Disclaimer: I do NOT own King Arthur or his brave knights. Black Phoenix and the concept of the Red Sun Guild (c) June Birdie. I only own Amy and LeMarc Bradley and the concept of the Blackbird Society.
Life…what's the point of living out a pathetic life when the ones that you could count on are no longer around? When they die, where do some kids go? In an orphanage, where they could get adopted and develop new 'happy' lives? In the streets, forever to become a poor degenerate, going from hand to mouth, begging for food and money and forced to live in the "real world", where the weather could be unpredictable? Hanging with the wrong crowd of people, where they do drugs, drink, and do things that most kids would not do most of their time in New York City, like stealing, or killing, or joining a gang that will forever be on your side…that is, if you were to obey the rules? Or…taken in by some weirdo that turns out to be this leader for a huge organized underground guild, where you could steal, kill, or hack into any electronic device for a living? For me…well, let's just say that the last option was placed into my lap without my consent.
The guy that took me in was family, my mom's younger brother, LeMarc Bradley. LeMarc was the leader of this guild called the 'Blackbird Society'. Now, I know that there are about a dozen of these so-called 'underground guilds' in which assassins, hackers and thieves can all come together to gather the latest in terms of assignments and whatnot...but none of these guilds could be compared to BbS in terms of how the members were treated. The BbS, as I call my uncle's guild, had about 5,000 members in the guild alone; at least 100 of those members are what I call 'exclusive' members, where they were close to being well known to the underlings in the guild. The underlings worship these 'exclusive' members as if they were the very gods of Olympus…personally, I think that it's just stupid…but, I can't say much, since I was one of those 'exclusive' members for a short while. Above the 100 'exclusive' members is about a good handful of seven members that are at the very top of the list in the guild. These seven members were extremely good at their respectful expertise: stealth, swiftness, accuracy, and knowledge of the world, the talent of disguise, seduction, and patience. The reason as to how I happen to know all of this is that I am one of the seven lucky bastards.
Let me explain how I got myself in this position: I've been fairly good in terms of knowing the PC and shoplifted almost eight times a month, my uncle had me under as a Level 2 exclusive member, which is about the same to five years on the field as a BbS member. Not too shabby for a twelve year old orphan. It took me about a year and a half to get me into the position that I am in now…and this was the position that would take over leadership of the guild should anything happen to the current leader. My name…well, I guess some people forget their birth names, but I still remember that I was named Amelia Leslie Kathleen Bradley. My codename, on the other hand, was a name that I had picked out, since I had actually liked it. I had been known as Jade Angel since I had joined the guild.
Of course, we were similar to another guild called the 'Red Sun Guild', which was hqed in California, but we, hqed in New York City, were governed with a kinder, less firm hand…which kind of leads to what I'm about to tell you now. I have heard stories as to what had happened to one RSG assassin codenamed Black Phoenix: she had been sent back to the time of King Arthur and his Samaritan Knights and saved one of those knights, Tristan, who was, as I found out later, her ancestor. All of this I have heard from one of my numerous contacts named Lex Ambers, AKA Light Girl. I have heard about the legends of the Briton King, especially the relationships of Lancelot and Guinevere and Tristan and Isolde, and seen different versions of the legends…but the one that I really liked the most was the version with Clive Owen as Arthur, Ioan Gruffudd as Lancelot, and Keira Knightley as Guinevere. Anyway, back to what I had heard about Black Phoenix, once she had gotten back and was well enough to continue her work, she was able to kill the last leader, Kronos, and became the next leader of RSG.
For some reason that I cannot even begin to explain, my uncle and Kronos had some kind of grudge when Kronos was still alive. But, after hearing his death and the rising of a new leader, he loosened his tie a bit and allowed some members to retire if they wanted to. Eventually, we went from close to 5,000 members to about 2,500. I was glad for those that left, since they were reassured of a good life, consisting of an easy-pay job, housing, and pocket money to last them for five lifetimes. I stayed, surprisingly, since I had nowhere else to go…BbS had become my family and my home. I would never leave my uncle, who had become like a father to me and a mentor for the past eight years, and it would be very difficult to adjust to living a normal life.
So, it was about a week ago that I began to hear rumors about a rogue assassin guild that was on the loose and wanted to be the number one underground guild that only the wealthiest would hire…and by that, I mean wipe out any guild that stood in its way. Of course, this left my uncle unnerved and whatnot…yet he remained his cool throughout the week.
"'Ah, there's just to scare all of us,'" my uncle had said last night. "'Rumors can destroy a person's reputation…but, sometimes, it's good to suspect that something's not right.'"
True to his word, that evening would prove to be the last day of my independent state of mind and the beginning of caring about others for the first time…