User:Auri-El Reborn/A Contract Amiss
This is the story of Caius Luco, an Imperial Fighters' Guild Apprentice with a disturbed and guilty past full of theft, murder, and deceit. In essence, it is based around the quest The Unfortunate Shopkeeper, with a twist. There are three parts to the story, and it will be relatively short, though I will be sure to follow it up with a longer sequel. Enjoy!
Caius Luco anxiously awaited Azzan's waking for two hours. He was determined to rank up, and one more completed contract on his part would do the trick just fine. He had flawlessly completed his first contract, at Desolate Mine; all the Goblins were killed and no casualties for the Guild. For his second one, a curious case of Rats -- and curious is the correct word, due to the fact that the Rats were not truly the problem -- involving Arvena Thelas' rats being attacked by starving mountain lions. No rats were killed, and quite swiftly, Arvena and Caius deduced that Quil-Weave was the culprit, and right they were. She had been laying out rotten meat to lure the rats outside, so that the guards would kill them on sight, assuming them to be the wild, filthy, disgusting animals they really were. But instead, she had attracted severely starving mountai, who proceeded to go enter the basement and attack the rats. Caius had just returned from that mission with a good amount of gold and a newfound knowledge on verbal persuasion. With those two first contracts completed, he was now an Apprentice, and with a single contract more he would be a Journeyman.
At last, Azzan opened his door, and Caius jumped up from the step on the staircase he had been sitting on. The Redguard looked him over, smirking. "Well somebody's certainly... spunky today." he said humorously. Caius laughed.
"Yes, indeed sir," he said. "But I am so for a good reason. I would like my advancement contract, sir." Caius dutifully requested.
Azzan stared intently at him for a moment. "Very well. A guy named Norbet Lelles is having problems with Thieves. I'd like you to take care of this for me." He had that sort of and that's an order sound about him as he said this. Without a word, Caius turned to leave for the shop, when Azzan grabbed him by the arm. "Be careful, son." he said.
Caius nodded, and left.
Llensi Llaram, a Dunmer who had been watching the two men converse, walked up to him. "You don't think...?"
"Yes, Llensi, I do think that." Azzan replied snappily. "You know that he's never wrong."
"Well, you know what, Azzan? It's nice to have hope sometimes. That's a lesson you've never learned." And with that, Llensi went downstairs to converse with her fellow Guild members.
"Gods, if only you were right Llensi. If only you were right."
Caius made his way into Norbet Lelles's Quality Merchandise. He approached Norbet cautiously, as he did in all contracts. He was, in actuality, the paranoid type. "Greetings, Imperial," he said. "I assume you are here from the Fighters' Guild?"
Still looking around for any signs of an ambush or the like, Caius answered, "Yes." And nothing more than that.
"Very well. I'll be at the flowing bowl. They come at midnight, everyday, every single time. I can't thank you enough, good sir!" And with that Norbert was off, and Caius was to await the arrival of the Thieves.
"What shall I do until the scoundrels arrive?" Caius asked himself. "I could... read a book... have a meal... or..." his eyes wandered over to some emeralds in an unlocked case. "Give my self a bonus." he said slyly, a sinister grin on his face. And so he looted the entire place of all the items -- magical and mundane, valuable and worthless. He enjoyed his spoils, eating and reading and trying on new armor. He even found a pair of boot known as The Boots of the Eel which allowed him to breathe underwater while worn. He then slumbered, as he was famished, and would need all the strength he could get when the Thieves arrived. Oh, what a surprise they were in for!
Downstairs, there came the sound of magic being exercised. These low sounds awoke Caius. "The thieves." he said. Taking out his bow, he stopped on the staircase, aiming for the leader's -- a Nord -- head. He released his arrow and hit his mark with perfect precision. The other two charged him, but he dodged their attacks, ducking and cutting them both open across the stomach. In a very short amount of time, they were all dead, and Caius was soon to be a rich man. A very, very rich man. There was just once problem. Norbert Lelles.
A knock at the door. "Hello, is the job done," said a Breton accent.
"Well, speak of the devil," Caius muttered tyrannically. "Yes, Mr. Lelles, it's safe to come in now." He said, sword sheathed.
The door began to open, and Caius reached for his dagger. This would end before it even began.
"Well," said Norbert. "I suppose you did it, eh? In that case, thank you so very much. But wait I--"
Just as his back turned to examine the bodies, Caius took his chance, placing his dagger against the shopkeeper's throat. "What are you..? Please, no don't do it! Why would you?! Please, let me live. I... I won't say anything!I promise! Please!"
"One, I have my reasons for doing this, and two, I know you will inform the guards. And so you must die."
And with that, Caius cut the Breton's throat, and left the scene, but not before claiming his gold reward. Just to be sure, he went out the back of the house. He fled to Sentinel, to await contact from the Dark Brotherhood. He was accepted into the High Rock branch and for three years, Caius Luco wasn't seen in Cyrodiil again.
"Damn! The Guard spotted you?!" Antoine Amelion roared. "They'd better not have gotten anything from the sighting, or, by Sithis, it'll be your head!" he smashed his fist into the table. Caius watched calmly. He was used to his tirades, and besides, he was sure he could take him. He'd be alone if he decided to attack. Nobody in the Daggerfall guildhall liked him. Caius did have to admit that he missed the Sentinel Sanctuary. Everyone was so calm and level-headed there -- and proper assassins they were -- not like the barbaric, slopy killers that called Daggerfall home. "Oh, and by the way, the listener in Cyrodiil -- yes, the one in the Cheydinhal Sanctury -- wants to speak with you. Here is your payment, and I suggest you get goin... NOW!!!"
Caius didn't need to be told twice; he called his horse from outside the city, and rode for the docks.
-- Cyrodiil --
When Caius arrived days later in Cheydinhal, what he found in the sanctuary was not a warm welcome. "YOU! Do you know what is happening?!" the Listener screamed. "News reporters, from the Black Horse Courier, no less, wish to interview you! What did you do to attract their attention, Caius? You are my best assassin outside of the Black Hand, and the highest ranking. That means that you have had five times more experience than any other member of the Brotherhood. WHY then, have you been discovered."
As the Listener was about to get violent, he stopped her. "Listener, please, I assure you this is not a Brotherhood affair. This... reporter... wishes to speak to me about something that happened before my life in the Brotherhood, the reason I was contacted by the Brotherhood."
The Listener was silent, her lips pursed, thinking. She sighed and took the skin on the brodge of her nose between fingers, closing her eyes and putting her head down. "You mean... the Anvil contract?" she asked tentatively.
"Yes, my lady." Caius answered.
"Very well. He is outside, awaiting you." she said. Caius headed for the door. "Oh and... Caius?" she called.
He turned. "Yes, most honorbale Listener?"
"Don't... you know... kill anybody." she cautioned. "I guess what I mean is..." she paused, looking at him intently. "Be careful, my son."
Caius smiled... and nodded.
Stupid ending, right? Yes, no? Well, tell me what you thought on the discussion page, and thanks for reading! The sequel (I will not reveal the title) is already underway, and will be posted soon.