Tesseract is hired to kill Davina Marr and manages to track her down to where she is being held at Skulduggery's House and assassinates her. After being betrayed by his employers and buried alive he managed to escape only to be possessed by a Remnant and used in their plan to awaken Darquesse. After the Remnants are trapped in the soul collector he continues his vendetta against those who betrayed him and ends up fighting Skulduggery in the Sanctuary, where he is mortally wounded by Lord Vile.
Tesseract parks his truck on the outskirts of a field, moving into the trailer being pulled behind it. He looks over the array of masks up on the wall. He picks out one with a blank expression on it, he's meeting a new "client" today and he doesn't want to give the wrong impression. He pulls the mask he is currently wearing off, feeling the cool Irish air on his face. He doesn't look in the mirror today, he doesn't want to see how his face will be disfigured today. He puts the new mask in place, feeling the hiss as the needles sink into his face keeping the rot at bay for another day at least. He steps out of the trailer and looks around, unsure as to where his employer wishes to meet him. All he was told was to meet them here, in this field, near a building of sorts. Shrugging to himself, tesseract decides to walk further into the field, the mud squelching under his boots. After a few seconds of walking he spots a small building in the distance and changes course to head towards it.
As he approaches he realises that it is some sort of crypt with a scorpion engraved on the outside. Once he gets to a few feet of the building he hears the creaking of a door opens and part of the crypt slides open. A woman walks out of the door and immediately tesseract is hit by a strange emotion, one he has never felt before; Love. Tesseract mind is clouded with nothing but love for this woman, an unyielding desire to be forever at her side. Then almost like a haze being lifted his mind is banished of these ridiculous thoughts and he realises exactly who he is dealing with.
"Tesseract I assume" comes the reply, her voice playing with the words, a question as much as a statement. "I wasn't sure if you would be able to find me at such a remote location"
"Of course I would come, I'm an assassin after all. I'm used to people finding the most secluded spot possible to conduct business with me". The woman nods her head but does not speak and tesseract waits patiently for to continue. She turns her back to him, gazing at the building.
"You know Tesseract, this crypt is my own family crypt, all of my family is buried here, well at least the ones ones who are dead. See that scorpion, that is out family crest and my grandmother always used to tell me that a scorpion never changes it's nature. Back in my misspent youth I believed her, believed that when the dark gods returned that when they would possess me that unlike the other heathens we would meld with them and be able to harness there powers without losing all of our individuality. I was a fool back then, arrogant, young and brainwashed and it lead me down the road of violence. But now I've grown past all this and become the woman I am today, still arrogant, still young but most certainly not brainwashed"
The woman sighs before turning back to tesseract and it is now that he notices the file she is holding in her hands. She takes a step towards him and holds it out, watching him through narrowed eyes as he takes it from her. "Inside this file you will find what you need to complete your job, names, locations and times, and most importantly a picture of the man you are to kill". Tesseract tears the top open and pulls out a picture, frowning as he looks into the calming blue eyes of the man pictured before him.
"I hate to pry into my clients personal lives Miss Sorrow but this appears to be a picture of the sorcerer by the name of Mr Bliss. I like to make a file on people I am likely to end up killing and this man is none other than your own brother"
"That is indeed correct. I've tried to kill him myself 3 times already but he just won't stay down. I've tried other assassins too but they all failed. I've been told you are the best around and quite frankly if you can't kill him then i'm not sure who can"
Tesseract nods his head and slides the picture back into the file. "I'm afraid to say Miss Sorrow but for such a high profile target I'm going to have to ask for double my usual fee, I don't like to put myself at extra risk without extra reward". It's the woman's turn to frown now but it only registers on her face for a split second.
"You consider my brother to be a high profile target" she asks inquisitively.
"Well he is, physically speaking of course, the most powerful man in the world and thus he commands a significant presence in the magical community. Killing him will not be easy and will send ripples spiralling through our society for decades to come-"
The woman holds out her hand to stop him and he obliges. "Very well then, I'll pay you extra, just make sure do kill him and once you do kill him, make sure he really is dead. I've had this problem before"
"Of course Miss Sorrows" Tesseract replies and tilting his head slightly as a show of respect he turns and walks away, leaving her standing there, China Sorrows; the most beautiful and dangerous woman in the world.
The old Waxwork Museum in Dublin doesn't see many visitors these days and the exhibits haven't been updated in years. Hardly the place you'd expect to find some of the most powerful sorcerers in the world but yet, tucked away down below sits the Irish Sanctuary, presided over by Grand Mage Eachan Meritorious. "I would normally hesitate to call you out of your retirement Mr Bliss but I have important news that concerns you," Meritorious begins from atop his throne. The man he is addressing is tall, bald, with deep blue eyes and even though he stands below the Elders the power radiating from him is immense. "We've received word from a classified source that you are the subject of another assassination attempt." This raises an rare smile from Bliss.
"That's it. That's the news you felt was so urgent to warn me about. With all due respect Eachan I've been subject to more assassination attempts than I can count and none have them have even come close to being successful."
"But this time is different, this is no mere assassin. His name is Tesseract and he has a most unusual power. Bone Breaking. This man can shatter bones with the smallest of touches and it is rumoured he can even rupture an entire skeleton in seconds. He is quick, cunning and unbelievably secretive, the fact that we've managed to find out he's even in the country, let alone that you are is target is astounding."
Bliss ponders the information although his demeanour doesn't change. "Why summon me here though, why not just let me know by letter or by phone call?"
Morwenna Crow takes over from Meritorious. "We have considered the implications of this knowledge and have decided it would be in your best interest if we assigned a team of cleavers to you as protection detail."
"I don't think that's necessary. I can handle any assassin, even one as seemingly impressive as this one."
"Whether you like it or not Mr Bliss you are an important figure in the magical community here in Ireland and the rest of the world for that matter. Every precaution must be taken to ensure your safety."
"I didn't need protection during the War and I don't need it now. Those cleavers would be a waste of valuable resources."
"Listen here," Sagacious Tome says jumping in impatiently "This assassin is dangerous, one touch to the head or chest and you're dead. End of. No matter how strong or durable you are. You need those Cleavers to make sure that there is no chance he can even get near enough to try." Bliss turns his gaze onto the Teleporter impassive as ever. Just looking into the swirling abyss of his eyes is enough to make Sagacious uncomfortable and he looks away in embarrassment.
"I understand your reluctance," Meritorious says "But we as elders feel it our responsibility to protect those in our community even someone as renowned as yourself. If you are adamant that you will not use the Cleavers we have set aside then we will not press the issue any further." Sagacious whips his head round angrily at having his authority undermined and Bliss starts to speak before he can say anything further.
"I respect your decision Grand Mage but I think it would be in the best interest of the sanctuary to keep those cleavers here where they can be put to good use. If the matter has been closed then I will take my leave, as important business takes me elsewhere." Meritorious nods his head slightly and Mr Bliss leaves the chamber and the Council of Elders.
Tesseract carefully disables the last few protective symbols around Mr Bliss's house. He is impressed by the attention to detail, several times now he gone to disable one symbol only to find another positioned to stop him from doing exactly that. "Hardly surprising considering who his sister is" he ponders to himself as he renders the last symbol inactive. It hadn't taken him long to find out where Bliss was staying, a large manor house built in the 17th century, owned for centuries by his family. Making sure all the defences were down had taken him most of the day and just as luck would have it Mr Bliss had returned earlier that afternoon, denying Tesseract a chance to set up an ambush. That's the way the assassin business goes, sometimes things fall for you, sometimes they don't, although recently Tesseract had been finding the latter more common.
Sticking to the shadows he jimmies open a window and carefully explores the house, keeping an ear out for any sound of where his target might be. Entering a large library he spots a figure sitting in a chair with his back to him, a clean shaven head poking over the top of the backrest. "Maybe my luck his changing" Tesseract thinks and silently approaches the figure. His power can only be transferred through his finger tips so he reaches out and presses his fingers into the figure's skull. Immediately he realises something isn't right as he can't feel the skull fracture and break under his touch. Getting a grip and giving a quick tug, the head comes off in his hand and as he looks into the blank expressionless eyes of a mannequin he knows he's walked right into a trap. He feels the air shifting above him and rolls to the side as Mr Bliss drops from the ceiling, shaking the floor as he lands.
"I hope you didn't think it would be that easy Assassin?" Bliss says straightening up. "This is the house I grew up in, my family made sure it was well protected. Every symbol you deactivated set of an alarm, undetectable to all but those who reside within. I've known you were coming for hours." Tesseract keeps his distance cursing his foolishness. He has fought and killed men as experienced and skilled as Mr Bliss before but rarely in a fair fight and never against someone as physically powerful. He knew bullets and blades would do nothing to harm him, that he'd need something more potent. Luckily he'd found the perfect thing. As Bliss advances he reaches into the pocket of his trench-coat and pulls out a small but deadly explosive device, enough to blow this entire room to smithereens. Activating the timer he drops it to the floor and turns fleeing from the room, knowing he only has a few seconds before he's caught in the blast. Bliss notices it almost immediately and also goes to escape but not before the timer ticks down to zero.
The resulting explosion rocks the house, breaking all the windows in and around the library and leaving the walls shaking. Tesseract stumbles back through the hallway, his ears ringing. "I didn't think it was that damn powerful" he mummers. Taking a brief moment to regain his composure he retraces his steps and goes to slip out of the window he snuck through before. Suddenly he feels a strong grip on his shoulder and finds himself hurtling through the air, back down the corridor and slamming into the wall. Getting painfully to his feet a fist slams into his mask and another punch throws him further down another corridor. Barely able to react to the attack, he tries to grab the arm of his aggressor but is body-checked through a nearby window, flopping onto the wet grass outside.
He gets groggily to his feet as Mr Bliss steps through the shattered window frame. He has large black scorch marks on his clothes and a few cuts and bruises to his face and hands but other than that he seems unaffected. "That's not the first explosion I've walked away from and I doubt it will be the last. I'm curious though, who sent you? Was it my sister again? One of Mevolent's old supporters? Another sanctuary?"
"Can't tell you I'm afraid?" Tesseract says. Bliss throws another punch and he ducks out of the way of it, feeling the force of the blow as it sails over his head. More punches follow but they are not very fast and Tesseract is nimble enough to avoid them all. He does manage to grab his hand but as he closes his hand around to break it, he brushes Tesseract's fingertips. Feeling the sharp blinding pain of every bone in his hand being broken he jerks his hand away, looking down at his broken limb. If he is angry about the injury he doesn't show it, his expression remains as impassive as ever as his next punch connects, slamming Tesseract into the wall of the house, leaving a large crack. Bliss hurries over to a nearby oak tree and wraps his uninjured arm around the trunk. Heaving with all his might he uproots it, straining against the pressure to position it as a makeshift club. Tesseract extracts himself from the wall and looks up just in time to see the tree as it barrels towards him.
"You have got to be kidding me" is all he has time to do or say before half a ton of wood smashes into him, sending him sailing through the air into the distance. Sweating profusely from the effort, Mr Bliss drops the tree and, clutching his broken hand, heads back into his house to find some medical supplies.
Tesseract gazes up at the stars in the night sky, completely dumbfounded by his luck. After being launched through the air he'd been stopped, ironically, by another tree and somehow managed to tumble down to the ground without breaking a bone or getting any serious injuries. His ribs however are badly broken from the initial impact, not to mention the nasty bruises from the punches Bliss did manage to land. Propping himself up he fights back waves of pain from his injuries and focuses on getting back to his truck. Getting painfully to his feet he shuffles back in the direction he thinks he came from. "There is no way I'm going up against him again. I'll have to let Miss Sorrows know to cancel my fee. First time ever I've not completed a job." Tesseract feels a strange sense of disappointment as his first ever failure as an assassin but it is fleeting, the fact he's still alive after trying to kill Mr. Bliss is an achievement all of it's own. "Might even get me more work" he ponders and allows himself a little chuckle, although the sharp pain from his ribs soon put a stop to that.
Winner: Mr. Bliss
Expert's Opinion Edit
Bliss won because of his legendary strength and high durability which allowed him to shrug off most of what Tesseract could do to him. Tesseract may have been the superior fighter but when your opponent is just that strong then all the fighting skill in the world can't win you the fight.