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An Assassin's Challenge

Xevek Nekonis

From The Shadows
Capital of Bastion, Warehouse District
Crouched atop of the roof of an old and abandoned warehouse, Xevek absentmindedly pulled his cloak tighter around him with one hand as the cold wind cut through him to his bones. Or, at least, that was how it felt to the Iridonian, use to heavy freezing air of the desert nights and not heavy, or even gentle, winds that carried the cold on their back. Still, he did not shift in place or move from his perch despite the unpleasant cold, focused as he was. Nor did his breathing hitch in response to the cold as he continued to stare down the scope of the rifle tucked up against the bone mask that he wore. He had his orders, he had his assignment, and Xevek was someone who despised failure. As such, the two lead him to continue to sit still and silent despite his discomfort.

The orders had been delivered through the private channels utilised by the shadow enshrouded members of the Sith Empire known as the Assassins. Loath e as he was by nature to take and obey orders as if he were nothing more than a collared pet, Xevek knew when to challenge orders given, when to twist them and when to simply bow his head in acknowledgment and perform to the best of his ability. This situation was one that fell under the latter category. Though no name had been given to him, nor description or descriptors of who his target was meant to be, what had been delivered had been more than enough to tell him that the orders were to be followed no matter what. A single location located within the very warehouse district he was no within along with a date. No name, no description and only the bare details meant to guide him to his target accompanied by the image of a white snake.

Having arrived the night before, Xevek had already prowled through warehouses below him, ascertaining that the area seemed to be largely bereft of life, left abandoned and empty. The only warehouse he had seen fit not to enter and examine had been the one that he now peered at through the rifle scope, the one he had been directed towards in his orders. Signs in the heavyset dust around the entrances and under the doors themselves proved that activity had been present and rather than risking running into whoever his mark was, he had chosen instead to retreat. Instead, he had sliced and retrieved the schematics of the building, simple as they were. Now, he simply waited for the time to present itself to strike.

Watching as the single heat signature sat through the thermal sights of the scope, Xevek felt his hearts begin to race as the moment seemed to settle around him. Above, the moon vanished behind clouds and the only illumination now came from within the warehouse itself, by no means enough to cast light upon his form. Moving from where there had been shadows cast by the moon towards the edge of the roof, Xevek slowly lowered himself into a kneeling position as he brought the rifle up to bear, lining the crosshairs up on his targets.

Confident that his mark would have no warning, for he had taken precautions to occlude his Presence within the Force since he had first set foot within the district and had doubled down on said precautions since he had lay his gaze on his target, the Iridonian left his index finger curl around the trigger as he smoothly clicked the safety off. Feeling the world slow around him as his focus shrunk until all his reality was comprised off was his mark, the plan and his breathing, the words that had accompanied his orders flashed across his mind's eye as his breathing hitched momentarily, his entire body freezing apart from his finger and the rifle bucked in his grip three times. 'Eliminate in close-quarters.'

Unlike what seemed like the majority of the Galaxy, Xevek preferred to use slugthrowers over blasters and, as such, a muffled crack would ring out three times as the silenced rifle sent three slugs hurtling through the air towards his targets. The two lights he had been able to target from his location shattered, casting the room within into darkness as the third and final shot would be directed towards the leg of the thermal signature.

Moving swiftly after the third and final shot had been fired, before the moon could peak out from behind the moon, Xevek lunged sideways as he let the rifle drop out of his grip and towards the roof. Landing on the ground below, in the shadowed alley between two warehouses, thankful for the fact that an overhang had been present to stop his fall from being one directly to the ground, Xevek surged forwards to cross the gap towards the warehouse his target was within, seeking out the side door he had identified earlier as being the most easy to pick. All the while, he kept his senses sharp for any sign of retaliation while the ethereal sight granted to him through the Force was focused in on the Force Presence of his target.

His plan was rather simple in his mind. Let his mark be on the look out for a sniper, let them turn their gaze and focus to the rooftops while he entered the building from below. Further, by doing it this way, he had been able to rob his mark of sight, of light, leaving them lost in an arena of darkness where his species' ability to see in near pitch black darkness would be most advantageous.

[member="Kaalia Pavanos"]​
Burn the Mantle
Prospect, promise, potential. Long ago, it was Kaalia who held such things. Over the years she morphed them into power, influence, and knowledge. As a Sith she was now known no longer as the name that had been given to her at birth but Darth Avacyn, a name that had been whispered by the spirits of old during the trial she underwent at the hands of Krest. Only few knew of both names, a reality carefully crafted by her own hands to assure that those who did know her as Kaalia would be done no harm by those who were the enemy of Avacyn. Today however, she carried no name at all. She was a target to be taken out.

In her days as a Sith Knight Kaalia had often been tested. [member='Darth Ophidia'] had been one of them and now she had contacted the redhead once more, but this time she was asked to be the one to test another. That request was the reason she was in an old warehouse, seemingly unbothered by her surroundings while playing cards were laid out on an old and dusty wooden table in front of her. A simple vibroblade leaned against the backrest of the chair of similar design she sat on and was the only weapon that could be perceived to be in the woman's vicinity, creating the image of someone completely unaware of the fact they were being hunted.

Beyond the surface however, things were very different. Knowing the acolyte with the name Xevek Rakama would be sent here under the belief he was here to take her life Avacyn constantly remained keen on her surroundings, knowing all potential angles of attack and keeping a close eye on them. Her presence in the Force was subdued to conceal her strength and her pair of lightsabers were also hidden, yet easily accessible within the coat she wore. Xevek's ability to react to the element of surprise and to adapt would be tested.

And then the Force sent out its warning.

As the lights shattered and darkness consumed the light the woman wasted not a moment to shoot out of her chair to dodge the that slug was rapidly hurled towards her, the velocity of her movement causing the table on front of her to tip over and the cards that rested on it to fall down to the floor. She felt the heat of the slug radiate against her leg and it made it clear it couldn't have been any closer. The sound of the vibroblade clanging on the floor was cut short as she gripped its hilt and with the blade scaping the floor she picked it up and quickly took cover behind a large crate nearby.

Locating the hunter was going to be difficult, however. His presence in the Force had been concealed and with the darkness that had spread across the warehouse it would be difficult to spot him. Instead Avacyn remained deathly silent, focussing on her hearing to pick up any sounds that would be made. It was up to Xevek to make the next move.

[member="Xevek Rakama"]

Xevek Nekonis

From The Shadows
Prowling through the lower floor of the warehouse, Xevek moved slowly and carefully, keeping an eye out for any traps his target may have set. However, in the end, he made it across the open expanse of the room to where the stairs to the upper level, where his target seemed to have set up camp since his internally missed sniper shot had been fired, without encountering a trap or making a noise; as he was subconsciously drawing upon the training taught to him back on Iridonia on how to silently stalk an animal that he was hunting. It had taken time for the training to sink in but after being gored three times, he had finally learnt and applied it to his consistently since.

Pausing at the base of the stares, Xevek cocked his head to one side, single eye sliding shut as he devoted his focus to his hearing along. In doing so, the silence of the warehouse suddenly seemed infinitely more oppressive, pressing down upon his shoulders and into his ears as if it were a thunderous noise. Normally, Xevek enjoyed and preferred the quiet, but this quiet was a heavy ocean of no-sound that held within it a sense of tension that prevented the Iridonian from enjoying himself - the fact he was on a mission and that it wasn't a good time for leisure was, naturally, a secondary reason.

Holding his breath, Xevek pushed his focus out further and further, straining to pick up some sign from his target. When comparing the senses of a human to a Zabrak, the Zabrak's senses of smell and hearing might be considered as being heightened, still, their sense of hearing was the weakest by far and, as such, it took training and focus to utilise it to pick up the smallest of sounds. Training and focus that Xevek had received as the faint sound of breathing and shuffling caught his attention from the floor above. While he may not be able to ascertain where, specifically, the sound had originated from due to the fact he was hearing from down a stairway, it none the less proved that his target was still there.

Letting his eye snap open, the amber hue slightly clouded and unfocused as he devoted his sight towards the Force rather the physical world, Xevek continued forwards, prowling up the first set of steps to landing where the second set of steps curled back on themselves to the upper floor. Crouching next to the divider, Xevek withdrew a single, small item from the pouch on his waist. Compressing the button atop of it, Xevek silently counted to himself before throwing the grenade around the corner, up the stairs, towards where his target awaited him before dropping prone and covering his head with his robes.

The stun grenade would fly into the air of the second level, barely a meter clearance between it and the floor and detonate just as it passed the stair well. With him having delayed his throw for a few seconds, the grenade did not travel through the air for long before it detonated, a choice he had made so that his target would not have enough time to take cover or negate the effects of the stun grenade - hopefully. However, as a consequence of his delayed throw, Xevek was caught up in the deafening bang; but he was ultimately hidden away from the light burst by burying his head into the floor beneath him and beneath his cloak and mask.

As a result of being caught in the outer range of the sudden noise, Xevek felt his stomach roll slightly as he forced himself to his feet, charging silently up the final set of steps, the sudden move causing his perception of reality to seemingly spin as his inner ear recovered. In the past, though, he had been forced to fight and train through illness and pain, to pushed himself to survey the room quickly and throw three of the throwing knives at his waist before diving to one side in case of return fire.

Off-center and disorientated as he was, even as he pushed past it, the only one of the three thrown knives flew true towards where he had aimed as he recovered from his dive into a crouch, dropping his gaze into the realm of the Force as he prepared to move again.

[member="Kaalia Pavanos"]
Burn the Mantle
It was striking the balance between concealing one's power exerted in the Force yet not suppressing one's own perception that had taken many years of training, but standing on that fine line was an invaluable tool in the arsenal of a Sith assassin. That very skill allowed Avacyn to read the warning through her vision that went beyond the material, but time was still not on her side. Whatever had been thrown in her direction would in mere moments cause its damage and and the woman rolled away from it as far as she could before what then was revealed to be a stun grenade went off. A short flash blinded her, if only for just a moment, but it was the bang that accompanied it that had the greatest effect. She was nearly completely deafened in that moment but refused to let it break her focus, her eyes flaring up in a corrupting red color to show she had truly begun to draw from the well that was the Force now.

Now that Avacyn had been forced to break cover she sensed three more objects being hurled her way, yet only one required her to act. With senses bolstered beyond what a being would be capable of having the vibroblade in her left hand made a slicing motion, colliding it with the throwing knife and knocking it away from its target with the sound of two pieces of metal clashing with each other. Considering the position she was in now, however, the luxury of being able to be patient was no longer hers. Instead she began to dash forward to close the distance between herself and where her enhanced sight told her where the hunter was while pushing through the painful disorientation caused by the stun grenade before. Although he had not forced the Sith Lady's entire hand just yet, he had already shown he was certainly capable.

Would nothing interrupt her from closing the distance, Avacyn would shift the confrontation to a close-quarters one and look to strike back. With her blade she would attempt a jab at the midsection in a motion signature to the Makashi form, but due to the continued stun effect she was dealing with and the darkness of the lightless warehouse made it difficult to make it a precise attack.

[member="Xevek Rakama"]