Sakura stared in horror as the elders performed the ceremony of conciliation with the Broken Chip freaks. She hadn’t trained for a decade so she could sit back and watch her clan surrender. Sure, the elders positioned it as a strengthening of their elite coterie as well as a boon to its business interests.
No matter what was said, she knew others felt as she did. She wondered if there might be enough of them to right this wrong. After all, the elders weren’t eternal, and accidents could happen to anyone.
She spent the next year carefully cultivating true believers to join her coup. They met in secret in basements, in alleys, and as far away from prying eyes as they could. She also made sure each group contained no more than ten people. Even if one group got caught, they couldn’t betray what they didn’t know.
Finally, after carefully vetting each person who joined the movement, she felt they were ready.
Instructions were delivered to each group. A time and place were chosen and set in stone, and there would be no turning back.
They gathered in a park, about half a mile from the elders’ palace. They made sure their katanas were sharpened, any other weapons were loaded, all the safeties were off, and no one was losing their nerve.
She smiled a tight smile as they advanced on the palace. To avoid looking like a mob, they approached from multiple directions. They dispatched all of the sentries and quickly entered the palace. Once inside, it became a deadly game of hide and go seek.
Something was wrong. Every door they opened led to an empty room. She was starting to have a bad feeling about everything when an elder stepped into the hall, mere feet in front of her. Much to her surprise, he was followed by a boss of the Broken Chip.
He bowed and then turned to the elder.
“See, Master Hoshi, our intelligence was right.”
“Indeed, it was. I turn the honor over to your people.”
The old man nodded and waved his right hand in a circle.
Black-clad warriors exploded onto the scene as if by magic. Sakura was the first to die, but far from the last. Within an hour, all of the insurrectionists were dead.
The old man smiled.
“Well, now that the hard work is done, I expect your people can clean up.”
“Of course. Thank you for cementing our relationship.”
“If you can’t build on trust, you build on nothing. Our word is ever our bond.”
Elder Hoshi bowed and began issuing orders into an intercom. The palace would be scrubbed clean by morning. The bodies would be ground into pet food, and the traitors’ names would be erased from the public record. It was the dawning of a new era, and these leaders would let nothing stop it.