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The Female is the More Dangerous of the Species ((Closed. OOC Welcome))

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~The Garlean Empire, Garlemald~


The chamber was plush and full of luxury.  Deep, silken cushions sat upon mahogany chairs polished with a brilliant finish.  The chandelier that glowed overhead with blue light reflected off buffed gold and polished mirrors.  Three men sat at a round table, their silverware clinking on fine china plates as they spoke and ate.


"So then, the rumors are true, then?"  came the first voice, belonging to a pure-blooded Garlean dressed in a military uniform with the rank of major displayed proudly upon his chest.  The major watched the other two men, whom were both dressed in black finery.


"Aye.  Adonis is dead."


"And what of his organization, his spy ring."  The major inquired, a hint of anger tainting his words.  Adin Adonis and his ring of spies had been a domestic problem as well as an international one.  The man had wielded more political power than he should for one of his rank and influence and the list of enemies the Adonis family had at home was almost as long as the list of those abroad.


"A wreck. His successor, Captain Rema Mordhelm, was recently slain."  One of the two men in black finery spoke, his voice deep and commanding, a grey beard on his chin.  The bearded man continued.  "His original second, Sergeant Rynsur, was also slain as well as several important figures in the organization.  Once Adin's slave, Jin'li, and Captain Mordhelm were killed, the organization began scrambling to find a new head.  The various parts of Adin's organization are squabbling still and, at this time, none inside the Adonis family have stepped forward to claim the helm."


"So the organization is..."  The major let the statement hang in the hair.


"Currently vulnerable."  the bearded man grinned as he replied.


"This is excellent!"  The major smirked as he picked up his glass of fine, red wine and sipped, enjoying how the beverage paired with his grilled steak.  "After nearly a decade, the thorn in our side is dead and we have a chance to burn the entire thorn bush and salt the ground where it grew."


"You mean to take out the entire organization?"  the bearded man blinked in surprise. Even for the Major, that was a bold political move. 


"Just the possible heads.  If we are lucky, we can assimilate parts of Adin's organization into our own while slicing out the parts we find...undesirable."


"You mean the Adonis family."  the bearded man said slowly as he thought.


"Indeed." the major replied slowly.  "And not subtly either.  I want a direct assault."


"An assault?"  the bearded man replied incredulously.  "Are you insane?  The political backlash would devastate us if we were found out."


"Then we best make sure no one inside the Adonis manor during the assault lives to tell the tale, hadn't we?"  the major purred as his three eyes blinked in unison.  The bearded man looked at the pure blooded Garlean in the major's uniform and nodded.


"I'll do what I can to keep this from spilling over, major." the bearded man replied, thinking.  "We'll need to get his entire family then, least directly related."


"So that means the wife, three sons, and the one, adopted daughter." the major answered dismissively.  "Cousins and extended family can be dealt with over the next few weeks."


"You are aware, sir, that the adopted girl and the youngest son have nothing to do with either Adin's organization or the military in any way, major?  Their deaths might prove more problematic since they have political allies the rest of the family does not and are well traveled in the political circuits, unlike their father." the bearded man cautioned.


"I am confident the number of people whom would benefit from the destruction of the Adonis family outnumber those whom will suffer for it.  Any whom object to the deaths of the brats can be bribed or threaten into silence." the major took another sip of wine and grinned at the bearded man while the third man ate on in silence.  "Or killed."


"Then when shall we proceed?" the bearded man asked, his eyes never leaving the major.


"Immediately following dinner.  I have a band of our own agents already preparing."  the major placed his glass down and returned to cutting his steak.  "But no need to rush.  This dinner is one to be savored.  Just as I'll savor being rid of the wretched Adonis family."

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The Adonis Estate was removed from the heart of Garlemald proper.  Its numerous  holdings housed acres of vineyards. Before the family's proud military tradition had begun with the rise of the Garlean Empire, the family had a legacy of producing wine.  The manor itself, resting along side a small cliff, had stood for generations, surrounded on three side by rolling hills covered in grapevines, and the forth, by a river.


Currently, the house was brilliantly illuminated, blue light from artificial, magitek sources spilled from the windows. 


In one window stood a silhouetted shape, a female one.  In the figure's right hand, a wine glass was tightly clenched.  Her black hair was tied up in a bun.  She wore black, leather clothing with a high collar and no heels on her boots.  Her grey eyes were hard and crow's feet had long since formed around the woman's eye.


Frenhia Adonis had seen fifty-three years winters, thirty-three of them married to Adin Adonis, a man she both admired and feared, but had never really loved.


Frenhia was staring out the window, her sharp, grey eyes looking out at the fields of vines, the moon glowing overhead as he rested her cheek against the wine glass. She sighed softly.


Behind her sat two young men, both around thirty, and both the splitting image of their father.


"So neither of you plan to continue your father's legacy?"  Frenhia said, coldly, not looking at either son.  Both of her children stared at her back, but it was her eldest, Grenz, whom spoke first.


"What profit would that gain us, mother?  I'm now a captain, and Hersh is to promoted as well."


"Your father was only a Captain when he began building his organization, he was only a captain when he was commissioned by the military to carry out clandestine operations against the Empire's enemies.  So, combined, you two aren't even half the man your father was." 


The disappointment was thick in Frenhia's voice and she had to take a deep breath.  She didn't want to take over her late husband's organization.  She knew she couldn't wield power like her husband had.  She had neither the connections nor the respect.  She had spent her life being Adin's trophy, not his partner in crime.  The woman took a bitter drink from her glass.


"Why not Ashwynn or Von?"  Hersh, Frenhia's second son, asked slowly, his voice uncannily like his father's.


"Silence!"  Frenhia's hissed as her hand shook.  The woman turned around and fixed her sons with a steely glare.  "Neither Von or Ashwynn are aware of that part of our legacy, and it will stay that way.  Neither knows-"


"Cause neither is fully an Adonis."  Grenz interrupted.  Frenhia looked at her son indignantly.  He had spoken truly.  While  Frenhia's two oldest were both products of unions between her and Adin, the youngest were not.  Von was the result of Frenhia's carelessness with one of her lovers.  She had killed that lover when she had discovered she was with his child, but was unable to abort the bastard son.  He had been born and Adin, whom never said anything but surely knew, raised the son as his own.


Adin's subtle revenge had been adopting a young, miqo'te girl whom had been orphaned when his army unit had slaughtered a band of rebels. Adin had always wanted a daughter and seemed to find pleasure in the fact that Frenhia found the entire race disgusting.


"They are not true members of this family, and cannot wield the power that is not their birthright, power that you two spineless fools should be jumping at."  Frenhia said coldly, her thee eyes blinking.


Grenz rose to his feet and fixed his mother with a glare.


"We are done with this mother.  We have enough enemies from father's clutching at power.  If we permit his organization to collapse, perhaps we might be able to finally sleep easy once more."


"To think I raised such a naive fool." Frenhia replied harshly ass he threw the contents of her glass at her son and stormed towards the door. 


A crack like lighting and the sound of glass shattering filled the air.  Frenhia spun and looked at her eldest boy, his hands clutched to his chest, crimson liquid gushing out from between his fingers.  Frenhia stared is horror as Grenz started to fall forward before his body was lacerated by a sudden storm of gunblade projectiles tearing through the windows. 


"Mother!"  Hersh cried, tackling his mother out of the room.  Hersh took two bullets to his side and he gasped in pain as he rose to his feet and started shouting. 


"My blade!  Servants, fetch me my blade, we are under attack!"  There were sounds of screaming victims down the hall and Hersh saw a figure in a black uniform step out from a doorway aiming a gunblade at him.  Hersh gasped as he tasted blood as he put himself between the assassin and his mother.


There was a gunshot and the assassin grunted as he toppled forward, his weapon rolling from his dead fingers.  Hersh stared and looked back as his mother rose to her feet, a small gunblade clutched in her hand, her face a blank mask. 


"Hersh, rouse the house guard and then see to it that you sister and brother escape via the tunnels to the river."  Frenhia ordered as she walked over and picked up the gunblade the assassin had dropped.


"Who are these people?"  Hersh grunted through clenched teeth as he held his right hand to his side.


"Your father's enemies." Frenhia replied flatly.  "The one's you and your brother so stupidly thought would leave us alone."


"How can you be sure?"  Hersh asked as he watched his mother walking down the hall, sounds of breaking windows and fighting filling the air of the manor.


"Cause you were weak and they saw their chance."  Frenhia answered.  "Now then, I have guests to entertain."

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"I do believe we are under attack."  came the effeminate voice of the elderly lalafell that sat by the third floor window.  The white-haired  male watched as figures rushed from the fields of vines towards the house, several firing rounds as they went.


"What was your first clue?"  came a female voice, frantic and sarcastic at the same time as she scurried around the room, tearing off her dress and frantically trying to pull on brown trousers and a red shirt at the same time, stumbling about as she did so.


"Well, the gunfire was probably the first clue." the male lalafell answered as he dropped off the dresser he had climb atop and went for a chest.


The female spun and managed to get her shirt over her head, her brilliant blue eyes coming into view as she pulled her  blonde hair behind her head and tied it into a bun, her tail twitching in agitation as the sounds of a struggle filled the hallway outside her door.


"What the hells is going on, Z?"  the female miqo'te said as the elderly lalafell pulled out a gunblade and groaned as he held the handle to her.  The female synched her belt around her waist and took the weapon in her hand.  It was heavy and a bit awkward but her father had taught her the basics.


The thought of her adoptive father made her stomach knot and she swallowed.  She had never been told how she had come to be Adin's daughter.  He had only told her it didn't matter.  She was his little girl, his only girl, and he would always love her.  She had spent twenty-eight of her twenty nine years of life as an Adonis, spending her later years rebuffing male advances and promoting the wine the family produced.  She was a sharp business woman, but not a warrior by any means.


"I wish father was here now, Z."  the female said nervously as he looked at the door and then straightened up.  Her father had told her never be afraid.


"I don't, Lady Ashwynn." Z answered as he looked up at the female miqo'te.  Z had been Ashwynn's personal valet for years.  He had been entrusted with her because he was a eunuch, celibate, old, and a loyal servant to the Adonis line.  To Ashwynn, the lalafell had always been ancient, but he moved well enough as he pulled out a small dagger and held it. 


"You are just as smart as your father."  Z said as he nodded at her.


"Just as smart."  Ashwynn repeated as she went to the door and opened it.  The hallway was long and currently empty but she could her the fighting, the gunshots.  Just a few rooms away there was a study with a hidden passage behind a bookcase.  Her father had always told her, always have an escape route.  Ashwynn heard a gunshot and she sprinted for the room.


She did not look around.  Her blue eyes locked onto the handle of the room and she turned the knob and flung the door open as she entered.  She gasped.


A figure in black stood there, his gunblade shoved through a young man's chest.  Ashwynn cried out in horror as she recognized the face of her little bother Von whom had spent only twenty-one winters in this world.


Von gazed at her, blood oozing form his lips as blood filled his lungs and he gargled as the assassin pulled the blade free and tried to turn it on her.


Z had wasted no time and the assassin screamed as the old lalafell sunk his knife into his ankle.  The assassin fell to the floor and Ashwynn narrowed her eyes as he hefted the gunblade up and pulled the trigger.  She had meant to hit the assassin's chest.  Instead the recoil jerked her hand to the side and she blew a hole in the assassin's head.   The assassin wasn't the first man Ashwynn had killed.  Her father, Adin, had taken each of his children to a prison to execute a murderer.  He did this to make sure they had no fear when killing in self defense.  She had not fear of killing, just a knot in her stomach as she rushed over to the body of her little brother.  The boy was twitching but his eyes had glazed over and Ashwynn felt herself go numb as she looked at the body of Von, whom had just earlier let her taste the special barrel of wine he had been aging as a gift to Hersh when he and his wife had their next child.


Ashwynn heard the secret passage open and felt Z tugging her.  She let the old male lead her away, her blue eyes never leaving her Von's face until Z pulled the passage way shut, leaving the two in the darkness of the long tunnel that led to the river at the base of the cliff; and the boat that would be moored there.




Meanwhile, the manor was ablaze, fire rolling through the building, charring portraits, furniture, and combatants alike.  The servants and house guard had been caught unaware and had only been able to put up a sliver of resistance.  In the main hall, Frenhia stood, drenched in blood, the corpses of six different attackers at her feet, bloody weapons in either hand as her grey eyes stared at the man whom entered the front door, flanked on either side by four assassins.  The bearded man whom had dinner with the major just hours before.


"Grefton."  Frenhia spat calmly, dropping the longer of the two gunblades, its ammunition spent as she reached into a dresser beside her and pulled out a box.  Fire roared up the walls and the smells of burning wood and charring flesh filled the heated air.  Grefton smiled as he shouted over the crackling of wood.


"Seems your time has come at last, Lady Adonis.  Give my regards to your husband in the hells."


Grefton hefted his gunblade the same moment Frenhia opened the box and heaved the cerelium grenade that had rested inside.  Gefton's eyes went wide.


"Give them yourself."  Frenhia spat as the grenade exploded and the front of the house disappeared in a ball of fire.

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