“It is not enough that we do our best; sometimes we must do what is required.”
-Winston S. Churchill
Cold, damp stone surrounded her. Steel clamps, bolted into the cold, frigged steel walls and floor completely immobilized her. Her arms, spread out to the side were clamped both at the wrists as well as her biceps. Even if she weren’t secured at the throat, stomach, ankles and upper thigh, the restraints on her arms would probably have been enough to hold her. At least for a little while.
Rogue ran her tongue across her dry cracked lips as she looked around the dark cell. The only light she could see was a small beam that poured forth from an open door somewhere down the hallway, taunting her with freedom. She could taste several dozen colors patrolling on multiple floors above her. Seraph’s color was several hundred feet away, moving quickly toward her. Rogue clicked her tongue against her teeth, the act sending sound waves flowing across the surfaces around her. When the waves returned milliseconds later, Rogue had a black and white image of her surroundings painted in her mind. A black and white image of an inescapable prison in which she was contained like a wild animal.
“Fuck,” Rogue whispered in frustration. The metal clamp around her throat made it difficult to breathe and she could feel the dried blood from the crash crusted onto her face. Cold sweat had soaked her clothing, causing the fabric to stick to her skin uncomfortably. However, her discomfort would have to wait as the footsteps of Seraph’s color drew closer and closer. His whistling, a low hum that vibrated through his pursed lips, filled the dark spaces in Rogue’s painted image of her surroundings.
“Just wait until I get out of here, Seraph,” Rogue groaned as Seraph stepped through the door of her cell. She glared with vibrant yellow eyes through the hair that blocked her face into Seraph’s smug smirk.
“You’ve taken me on quite the little chase, darling. It took me quite some time to track you down once I discovered that you were still alive. However, luring you out of hiding was dramatically simpler than I had anticipated,” Seraph said nonchalantly.
Rogue felt a haze fall over her senses as Seraph spoke. A barely audible wash of construed perception that transitioned across her tongue and hummed in her ears. With a shake of her head the feeling was gone, but she couldn’t help the tinge of fear that burned in the back of her mind.
Crouching down, Seraph brushed the blonde strands of hair from Rogue’s face and stared straight into the yellow orbs that glared maliciously at him.
“Maybe I just plan to get out of these locks and break every bone in your body,” Rogue seethed. She could feel the tendrils of black coiling around her limbs, their warmth sending pleasurable waves of murderous lust coursing through her small body. Seraph extended a long, pale finger and traced a single black vein as if it were a delicate flower of which he could so easily crush.
“Perhaps I’ll show you why you’re wrong,” he whispered.
Rogue’s black eyes opened wide as she smelled the excited color of a man pushing a metal cart laden with tools that, even by her hearing, were of indiscernible size and shape. The wheels of the metal cart creaked as they drew closer and closer. The rattle of the tools atop it, sent knowing chills down Rogue’s spine. The hostile thought patterns that coursed through Seraph’s color were enough to send a cold drop of sweat beading down the back of her neck.
“Why? What do you want from me you piece of shit?” Rogue hissed.
“All I want is for you to stop acting like an unruly child and do as you are told. In time however, I believe you will make up for the damage you’ve done to my work,” Seraph sighed. He stood and sauntered toward the door, patting a large, sweating man on the shoulder as he passed.
“Keep her awake,” Seraph ordered haughtily.” The large man smiled at her as his color grew more bold and confident in its desire to harm her.
“Touch me and I’ll rip out your throat!” Rogue roared. The sweating man flinched at the venom is Rogue’s voice, but quickly recovered and reached for a long, thin blade that curved at the end like a miniscule scythe. He shuffled toward her, licking his moistened lips as he advanced. Rogue thrashed to no avail against her bonds as terror swelled in her chest. The blade, like the steel talon of some feral bird of prey burrowed its way into Rogue’s forearm and slid inch by inch down toward her hand leaving a trail of crimson life essence in its wake. Rogue clenched her jaw and squirmed against the intense pain searing through her flesh.
“You’re strong,” the sweating torturer mumbled, “But I will make you scream. They always scream.” Stepping away, Folter returned to his spotless cart of torture devices.
“They probably got a good look at your fugly ass mug,” Rogue groaned.
“We will be spending a lot of time together. My name is Folter, perhaps you’ve heard of me?” Folter asked, holding up a small flat blade in the dim light.
“Fuck off,” Rogue answered, spitting on the ground as close to him as she could get. Folter stepped up to her and swung the back of his hand into the side of her cheek. Rogue gasped as her head snapped to the side and the metal around her throat crushed her esophagus.
“You will show me respect!” Folter shouted, spittle dribbling from his lip. He solidified his demand by shoving the flat blade he still held onto into Rogue’s thigh. Rogue groaned, her body thrashing in response to the immense pain. Returning to his cart laden with tools, he picked up a massive syringe filled with an ethereal white liquid, mumbling incoherent, scattered thoughts as he toyed with his tools. Rogue’s bruised eye fell on the long silver needle protruding from its base, a single drop of the fluid dripping from it to the ground.
“What is that? What the hell are you putting inside me?” Rogue asked in a panic. She attempted to squirm away as the needle sank into her neck and the sweating Folter forced the mystery fluid inside of her body.
“This is purified caffeine, a stimulant that will help keep you awake. Oh and it has a strange way of increasing sensitivity to pain. Unbelievably so. Two tablespoons is enough to kill the average human. Let us see how much misery you can handle,” he smiled through yellowing teeth.
Rogue looked at him inquisitively. After a brief moment, her mind began to race and she felt nauseous levels of anxiety begin to pulse through her body. The massive gouge in her forearm began to bleed profusely and the chrome flat blade still stuck in her leg became surrounded in a pool of blood that swelled from her thigh. Folter took his curved blade once more and ran the razor sharp blade down Rogue’s neck to her navel. The immense level of pain would have been enough to earn a shriek from Rogue, however the injected caffeine forced an eruption of agony that Rogue had never experienced. Tears streaked down her face as she screamed. Her mouth hung agape, gasping for air as dire cries emitted from her throat.
The senseless torture ensued for hours until Folter left her, crying and bleeding, still clamped to the cold steel wall. Rogue’s chest was damp with blood and tears, her wounds were now healed by her super human abilities, but the pain of the cuts lingered on her skin as a constant reminder that she was trapped indefinitely.
“Zaria,” Rogue murmured in exhaustion. She slipped swiftly into sleep for what seemed like mere minutes in her drained and weary state.
“Rogue,” Zaria whispered. Rogue could feel the soft smooth skin of Zaria’s hand against her cheek. She opened her eyes and smiled into pale blue irises. Moonlight shined through the windowpane near the bed in their home back at New Kennedy.
“Zaria,” Rogue grinned, pulling the woman into a tender kiss. The blankets fell from around Zaria’s bare shoulders as she lay atop Rogue, kissing her ever more fervently. Zaria’s lips suddenly halted and Rogue could taste something thick and salty on her tongue. She opened her eyes to see Zaria staring blankly ahead, a trail of pinkish blood dripping from her lips.
“No!” Rogue cried, lifting her hand to shake Zaria’s head. She stopped at the sight of her red stained fingers. Moving her eyes down the length of Zaria’s body, Rogue became immobile upon the sight of the hand-sized hole that had been torn through Zaria’s chest.
“Zaria, no! Wake up, please! Please don’t die, I’m so sorry!” Rogue begged shaking her love’s lifeless body.
“You killed her,” a melodic voice muttered to Rogue’s side. Rogue turned her tear stained gaze to the small frame of a young boy. His eyes were deep brown and filled with sorrow. It was the prince of England, the young boy she had murdered in her old anger and fear.
“You killed me too,” he whispered, his voice now backed by what sounded like the angry thrum of a thousand wasps in a hollow room. Not a second after the words left his mouth did the back of his skull stain the far wall; blood and bone decorating the space around his tiny, child’s body.
“God, no!” Rogue bawled, falling forward and clutching the boy’s body in her arms. On her arms were black marks, tallies that ticked their way from her hands up her arms and down her legs, each mark scorching her like a flame as they each scoured themselves into her flesh. Rogue clawed at the black marks as they advanced toward her neck, stopping only when they covered her face.
“You killed them,” a soft voice crooned behind Rogue. Rogue turned and from the darkness stepped Sister Clarice, a bloody wound oozing through her stomach.
“Clarice? What is this? What’s happening?” Rogue pled frantically.
“If it wasn’t for you, all of them would still be alive. You’re a murderer, a monster and there will be no redemption for you,” Clarice spat. The walls around the shack fell and in a mass of blood, bone and flesh lay the bodies of countless thousands. Thousands upon thousands of rotting corpses, their lifeless eyes boring into Rogue’s soul. She stared, horrified, her eyes wide at the field of dead when a cool hand turned her around. It was Zaria, dead and lifeless with blood dried and crusted upon her lips. She leaned forward and placed her pale lips against Rogue’s ear, the blood on her cheek squelching as it pressed between their cheeks.
“I hate you,” she whispered emptily.
“No!” Rogue bellowed. She awoke to cold and steel. Fresh tears stained her face and it took a moment for her to realize the color she smelled wasn’t Folter or Seraph. It was the same color of the sniper that had taken the shot from the overpass days before. Rogue looked up and into the shadows where the black haired girl sat upon a wooden crate.
“Is it your turn to torture me?” Rogue croaked through her dried throat and cracked lips. The crate scraped across the ground as Nakir stood and walked closer.
“Az, don’t you remember me?” she asked, placing a gentle hand on Rogue’s cheek. Rogue tried to jerk away, but the metal clamps hindered the movement.
“My name is not Azrael!” Rogue barked. Nakir flinched away from Rogue’s yellow eyes, a hurt expression contorting her features.
“You don’t remember me do you? Az- Rogue, you used to play with me all the time. Hide and seek, dress-up, and you even taught me how to shoot,” Nakir pleaded. That’s when Rogue saw it, a glimmer of purple emanating from the center of the black haired woman’s chest.
“Who are you? What am I to you?” Rogue asked.
“My name’s Nakir Antar. I’m Seraph’s daughter. Your sister.”
Rogue stared uncomprehendingly at Nakir, her face unreadable as she attempted to digest the information she had been fed. A sense of numbness glazed over her mind. Nakir’s nearly black eyes bore no nuances or telltale signs of deception or hatred. Nothing in her color carried any form of ill will toward Rogue, however she was Seraph’s daughter.
“My sister?” Rogue croaked, her eyes distant and confused. The yellow had drained from her eyes and the distinctive violet filled those typically hard orbs.
“Yes Rogue, your sister. I know that you’re probably doubtful, but you can see it. See my color. I’m telling the truth,” Nakir assured her frightened sister.
“N-no,” Rogue stammered, casting her face to the ground as much as she could and shutting her eyes as hard as possible.
“No?” Nakir asked, “You don’t believe me?”
“No, I’m not your sister. That would make me Seraph’s daughter as well and I refuse to believe that,” Rogue whispered, mortified.
“Why not? I don’t understand,” Nakir questioned. She kicked her foot back and used her toe to drag the wooden crate forward for a place to sit. Leaning close to Rogue’s face, she stared into the soul of her long lost sister, hoping to understand what was going through her mind. Rogue slowly raised her head, the vituperation she wished to unleash vivid in her yellow, scrutinizing glare.
“Because you’re father is a fucking monster! Want some examples? Maybe when he had Fayne murder four children and a nun while hunting me down? Maybe when Seraph and his dogs slaughtered an entire fucking city? The shit hole city that the love of my life called home! Or when he was willing to let Fenris murder everyone in Camp Kennedy in order to take away those that protected me, my friends? Or fucking perhaps when he manipulated me into ending the fucking world?” Rogue screamed, spit foaming around her mouth as she bared her teeth like a vicious, bloodthirsty animal, “Need I go on?”
Nakir’s eyes immediately began to swell with sadness and Rogue could smell the tears forming in her color.
“Why are you crying? Those things can’t be a shock to you, doch’ d’yavola,” Rogue mocked, the bit of Russian she learned from Zaria leaking into her vernacular.
“I know that our father-“
“Your father!” Rogue snarled, her entire body lunging against the steel braces that bound her, creaking from the strain the powerful woman pressed on them. Nakir fell backward from the box on which she sat and scrambled to her feet as quickly as possible.
“I only wanted to talk to you. I missed you so much,” Nakir murmured to the floor.
Rogue watched Nakir carefully as the woman left, her soft soled boots echoing across the steel floor leaving a metallic taste of the room in Rogue’s vision. However her heart skipped a beat at the padded footsteps and nauseating taste of Folter’s color shuffling toward her. His cart of tools and devices grating against one another sent torrents of fear down her spine.
“Oh little Angel of Death, how soon you will be wishing for the kind and tender affections of the benevolent Nakir,” he crooned.
“Fuck yourself,” Rogue hissed. Folter sighed and lifted another syringe from the pristine metal cart. The gloves he now wore were spotless and white, showing no sign of the blood that he had spilled from her body the previous session.
“Still has the tongue of a viper she does. Well Azrael, shall we begin with the chemical this time? I want to get straight to the screaming.”