"You're going to die screaming, you sadistic bitch!" It was painful to say. It was painful to do anything, but through gritted teeth, the promise was made.
Dr Tsing simply sighed in response, "contrary to what you might think, I receive no enjoyment from this."
"Are you saying that for yourself or the cameras?" The man broke into coughs, struggling to breathe for a moment. "You don't feel a thing, you crazy mad scientist."
"Whatever you say Mr-"
"But I'll teach you to feel something," the dying man interrupted. "Fear. Because Clark is going to kill you all, and you're going to die screaming." Lifting his head as much as the restraints and his straining muscles would allow, the man tied to the table gave a haunting mad smile to finish off his point.
"Classic delusional fantasies," the doctor smoothly replied, rolling her eyes. "We've already got all the bone marrow we can from you, thank you for your contribution to remaking society."
"Bitch," the man hissed as Dr Tsing walked out of the room and he collapsed back onto the table.
Watching the whole exchange were the imprisoned grounders. Caged like animals, they had survived longer than most, as the mountain men had been focused on their new captives.
Most had given up hope of living the moment they were captured. Many more gave up as they were starved and bled. But there was one, a grounder who's eyes still shone with a sharpness that the rest lacked.
Anya would not be broken. As a general of the Tree Crew, she would not allow herself to be.
"Hey," Anya's eyes flicked up to the dying man on the table but gave no other response. "I know you can understand me," another coughing fit interrupted his gruff statement. "I've met other Trikru. I want you to do me a favour."
That was ridiculous. Absolutely absurd. How was she meant to do anything while starved in this cage? But Anya could tell this man's journey was soon to end, hearing his final request would do her no harm. "What."
"These guys are real animals, aren't they?" Anya didn't reply, she didn't expect he wanted her to, simply listen. "They killed us. All of us, except Clarke. And what they're doing to you… monstrous."
Pity sprung from Anya's gut. This man and those taken with him were killed slowly. It wasn't just them dying, it was an entire Kru's culture. Several smaller Kru existed, spread out in and around the other territories. Less so now; long ago many joined together to make the larger clans.
What terror it must be to know your Kru died with you. No matter what happened here, Anya knew the Trikru would live in without her. But this man's Kru was now but a single person, all but impossible to rebuild.
"Clarke's going to kill them," he continued. "She's going to make sure they die screaming, soon…. But I don't think I'm going to last that long."
The man's hope was likely misplaced; no one breached the mountain. Armies had tried, commanders had failed. His second statement seemed accurate, though if the spluttering coughs and tired eyes could be taken as signs.
"I want you to tell her something," he half begged, staring into her soul. "When she comes, I want you to tell her-"
Screams. Loud, unhinged, terrible screams of pain echoed through the mountain. No one in the room had to struggle to hear them as it seemed dozens of people were crying out in agony.
"Well, never mind then." Anya's eyes darted back to the man on the table. On his face was a broad, unwavering smile, and even his face looked lighter. Closing his eyes, the man laid back, as if basking in the summer sun contently. "Guess Clarke made it."
Wide-eyed, Anya looked around to make sure she wasn't the only one hearing this. There was no way this, Clarke, had really…
It was impossible.
It couldn't be done.
A long minute of silence dragged on. No-one was willing to speak in fear that it would shatter the illusion of their captor's deaths. When the silence was broken, the gathered prisoners thought just that. The door opened, everyone freezing; they feared the torturous doctor had returned.
That it was just some elaborate, unfair lie.
The person who walked in definitely wasn't the doctor. She didn't look like anyone from the mountain. The woman wore a strange combination of furs and old world clothes, much like the dying man and his friends. Although this woman's outfit was dyed a variety of different colours, ranging from black to near black, and was finished off with a hood.
The hood only revealed the bottom part of the girl, Clarke's face. Other than that, Anya could only catch a glimpse of dead blue eyes that seemed to almost glow as Clarke scanned the cages.
Spotting the man on the table, Clarke strode to his side, looking him over and clutching his hand. As she passed, Anya couldn't help but feel like something was… wrong about her. Something obvious but elusive. Anya just couldn't quite put her finger on it.
"Clarke," the man struggled to look at the girl.
"I'm here," a shiver went through Anya at that voice. It was cold, broken, and belonged to the person who would decide her fate.
"Don't blame yourself, kid." He tried to squeeze Clarke's hand, not sure if he succeeded. "They were monsters. Fucking vampires, draining people, drilling us, all so they could keep sowing misery. This is just what they deserve."
If Clarke was meant to reply, she didn't. Silently, Clarke watched as the last man on earth from the ark died.
"You're the last of us now Clarke," every word was an evident struggle, but he kept going. "It'll be hard, but show those fuckers up there and in here that we can survive anything. Live Clarke. And try… try to forgive yourself, kid."
Anya couldn't tell when the man died. A while after he did, Clarke was still holding his hand" wishing she wasn't alone in the world. The beautiful, terrible world.
"Your a fucking monster Clarke." The distinctly male voice made Anya and the other grounders jump. Looking around, they didn't see anyone else in the room when the voice erupted again from above.
"Hundreds dead Clarke, and for what? Not even a dozen of you! There are dead women and children Clarke. All for your petty fucking revenge, you monstrous-"
Gunshots filled the room. Clarke had one of the mountain men's weapons in her hand and fired shot after shot into the device. Anya would have thought Clarke was a marksman if she hadn't seen the first shot miss and half a dozen since.
The device stopped speaking after the 3rd shot, but Clarke didn't stop shooting until her gun clicked empty. Dropping the weapon, she turned back to the dead man and continued her vigil. Picking up an old-world lighter from the dead man's corpse, she started to whisper.
"In peace, may you leave the shore. In love, may you find the next. Safe passage on your travels until our final journey to the ground." Clarke's voice cracked, "may we meet again."
The speech was foreign to Anya, but its purpose was not. It wasn't the first funeral right she heard. Hopefully, it wouldn't be her last.
It took slightly too long or not long enough for the girl to turn around.
Clarke surveyed the room before levelling her cold gaze with Anya's own unflinching face.
"What's your name?" Clarke asked, coaching down to Anya's caged eye level.
Anya stayed silent and stared.
"Anya," Clarke held up a set of keys. "This is how this is going to work. I'm going to let you out, then give you the keys. You will then let your people out one at a time, and they will leave mount weather through that door. When they are all out, you leave, then I leave. Understand?"
"Don't make me regret this Anya," Clarke gestured to other grounders. "Otherwise I'll have to learn someone else's name to help me."
After a moment to let her threat sink in, Clarke opened Anya's cage, dropping the keys and standing next to the dead man. Slowly, Anya let out the other grounders.
Briefly, Clark stopped Anya to hand some anti reaper device to the first person Anya let out. A loyal Trikru scout. The explanation of its use was quick and precise; before long, Anya was back rereleasing prisoners.
When the last man left, Anya stood defiantly Infront of Clarke.
"Now you leave," Clarke stated, raising an eyebrow at Anya's actions.
"The mountain is still alive." It was an accusation, glared at Clarke.
"Yes." A simple fact in response.
"We should kill them while they are still weak!"
"You would have an easier time breaching the mountain from the outside than you would reaching the survivors now." Clarke rolled her eyes as if it was obvious to a child, "they're locked down. No way for us to get them, no way for them to get to us."
Breaking a nearby pipe, a clear liquid started to flood the room, while Clarke began throwing the doctor's samples into the accelerant. Satisfied they would all be destroyed, she turned to Anya.
"Stay here and either: die a useless death once the mountain men get their feet back under them, or burn here. If you actually want to do so etching with your life," Clarke gestured at the door. "Leave now."
Clarke was close enough to punch now. It was damn tempting. But instead, Anya took a moment to really look at her saviour. She was young, younger than even Lexa, but not by much. A few strands of blonde hair escaped the hood, but the outstanding feature was her eyes.
Cold, focused, but with something writhing underneath. Anya couldn't decide if she should be afraid or concerned for the girl.
Without a word, Anya let Clarke lead her by the arm to the exit. When they reached it, Clarke didn't let go, instead staring at a strange new bulge of Anya's arm.
Biting out the tracking devices, Anya couldn't help but smirk at the apparent annoyance of Clark's face. Just knowing that something they did got to this angel of death made her much more human. So much less of a threat.
Then like that, Clark was gone.
Anya wanted to stop her, drag her back to Heda, but she couldn't. Starving and weak, the people from the cages needed her. By the time she was done organising them for the trek through the Reaper tunnels, Clark was gone. Only an empty wall greeted Anya as she turned to their saviour.
That uncomfortable feeling was there again, niggling at her skull. Why didn't she notice her leave?
Anya could have sworn she wasn't that tired.
Hours passed, scouts reported their coming long before they were anywhere near their destination. Judging by the frozen faces, the smell of burning food, and complete silence that welcomed them, they weren't believed.
Heralded as a blessing from the spirits, feats were held, nights of celebration were drank away. Why not? People had tasted blood, gods had been wounded, the fear of them brought to kneel. The mighty mountain had been wounded. Hundreds of the monsters were dead, their reach crippled for a time.
All because of one girl.
Two people though only drank as much as polite and celebrated as much as necessary. As people were returned through Polis, these two already heard the growing whispers around Clark.
Lexa and Clark were happy that the mountain couldn't get in the way of their plans to unite the clans.
But what would this new player do in the conflict needed to bring everyone together?
What would this… Wanheda, do?