|Assassins of Noor
Author: MilkSapphire PM
Diana's sister is dead and she goes to Algeria to seek peace with her inner self. While she is there she runs into a certain Clark Kent. She has dismissed her WW title, but steps into another title. Some Arabic, but will translate. Takes place during/after Infinite Crisis. No "One year Later". Clark is not Superman in this story.Rated: Fiction T - English - Drama/Adventure - Diana of Themyscira/Wonder Woman & Clark K./Kal-El/Superman - Chapters: 16 - Words: 95,317 - Reviews: 47 - Favs: 22 - Follows: 28 - Updated: 05-27-13 - Published: 06-02-12 - Status: Complete - id: 8176595
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Chapter 3 – Wrath and Peace
In the women's changing room Alia stood in front of the mirror as she wrapped the long piece of fabric on her head. Diana was right, that woman's hair was very dark and not to mention it was curly and super long. She stared as she wrapped her veil with such ease. Diana still had trouble wrapping hers, but she learned a few tricks that the women did to keep their veils in place. She noted them carefully and followed what they did. Sometimes she was not as good as hiding her observations and today was one of those days.
Diana stared at Alia as she was carefully wrapping the veil and tucking it in on the side. She was using a decorative pin to hold the looser ends in place. Alia caught Diana staring at her in the mirror and smiled.
"Is there any reason why you are staring at me, Diana?" she pinned the side of her veil and patted it all around to make sure it wasn't going to fall out or come undone.
Diana's cheeks flushed, "No. I was just watching you wrap your hijab. That is all." She kept her black veil on and only removed it at her apartment or in a room by herself. She did not want the other women to see her hair. She might blow her cover, but then again, this is a rural part of Algeria.
"You seem to wear your hijab in the same style every day. You say you are from Lebanon, right?" Alia cocked a brow and waited for Diana to answer.
She croaked, "Yes….I am. Why?"
Alia shook her head slowly, "Oh nothing. Have you worn hijab all your life, Diana? Or are you just inexperienced at wrapping it?" her voice was stern. Diana thought she was joking for a moment, but clearly the expression on her face told her she was not joking. This woman is very straight forward, she thought to herself. Diana continued to stare in shock and Alia with her arms folded across her chest and her eyebrow cocked. Okay, Diana was almost six feet tall and people had told her all throughout her life that she came across as intimidating, but she didn't feel so big and mighty right now. This woman was intimidating and short, very short compared to Diana. Alia began to open her mouth again to make another snide remark until Diana intervened, "Actually I started wearing hijab just a few years ago. So yes that would make me inexperienced I suppose." There was silence as Alia nodded her head and rubbed her chin.
"I see. Perhaps I could teach you some new ways to wrap it?" oh now she wanted to be nice. Diana's eyebrow rose and now she folded her arms.
"You will sit here and make cold comments to me and you expect to me sit here and not to be offended? Why would you say such things to me and now you wish to help me wrap my veil? What in Her…what…ugh" Diana's frustration almost got the better of her but she stopped herself just in time before she blew her cover again. How long does she have to stay here, again? Hera.
Alia stood there as Diana basically growled her words towards her. She had not seen this side of Diana. Her voice was calm, but firm and sounded like she was some kind of Arabian Princess taking charge. The 'Arabian Princess' furrowed her eyebrows and stared deep into the little woman's eyes. Alia may have been struck down this time, but she recovered just in time and gave Diana a small smile.
"Sorry if I insulted you, Diana. I only wanted to help. Glad that you started wearing hijab. What made you want to wear it? You must have beautiful hair!" she was being genuine now and Diana sighed with relief, but still felt a bit insulted.
She unfolded her arms and sat down in a chair within the room. She tried to think of a reasonable reason, but was having a bit of trouble. She overheard some of the women in the orphanage talking about donning the hijab because they were looking for someone to marry. Diana couldn't think of any other better reason so she decided to say just that. "For marriage purposes." That was not a good answer, but suddenly Alia's expression changed from cold to happiness.
"You are married?" a smile came to her lips.
Oh Hera, no, I'm not married! This is not going as planned. "No, no. I am not married. I am waiting to be married." She hoped that would reassure her questions. She was getting very good at lying.
Alia's smile grew even wider, "Oh really? That is marvelous! Are you seeing anybody at the moment? If you are, you should invite him to my house and I will cook you both dinner."
Wait, what just happened? Diana's mind twisted in the other direction and she tried her best to keep her puzzled expression at bay. This woman was just interrogating her a few minutes ago and now she was her best friend? People are very strange over here, she thought.
"Diana?" she called her name as she could see Diana was not entirely listening.
She snapped out of her dumbfounded phase, "Oh, yes, I'm sorry. No I am not seeing anybody right now. I am still looking." Lies. "But I would love to come to your house regardless," lies and she put on a fake smile for the woman. She seemed to buy it as she touched Diana's shoulder softly.
"Of course. Can I show you how to wrap your hijab now? You have seen my hair, but I have yet to see yours," a sly smile was present now and this was making Diana very nervous. Refuse and she gets more interrogations and odd stares, or relent and find out that she is…was Wonder Woman.
"….sure," Diana took off her veil and set it by her on the sofa. She took out the pin that was holding her bun together and ruffled her soft curls with her fingernails. Alia's eyes looked like a newborn kitten's eyes –big and curious. She was stunned.
"Diana, you are beautiful, mashallah!" she threw her hands in the air and touched Diana's raven black hair.
Mashallah? What does this mean? Hopefully a good thing. Diana just nodded her head and smiled weakly. Okay so far she has not noticed anything. The sweat forming on her brow disappeared and she let out a sigh of relief.
"Thank you, Alia." She started to fidget in an annoying manner, but Alia didn't seem to notice.
"I can see why you cover your hair now. You are very gorgeous. Your mother must be this beautiful as well?" she began raking Diana's hair back into a low, slick bun before she started wrapping the fabric.
Diana wasn't normally tender-headed, but this woman was really pulling her hair tightly into that bun. She showed signs of discomfort with her fidgeting and her eyes. "…Yes, my mother is beautiful, you could say." Athena told her not to reveal much about her past, but it does not hurt one to say she has a mother. Hopefully she doesn't ask any other questions about her family or lifestyle.
Alia smiled and finally grabbed Diana's black veil and started to cover almost half of her forehead with the front of the thin fabric. Finally Diana was opening up to her. She was able to get her to talk about some of her life. Perhaps this Diana Al-Wahhab is not made of stone after all. "Do you have any brothers or sisters? I have four sisters and two brothers." Now she was taking a short end of the fabric and gently wrapping it around Diana's neck and pinning it to her bun.
Oh damn. She just asked the question she did not want to hear. Diana swallowed and could feel a lump in her throat. She couldn't wait too long to respond otherwise more questions would arise. It has been four months since she has spoken of her sister and she still found it painful to talk about. Here goes nothing. Hera, help me!
"My sister passed away a few months ago." Is all she could say? Her eyes were dry, thank the Gods, but her heart sank. She missed her little sister terribly. She would do anything for her, but maybe that is why Athena told her to come here. Not to just bring peace to her inner self, but to find answers here and a new perspective on life. Yes, maybe that is why. Damn it, why do you Gods toy with my life and mind?
The short woman stopped and stared at Diana in the mirror and rubbed her shoulder in care. "I am sorry, Diana. I won't pry into that sensitive subject. I too did have a sibling pass away too. I used to have three brothers instead of two. He served in the military and died shortly after he joined."
Oh, well, both of their siblings had died in battle. This woman had more in common with her than anyone she has met since living here. "I'm sorry." Both women smiled and Alia continued to wrap the fabric and finally pinned it on the side with a simple plain pin.
On a lighter note, Diana did feel more attractive with this veil wrapped a different way. The fabric framed her face perfectly just like her black tresses do. She kept staring at her face in all angles. Well, this is different, she said to herself.
"Thank you Alia. You have a talent!" Diana got up from the chair and moved to her bag to find a different dress to wear. She was tired of wearing black all the time. The door opened and Fatimah walked in with a new helper. She looked the same age as Fatimah, but her skin was more olive and her eyes were very huge. Diana looked at the younger woman and smiled.
"Hello, my name is Diana Al-Wahhab." She hugged her as it was not the correct way to greet a woman by shaking their hand in this country.
"I'm Alia Za'ah-Saffar, nice to meet you." She embraced the girl and then stepped back.
The young girl smiled shyly and she couldn't help but stare at Diana and her stature. Good lord that woman is very tall! And not to mention beautiful!
"I am Reem Karam. I am from Egypt. My family and I just moved here. My father told me of this orphanage and he is willing to donate. I am also willing to help out." She smiled and then stared at Diana for a few more moments. Diana did notice her constant staring and then she smiled back at the girl causing her cheeks to color a bit.
Alia showed her the way to the head office to file paperwork before working here and as well as donating papers. It was only Fatimah and Diana in the room. Since the other day of talking about the Assassins, Fatimah was weary of Diana. She seemed scared or her now for some reason. Maybe she was an assassin?
Diana stripped off her abaya and exchanged it for a burgundy one with black and gold roses going down the middle of the seam. She was fixing her dress when she noticed Fatimah staring at her and then staring back at her own bag full of clothes. She noted that the girl was somehow frightened by something.
"Is something wrong, Fatimah?" Diana turned to her and had her worry-face on.
The young lady quickly turned away not able to look at Diana. What in Hera's name? "No, Diana, I am fine. Excuse me I should go fix the study now. Ma'salaam (goodbye)".
That was odd.
Clark packed up his things and decided to have a detour and go to Algeria first thing. He wanted to leave tonight so he packed up his belongings. He floated across the floor to grab his clothes and fold them neatly into his suitcases. Finding out about the assassins in France was not going to help him. He immediately thought of the Justice League. Why haven't they heard of these assassins before? They are usually on top of everything. He didn't watch television much as he was too busy in his work when he first started at the Daily Planet. He left about 10 years into it and started writing novels to make money and then resorted to becoming a minister before Lana died. He was always asked by his wife if he wanted to go see the Justice League and consult them about his unique powers. Sure he knew he was an alien and from another planet, but helping others and putting himself in danger for the world? He didn't know if he could handle all of that pressure and from what he researched when he was at the planet the league was always busy it seemed.
Ever since they formed that league more horrible things have happened across the planet and that made him think what kind of person would he be if he put his family in danger like they did? No it wasn't right. He would not do this, but then he always wanted to help people, but he in tights and a cape hardly seemed right for him to do. The thought was actually laughable, which made him smile when he had the image in his head.
He knew of the main leaguers such as Aquaman, a King from Atlantis. Didn't Atlantis sink a long time ago? Well, there are stranger things like the Batman who guards his city, supposedly, like his own child. Clark was unsure if he really existed. There was hardly any information on him over the last few decades and he didn't show up to any of the press meetings. Then he remembered some guy named Speed or something. All he knew was that he was extremely fast! Maybe even faster than he was. Oh Flash, yes that's his name. He was an arrogant little twerp from what he saw on TV. He did remember seeing a beautiful woman with jet black flowing long hair. She wore a bathing suit type of costume and it reminded him of the American flag. Her face was like no other woman's face. When he was in his early twenties he remembered the first time he saw her on television. Clark would often get caught watching the news everyday just so he could gaze at her beauty. He shook his head and laughed at his maturity at that age. He didn't know much about the woman, but that she came from an Amazon race and she was a Princess. Clark also remembered she had a little sister and he also thought she was a stunning copy of the elder sister, but a bit smaller and her hair was straighter. Still, they were a gorgeous pair of women he thought to himself. He never saw the Queen before, but he would imagine she'd be beautiful too.
It had been a long time since he heard from them since the last what seemed like an apocalypse, the Justice League has distanced themselves from the world for awhile. It had been four months since he saw any action. He did see in the papers that junior Justice Leaguers were now helping out and he saw a young girl with blonde hair and the big "W" on her chest that was like Wonder Woman's symbol. He sighed, thinking about them helping out around the world. It had been awhile since he'd actually seen what Wonder Woman looked like. She had gone out of sight to retire to her island and perform her Princess-like duties so that's what the media and League says.
"If I had another life to live I'd go after that one," he said with a smile on his face. Now he was all packed up and ready to head to Algeria. Thank goodness he can fly so he didn't need to take a public plane to get to each country. He soared high in the sky so he was not visible and at this rate he would be in Algeria in minutes. Good thing these countries were close together.
It was around three in the afternoon and the women went to their changing room to get ready for prayer like they did every day. Diana was about to head out to go back to her flat until prayer was over. This gave her time to pray to her own Gods and eat something before she came back to the orphanage. She was stopped by Diya Samera, a woman that helped out every other day at the orphanage. She was a sweet woman and also very young. Diya was from Dubai and her family has moved from there to Algeria four years ago. They have settled in quite nicely. Diana was beginning to notice that most of these women came from wealthy families and didn't really need to get paid to work at this place. Diana needed some kind of money to survive over here. She did well as an agent in meta-affairs back in Washington as Diana Prince, but she couldn't do that over here.
Anyway, Diya came walking forward with an eager smile on her face. "Diana would you like to walk with us to the Mosque? Alia and Fatimah have gone to change their clothes but will be back shortly."
Oh Gods, they have never actually caught me in the middle of leaving. I usually leave ten minutes before they do, but I just had to clean the courtyard didn't I? Nice going Diana now they will suspect something if you do not go with them. What do I say? Do I go or do I stay? Oh Athena, your wisdom would be of great help right now.
"Well, I…" she began but didn't know where she was going with this.
Diya blinked her long eyelashes and smiled again, "Diana you always spend time alone in your flat during prayer. You should come with us."
Her sweet voice made Diana feel awful but she didn't know what to say to the woman! She groaned and relented. Oh great, I have no idea how to pray the way they do. Hopefully Alia won't be sitting next to me.
"I will go with you all." Diana said in a soft, quiet voice. Diya was waiting for Diana to walk to the changing room to go change and Diana hesitated a bit but then went to the room. There she found Alia in a white abaya, instead of her black one she had on earlier and she changed her hijab to a crisp white one. Fatimah wore all black instead of her coral veil and white abaya. Okay Diana is noticing a trend here. Either she must wear all white or all black. Diana was already wearing a black hijab so she quickly took off the burgundy abaya and put on her usual black one. Alia looked over as she was fixing a much simpler hijab style and looked confused at Diana.
"Are you coming to the Mosque with us Diana?" she said as she continued to fix herself.
Diana noticed Fatimah wore her veil with a bit of her hair showing in the front which is not how she usually wore it. She noted this and took off her veil and wrapped it in the simple way Alia did hers. "Yes, I am today."
All three of them met up with Diya and together they walked from the orphanage with all the children to the Mosque.
Oh Hera, this is so awkward. Well at least nobody is staring at me. Except for that man…and that man…and that one too and oh that one on the bench and this one walking right by her arm. HERA!
Fatimah noticed Diana was getting a bit tense and she touched her arm only to be jerked away by Diana's strong force. Her eyes grew wide and she looked very confused.
Diana looked back and then softened her face, "I'm sorry…I…I am not used to all of these people. I don't normally come to the Mosque and pray."
Alia added in, "We noticed. Glad you could join us today." A hidden coldness was in her voice once more. Was this woman bipolar or something?
A girl about the age of thirteen from the orphanage was next to Diana as they walked to the Mosque. She tugged on Diana's sleeve, "Ms. Al-Wahhab why are you so nervous? Have you never come to the Mosque before?"
Diana eased at the teenager's soft voice. She did not wear a veil, but she did wear a black dress with long stockings. Her hair was black like hers and she had big chocolate brown eyes and freckles sprinkled across her cheeks. She reassured the girl, "Where I am from, it is a small village and there are not this many people so when we all pray it is very private and not so public. Do you understand?" and the girl nodded but was not totally reassured.
Forty minutes later they returned to the orphanage and that had been some experience. Diana carefully followed all the steps the other women did and so far it wasn't all that hard. She would be praying to her Gods until the end of time once she reaches her apartment. Thankfully Alia was three women down from her. Most of the female orphans were next to Diana and they were very serious when it came to their prayers. She couldn't help but smile at them. She loved children and most of all she loved helping them.
After the children's lunch Diana decided to take all of their eating place mats and shake them outside in the front of the building. Many women in their flats across the street did the same with their laundry and mats as well.
Clark landed in Algeria an hour ago and he had already seen many things that Sister Janessa had warned him of and braced himself for the questions. The first thing he did was change out of his jeans and he wore black pants with a white button-down shirt. His skin was a nice tan and his jet black hair easily disguised himself. Many people thought he was a native, but others were taking second glances, but did not say anything. He had set up the hotel arrangements before he left France and his things were unpacked and since it was lunch time he decided he'd ask someone, if they spoke English, to tell him where to go to grab something to eat.
He walked down not too far from the hotel he was staying at and came across many small shops full of clothing and sweets. He also saw a line of apartments down this road and a huge building at the end of it. He could see it was a Mosque and a few yards away from it was another large building. He had a bit of trouble reading the sign, well of course he did it wasn't in English. It was in Algerian. He looked inside the windows and saw children of all ages playing and they all wore uniforms. Ah this must be a school or an orphanage. He could recognize them anywhere. No matter what country he was in. Clark took notice of the woman in all black shaking out what looked like to be rugs to him against the wall of the building.
Maybe this woman spoke English, oh boy he hoped she did and she looked friendly and approachable. All the other women were just gaping at him and he only nodded in their directions.
"Excuse me Miss, do you speak English?" he smiled as he approached the woman shaking the mats vigorously.
Diana looked up and her eyes met with kind sapphire eyes and she could not help but stare at his lovely face. She had never seen a man that gave her this kind of reaction before. She stood there for awhile admiring his beauty and he seemed to stand up straighter and she did too.
"Do you speak English?" he repeated. This is getting a little awkward.
Diana snapped out of her daze and put her hand to her forehead and smiled. "Yes, I'm sorry. Forgive me, I was just a bit startled by your presence." Yes very startled indeed. "Is there anything I could help you with?"
Clark noticed her accent wasn't Algerian and didn't sound very Arabic at all either, but her accent wasn't very thick so it easy to understand her. And she really did speak English very well! She must not be from around here. "I was wondering if you could tell me where I could eat some lunch. I just arrived here this afternoon and I am unfamiliar with the area." Wow Clark that sounded so lame and robotic sounding. It's the woman's face. Her face is so striking and he feels like he had seen it somewhere before, but can't remember where.
Diana gestured him to come inside and he helped her carry in the mats she was dusting off outside. They set them aside the playroom and she offered him a seat in the living room. He sat down and was taking in all the beautiful murals on the ceilings and walls. Not to mention the doorways were shaped like Moroccan style doorways. The colors outlined the doorways and beads hung like a door as people walked through them. He heard children run by him and he turned to see they were about five or six. They looked like they were twins and he didn't understand anything the two were saying, but he smiled because he guessed they were having a good time with that plastic plane.
Diana came back with a glass of water for him and she sat across from him and noticed he was staring at the two boys running down the hallway. "That is Ali and Ahmed. They are inseparable. They also very naughty and hardly ever follow anybody's orders."
Clark nodded as he took a sip of his water. "Are they siblings?"
"No, but everyone thinks they are. They look very much alike and are the same age. Their birthdays are only two months apart and have been here for the same amount of time. Apparently they've been here since they were three years old. Ali will be six in a few months followed by Ahmed." She explained and Clark nodded once more.
Hm? Apparently they've been here since they were three…she hasn't been here this long I guess. "They seem like a handful."
Diana agreed and then shook her head realizing why this man had come in here in the first place. "You wanted to know where is the best place to eat, didn't you? I am sorry. I have been getting sidetracked lately. If you keep going down this road you will come to a stop light and there are many cafes down there. I don't know which one you'd like the most, though. All have very good food and it is inexpensive as well."
"Thank you, ma'am. What is your name?" he finished off his water and was ready to head out of the orphanage.
"My name is Diana Al-Wahhab, and yours?" she smiled.
"Clark Kent, Miss Al-Wahhab."
Clark Kent….okay so he is from America, Diana guesses. Maybe it would be nice to converse with someone who is ahead on the news over there. Should I invite him to drop by again? No that sounds desperate maybe just anytime he wants. Yes, that's it.
Before he started walking off Diana called after him. "Oh Mr. Kent, if you need any help around this area I will be more than happy to help you." That sounded too eager. Stupid Diana, stupid.
He looked back at her and then thought for a moment. Well he didn't come all the way over here to not meet new people and he already found an orphanage similar to the ones he saw in France. This was his mission. To seek out religious practices and help people in need. Yes, he will definitely be back.
"Of course Ms. Al-Wahhab, I will be back same time tomorrow." He smiled and she smiled back at him. He walked away waving his hand at her and she waved back and closed the doors. Alia stood behind her with her arms folded and an emotionless face. Diana turned and jumped as she did not see or hear Alia come behind her.
"Who was at the door, Diana?" she was adamant now.
Diana took a moment to catch her breath. "It was a traveler. He stopped in to see what restaurant he should eat at. You should really warn someone when you sneak up on them like that."
"Well then it wouldn't be sneaky if I did that now would it?" she nearly smiled at that remark and Diana just walked off slowly and put a hand to her chest. That woman will be the death of her.
"So a traveler?" Alia came walking behind her and Diana rolled her eyes.
Alia waited for Diana to elaborate more, but when she didn't she was compelled to ask another question. "Where was he from? Is he Arab? What did he look like?"
Diana turned to face the petite woman and replied in a calm manner, "He sounds like he is from America and certainly is not Arab and he was very tall, taller than I and had black hair and blue eyes. He also said his name is Clark Kent and will be back tomorrow afternoon." She took a breath as she said this all in one big word it seemed like. "Anything else I can help you with?" her patience was wearing thin. Atop of all of that, a little girl and her playmate ran by Diana and knocked her off her balance and she leaned against a wall.
"Sara! Sieda! No running in the hallways!" Diana yelled at them and Alia helped Diana to stand up straight.
"Well, I suppose he will come back to see you, not our orphanage." Alia was now smiling and it wasn't a normal smile. She looked mischievous and Diana rolled her eyes again.
"What do you mean by that?"
"Oh come on Diana, you said you were looking for marriage and look at that! Poof! A man appears here! He ogles your beauty why else would he come back here? To constantly ask you where is the best place to eat in the city? I don't think so. I think it would be different if I, Diya or Fatimah answered the door." Diana did not think about that, but he seemed like he wanted company and Diana did too. It had been awhile since she was able to speak English. She had almost forgotten how to speak it once she started using Arabic every day. She spoke more English to her mother than in her native Themysciran Greek.
"Don't be ridiculous, Alia." She started walking off and Alia smirked at the tall woman. She was very naïve, how could this happen? A woman so beautiful could not notice small things such as a man thinking she is beautiful. Pity.
It was about six o'clock and Diana had finished cleaning the washrooms. It was her turn to do it this week and to be honest, these kids were very messy. Well the smaller children were the messy ones. They left towels everywhere and soap in the sink and the shower was covered in shampoo all the time. Diana did not like cleaning those rooms. It was like torture. It took her two hours to clean all seven rooms. She washed her hands and fixed her veil as she exited the restroom. She found Alia sitting down in the main living area reading a book. Diana didn't know she read books. She always thought her to be kind of simple minded, but maybe she misjudged her. Fatimah was busy helping Diya getting the children into their rooms for the night. Diana decided to approach Alia and finally ask her the questions she has been pondering on for the last few nights.
"Alia could I bother you for a moment?" Diana touched the woman's shoulder slightly.
She set down her book in her lap and removed her glasses. Diana liked her in glasses. It made her look more amicable. "Yes Diana?" alia had a feeling she was already know the question Diana was about to ask.
"You promised to tell me something about these assassins and I have been very patient and since we are alone now." She looked around to make sure they were really alone. Diya and Fatimah were still busy handling the young ones and Reem would start working tomorrow morning. She was bent down so she could see at Alia's level. Alia gestured her to move to the seat next to her and Diana did just that.
Alright, this is getting exciting! Diana could barely contain herself, but she remained calm on the outside. Athena never said anything about contacting the league if something like this arose. She would seek answers about this later; unless she doesn't answer then Diana would take things into her own hands. Yes, that's what she will do.
"As I told you before the Assassins Noor were founded fifty years ago by Rohai Khalifa and Asha Roa-Khalifa." Alia began and Diana held up her hand.
"How do you know those are the founders? It said on all sites and newspapers and television networks that nobody has found the founders of the Assassins Noor." Diana folded her arms and stared at Alia with a suspicious eye. Now she was onto this woman. She even knows the wife's maiden name.
Alia smiled and said quietly, "we will talk about that in a more private area. Anyway, the founders are Syrian. Both are from Aleppo, Syria and after five years of exploring they extended their assassins to cover Algeria and parts of France. One of their main bases was set in Paris, France. They were an underground elite team that kept terrorism out, but it said that the assassins were not Arab, but American. Many of the assassins possessed great strength that no man can such as lifting buildings and ripping car doors off like it was the easiest thing in the world."
Diana thought for a moment. Great strength? Meta-humans perhaps? Now she was even more confused. This was ridiculous. She had never heard of these assassins in her life. "Do you know how many there were and what they looked like?"
"I do not know their faces because all assassins covered their faces with niqabs (face veil) and showed almost no skin. I do remember there was at least one female and all the rest were male. She carried a whip and had the most horrifying eyes I had…." She trailed off remembering the first time she came into an encounter with the female assassin. She was frightening and took no prisoners. "I am not sure if I can elaborate much on this subject in this building."
Diana nodded her head as she understood. Obviously Alia knew a lot about this group. More than a person should. Maybe she was a meta-human or someone in her family was? Or maybe…Diana didn't know, but she was determined to find out what exactly was going on here. A female with a whip? The last time she checked she did not remember assassins possessing that kind of strength. They said they would help the people, but it doesn't seem that way. "I understand, Alia. Could I come over for dinner sometime and maybe you can tell me more about it then?" she hoped she'd say yes.
Alia agreed and went back to her book. Diana helped Diya get the last little one to bed. She never wanted to go to bed on time and if she did she wanted Miss Diana to help her to bed.
"Miss Al-Wahhab?" the small child named Elissa tucked herself in the covers. Her hair was sandy and her eyes were bright blue.
"Yes, Elissa?" Diana sat on the bed and smiled at the child.
"Do you know who Wonder Woman is?" the little girl asked her. Diana's face became stone and she did not answer for awhile, but soon released a warm hand to the child's face. "Of course I know who Wonder Woman is. Do you like her?"
Elissa nodded her head and smiled brightly, "she's so pretty. I want to meet her one day. Look," the girl reached under her bed and pulled out a photo of Wonder Woman standing in front of her Embassy in Washington.
Diana's heart melted at the cute-ness of the child and her eyes twinkled as she held the picture in her own hands. This photo was taken fifteen years ago. Wow, fifteen years ago. She was so young and her sister was next to her as well as Mala. She missed them both, especially Donna.
"So you really like her don't you, Elissa?" Diana handed the photo back to the child.
"Yes! Do you like her?"
Diana smiled and she brushed some hair away from the child's face, "yes I do. She seems very honest and true to her word." She almost laughed at this.
Elissa agreed, "If I do get to meet her one day I will tell her about you and all my friends here at the orphanage. Maybe she will come help us here. What do you think Miss Al-Wahhab?"
"Maybe she will. Now you need to go to bed!" Diana ruffled the girl's hair and Elissa lay back down on her pillow and closed her eyes. Diana closed the door and sighed. Her hand touched the door and she felt warm inside. Children looked up to her as well. She had forgotten what that felt like. She was always busy with Ambassador Meetings and men in her life along with her Princess duties to notice that a child can look up to her as the most wonderful thing they had ever seen. Elissa had no family, just her friends here at the orphanage and here she is day dreaming about meeting Wonder Woman. Diana closed her eyes and balled her hand in a fist controlling her from punching the wall.
"Are you ready to go, Diana?" Alia surprised her from behind. She was waiting with her purse in hand. Diana turned and nodded her head as she went to go fetch her things.
On the way to her apartment it had been silent in the car and Alia started whistling but Diana looked at her with a look that said, 'would you stop doing that before I hurt you' look. Alia sighed as the car stopped and Diana was gathering her belongings and trying to find her key to go inside. Before she got out of the vehicle Alia put a hand on her shoulder. "You can come over tomorrow evening for dinner, Diana." A small smile crossed her lips. Diana thanked her for the gesture and agreed she would come. She said goodbye to the married couple and walked up the stairs to her apartment on the top floor. Immediately she stripped out of her clothing and took a shower before lying down in her bed.
She could not sleep and she was very frustrated. Diana missed her mother, sisters and her friends in the league. She desperately wanted to contact each and every one of them, but she did not know if that would be safe for her to do. She could take a day and fly home to see her sisters and mother, but she was afraid that would be breaking the rules. Diana let out an exasperated sigh and turned on her side.
"Stupid mission, stupid rules, stupid, just stupid…." Diana said drifting off to sleep an hour later.
After lunch Clark walked back through the same street he came down to stop and ask that very nice woman, Diana Al-Wahhab where he should stop and eat something. He smiled as he stared at the orphanage again in awe. It was a Tuscan colored building with Algerian designs covering the outline of the doors and windows. The top of the building were red shingles and beads were used as curtains he could see inside. He saw Diana carrying a child on her hip as she was coming inside. He looked like he was playing in the mud and Diana was not a happy camper. Her dress was covered in sand and mud from the child squirming on her hip. He made sure he kept a fair distance so he was unseen. He always did a good job at hiding in big or small crowds.
She is something else. Something about her that he couldn't get out of his mind. As he passed by he couldn't help but eavesdrop on Diana's conversation with the child. He did not understand anything she was saying, but she did not sound very happy about it. He chuckled a bit and continued on back to his hotel. After a few nights he would need to find a flat to live in for awhile. He had money left over from his book sales and he sold his home back in Smallville and invested in some projects about ten years and they boomed through the sales. He would be set for another ten years if he was wise. He would ask Diana about what place is best to stay at. Clark wasn't sure if he was just asking stupid questions like this to Diana for actual help or if he just wanted to see her again. Damn it Kent why do you do this to yourself. She is probably married anyway. He didn't see a ring on her finger, well that didn't mean anything these days anyway. He sighed and opened the door to his hotel and changed his clothes and opened his laptop to search more on these assassins.
Clark pulled up a video and decided to play it. He was drinking some wine he bought earlier in the day. Alcohol didn't affect him but he did enjoy some of the taste of certain alcoholic beverages. He turned the volume up a bit and really listened. There were English subtitles thank God, he read them carefully.
"The Assassins Noor was caught yesterday in Aleppo, Syria as they smashed through a family's home to take the life of the husband in charge. We have identified the victim and his name is Rasheed Alifukmar. His wife, Sonja Ali-Alifukmar and his three children are staying with a family member as their house was burnt down by the assassins. These assassins are a menace to our society and have come back to claim their victims. They said they would help us, but all they do is kill innocents." The video ended and Clark rubbed his chin and someone was able to catch one of the assassins on tape. It wasn't very good quality because it was kind of shaky and dark, but it was good enough. He could see it was the body of a woman and she wore a niqab. She turned back to the camera and the person holding the camera ran and dropped the camera. The woman's boots were seen running after the man as the camera was on the floor still recording. Clark didn't think that man lived very long after that and he held the bridge of his nose with his thumb and index finger and sighed. "Poor man", he said aloud.
Then Clark remembered something….kill innocents? Someone told him that they helped regulate terrorism or were they the terrorists? Now he was curious. He needed more information on them. It was becoming frustrating that nobody knew.
Clark stopped by the orphanage at the same time he did yesterday and he was greeted at the door by a much smaller woman with big grey eyes. He was surprised and he smiled.
"Hello." He said politely and the woman nodded, not sure what to say. She didn't speak English very well.
Diya called out in the orphanage, "taalee hona, Diana!" (come here)
Diana was heard from a distance, "leysh, Diya? Mashghoolah!" (why, I'm busy!)
Diya turned back to the man, "hold…please" she barely managed to say. She had been listening to Diana's English lessons with the children fairly often.
"Ugh, wen anti, walla?" (where are you, I swear/really)
"Huna, asef ya sadeeqa," (here, sorry my friend). Diana appeared from around the corner and saw Clark standing at the doorway looking totally confused. She couldn't help but giggle at his sudden expression.
"Hello! Sorry to keep you waiting. Please come in." she dried her hands and walked towards the living room.
Diya elbowed Diana in the arm, "Who is that, Diana?"
"He is the man I told Alia about yesterday. He is from America and I told him he could come back anytime he wants." Diana told her and then sat down next to Clark.
Clark smiled at her presence and she returned the warm smile. "Arabic is a beautiful language I wish I could understand it," he laughed.
Diana nodded and told Diya to grab some water in Arabic and he again looked at her with that puzzled look again. She laughed and covered her mouth. "I'm sorry. She does not know English as well as I do. You have to excuse us speaking in another language." He waved his hand off as if it did not bother him. It wouldn't be the first time he would feel out of place when it came to other's languages.
Two glasses of water were brought to them by Reem, the new helper and Diana thanked her as did Clark. Not many men stopped by, which made the women extra careful when he arrived. He noticed the children were passing by carrying books and laundry. Hm, they must make the children do chores. Good, he thought. Oh right, he was here to ask Diana some questions.
"So Miss Al-Wahhab," he began.
He continued, "So Diana," they exchanged smiles, "I don't want this to sound odd and I don't really know the customs here, but would you kindly point me to the best apartments to rent here in this area? I was looking through some but could not seem to find the right complex." He was doing that robot thing again. He inwardly rolled his eyes.
Diana was taken aback with this question. She had not expected this, but she thought of some nice apartments not too far from hers. "I can write down the address of some nice apartments for you and you can go take a look at them. The tenants speak English, fortunate for you," she wrote down the address on a piece of paper from a notebook and handed it to Clark. He thanked her as he tucked the paper in his jean pocket. It was silent now and he didn't know what to say or ask her. She was so pretty no she was more than pretty. He suddenly felt like a high school kid again –not knowing what to say to a pretty girl. Diana broke the ice finally.
"So what are your plans today, Clark?" oh he liked when she said his name. Yeah, that was nice. Oh she asked a question. Time to answer the pretty lady.
"I haven't much to do today, but I was hoping to ask you where to find some more orphanages like this. I have been travelling the world in search of religious ideas and to help children and others in need. My last stop was in Paris, but I cut the trip short to come here. I am glad I found an orphanage not far from my hotel." He smiled as turned toward Diana to talk to her directly.
Diana could not stop staring at his eyes. They were so blue and beautiful. His arms were like the size of Hercules and he was…he was gorgeous. Diana had been with many men in her life, but it was nothing serious. She didn't feel anything for them, but she liked when she saw Clark. She only met him yesterday, but it felt like longer. Oh he's talking….
"That's wonderful! I too am looking for similar ambitions in life. I moved here from my small village in Lebanon where my mother still lives. I thought it would be best if I explored more so I came here. I have been working at this orphanage for about four months and I am enjoying it greatly. The children are so adorable and the women I work with are friendly and kind."
Clark liked this woman already. She was beautiful, smart, nice and loving. She had a kind heart. "Wow. That's….amazing. I am impressed, Diana. Do you plan to stay here for a few more years?"
Diana told him that she would stay here until the next calling came along.
Alright, this conversation was getting boring. Clark decided to bring up the assassins. He'd love to converse about that. "Have you heard of the Assassins Noor? I heard about it when I was still in France. People are very afraid of this group."
Now he got her attention and she immediately sat up straighter and crossed one leg over the other. "I have heard of this 'Assassins Noor' as well. People here don't talk about them much." She wondered if she should mention the things Alia told her. No, she shouldn't do that. This man was not part of anything Meta and she was involved with the Justice League…well she used to be, but still! This will be kept a secret. Maybe he will spill some information out and I will feed off of this. Yes, good plan. That's the plan! "Have you any information on this group? So far I have not found anything important." Lies. This was starting to become a habit.
"Well, actually, I did find a video of a woman with a whip and she wore a face veil."
She interrupted, "niqab."
"Right…nikab…anyway she was being filmed by someone and they dropped the camera. Obviously you can't see her face, but she looked like she was evil because of the look in her eyes. Pure evil. The camera man dropped the camera and ran the other direction. I can only imagine what that woman did to him."
Wow, this is news to Diana. A woman with a whip….she knew only a few women that carried whips with them at all times, and this did not sound very assassin-like. Assassins were good with swords, not whips. "I see. That is interesting. You must keep me posted on more news of the assassins." She was itching to contact the league and she just might take a short trip home for a bit….she could fly home, yes…she could do that.
Reem came in with Fatimah and they had children all around them. It was that time already. Diana turned to Clark and he looked confused again. "I'm sorry. I need to go to pray with them." Ugh, I don't even pray to that god…anyway…"Perhaps I will see you later? I have a day off next Friday. We can go eat somewhere and talk more. Is that a plan?" she smiled.
Clark nodded, "Of course, I will see you then. Ladies," he nodded to Fatimah and Reem. They smiled but didn't know what he was saying. Diana tried her best to contain her poise. She grabbed hold of the children's hands as Clark showed himself out.
Later that evening when all the children were tucked in and ready to go to sleep Diana, as always, caught a ride with Alia and her husband, but this time she was having dinner at their house. She was excited, but yet a little nervous. She had only been by herself since coming here. She did miss the atmosphere of family gatherings.
When they arrived at the house, which was twenty minutes away from the orphanage and it was a wonderful house, very large! Diana stepped inside and saw an older couple which looked like it was Alia's parents and another woman about the same age as Alia. Must be her sister or something. Diana noticed there were more people in the kitchen, chatting in Arabic and laughing as the women cooked dinner. Everyone took notice when Diana walked in and they all smothered her with hugs and kisses. She didn't know what to do, so she just stood there and accepted the welcoming committee.
"Diana, these are my sisters, Ana, Sana, Sabeen and Sherine." All the sisters varied in height and two of them were fair skinned and all the others were dark. "We all live together with our spouses." There were four kids running between them and Diana was shocked to see so many people living in one house. This must be common here. "Don't mind them. Those are Sabeen's children. They are a handful." Alia was much warmer when she was with her family. Diana was guided towards the table to sit with all the sisters and a grandmother and their mother. All were very warm and welcoming. She felt like she was at home again. Now she understood why their house was so huge! There were so many people living here!
After a nice dinner all the family stayed up in the living room while Alia and Diana went upstairs in a more private room to talk about the assassins.
Alia closed the door behind her and Diana sat on her bed and waited for Alia to join her.
"Okay now that we are alone I think it is safe to talk about this, finally. I know you have been dying to hear about this. I don't normally spit out information about this Elite Assassins group, but I feel I can trust you Diana. Can I trust you?" she eyed the tall woman and Diana nodded her head. "Good. Now with everything I have told you before I was being truthful. Back to the founders of the group I had mentioned."
"Rohai and Asha Khalifa. I remember their names."
"Yes," she paused, "now I don't want you to think differently of me when I tell you this."
Diana braced herself for this and now she had her legs crossed and ears fully engaged.
"Rohai Khalifa is my uncle and his wife is my aunt, Asha." Diana's eyes widened and she waited to hear more. "My uncle started this group to help with terrorism in Algeria and Syria, mainly in Syria. He soon spread the group to France as I said before and then it bled into India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. Soon they had a base in America. As you know, well you may not know, America is heavily guarded by many people and this group was unheard of there. There were over three hundred assassins in this clan and all were highly trained by Japanese martial arts masters and Arab magi's."
Magi's? oh really! Diana was intrigued now. Maybe this is why they possessed great strength. "If these assassins were human how come they have meta strength?"
Alia thought for a moment and then answered, "All the assassins were human, until a corrupted ruler in Calcutta, India ruined the whole group. He brought in people with great strength. They seemed to not be from this world. Most of those assassins were women and they were huge, taller than you and built like soldiers. I cannot describe it, Diana. I saw one of them when I was a child. They threatened to kill my father and all of my brothers. One had a whip and threatened to take me with her, but the retreated as their commander demanded of them. I don't know who they are. Ever since then they have not come back until now and I suppose everyone is in a panic. These assassins are not a joke. They are murderers and seem to enjoy it. My uncle tried to create a good thing for the world, but it ended up costing his life and many others went too." Her voice was full of somber now. Diana now understood why this woman was so cold sometimes. She never expressed such sorrow in one breath. It only took her a few minutes to fully explain this to her. Her heart went out to the woman. Oh great, now she did not know what to do. This needed to be addressed immediately, but she can't just twirl into her Wonder Woman costume anymore. How would she deal with this this time?
"I am truly sorry, Alia. I had no idea. You carry so much baggage with you and you are unable to tell anyone about this. You and your family should be safe, but I am sure you fear every night that they will come and take you away from them."
"Yes, that is what I fear the most. I have been on edge ever since the news of their return." She stared off into space as Diana rubbed her arm comfortingly.
Diana took her hands in her own, "I can help you."
AN: oh so close! (: I am getting closer to the awesomeness LOL. Maybe everyone can guess who the assassins really are? Eh, maybe not...we'll see. Review please. I know you guys are reading this because I get notifications all the time ;P