand behind him. Sooyoung opens to speak when Chief cuts her off.
“I’m putting you, Sunny, in charge of our first mission. Sooyoung, second in command.”
Sooyoung keeps open, her words gone.
Sunny helpfully pushes Sooyoung’s jaw shut. “The mission being…?”
Chief holds a stack of papers in his hands, and he speaks as he studies the first page. “I’ll debrief all of you together. I just called you here first because I needed to give you something.” He hands both of them a sheet of paper, and on top of it a bunch of watches. “Don’t lose these. They’re important. Give one to each one of the girls.” Sooyoung and Sunny both nod. “Alright, you’re dismissed. Go to the basement with the others. They both nod once more, and leave.
When the secret door opens they all file inside quietly. No audible expressions of amazement are made until Jessica sees the computer setup.
Immediately she shrieks with joy so loud the others have to cover their ears, and she runs straight towards them.
When the ring in their ears subsides, they split and head off to their own places of interest, all looking around in awe.
The spell is broken as the door swings open again and Sooyoung and Sunny stroll in. Just behind them, Chief walks in as well. The door closes, and silence descends.
Chief moves to the rest area, where a group of couches huddle together. “Come here, all of you.”
The nine head to where Chief is standing together, and sit down. When he has their attention he clears his throat and speaks.
“To be honest, I wasn’t expecting this to happen this quickly.”
Sooyoung shifts her legs, but otherwise no one moves.
“I’ve actually got a mission for you girls. Not much of tough one. Now of course in your field all missions are tough, but this one is rather… easy. All you have to do is take out some low influence drug dealer. We’ve been asked by the Japanese government to do this, so no police or anything should get in your way.”
He looks up at the girls. “Think of this as a test, a training exercise. Of course, there is one problem. You have never worked with each other before, and for that matter have most likely only rarely worked with anyone else before.” He looks up. “I assume most of your missions were solo missions?” All nine nod. “Thought so… this might be a problem.”
Chief sits down, and flips through his papers until he reaches the one he is looking for. “Ah, here it is.” He hands out a copy to all the girls. “Here are the details for the mission I just told you about. I’m putting Sunny in charge of this mission. I’m not going to be helping you on this one, you need to formulate your own plan, carry it out with the resources available to you, and come back to me when the mission has been completed. Go.”
He smiles at them, then jogs away to his office again.
“Ooooooooookay!” Sooyoung picks up the sheet of paper and reads it over. “Alriiiight. So… how are we gonna do this? The mission says we just need to take out some drug dealing organisation here in Tokyo… could probably do this myself to be honest.”
Sunny plucks the sheet from her hands. “And I’d bet we all could. But we’re supposed to work on it together.” She furrows her brow in concentration, and beckons all the girls closer to her. “So here’s what we’ll do…”
Sooyoung stuffs her hands in her pockets, using her hip to push the door of the building open. A large, beefy hulk of a man blocks her way. “I’m sorry, but we’re closed.”
Sooyoung looks up and smiles at his ugly and battered face. “Oh, really? Well that’s a shame. I had an appointment with a certain Mr. Ichikawa, about some… confidential matters.”
The guard narrows his eyes, uncertain of whether to let her in or not. Sooyoung beams up at him, her bright smile confusing his judgement for a second. “Alright then. But try to do anything funny and I’ll…” He steps aside, and Sooyoung walks past him, taking note of the gun hidden in his pocket.
She emerges from the entrance hallway into a small foyer. A suited woman sits at the desk, her legs propped up on top of it. When she sees Sooyoung, she hurriedly pulls them down, surprised. “What? Who are you? Why are you here? There weren’t supposed to be any appointments today…” She glances at the guard with a confused look.
The guard furrows his brow. “She told me she had an appointment with the boss.”
“But there aren’t any scheduled.”
Both of them look to Sooyoung, who is holding her hands behind her back. “Okay, okay, I lied. I don’t have an appointment with your boss.” She tilts her head to the side. “Actually, I do.” She pulls her hands out from behind her, revealing two pistols. “And it’s an appointment he sure won’t like.”
The woman at the desk screams and dives behind the desk. The guard hastily pulls out his own gun, but Sooyoung is much faster and she shoots him twice, once in the throat and once in between his eyes. He falls down to the ground, blood spurting out of the two holes.
Sooyoung holsters one of her guns, holding the other in her right hand as she approaches the desk. She can hear whimpering from behind it, and she giggles. Jumping on top of it, she grabs the woman hiding under from the collar and pulls her up. Grinning savagely in her face, she says, “You’ll do nicely as a hostage, I suppose.” The woman stares up at her, her eyes large white plates of fear, her body shaking as she wets herself.
Sooyoung scrunches up her nose in distaste. “Just kidding.” And she shoots her once in the head. The woman goes sprawling on the floor. Sooyoung looks at the watch on her wrist. She presses a button, and speaks. “Done.”
A few moments later, Seohyun, Yuri and Yoona casually walk in through the front door. Seohyun pulls out her knives and begins polishing them. Yuri unsheathes her two katanas and Yoona cracks her knuckles, and pulls out a small sword.
Sooyoung tosses a grenade up and down. “And now, we wait.”
Sunny kicks the back door open, jumping aside and hiding beside the broken entrance. When no one comes out to check what happened, she peeks in quickly. No one is there. Oh… wait. A body lays flat under the door, knocked out cold by Sunny’s violent entrance. Sunny laughs and jumps on his head and into the room.
A quick scan of the premises shows nothing interesting. Two desks, a couch, a couple of doors… she opens the first one, revealing a small storage room. The second opens up to show a staircase. “Bingo.” Pressing a button on her watch, she speaks. “I’ve found the way up. Ready, Taeyeon?”
“Ready.” Taeyeon’s voice floats out into the room from Sunny’s watch.
“Alright. Come in, girls.”
Behind Sunny Hyoyeon and Tiffany hop inside.
“You guys ready?” Sooyoung asks from the other side.
“We’re good.” Sunny looks behind her and Tiffany is holding some nasty looking device while Hyoyeon carries a few of her toys.
Sunny lifts her watch up to . “Jessica?”
“Gimme a second…” Jessica is still at the hideout, being in charge of hacking into and disarming the security system. The outer system had already been deactivated, but another more complicated one remained. “Alright, that should do it. I’ve disabled all sound and light alarm systems, as well as any aid request systems, so no help should be coming any time soon. Go ahead.”
“Roger that.” Sunny hefts her gun onto her shoulder. She stretches her neck, grinning. “It’s been awhile since I’ve had a mission. Ready for some blood and slaughter, girls?”
Tiffany snickers. Hyoyeon pockets her devices and pulls out a controller of some sort. On the other side, Seohyun finishes polishing her knives. Sooyoung puts the grenade away, pulling out only a pistol. Yuri tosses her swords up and catches them. Yoona closes her eyes, tapping into her inner strength.
On the building just opposite, Taeyeon readies her sniper rifle.
Sunny and Sooyoung both climb up the staircases on either side, the other girls just behind them, reaching the top and hiding just beside the door. All seven girls flip on their night goggles. Just beyond the door, they can hear laughter, the tinkling of glasses and drinks.
Taeyeon pulls the scope up to her eye.
A red dot appears on the wall of the building in front of her. Jessica’s voice materializes out of Taeyeon’s watch. “A little higher… higher.. And a tiny bit to the right… and there!” The red dot stops on a section of the wall.
Taeyeon takes a deep breath, taking care not to move the crosshairs in the slightest.
“Go!” Taeyeon pushes the trigger and a bullet, specially manufactured to be able to pierce through walls, drives straight through the wall of the building, through the head of a person, and into the lights in the room beyond. With a crash of glass and the crackle of electricity, the lights go out.
Inside, Sunny and Sooyoung both throw open the doors, and all hell breaks loose.
For a few moments all that can be heard is the swoosh of silenced bullets zipping through the air, the slicing of a knife or a sword, the thud of a corpse, the dripping of blood. Then, all is silent.
Sooyoung looks at the shredded and decapitated corpses on the ground. “We’re done here, let’s go.” Without a look back, she opens the door and dashes down the stairs. The other girls all follow her. Except one.
Seohyun stares at the knife. The knife, the beautiful knife with the mysterious gem. For a brief second, although there is no light coming into the room, a small flicker of light flares up in the center of the gem. Seohyun blinks, taking another, deeper look. But there is nothing. With a shrug she exits after the other girls.
And that was when it began.
The nine were finally nine.
A year passed. Countless missions were undertaken, all successes. The prestige of the nine member assassination guild spread. Some police and intelligence agencies hunted them down. Other, smarter ones, used them to their advantage. All that mattered, to the nine assassins, were how rich they were getting.
But to Chief, there was something else. Money was nice, but this was even better. And it had everything to do with, specifically, a certain member of the nine.
Who, you ask? Well… telling you right now would ruin the fun, wouldn’t it?