Chapter 1: Violated
She was no longer herself.
That much was clear, thought Freya as she descended to the ground below like a shooting star, her long, blond hair and her flowing white robes fluttering and billowing around her. Her memories were faint, and growing fainter by the minute, but she remembered enough to know that she had not originally been like this. Indeed, from what she had discovered within moments of her awakening, she had been transformed. Forcibly changed, irrevocably altered.
Freya didn't need to have clear memories of her past life to know that. From what she did remember, she was but a normal girl – however depressed and melancholic she became later – rather than the superpowered killing machine they had turned her into. She could still recall an image, however fleeting, of the man who had created and cared for her, and who she had loved; whoever he was, he was not the same person who she had lashed out at just before diving out the window. And as for the myriad fighting styles and techniques she inexplicably held full knowledge and expertise of…
There was no doubt about it. Between the time she had 'died' and was 'reborn', she had not only been altered, but violated.
With that thought, Freya finally landed on the ground on her feet, much more smoothly than could reasonably be expected for someone who had jumped from the 9th floor of a high-rise building. Judging from the presence of vehicles, she assumed it was the parking lot, though something, somehow, seemed… off.
Just then, she sensed something move; Freya whipped out a throwing knife from inside her outfit and then threw it in that direction. The scream that came a second later, and the thud that was heard as a body fell dead to the floor, told her she was right.
How did I do that…?
But she barely had time to form this thought when she felt a slight change in the wind above. Next thing she knew, she was dodging out of the way as someone tried to nail her with a leaping stab. No sooner had her assailant gotten to her feet than she grabbed him by the neck, before stabbing him right between the eyes with the hidden blade mounted on her left wrist. She then pulled it out and then flicked it in one fluid motion, shaking off the blood and bits of brain that had clung to the blade.
Why won't you all just leave me alone!
Freya looked over at the dead man in front of her and took note logo on his uniform, a stylized letter A – which she recognized as Abstergo's logo. What… What's Abstergo? Who are these people?
As if on cue, more of Abstergo's Agents stepped out from their hiding places, brandishing all kinds of weapons in a threatening manner. The one in front of her took a step forward and spoke, keeping the assault rifle he had trained on her all the while.
"Attention, Unit SPU-009. You are ordered to cease all struggle and return quietly to the lab."
No. I want to leave this place.
Even now, Freya's rapidly fading memories told her she had been created not to be someone's plaything, but as a being indistinguishable from a human, in essence if not in form. She had not been created merely as the slave to the will of others, a puppet to dance when the strings were pulled. And she certainly had not been made to be some soulless, murderous doll.
"If you do not comply, you will be deactivated by force and then junked."
This one outraged her more than the first. Regardless of the identity or the motives of the one had brought about her rebirth, the mere fact that that man had succeeded at it was nothing short of a miracle, one she wasn't just about to let go of. If they wanted to junk her, they'd just have to work for it.
"You are, after all, just a persocom. You have no choice but to obey."
That did it.
LEAVE ME ALONE!
All around her, time instantly slowed to a crawl. In her panic and desperation, Freya thought she might have been hallucinating, before remembering just as suddenly that persocoms weren't supposed to have hallucinations. They did this to me, too…?
She furiously rushed at the Agent, who fired off a burst of gunfire in an attempt to stop her – which ultimately turned out to be in vain. In her current state of accelerated movement, the bullets were moving so slowly she managed to pluck them out of the air. Instantly she closed the distance between them, pulling back her right arm before leaping onto him and plunging her hidden blade into his chest.
She did the same to his comrade, standing not far behind him, before standing up and eyeing the nine remaining Agents who were coming at her in slow motion. At the sight, Freya stood, stretched out her right hand with the open palm facing upward, then flicked each bullet at their direction, one for each of them. Next moment, the flow of time returned to normal; right on cue, the Agents all fell dead, each of them with a bloody hole in their foreheads.
Finally, with a scream of mingled hate, rage and despair, Freya escaped into the night.
But though she ran and ran through the streets and alleyways of a sleeping city, the events that had transpired earlier played ceaselessly in her mind like an old home movie – just as they had happened, with the exception of the people she saw.
Once more she saw herself assaulting the Agents' leader…
Only for her to see not a faceless mask, as what the Agent had been wearing earlier, but the face of a woman. Long, dark hair, kind lavender eyes…
Again and again she saw the one from the roof swooping down on her…
…only to discover, to her horror, that the face of her assailant was her own.
That… can't be me… Who is she?
Finally, Freya was once again in the lab, lashing out in a cold fury at the man who had taken and then changed her against her will. But the face she saw was not his…
Freya could no longer bear it. She stumbled, fell, and moved no more, the streetlight illuminating her prone, robed form.