The Short Fic Weekly Challenge Thread!
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10.12.2012 , 06:21 PM |
Featuring Cipher Thirteen aka Vesania Serence. 541 words, no game spoilers.
She lay flat on the table, anchored to the hard surface by the restraints on her wrists and ankles. The drugs they had given her made her head swim and the light on the ceiling crawl blurrily back and forth across her vision. For a moment, enough focus returned for her to struggle against the bindings. It was a futile effort, just like the previous attempts she had made, lasting only for a moment before she lapsed back into semi-consciousness.
Time passed. White-clad figures came and went, bending over her and pushing needles into her arms; she barely noticed. A static buzz sounded in the back of her head, steadily increasing in volume until it drowned out all other sounds, engulfing reality in white noise.
Then the dull pr*ck of yet another needle was followed by the startling sensation of lucidity. She blinked, her head clearing, awareness returning in a rush as the table oriented itself upward.
Cipher Thirteen jerked against the restraints again, her eyes quickly surveying her surroundings before zeroing in sharply on the black-uniformed woman standing in front of her.
“Hello, Vesania,” said Watcher Ninety.
She stepped closer, her movements halting and unsteady as always. Reaching up with one frail hand, she brushed her hair out of her eyes, partially revealing the intricate series of scars on the right side of her face. “I’m not sure if you can still hear me, but… I thought I’d come anyway. Just to see you.”
“You betrayed me,” Cipher Thirteen whispered. Her voice rasped through a raw throat; had she been screaming?
Pale blue eyes widened. “You can talk,” Watcher Ninety said, sounding surprised. “I didn’t think you’d be able to talk.”
“You know me,” Cipher Thirteen said hoarsely. “Always full of surprises.”
Watcher Ninety smiled faintly. “You can still find it within yourself to joke. I suppose that shows your strength. You always were extraordinary.”
“Why am I here?” Cipher Thirteen demanded. “Why did you send me into a trap?”
“A necessary sacrifice,” Watcher Ninety murmured. She almost seemed to be talking to herself. “I didn’t want to do it, but for the good of Intelligence… For the good of the Empire… I had to. An easy dilemma.”
“Am I?” She seemed genuinely startled at the comment. “Hm. Perhaps I am.” She clasped her hands behind her back and started to pace back and forth, limping with every step. “I didn’t want this to happen, but… Unforeseeable circumstances. My hand was forced. You understand.”
“I don’t understand,” Cipher Thirteen snapped. “I trusted you.”
“Vesania, my dear, you’re like a daughter to me,” Watcher Ninety said sadly. “And that’s why I had to do it. To protect you.”
“Could’ve fooled me…” Cipher Thirteen muttered.
Watcher Ninety shook her head. “I had to do it. The security and stability of Intelligence was at stake. I couldn’t afford to risk it.”
“Why not just kill me?”
“That would be a waste,” Watcher Ninety said flatly. “And I hate waste.” She smiled thinly, her eyes wide and crazed. “This will all work out for the best, my dear, you’ll see…”
Darth Nox woke up with a start. She took several deep breaths, trying to calm her pounding heart. She didn’t remember the dream.
She never did.
I'm aware that Ninety is a pretty high number for a Watcher. I picked it at random without really considering the implications and now I just can't think of the character as anything else... I mean, there are probably a fair number of Watchers out there. Imperial Intelligence is a big organization, if the size of their building is any indication...
There's always lightning.