Assassin's Target by Todd Koonce

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Allin sprinted through the shadows of the courtyard, chased by the shouts from within the keep. As he neared an outer wall, he tapped the backs of his gauntlets together and claws sprung from the fingertips. The gauntlets looked to be mismatched to the untrained eye, but the patterns merged when the backs were tapped together activating their magic. Three strides away, he jumped and slammed the claws into the stones of the walls. The claws sunk into the stone and held firm as he hung five feet above the ground. He jammed his feet against the wall and climbed rapidly to the parapet above.
"Stop! Don't move!" A guard yelled emerging from the tower to his left. Allin simply stepped up to the parapet and leapt over. The guard ran up behind where he jumped and looked down at the empty ground below. "What in the..."
"Where is the assassin?" The captain of the guards yelled as he ran onto the parapet towards the guard.
"He... He jumped sir. He just climbed up there and crossed over to here and leapt over the wall. I looked, but I didn't see him down there."
"You are telling me that after going through the trouble of running from us and climbing this wall, the assassin just committed suicide by jumping off a fifty foot wall?"
"No sir, I am telling you that there is no body down there. It is like he never hit the ground."
The captain pushed the guard aside and looked over the wall. The ground below the wall was clear for 100 yards and he could see nothing on the ground in the moonlight. He turned back to the guard. "I want search parties down there with torches right now! I also want the guard on the walls doubled. If he did survive, he is not getting back in here. Is that clear?!"
"Yes sir. I will send the message immediately." The guard saluted and ran into the tower for a few moments and then came back. "Everything is being done as you ordered sir. The search parties are being assembled in the South Barracks."
"Good, good. I will attend to the search personally. Stay at your post and make sure the assassin does not get back over this wall or it will be your head." The captain walked back to the tower and disappeared.
"Yes sir." The guard said sullenly. "How am I supposed to stop an assassin who can scale a fifty foot wall and then leap off it like it was nothing?"
"I don't know, but then I doubt you will be the one to stop me." Allin flipped up onto the parapet from below landing in front of the guard. He reached out and took guard's neck in his hand and squeezed. The razor sharp metal ridges along the fingers sliced through the guard's unprotected throat releasing a torrent of blood. The guard barely had time to look shocked before collapsing dead at Allin's feet. "Now, to get the other reason why I came."
Allin shook his hand flinging the blood completely off the gauntlets and then descended the wall he had just come up moments before to the courtyard below. Upon reaching the ground, he tapped the back of his gauntlets together again and the claws disappeared. True, he had come to assassinate the local duke, but that had only been one of the reasons he had been hired.

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