Welcome to my story. Rebel. I like that word. I like it a lot, actually. Quite a bit of that affection probably stems from the fact that it can be both a noun and a verb. So it's doubly awesome.
For those of you who are new to this, welcome. To my readers from The Rebeldes days, welcome back. Yes, I know I posted this prologue already in the Chapter 6 Author's Note for The Rebeldes, but I felt my new readers ought to have the ability to access it. So, here we are. Also, there's a refresher of the name changes from the original story at the bottom of the chapter.
Oh, and for those new people, this is a rewrite of the beginnings of what I'm sure might have had some semblance of being a story that I wrote about five years ago. This version is much more polished, actually plotted out, and, frankly, of much better quality than the previous one. No prior knowledge of the original story is needed. I won't be referencing it, and, really, I'm only keeping the original up because some people expressed that they would miss it if I took it down.
I'll shut up now, and let the story speak for itself. Read on!
Disclaimer: Obviously, I own nothing.
Quiet breathing. The slightest whisper of rustling clothes. The barely-detectable crackle of a spell. These few sounds were all the guards heard that night.
It took all of three minutes for sixteen of the seventeen guards to fall prey to their assailants. Only one remained. Only one, and he was terrified.
A small, metal object clattered across the floor. As the guard stared, it lit up and purple smoke billowed out. He began coughing violently after inhaling a mouthful. What little around him that wasn't obscured by the smoke grew hazy. His addled mind registered a blurred, shadowy outline before he gave in to the darkness.
Five figures seemed to solidify out of the shadows of the room. They were all dressed identically in dark, loose cargo pants and black hoodies. It was impossible to discern any identifying traits from their appearances. Not even gender was obvious. Thought, if one looked closer, perhaps the stretching of a hoodie might suggest feminine curves on two of the figures.
"Really, Mist? You had to use the smoke?" The speaker was obviously female. Her voice conveyed her exasperation. Another of the figures gracefully maneuvered her way over to the vault that the guards had been watching, sank to her knees, and began the process of breaking into it.
"I agree with Eve. I don't see the point in the smoke bomb." This speaker was male. Instead of exasperation, however, his voice contained strains of contained amusement, as if he was only pretending to be annoyed.
"Jason, for the last time, they are not called 'smoke bombs.' That's way too unimaginative. They're 'Mist bombs.' See the difference?" Another male. His voice was obviously one of a leader, but it was filled with glee. Had they not been wearing hoods, it would have been obvious that Jason was rolling his eyes.
"No, I can't see a difference, as you're speaking. Therefore, it is an audial difference rather than visual," he replied.
"For Merlin's sake, Jason. Stop taking everything so literally." A third male spoke up, a hint of deep-seated suffering tinting his tone.
"It's not my fault that you all choose to speak incorrectly, Cameron." Jason replied. "Besides, Mist, your obsession with putting your nickname in front of everything you invent stopped being funny years ago." Mist gasped in fake anger.
"Batman does it!" he replied, as if this fact should have made it acceptable.
"Well, hate to break it to you, mate, but you're not Batman," said Jason.
"Shut up, Jase," Mist answered.
"Maybe you could all shut up so I could finish cracking this combination." The final member of the group, this one a girl, spoke up from her spot in front of the vault.
"Perhaps we should look into a safe-cracking spell, Eve. If one doesn't exist, I'm sure we could invent something, especially with our combined knowledge of spell-crafting," Jason suggested.
"What did I just say about shutting up?" The second girl sounded even more annoyed.
"Sorry, Zoe." She ignored him.
"And…drop three. Got it!" Zoe exclaimed. The vault door swung open. She began casting detection spells, checking for booby-traps.
"Sixty-two seconds. Not your best time, Zoe," Cameron stated as he stepped forward. As her diagnostic results showed up negative, the two of them entered the vault.
"I'd like to see you do better! This is the new SpellSafe 3250. We're lucky I was able to bypass the magical signature scanner. Otherwise, we'd have been sucked into the vault. Damn, I miss the good old days where these things were just three tumblers and near-indestructible. Now they're completely indestructible, unless seriously dark magic is used. And, even then, you can't guarantee anything," Zoe said, annoyed.
"I hear that. Even in the muggle world, everything's so high-tech now. Seems like everything has a retinal, fingerprint, or some sort of biometric scanner attached to it. Watch, in a few years, you won't be able to make toast without a blood sample. It's ridiculous!" Cameron exclaimed.
"If you two are done soapboxing, can we get what we came for?" Jason asked.
"Here it is," Mist said quietly. He reached out with a gloved hand and gently picked up a bejeweled broach. It was shaped like a spider, with a giant yellow stone for a body.
"You're sure that's what killed those women?" Eve asked.
"It's definitely cursed," Zoe observed.
"Yes, this is it," Mist replied. Cameron pulled out a black box from his pocket and opened it. Mist carefully placed the broach inside, and Cameron gently closed it. "Let's go. We'll destroy it when we get home." The others nodded.
Without a word, the five of them all disappeared at the same time, reappearing miles away in a place they called home. They were eager to destroy the broach and collect the payment for the job. Little did they know that, very soon, they would be contacted with another job. And this job would shake the foundations that they'd lived upon for years.
I know, I know, it's very short. Future chapters will be much longer, I promise. However, this is just a quick introduction to the story, so it does not follow the same rules.
For those old hands, here's a refresher:
Character Name Changes:
Jenna/Quills to Eve
Lenna/Nails to Zoe
David/Scroll to Jason
Tyler/Chain to Cameron
Harry is still Mist