Prologue: What I Thought I Knew
I've always considered myself as a sharp individual; that I possessed the ability to catch the implications hidden in between the well elaborated words. I was so sure that my skill would have been able to differentiate the numerous lies from the so few truths. However, as I laid on the cold floor completely exhausted after the numerous beatings I have received since my capture, I began to doubt myself. It felt like my whole world and all of the knowledge I thought of as true were just swirling down a dirty drain in quiet shame. I was overwhelmed as my past was laid out bare in front of me. Memories that I've worked hard on for the past seven years to repress assaulted me in huge forces from the simple provocation of carefully chosen words.
In the room with me was the leader of this despicable organization; the sole being responsible for so much death and terror inflicted in the modern world. I couldn't see his face that was covered in the dark, but I would always remember his body language. He seemed relaxed, despite the fact that I had alerted the Seekers of our current location.
The man was casually smoking a cigarette, and seemed oblivious to the fact that I was even there. I felt anger and a hint of offense curled in my stomach. It was bad enough that I was kidnapped by his organization, but to be ignored as if I was just a speck of dirt was the ultimate insult he could impose on me.
The man released a few puffs of the smoke, and directed one of them at my general area. The leader then flicked the cigarette aside, and focused his attention on me.
Despite all of my training with the Seekers, I still couldn't prevent the wary shivers that shook through my body as the leader of the Phantoms looked me over. No indication of his intentions were given.
He stepped closer until he towered over me. I narrowed my eyes as I tried to adjust my blurry vision.
The man dropped down to his knees, his glowing electric blue eyes observed me like a lab rat. I glared at him with all of my might for I refused to allow him to see me as weak. He, however, merely chuckled. "I can see why he is interested in a strong-willed woman such as yourself," he commented.
I had no idea who he was referring to.
"It's a shame that you oppose my organization. You would have made an excellent agent," he added.
I clenched my teeth in anger. "I would never work for you, not after you took everything away from me!" I shouted.
It seemed that my hatred for the man only amused him.
"You allow your emotions to control you too much. If you were to let go of them, imagine the potential you could gain. You would truly bring peace to this world."
I snarled at his ridiculous statement. "So you believe that by losing the one thing that makes us human, a person could bring peace? Look at your organization; look at all the lives it has taken. That's not peace, that's genocide!"
The Phantom leader didn't even flinch at my outburst. Instead, he reached for my neck and swiftly ripped off the simple silver necklace. He twirled it in his hands, and studied it under the glaring light. All the while, I was getting more and more pissed off, and ready to burst at any moment.
"This is a worthless responsibility that you have put upon yourself. Even after all of these years, you still carry your mother's necklace?" He asked as if unimpressed with my actions.
I didn't say anything. I merely glared at him fiercely. If looks could have killed, he would have been a pitiful puddle of liquefied human on the cold ground.
The Phantom leader shook his head. "The sense of finding comfort in material goods is a waste of time. Instead of mourning the past, you have to focus on the future. 'Never let anything stand between you and your mission's goal'; isn't that what the Seekers have taught you?"
I once again stayed silent. The leader of the Phantoms shook his head in disapproval. "And here I was so sure that you of all people would have understood that moral."
At his remark, I snapped. "What do you know about morals? All you care about is gaining power, even if it means taking away our freedom to get it. You know nothing about being human, even if the answer was right in your face." I paused as I took the time to observe the leader's reaction. When he showed none, I continued. "You would never understand what it's like to be free; to show love for the ones you care about. You're a monster!"
Silence filled the room and enveloped it in an eerie atmosphere. Sweat dripped down my face and made an unusually loud drop sound as it crashed to the ground. I swallowed self-consciously, but I refused to give in to fear.
"Is that so?" The Phantom leader finally replied after a tense moment.
I shuffled nervously as he knelt in front of me. He placed his cool mouth by my ear and began whispering. Again, his choice of words were weapons upon my frail spirit. The blood in my veins felt like it turned to ice, my vision became red with fury, and my heart accelerated like a train speeding down its tracks. The combined reactions caused my entire body to shake uncontrollably to the point where I would have fallen over if I wasn't already on the ground. I wanted to scream, to claw at the monster's face in front of me for daring to commit such an inhumane and horrific crime.
I practically felt my captor smile as he leaned back, and harshly grabbed my face. For the first time ever, I finally had a good look at his face, although what I saw took me completely by surprise, more so than his cruel words that continued to bite at me like eager hyenas going for a kill.
The man regarded me with a knowing smirk. I stared back in silent shock. He had his eyes.