They blind-folded and bound, behind our backs, our hands. They led the three of us down into that Secret Place deep within the Wastes. The Assassins are more than a Guild -- though that is how I knew of them first in the Mother Empire -- they are a Way of Life.
As a youth I marveled at their cunning -- the way in which they dispatched their foes without hesitation. One of us in the gang I was in back then had collected a lot of bad debt. They had become a target.
"You know what happens if you don't pay!" I advised my brother-in-crime. "They will send Them."
He didn't listen. We were walking along -- in the middle of the day! An old woman fell in front of my late friend. He reached down to help her as the old woman stretched out her wizened hand for assistance.
As my friend took the hand, the old woman pulled with a sudden strength as my friend tumbled to the road! There was the sound of steel slipping from steel. A slick "shick" sound as the Assassin's Stiletto slid into my friend's heart. It happened so fast -- there, my friend lay, pooling in his own heart-blood. The old woman was gone.
As I matured in the hidden arts and sciences I observed several of their Guild at the Black Meetings held in our part of the City. The Assassins never had any quarrel -- they simply stood silently by. On the surface this was a way for The Boss to send everyone a message about who was in charge. But who is, really?
I came to enjoy and then become very good at killing. I spent my later youth as a Thug, an Enforcer for The Boss. I was messy. I made mistakes. I even spent a year at the Gulag past the Southern Coasts.
When I returned I was approached by one of Them. They offered a deeper understanding of killing -- a Spiritual understanding. They spoke of Sophia, the Old Religion, and the forgotten form of the Warrior-Goddess! "Murder is our Sacrament. This Messiah has sterilized Sophia's Killing-Aspect as a tool for the control of the Masses!"
I have performed many Trials to get this far. And now this is the final Test.
The voice of the Grand-Father I now heard, but all is still dark. A wetness is in the air -- we are somewhere deep and hidden beneath the deserts.
"The three of you have been chosen! You have endured much to arrive here. I now reveal another Mystery to you before the final Trial." Still our blind-folds and binds remained!
"Sophia's Tripartite form is no equity! It is only killing that will endure. It is only killing that is pure. The Blind Crone is blind and impotent. The Mute Child is deaf and dumb! Only the Killing Goddess endures!" As the Grand-Father spoke there was a rising chant from all around us.
"TAKE OFF THE BLIND-FOLDS AND RELEASE THEIR HANDS!"
A blade of some kind quickly cut the binds at my wrists and the knot of my blind-fold. I now beheld a Ritual Chamber like some Arena. Immediately in front of me were two of my brothers-in-crime from Nein. A dim light shone upon us from above the Arena. I could see the shadowed forms of the Assassins all around us.
"You will fight one another. You will reenact the Great Battle twixt Sophia's Forms -- the Forgotten Battle in Eden! Only the True Killer will be One of Us!"
My two friends looked at one another -- abashed. Not I. I beheld a single blade on the floor between us. I took the floor, grabbed the blade and slit their throats in one swipe.
And now I am like Death: the Mother of Murder. The True Ruler of this World.