Seeds of Doubt
I have no idea where that came from. I was never told I had a sister, when I was with the Lin Kuei all I knew was my family was attacked by robbers and The Grandmaster saved my brother and I. I do remember a dream I had during my earlier years in the clan.
"Bruder! Momma said no! Momma said no!" A little girl with snow white hair that matched mine perfectly. "Don't go bruder! Momma be mad!"
"Cool it Sarah, nothing is gonna happen. It's faster to get home this way." My brother's distinguished voice was cooled and persuading. His hair longer than mine blew lightly in the wind. It was February and the lake he wanted to crossed wasn't supposed to be frozen. The ice would be way too thin to support all three of us, but I trusted my brother.
He stepped on to the ice and it seemed to almost solidify underneath his feet. I followed but Sarah wouldn't budge. For a moment my dream would go black.
"Bruder!!!" The scream was ear shattering. The pure horror behind Sarah's call always woke me up. Right before I did though the image of a Lin Kuei Grandmaster would appear. I recognized the crest on his old battle uniform but he was one I've never seen in our temple. Like mine, his hair was white. He wore a blue and black tunic and a half-face breathing mask. You could clearly see a bluish scar running down the side of his face. He was on the ground, broken in defeat, moments from death.
"Amazing. Tell me, what do you know of her?" He ask, now slightly intrigued.
"Sarah... Her name was Sarah."
"Is." My heart melted.
"Sarah is alive?!" I was shocked. After so many years. Moments ago I didn't even know if she ever existed, now I have a hope of family.
"Not only Sarah, but your mother as well." He tempted my questions. My forearm burned with extreme intensity, Lin Kuei. My tattoo felt like it was ripping at my skin trying to be free. It was a tool used by the call to call their assassins back. They knew I lived. I couldn't just deny their summons. I had to find a way out.
Besides the Lin Kuei would never lie to me. We were all family there and I could not trust this, Aaron McCallen. He was sentenced to die, he would probably do anything to get out of his justice. Perhaps this was even a test. Our protocol was that when you felt the tattoo you are to abort the mission and there would be no shame in returning. Honestly I've only felt it once before, long ago in Hawaii stealing an old artifact from a Black Dragon consigliere. It was going to be used as diplomatic leverage for them to cease operation in Arizona but they decided to send a different kind of message.
My task was simple, escape. How, remained the question. The room had no doors or windows. Possibly intimidation... I allowed anger to fuel me.
"I will not buy into your lies, Sorcerer! You will release me at once or you will die." Simple. Effective.
"As you wish, SubZero. All I ask is you think about my words, I have no reason to lie. Return to your temple and see what answers you will receive. When you change your mind-"
"When?! Silence yourself and free me!"
"-When you change your mind, return."
I attempted to argue. He made no sense! Return to where? When I change my mind? Answers?
My next memories are kneeling in front of The Grandmaster.
"It doesn't make sense, Master. How could he know?"
"Our enemies have their ways. The Tengu have many just as talented as you. Sibrand, McCallen, Mackie, Remoré, Allistain. All of them to be eliminated before you can really understand the truth of their lies."
"McCallen? What is his... Talent?"
"Aaron McCallen is an illusionist. The room you described was nothing more than a shared figment of your imaginations. He has proved too difficult for your unrefined skills. You are to set your focus of Robert Allistain. Allistain has an unnatural strength and acts as the muscle of the Tengu, but like all talents it has holes and weaknesses. Find them, exploit them, kill him."
"Go. All of the information you will need is in your room"
"If I may, Master?"
"What of my family?" My question obviously caught him totally off guard. He signaled for me to follow him out of the room. I did so. He led to the training room where the youngest of our clan were fighting each other.
"This is your family, and don't you dare forget it." His threat tore my insides apart. He knew something he wasn't telling me. I could taste the poison in his words. I've taken my first step, in what direction, I still don't know.