Sia’s eyes snapped open.
She was sitting on the stone ground, legs akimbo. Her wrists stung painfully, like they’d been touched to embers. Her arms were tired, sore, and her body was covered in little pains. Sia tried to move her arms, but couldn’t. Some kind of hot shackles were clamped around her wrists, raising her arms above her(aching)head.
“Who...are you?” she asked the blurry figure in front of her.
“Oh, yeah. Me. Consider me the only one who cares.”
The blurry figure became a short, skinny blond girl with hair in a ponytail. She was dressed in black leather like the others, and held a spear with a molten tip.
Everything came crashing down on Sia:
I was captured.
By the Pyline.
She almost fainted, but the blond girl swung the spear at her face. It stopped an inch from her forehead.
Sia said “what are you going to do?”
“I won’t.Rex will.”
The girl was silent. She jabbed the spear at Sia, hissing “anything I do to you he’ll do--times ten.”
The blond girl left the room, throwing several things behind her.
They clattered to the ground, and Sia saw what they were--the pieces of her knives,broken into sharp shards.
Sia had tried to use her magic before. It never worked without her knives. The shadows would twitch and respond, but they couldn’t come to life and battle.
Without her knives, she was useless.
Sia choked back a cry.
She sat there, knives broken in front of her, chained to the walls with slowly-cooling chains, her blue-streaked hair lopped off above her shoulders, wondering what mistake she’d made that led her here.
Rex was a golem--only he didn't look like one.
His skin was the color of cooled lava, red cracks in it, and his eyes glowed. But the rest of his body was human-male-shaped and he was dressed in a robe made of obsidian.
Obsidian was black glass, just like Sia’s knives!
She wondered if she could break off a shard and make new knives, but her hope was lost when he took out a long metal pole and unlocked her shackles from a distance. Rex avoided her like she was toxic, locking another pair around her wrists using a hook at the end of the pole. The metal was hot like a stove and Sia cried out in pain. He hooked the hook through the chains and gave a tug, forcing the hot metal to bite her wrists. Even though it hurt like heck,Sia but her tongue, vowing not to say anything as long as she was here.
She’d been held in a long room, kept in a chamber connected to a larger one by a hallway. Rex pulled her down the hallway as Sia tried not to cry. This wasn’t supposed to happen!
There was a waist-high stone wall in the larger chamber, metal loops set in the stone. A few more were on the ground, chains made of different materials(metal, glowing metal, fire, embers)dangling from the ceiling. Scorch marks marred the floor, and sharp-looking weapons and torture devices were mounted on the walls and piled on the floor. The room didn't have a door.
Rex used his pole to remove the current shackles and(with the pole)pushed Sia against the wall.
He procured several long chains and attached the clamps to Sia’s already-stinging wrists. They were made of stuff that resembled golem skin--black with veins of amber--and they glowed faintly. They were so hot that Sia bit her tongue until it bled. It hurt so much that her hands tried to run away.
Rex ignored her agonized expression and clamped another pair on her bare ankles, locking the chains into loops on the floor. He jabbed his spear at the middle link on the wrist-shackles and pinned them to a niche in the wall.
“You tell me what I need to know and I will not hurt you badly,” he said in a rumbly voice. Sia whimpered.
“I will make you feel much pain if you deny answers,” Rex rumbled, dropping his spear and grabbing a black staff.
“You will tell me: why did you come? Where are the others? What do they plan?”
Sia knew the answer to the first--the second was unknown--and there were a lot of secret plans. Since she was only a Novice in her society, Sia didn’t know a lot, but...she would have become a Student or Apprentice if she’d made it back with Julie and Isaac.
Were they even okay? Did they get back?
“I haf somethinth to ash you,” Sia said, her bitten tongue messing with her speech. “Waht happenth to my frienth?”
“The redhead one was killed. The blue-cloaked one escaped. We will hunt him soon.”
Sia remembered Julie, so kind all the time, so talented.
She was gone.
All her plans and dreams and potential--gone.
At least Isaac was okay.
At least one of them was getting out of this horror alive.
“Now you answer me. Why were you sent?”
Sia glared up at Rex, wrists and ankles screaming.
She stayed silent.
“WHY?” he howled. Sia kept quiet.
“YOU TELL ME OR I WILL GIVE YOU PAIN!” bellowed, spinning the black staff. A fireball appeared in the shepherd-hook end. She pointed it at Sia’s face.
Sia smiled defiantly.
“DON'T SHOW YOUR TEETH TO ME!” Rex swung the staff at her head. The fireball grazed her already-chopped-short hair, which caught on fire.
Sia screamed as the first bit of fire touched the back of her neck.
It kept climbing, eating her blue-streaked hair, hissing in her left ear as it reached for the flesh. Her ear exploded in pain--a pain that dulled and faded as the flames gorged themselves on her sidebangs.
Sia felt woozy and realized that the fire must have damaged her nerves so she couldn’t feel it. That made her feel worse.
Ice-cold water was dumped over her head, shocking her body. Sia, neck and ear still convinced they were on fire, left ear oddly numb, sat there, the smell of smoke and the chill of the water paralyzing her.
“I will do more to you tomorrow,” Rex said, unclamping the shackles and locking on new ones as Sia shook with soundless sobs. He dragged her down the hall and took the shackles off again, locking her to the wall of the small chamber.
“That’s too much pain for today,” Rex rumbled as he walked away.
Julie was dead, Isaac was hunted, Sia was imprisoned, her ear was numb from being burned, her wrists and ankles were already blistering and burning from the redhot chains from before, the back of her neck was screaming, her beautiful hair had burned off, and she was locked in with a torturer-golem.
Sia let out a sob and didn’t stop crying for hours.
Six hours later, unable to sleep in her misery, Sia noticed a sharp shard of one of her daggers. She used her bare feet to grab it and carefully, roughly, scratch out a claw-mark-line on the floor.
She reckoned she’d be there for a while.
And tracking time may be the only way to keep her sanity in this dungeon.
Every day was the same continued nightmare.
Sia woke up in pain, screaming after a round of(real)nightmares. Whatever part of her had been beat or burned or cut by Rex would hiss in agony, if there was even feeling left. Then, Rex would come back, drag her down the hall, and beat her up with anything he could find--flame-staffs, his pole, whips, occasionally lit torches, and other horrible things. He’d scream questions at her and she wouldn’t say anything. Then, when he decided Sia’d been through enough, he dragged her back down the hall and locked her up again. She kept track of time by dragging a piece of her dagger on the ground.
| | | | | |
Seven days in here and she had already almost lost it.
Rex dragged her down the hall again, and Sia prepared herself for another round of torture.
But instead, in the room was a machine.
It looked like an old computer, the kinds they used in the 40’s to code. It had a small screen and silver sides covered in controls.
“SINCE I CANNOT MAKE YOU TELL US THEN THIS WILL,” Rex said, uninformatively.
He chained Sia to a chair bolted to the floor and left.
The machine came to life with lights.
“Hello,” it said, sounding like Siri. “If you do not answer the questions promptly,bad things will happen.
“I am an interrogation machine designed by Tiffany Wolf, a genius and supporter of the Pyline. I ask the questions, not you.”
Oh. Tiffany was a genius.
“Truth or dare.”
“Would you rather be in pain or tell me all your secrets?”
Sia steeled herself. She had been taught when she was a Neophyte--the lowest magic-ranking in her village--that no matter what, you never spilled the village’s secrets.
“Dare,” she said.
“You are an odd duck. Very well.”
A burst of something--heat? Electricity? Both?--ran through the chains, stunning Sia.
Then the fire came.
It was inside of her--deep within her bones. Sia screamed.
For a whole five minutes.
“Truth or dare?” the machine asked.
Sia sighed. If it kept her village safe…“Dare.”
Again, the horror began, but this time it was like ice was eating her muscles.
“Truth or dare?”
This was getting crazy. How long would she be here? Sia knew that, though he was a golem, Rex had some emotions. But siri-lady didn’t have any. She’d never stop!
Again, the torment started up.
After seven hours of misery, Rex came in and turned off Siri-lady.
“ENOUGH PAIN,” he said. He took Sia back down the hall and chained her to the wall again.
The blond girl from the first day came in and bandaged Sia’s wounds. Rex had gotten angrier and hurt Sia more and for longer. Every few weeks, Siri lady would show up. Every day was horrible. Sia felt like a zombie, hardly staggering through life. This wasn’t even life! This was torture!
Blond-girl had brought her some food,too. Sia didn’t eat. She was growing weaker and weaker, and her body was covered in scars.
Thirty marks marred the floor.
That day, there was a pool of water in the floor. It was deep and looked ice-cold. Rex stayed away from it like it was poisonous. It probably was--he was a golem.
He unlocked the chains and shoved Sia forward with his pole.
Ice cold, terrible, freezing, feelingless. Then ice, tingling, horrible, bitter. Then nothing.
Then, light. Rex’s pole caught on the back of her shirt. Water dripping.
“I COULD HAVE DIED!” Sia screeched at him.
“THAT WOULD BE UNFORTUNATE.”
He dropped her on the ground. She panted, cold seeping through her.
Rex lifted her over the water.
“OH NO,NOT AGAIN!”
“TELL ME YOUR SECRETS.”
Sia slipped off his pole and into the frigid water.
After months of this, Sia started to lose it. She couldn’t sleep, although Rex stopped chaining her to the wall. When she did, it was only nightmares and death. She would find herself murmuring to Isaac and Julie, reliving their mission over and over.
She started to see things and hear voices in her head, telling her to give up and give the Pyline everything she knew.
Sia spent her days in distress, getting zapped by Siri-lady or tortured by Rex. Blond-girl would bandage her burns, and try to get her to eat. It didn't work. Sia grew thinner and paler, her head full of visions and a slow-spreading fog. To hold it back, she started chiseling poetry on the walls. It took her all day for a line or two, but Sia’s memory improved. She memorized verses and chipped them into the stone. Rex was puzzled by this--he couldn’t read English. Blond-girl rarely spoke. Siri-lady was a machine. No-one was there to help her.
One day, she was cutting a design into her skin with her shard. She had a few but this one was her favorite. Her hand hurt badly, but life was only hurt. Rex would hurt her later, anyway.
Sia whistled a freaky tune. She didn’t feel well.
She absentmindedly carved a stickfigure into her flesh.
Below it was a bloody circle, which she added legs to. It was right on the side of her hand, below her pinky, so when she bent her fingers, the stickfigure jumped up and down.
Sia whistled the crazy tune again.
Rex arrived, hooking the back of her tattered shirt with his pole. She didn’t even notice as he dragged her down the hall, her eyes were so clouded with visions.
Sia had gotten a little better mentally.
Physically, she was a mess.
The walls and floor were covered in tally marks and poems, carved roughly into the stone. They scraped her when she moved. She was eating, but had lost a lot of weight. The cold dungeon, open wounds, and frequent dips in the ice pool made her extremely weak to the smallest of colds. Her skin blistered, leaving infected sores. She was shaky and weary from Siri-lady’s shocks--which had since stopped. Siri wasn’t a popular method of torture.
The one thing that has gained sharpness was Sia’s mind.
She started thinking about what would happen if she told them.
She didn't know many missions that hadn’t already happened.
She wasn’t useful to them.
Did that mean she’d be there forever?
Who cared what she told the villains, anyway?
Sia was thinking about more and more complex things. She started pondering good, evil, and in-between. Maybe they were the same?
Good, evil, in-between.
All the same.
...Maybe she still was insane.
There were 365 tallys on the walls and floor,where obscure verse wasn’t written. Sia’s body was a mess of scars and her clothing hung off her in rags. Her hair had grown back, but Rex had pulled a clump of it out so it was uneven. Dark circles framed her tired face, her wrists had rings of burns from the fire chains.
Sia was hardly recognizable as herself.
Rex was coming in for another day of horror when loud explosions shook the walls, the floor, the ceiling.
One of the walls fell down, a storm of blue-cloaked people pouring in.
One was Isaac, older and healthy. Unlike Sia, who’d withered, he’d only grown stronger.
Isaac cracked Rex in the face with his stone swords.“Hey! There’s Sia! She’s been missing for a whole year!”
As he unlocked the chains, Isaac explained that they’d caught a Pyline minion and gotten information out of them about the weak spots in the fortress. Lots of prisoners had been taken, so they went to set them free.“We thought you were dead,” Isaac said.
“Me too.” Sia looked at the stickfigure-on-a-trampoline scar.
“Well, come on! Verity can carry you if you need to--she has telekinesis.”
An hour later(they got lost in the tunnels)Sia saw daylight for the first time in a year. She almost fainted whens he smelled clean-ish air--there was still a smoky smell.
As verity telekenisis’d her onto their vehicle, Sia almost fainted.
But it didn't matter.
After a year from a horror-movie, she was going home.
If you're in this and want to be included in my "backstories" section, just tell me! I'm doing Celeste next. You may have to wait, since half of you aren't even introduced yet...
If you want to know how Sia got here and who the heck Julie and Isaac are(Julie is real, Isaac is Isaac Aaron's character) you should check this out!
Thank you for reading! Ignore the one i the comments, that one won't let you in at all.
Sia--THANKS FOR BEING THE FIRST ONE IN THE SERIES TO GET A BACKSTORY STORY!