“Get up, worm!” the snarl pierced whatever darkness had taken hold of her and forced her eyes open.
A sudden inhale of dust from the ground as she woke up led to a coughing fit. Each cough caused a shear of pain on the back of her head…she had been hit by something. She was on Eshan before being here…wherever “here” was. At the moment, all she knew was that the heat was intense and that she’d never seen so much dirt before…her home was primarily snow and ice. Mounted flames lined the walls surrounding her and she could hear animals in nearby areas. It wasn’t until she fully sat up that she noticed the chains on her wrists and the pair of unknown figures standing in the pen with her. The multitude of flames casting a company of shadows around the room didn’t help her returning vision much…she was either underground or in a completely enclosed room.
“You hear me, worm? GET UP!” The barking akk dog held some kind of rank and he wasn’t afraid to flaunt it. Her vision was nearly at one-hundred percent, but her hearing had been working just fine. Ignoring him was a simple task. Her Echani combat training gave her some insight just from the way he stood. Whatever authority this dog thought he had, he appeared more bark than bite. His eyes angered when she refused and with a flick of his wrist, she found herself being flung through the air into the wall behind her and held there by a disrespected, invisible hand.
“Careful, Overseer. Lord Harinn wanted her alive,” advised the black-clad figure. The Overseer shot the Inquisitor a deadly scowl and closed the distance between himself and his new toy. He grabbed her chin, forcing her to focus on him, “She’ll live…if she learns respect and obedience.” He turned his gaze back to the Inquisitor, “It would be all too easy for an accident to happen here in the beast pens.”
Before he could return his gaze to her, she snapped her head away and chomped at the hand that had been holding her head captive. The unexpected pain caused the Overseer to lose his focus. She fell from the wall and attacked him again before he could retaliate. A swift kick to the face cleared that temptation right up!
The Inquisitor was clearly entertained and made no motions to stop the scuffle. The Overseer, on the other hand, was not impressed with the red boot print that now called his face home. “YOU DARE!” growled the dog.
She may have only been 13, but her lifelong combat training meant she wasn’t totally defenseless and like an animal backed into a corner, she was ready to bite back if pressed. She appeared like a tortured animal. Chained and disheveled. Her snow white hair matched the dirt beneath her feet and her clothes were tattered and torn. It was clear that she been tossed in here and left until they were ready for…whatever they THOUGHT they would be doing now.
A small chuckle sounded from the arm-crossed Inquisitor, “You do remember the little detail from the mission of her killing Lord Tranton by blasting him through a wall, yes? She smacked him harder than the damn blizzard did.”
“He was weak to be defeated by a child. An untrained one at that,” barked the Overseer in an attempt to restore some of his own dignity. “And yet, here you are being beaten by the same untrained child,” taunted the Inquisitor. “This child possesses natural strength and fighting instincts…YOUR job is to harness it,” he glanced back at the Overseer, “or be killed by it.”
“What is your name ‘child of the snow’?” The Inquisitor questioned.
“Karena,” she growled. Her white eyes remained fixed on the Overseer.
“Good girl,” he unleashed a flurry of lightning at her. The entire room illuminated with purple and the sounds of her screams. When the storm passed, Karena lay hunched on the floor with electricity still dancing around her body. The torches seemed pale in comparison to the indoor light show that had just ended. “The new shipment of slaves will be in the courtyard shortly to begin their training. Ensure that she is there as well,” the Inquisitor glanced down at her. “Oh, she’ll be there. I’ll make sure of it,” guaranteed the Overseer.