That Butler, New Face

That Butler, New Face

It was strange… Instead of feeling as though she were plunging toward her doom, Chêne felt as if she were floating. She slowly opened her eyes and saw that instead of falling down a hole, she was surrounded by strange lights that swirled into a vortex. It reminded Chêne of those screen savers that tried to imitate the effect of flying through space at warp speed. It was a cool effect, definitely not something you would find in your average hole in the ground.
'That's the British for you, I guess.' Chêne thought to herself. 'Even their bottomless pits are fancy.'

Suddenly Chêne felt another force pulling on her, and a light blinded her. She shut her eyes and winced in pain as she slammed in to something really hard. Not cool. Chêne groaned and tried to sit up, not quite managing it. She hoped she didn't have a concussion…

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{1886 – The headquarters of a certain cult – England, just outside of London}

Ciel's POV

How long had he been here? Being tortured, beaten, reduced to nothing more than a filthy, debased animal. Ciel couldn't be sure. It happened again today. He was forced into the cage with the other children. There were fewer of them now, and they were forced to watch as even more of them were murdered for one of the cult's sick rituals. They claimed they could summon the devil to do their bidding by doing so. As far as Ciel was concerned, they were the devil himself, evil. Ciel watched with dull, hopeless eyes as the little girl on the pentagram breathed her last. As always, nothing happened. The cult members were clearly not pleased, and they bickered amongst themselves.

"I do not understand. The conditions for summoning a demon are perfect tonight!" A large man with a gray mustache said.

Though Ciel knew none of the members' names, and they always wore masks and cloaks to disguise themselves, he knew from watching them that this man was the leader.

"In fact," the leader continued, "the conditions for summoning a high-level demon will not be this good for another ten years once tonight ends."

The cult members began to whisper amongst themselves. These people – if you could call them that – were greedy and selfish. There was no way they were willing to wait that long.

"There is no other alternative then," the leader said, "we will just have to keep performing the ceremony until either a demon answers, or we run out of sacrificial lambs – Whichever comes first."

The leader stalked over to the cage Ciel was in while the others removed the little girl's corpse from the altar. Ciel shuffled as far back into the cage as he could. He was the only one left now, and as wretched as his current situation was, Ciel did not want to die, not like this. As the man reached for the cage door, something unbelievable happened. The pentagram was glowing. Everyone in the room froze as they watched a girl materialize from thin air, right in front of their eyes. Ciel was truly shocked.

'They couldn't have succeed could they?' Ciel wondered.

The girl looked human enough. Ciel couldn't see her eyes because they were closed, but her hair reminded him of chocolate. She her skin was very pale, but it had a golden tone to it despite the fact that it was as white as porcelain. She also had a few freckles across the bridge of her nose. They only really strange thing about her – other than how she came through a pentagram – was her clothing. For one, the girl was wearing pants, unheard of for a lady at the time. They were made out of some rough, blue material. They hugged her curves tightly, like riding pants, but instead of tucking them into boots, the girl was wearing laced-up shoes that were made with a design that was completely foreign to Ciel. Her blouse was made out of very fine-knit material that was also very form fitting, and it was grey with extremely bright colored designs on it. She also sported a hooded jacket of the same material, only it was black, and she had a rather large bag slung across her shoulder. The girl's body hovered above the sacrificial altar for a moment before falling, and a sick cracking sound was heard as she slammed down onto the altar. The girl groaned and opened her eyes. They were a soft, pale green. She tried to get up, but uselessly fell back on the altar. She must have hit her head too hard, because she was now unconscious. The whole room was silent, the cult members too shocked at their success to speak. The silence was broken by someone's low, half-crazed laughter. It was the leader.

"Hahaha! At last, it worked! Wake it up you fools, there's no time to waste!" The leader said as he rushed to the altar and began to shake the girl. "Wake up! Wake up! You can sleep after you have granted our wishes!" The girl groaned and rolled onto her side.

"Five more minutes Mom, my head hurts." the strange girl mumbled.

'Some demon.' Ciel thought. He would have snorted if he had the energy. She sounded like the pampered child he had once been, before that day. Of course, the leader was not amused by her reaction at all.

"What did you say, wench?" the man growled at her. The girl's eyes snapped open.

"What? Who are you!" The girl said, wide-eyed in surprise. "Where am I?" The girl asked as her eyes started to scan the room. "… I've dreamed this…" the girl mumbled to herself.

'She dreamed it? Who would want to dream of something like this?' Ciel thought cynically. The girl's eyes suddenly locked with his, as though she had heard his thoughts. Her eyes widened in shock as she took in Ciel's appearance.

Chêne's POV

She had dreamed of this before, being surrounded by strange, cloaked figures, in the middle of a pentagram for some satanic ritual. Chêne often had dreams strange dreams that felt incredibly real, but when she woke, she could barely remember them. She would often have a strange sense of déjà vu, and later realize the events of the day had been a part of her dream. She had this one in particular several times before, but Chêne had never seen this little boy before. He was dressed in a threadbare white tunic, and his ankles were shackled with heavy metal cuffs and chains. He was also covered in filth and a little blood. They obviously hadn't been feeding him well either. The boy's beautiful blue eyes were dull, lifeless. They reminded her of her own during that time. He looked about her sister's age – only nine or ten. She was livid. She glared at the others in the room.

"You people make me sick!" she spat at them. "How dare you treat a child this way!"

Ciel's POV

The girl walked determinedly towards the cage.

"Where's the key for this thing?" She asked boldly.

"W-What do you think you are doing?" the leader demanded, outraged by her lack of respect.

The girl looked at him as if he were a complete idiot.

"Freeing him, duh." The girl said as if it were the most obvious thing in the world.

Ciel's eyes widened. The leader turned an interesting shade of purple.

"Freeing him!?" the leader shrieked, outraged. "What kind of demon are you?" The girl frowned in confusion.

"Demon? Who, me?" The girl asked pointing to herself. "What ever gave you that idea? Any way you look at it, I'm human." The girl said, crossing her arms.

"You came through the summoning circle!" The leader exclaimed. "If you are not a demon, then how else could you have done it?"

"How should I know?" The girl said, shrugging. "This is just a dream anyway. It doesn't have to make sense. This is my dream, so I can do whatever I want, and I want to free this kid, so get out of my way."

'Why does she keep saying this is a dream?' Ciel wondered. He decided he rather liked this girl. She had only been there for a few minutes, and she had already managed to wound the ego of the leader of his tormenters. 'Good show.' Ceil thought. The leader snapped.

"This is not a dream, wench!" The enraged man bellowed. "If you are not a demon, then we have no further use for you!" The leader grabbed the girl by her hair, and dragged her away from the cage. He threw her harshly onto the floor.

"That hurt, you bastard!" The girl said tartly. "I think I have enough brain damage already, thank you very much!"

"You impertinent wench, I'll turn this 'dream' of yours into a nightmare!" The leader said, signaling to another member to bring him the brand-iron that was still conveniently sitting in a pail of hot coals. The girl's eyes widened when she realized his intentions.

"Screw this crap, I'm waking up!" She said, panicking slightly. She clearly had no idea how she was going to accomplish that.

"Hold her." The man commanded, and his fellow cult members surrounded and restrained her.

They stripped the girl of her jacket and blouse, leaving her in some kind of strange corset that only covered her chest, and nothing else. The girl continued to struggle uselessly against her captors. The leader had a sadistic gleam in his eye as he pressed the red-hot brand into the pale skin of her lower back. The girl cried out in pain as the brand sizzled against her skin. She was shaking; a look of disbelief was in her eyes. She no longer believed it was just a dream.

"Well, Wench? Do you still think this is just a dream? I f you beg, maybe I'll let you go." The Leader taunted her cruelly. The girl exhaled slowly, trying to even out her ragged breathing from the pain. She looked over her shoulder at the man.

"My name isn't 'wench'." She said as calmly as she could. "It's Chêne, and you're going to have to do better than that if you want me to beg a bastard like you for anything." The girl, whom Ciel now knew was Chêne, glared defiantly at the man. 'I'm the daughter of a U.S. Marine.' Chêne thought proudly. 'We don't give in to terrorists or bastards like you.' For once she was glad her dad had been so tough on her all these years. If not, the pain she was going through right now would have reduced her to tears.

The leader scowled at her. That was obviously not the reaction he was going for. The leader pulled a whip out from his cloak, and began to whip her. Chêne gritted her teeth and squeezed her eyes shut in pain. Tears were leaking down her face, but she did not cry out.

"If you scream for me, I might take pity on you and stop." The leader taunted her. It was a blatant lie. The man was clearly enjoying himself too much to stop. The girl whimpered. The leader's face split into a crazed smile. "I'm sorry, what was that? Speak up Chêne. I can't hear you." The leader laughed as he continued to lash her.

"… 5 … 6 …7…" Chêne said, a little louder. She was counting. The leader's sadistic grin faltered slightly.

"What? What are you counting?" The leader asked, slightly taken aback. Her eyes were starting to glaze over from the pain, and herself control was weakening, but Chêne gave the man a superb shit-eating grin.

"I'm counting how many hits I'll owe you once I manage to break free." Chêne said. It was obviously a bluff; she could barely keep her voice from cracking. "I'm not usually an 'eye for an eye' kind of girl, but you really piss me off."

The leader threw the whip away and kicked her in the stomach. This girl was either incredibly brave or incredibly stupid… Ciel decided it had to be the latter of the two. The leader glared at Chêne.

"We're wasting time!" The leader growled.

He glanced at the cage and smirked when he locked eyes with Ciel. Ciel couldn't help it, he shivered in fear. The look in that man's eyes was inhumanly cruel. Ciel had almost forgotten he was about to be sacrificed before that girl appeared.

There was no escaping this time. He was the only one left.

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