AN: Hey Peoplz,
This is the second part to the last chapter, so, being a person who is desperately trying to improve upon her updating skills, I have updated. The only thing left after this is the Epilogue.
Shadowed Echo


Dice strode down the stairs into the basement.

Before her were two cells. One contained a bloody man, curled up on the brick floor. He was sleeping or more likely unconscious. The other was empty.

The hallway stretched to her left and right. At the right end of the hallway was a door set into the wall. Dice went right.

Standing in front of the door, she unsheathed one of her swords. She held it pointing downwards.

According to Attrian, this was another guard room. She turned the knob of the door and sauntered in.

Dice's keen eyes noted the two guards in a split second.

Guard #1 was sitting closest.

Guard #2 was standing at a bench checking some files.

They were both near the other side of the room.

From Dice's point of view, everything slowed down. She stalked forward surely, closing the distance between them.

#1 turned and stood up with a surprised expression.

He grabbed at his gun, and pointed it up at Dice.

She twirled and using the flat of the blade, knocked the gun out of his hands.

She turned to #2.

He grabbed a long dagger.

Dice aimed a swipe at his head.

The guard blocked it with the dagger.

Dice smiled. Maybe this would be fun. She dropped to the floor.

The kick, guard #1 had aimed at her back, went over her head.

She used a leg sweep to knock guard #1's other leg from under him. He fell on his face.

Dice leaped backwards as #2 slashed at her mid-section with the dagger. She landed next to guard #1 who was moaning faintly on the floor. She sunk the blade into his neck, severing the spinal cord.

One out, one to go.

The remaining guard looked at her warily.

Dice levelled the blade at him. She moved left.

He moved right.

She grinned suddenly. With a lightening movement she drove her sword at his chest.

He jumped to the right. Then, took the opening and slashed the dagger toward her throat.

Dice blocked. Instead of just blocking his dagger with her sword, she aimed a little further up and cut his hand off.

He jumped backwards and cradled the bleeding stump where his hand had been. His eyes were widened in a horrified expression. He backed up against the wall.

"I thought you were playing by the rules…" he gasped. He was referring to polite play that you might do in combat practise.

"Rules?" Dice raised her eyebrow. "There are no rules," she scoffed. "I'm trying to kill you."

Dice rolled her eyes. Then she cut off his head with a short movement. She strolled over to the bench where #2 had started and wiped her sword on the files. She grimaced at its bloody length. With a shrug she sheathed the weapon.

Dice went out the other door.

She walked into another hallway. Cells lined the left side. Dice walked down the hallway checking the cells.

The first few had nothing in them, bar a few blood stains.

Next was a room, fitted with shiny metallic devices.

Dice walked up to the next cell. A flash of colour caught her eye. Galle was curled up in the corner of the cell.

Dice gripped the bars with her hands. She leaned forward and rested her head against them. "Galle," she called.

Galle uncurled a little and lifted her head. She gazed at Dice through the bars.

Blue eyes met blue. They smiled simultaneously.

Dice walked over to the door and turned the key in the lock. A small smile was fixed on her face.

She went over to the corner and offered Galle a hand.

She took it.

Dice pulled her up, and into a hug.

The small blonde relaxed. She felt safe now, even though Dice smelled like blood.

"Thanks," Galle told Dice softly, heartfelt. All the words she didn't say were written on her face. 'Thanks for rescuing me. Thanks for caring. Thanks for everything.'

Attrian came into the hallway from the guard room. He spotted Dice and Galle in the cell. He looked on, casually leaning against the bars of the cell.

He might have doubted before, but now he was sure that he had chosen the right side.

Anybody who could make the girl, who had caused the destruction in the room he had just walked through, smile, and look that innocent, must be good.

"I got you into this mess," Dice insisted. She clearly felt that no thanks were necessary. She had done her duty by her friend. "I'm sorry…" Dice murmured guiltily. "You shouldn't have had to deal, with all this…" she gestured all around her, meaning her past.

Galle shook her head. She grabbed Dice's hand.

"All this, is you. However much I don't like it at times, Dyshika Skando is part of you," her face was serious. "And I have to deal with you don't I?" Galle teased, her blue eyes danced.

Dice mock scowled at her little friend.

Then she finally noticed Attrian's presence, and looked over at him. The jolt brought her back down to earth.

Dice decided to do the introductions. "Galle, this is Attrian." She gestured to the blonde man in camouflage clothes. "Attrian, this Galle." Dice gave Attrian a warning look that said: 'this person is far more important to me than you are.'

He gave a small nod in understanding.

"Hi," Galle smiled at him.

Attrian found himself smiling back.

"Let's go," Dice directed. She strode out the cell door.

Galle and Attrian followed, and flanked her either side.

They went through the guard room and Galle blanched. She looked sickened as she saw the blood that coated the room.

Knowing what would have happened, but wanting confirmation anyway, she examined Dice's swords.

Blood coated the handle of the one strapped to her left hip.

Galle shut her eyes to block the image. It didn't go away. Dice was still a killer. Galle's dearest friend.

"When we go upstairs, Attrian's going to take you home."

They had reached the stairs and stopped. Dice stared at Galle with a serious expression, making sure she understood.

Alarms rang in Galle's head. She did, all too well. "Where will you be going?" Galle asked with a concerned expression. Concern was the best way to get the information she wanted.

"I gotta take care of some stuff," Dice evaded.

Galle's expression of concern evaporated. She refused to stick her head in the sand any longer. "Read: 'People,'" she translated. "Orion. Are you going to kill him Dice?" she asked coolly.

Attrian shifted uncomfortably. He didn't want to get in the middle of this. He didn't belong.

"Orion needs to be dealt with. If I don't do something he'll just come after us again," Dice stated.

Galle acknowledged this as the truth with a short nod. She didn't lose any of her determination though.

"I'm coming with you," she informed Dice. Galle's face was set in determination.

The black haired girl knew how dangerous it would be. She also knew her friend, Galle would not give in. "Fine," Dice drawled, as if she didn't care.

Attrian stared at Galle. This girl really did have some sort of power over the greatest assassin alive.

'Protect her.' Dice mouthed to Attrian. She motioned for them to stay. Then she ascended the stairs quietly.

Once at the top, she looked around for people, there was no one in the room.

Dice waved up Attrian and Galle. Then walked over to the door.

No one was in the hallway. Again, she waved over the others and stood in front of the door on the other side of the hallway.

They came and stood beside her.

There was Orion. He was sitting on his throne. A lackey sat at his right and left. He was discussing business with them.

Dice smiled slowly.

"Stay here," She told Galle. "Out of sight," Dice added. She raised a questioning eyebrow at Attrian.

He nodded ready.

She pulled out a knife. One hand yanked him into a tight headlock and the other pressed a knife to his throat.

Galle's mouth opened to protest, but Attrian winked at her.

Dice made sure that she was covered by Attrian, then roughly pushed him ahead of her into the room. "Hello Orion," She said as they walked towards the mob boss in question.

Orion was startled, he lifted his head to find his nephew in the hands of his greatest success.

The two other men shot glances around the room for clues on what to do.

Dice and Attrian grew closer.

A little voice nagged at Orion that something was wrong with this picture. His lip curled as he figured it out.

His nephew, a traitor.

"Shoot her." He ordered his lackeys, coldly.

They aimed their guns at her, and hesitated. All Orion's men had been told who Attrian was to Orion. They had been warned.

To shoot her they would have to shoot through Attrian.

If they shot to wound, they would wound her and she would kill Attrian.

If they shot to kill, they would have to kill Attrian as well.

They spent too long thinking about it. Dice and Attrian were too close.

She released her hold on him. She sprung for the man on the right.

Before he could get off a shot she brought the pommel of her dagger down on his temple.

His eyes rolled back and he fell to the ground.

Dice kicked his gun off to the side.

Attrian hadn't wasted any time either. He'd knocked his guard out with a simple punch.

Dice and Attrian came and stood side by side in front of Orion.

The mob boss stood, then realised it would be futile to try and stop them himself. His face set. He refused to give Dice the triumph of showing emotion. "Why?" he demanded of Attrian.

Cecilia's twin stared at Orion with hatred. "If you have to ask, you won't understand the answer. I'm citing moral reasons," Attrian retorted.

Dice took a menacing step closer to Orion.

"Wait," he held up his hand to stop her. "I can tell you about your family." He looked slightly desperate.

"The Skando children are orphans," Dice replied automatically.

"Of course, that's what we told you. You were kidnapped. We have records." Orion tried to make his voice fatherly. He leaned forward and looked in her eyes. "I can tell you who your parents are. Who you were…" He let the temptation sink in.

Instead of calming Dice, it infuriated her. I could have been normal. I could have a family… that cared. The thought of the life he had taken from her, fuelled her rage.

Dice took one last step forward, dropped her knife, and landed a fast, furious uppercut under his chin.

Orion flew off his feet. As he hit the ground he collapsed. He stumbled to his feet.

Dice waited til he was standing, then punched him in the stomach.

Orion doubled over.

She struck him on the shoulder with a hammer blow.

He hit the floor again.

Dice waited 'til he stood up, then hit him again.

Attrian watched, and smiled icily as each blow hit home.

Galle stood by the door and flinched at each punch, as if it were her Dice were striking.

Finally Dice stopped, and pulled her sword out. She lay it at Orion's neck. He stood still. He was resigned to his fate, a beaten, tired old man. At least he would die with dignity.

"No…" Galle breathed softly, in her mind pictures full of blood ran a slide show. "No!" she yelled at Dice.

Dice slowly turned her gaze from Orion to Galle.

She walked towards them, horrified. "Dice please… No more killing." The small, blonde girl stared at Dice imploringly. "You say you want to change. So change." Galle's voice shook. "Now." Her expression was pained but determined. "No more killing."

Dice just looked at Galle, with no emotion or recognition.

"I'm sorry Dice. If you kill him… That's not you winning. That's you losing. It would make you truly his creation. Dice is my friend. Dyshika is all I stand against."

Dice didn't shift a muscle.

Galle issued her ultimatum. "You kill Orion, or anyone, and I leave." she looked deeply into Dice's eyes, trying to find a shred of humanity in her inhuman figure.

Dice turned her head to the side and examined Galle. Dice turned back to Orion. She pulled back her arm. With a sleek movement, she whacked Orion on the head with the flat of the sword. Hard.

He fell to the floor.

Attrian looked vaguely disappointed.

Galle bit her lip.

Dice sheathed her sword.

"He'll have brain damage," she quietly told Attrian and Galle. "Enough to have him admitted in an insane asylum, to be kept in check."

No one dared mentioned a word about the irony.

Galle walked over beside Dice and took her hand. They walked out of the building in silence.

Attrian looked bitterly around the room. His eyes settled on his uncle. Attrian found a phone and called 'triple O.'

AN: For those who don't live in Australia 'triple O' is our emergancy services number; ambulance, police, fire fighters.