I remember the dust…
It coated the tops of the rafters I was clinging to. It hung heavy in the air. There was a full moon that night and I could see the dust dancing where the hole I entered through allowed a stray moonbeam through. Looking back it seems almost poetic, the amount of dust present in that room. How it clung to everything there. How it needed to be cleaned.
See, Hope was covered in dust. More than dust. In filth. It coated everything. Metaphorically speaking of course, although the word filth aptly applied to that man that sat below me that night. The dust needed to be cleaned away if Hope was to become anything. If Skaven was to become anything. It had gone without cleaning for far too long. That man was dust, and I was there to clean him away. To kill him.
I say kill, but of course it was more than likely murder. It was entirely legal, don’t get me wrong. He deserved it, as well. He was a vile and selfish creature, as crime lords tend to be. The amount of wrongs he committed I do not think I could count. Still, I’m sure a good man would have forced him before a trial, or given him a chance to realise his wrongs and turn himself over to justice. Something like that; something different than quick, cold death. My orders did not allow him such a luxury however, and I was quite happy with it that way.
I’m getting sidetracked by philosophical musings on morality aren’t I? I shall stop that. Where was I? Right. There I was, perched in the dark rafters of the roof, hidden in shadow along with the dust. Two others hung to beams nearby in a similar fashion as myself; there for the same reason as myself. We all carried crossbows. They were loaded; vorpal coatings had been applied to the bolts. The distraction team had drawn most of the guards away, as was planned. Only two remained. One man for each of. This needed to be ended quickly and efficiently.
I will admit, my hands were shaking. I’d served in the war, so obviously I had seen, and caused, my fair share of death. This, however, was very different from a war… and yet incredibly similar. Whether it was the difference or the similarity that got on my nerves I couldn’t tell, but I couldn’t steady my aim. That’s probably why my bolt hit him in the arm, instead of the head. What followed is a terribly embarrassing memory. I panicked, drew my blade and threw myself from the roof onto the man, where I stabbed him repeatedly to death. It is not a pleasant state of mind to remember, and one I do not wish to ever be in again. I thank my stars that my comrades had been more accurate. I would not have fared well had the muscle survived their respective bolts and born down on my person.
Regardless of my sloppiness, we finished our mission, as many other teams were finishing similar ones throughout Hope that night. It was a bloody night of cleansing that, when the old criminal powers who would not convert to the new order were put down without mercy. It was a necessary night though, never forget that. The dust had to be cleaned.