Dress-up, the Perfect Preluder...
Fri Jun 9, 2006 10:38 (XFF:

Zander saw the looks that the other Soldiers and Dedicated gave him as he strode back from the edge of the clearing that the Gateway had transported them to in its usually icy-cold trips. They gave him sideways glances and the bolder ones gave him a direct questioning look. Zander merely smiled at them, and they shivered, turning their heads away from him, as if what they saw there wasn't even human.

It probably isn't anything close to human. If you have ever killed someone on a mission like this before, you can never be truly human again. And the more you do it, the more unlike humanity you become. And I have lost count of the times I have been on 'missions' he mused, as he walked smoothly across the soft and scented grass towards the various crates of disguises.

Zander opened them, the first to do so, and began to unpack each item in turn, laying them on the grass in the clearing in straight lines and in groups that were divided into their uses. Torso armour, gauntlets and greaves went into one group, cloaks and jerkins into another. The last group contained the various weapons that they would be using. Zander did not have to do it all alone, which he was very grateful for. Once he had put a few in their groupings, and the others had understood what he was doing, they helped him in his undertaking. At the end, there were lines of neatly folded cloaks and ordered armour.

I know it was pointless, but anything that can direct my mind away from what I have to do for even a few precious moments is welcome he thought. And Zander could see evident relief in some of the peoples faces as their heavy thoughts about the mission were replaced by the mundane of sorting things into pointless categories.

Once it was finished, Zander prowled amongst the lines of clothing and accoutrements, trying to size them each up in turn until he found ones that would fit him. A jerkin of soft, black leather was slipped over his Soldier's uniform, followed by a suit of armour. Zander had been limited by the fact that he needed one which was as close to his size as possible, but he had still looked for certain preliminaries in his costume. His armour was nearly entirely black, with only a small amount of gold and read gilding as was customary in the rest of the armoury that the Black Tower had sent with them for the mission. The gauntlets and greaves that he slid over his forearms and calves were also similarly black, with only a small border of inter-twining strands of red and gold. Next he chose a cloak of a deep crimson, and an insectile helmet, which he decided to carry with him until he reached the Seanchan camp; it was unbearably hot and claustrophobic within the confines of the armour as it was.

Black is the colour of darkness. Wearing black, you can be into a target's rooms with the shadows and out again, your attack unknown until the light of day he thought as he selected several throwing knives which he secreted about his person, and a large, curved sword of the darkest metal Zander had seen.

Zander considered the rest of the dreary group that had been sent through to this side of the Gateway. There seemed to be nothing that set them apart from the rest of the Tower. They had no specific demeanour or attitude that would be recognisable as one of a person that killed for a living. But then, Zander had one of these, but kept it hidden inside of him, eating away at his innate humanity. The others also probably held deep wounds and untellable secrets of their own. But it was blatant that a few of them at least had never been on a ‘mission’ before for anyone. It wasn’t anything strictly obvious that told Zander this was the case. It was more of a subconscious sign that he picked up from a few of them. A man to his left couldn’t control his shaking hands, and the woman to his right, although she had dressed herself ably without any shakiness, kept pacing back and forth, seemingly deep in thought. Zander recognised these symptoms as what he had gone through on his first few ‘missions’. It caused a searing bolt of emotional pain through his body to see himself just standing there and thinking about mundane things.

Even the knowledge that I will take a life in the next few days, possibly more if I can, doesn’t even move me. Am I so inhuman? he raged at himself inside his thoughts. And then a new thought addressed itself to him. Looking around him, he saw the symptoms on a few more of his brethren. They are inexperienced, if not untrained! What is Lysander thinking, sending raw recruits into a war situation! Perhaps a midnight-bedroom kill, but a war situation!! It could be the death of some of them, or maybe torture. And if they find them, they will search for others. It endangers everybody. He is sending us here into almost certain death! Idiot! he screamed inside his head.

“For this I really will kick his arrogant behind around that Light forsaken Practise Yard. If this goes belly up then I vow to kick some sense into the bastard” he muttered to himself as he turned away and strode towards the various other items that he could select to take if the fancy took him. He took a small crossbow just encase he had the chance to take out a mark from a distance and to keep them at range if I have to run out of this place he mentally added to himself inside the confines of his skull.

Once he was set up as a perfect little Seanchan soldier, Zander began the long walk north to the encampment of his target, through the densely packed trees and shrubs that would undoubtedly annoy him with their gropes for his feet within minutes of the start of their attempts. Sighing to himself, he took up his helmet, kept hold of his sword so that it would not catch onto any branches or trees, and immersed himself in his thoughts as he took the first step towards his first kill for the Black Tower.

OOC: Come on Gys and Gals, get involved already!! Can't take out 10 officers by myself....I think anyways. My wrists would cramp up and that's painful ;)

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