On Wings of an Angel

"I didn't do anything!" Danielle shouted, struggling against the Alpha Sections that dragged her through the Nutripils factory. Just a half hour ago they had arrested her on charged of aiding the IRIS Network. Even though the accusations were false, none of the Alpha Sections would listen to her. "Listen to me! I'm not helping IRIS! You've got the wrong person!"

The two soldiers remained silent, dragging her into a small lift. A third Alpha Section activated it, sending them to the second floor. There, the commanding officer strode over to them and looked Danielle up and down. "Who is this?"

"An agent for the IRIS Network we captured today. ID number is 4332578. Current orders are to keep her in stasis for transportation."

The commander stared at her for a second. "I don't think this one should have it so easy," he said with a dark tone in his voice. "I believe an hour in the machine will suffice. If she's alive afterwards, send her on her way."

Danielle tried to pull free again, even though it was useless. "I'm innocent! For the last time, I have never helped IRIS!"

The commander backhanded her across the face, making her cry out. "It's useless to lie. Take her away!" he ordered. The two Alpha Sections began to drag her off again. This time, they went through a heavy door with the Nutripils logo on it. They lead her over to some sort of machine with a DomZ creature above it.

Danielle felt fear well up inside. Was what the IRIS said the truth? Were the Alpha Sections really working with the DomZ? One of the soldiers pushed her towards the machine, but she resisted as best as she could. A metal shod fist slammed into the back of her head, knocking her into the machine. Before she could get out, a green light shot from the creature into her body. Danielle screamed as a pain like thousands of needles spread throughout her body.

The two guards didn't stay long. They walked out almost immediately afterwards to return to their duties. Danielle screamed in pain again, having trouble focusing. She felt herself slipping into unconsciousness with every passing minute. Unable to think or move, Danielle succumbed to the darkness and blacked out.

Danielle had no idea how long she had been out, but she slowly began to awaken. She was lying down on her back, and someone was gently shaking her shoulder. Danielle slowly opened her eyes, surprised to see a woman crouched over her. "Are you okay?" she asked. "I'm Jade. I was sent by IRIS to help you."

"I'm okay, I think. I'm Danielle… And IRIS? The Alpha Sections arrested me because of you."

Jade shook her head. "You don't know the truth. If you come with me, I'll show you what's really going on in Hillys. IRIS is not the one to fear."

Danielle thought about how they put her in the DomZ torture machine and felt a shiver ran up her spine. Maybe Jade was right about IRIS… "All right. Better than staying here with the Alphas… How did you get in here anyways? I thought people aren't allowed near the factory anymore."

"They aren't. I managed to sneak in so I could get you out. We better get going or things are gonna get bad."

Jade helped Danielle to stand, waiting until Danielle could shrug off the dizziness and regain her sense of balance. "How are we going to get out?" Danielle asked. "The way I came was crawling with soldiers."

"We go through the shaft. There's an opening leading back to the docks there." They went through the vent opening and slowly made their way around the edge. "We have to jump across this gap. Can you make it?"

Danielle glanced down at the small gap they had to cross and nodded. Jade crossed first, then turned around to help Danielle across. She almost slipped, but Jade grabbed her arm before she fell. The two of them went through a nearby opening, and Jade pointed towards a doorway past the series of catwalks they were on. "The way to the docks is just beyond the old elevator. Problem is, the lasers are on, and the Alpha Sections are patrolling the whole corridor. Do you think you're up for it?"

Danielle nodded slightly, following closely behind Jade. The lasers weren't hard to get past, but the soldier was a different story. Almost as soon as they passed the lasers, an Alpha Section closed in on them. "Get down!" Jade warned, diving into an offshoot corridor. Danielle followed suit, sidling against the wall as the soldier walked past. When he turned around, they would be found…

Jade snuck up behind him and kicked the soldier's air tank. She dove back into the corridor Danielle was hiding in and grabbed her wrist, pulling her off. Past a few more run-down corridors was a docking area. Below them in the water was a hovercraft with a pig standing guard over it. "Here's our stop. That was easier than I thought," Jade muttered.

"Well, at least we're almost out of here. I never want to come back here again."

Jade was about to reply when she noticed something behind Danielle, and her eyes widened in fear. "Behind you!" she shouted.

Danielle spun around just in time to see the Spirit Eater before it grabbed her with its tentacles. Suddenly, she began to feel weak and tired. Danielle looked back at Jade, shouting with a weak voice. "Jade…. Help…!" She began to fight against the creature in an attempt to free Danielle, but to no avail.

When it felt as if all of her strength was drained, she found her gaze drawn to the Spirit Eater's single eye. It was as if the creature was searching through all of her thoughts and memories for something, but she couldn't imagine what it wanted. Alien words echoes deep within her mind. In an instant, her memories were ripped straight from her head. She let out a strangled scream, darkness rushing into her vision. The last words she heard before she lost consciousness were, "This is the one…"

"Danielle? Danielle! Wake up!"

Someone shook her shoulders, slowly waking her up. As she slowly looked around in confusion, her dazed mind began to register things. She had no idea who she was, where she was, or what happened before she woke up. "What… Where… Where am I?"

The woman that had shook her awake had a worried look. "It's okay, Danielle. We're gonna get you out of here now. Are we ready, Pey'j?" she asked, looking over her shoulder at someone. There was a muffled reply, and the woman looked back down at her.

Daniellle…? Is that my name…? It sounds right, but I can't remember exactly.

"Are you okay? You took a big hit from that Spirit Eater. You need to rest. We'll take you back to IRIS."

Danielle thought about the name. It sounded familiar… But as she thought, she felt something wrong. She felt empty inside, like something was missing. Was it all her memories that once filled that hole? "IRIS…?" she mumbled.

"Pey'j! I don't think she remembers anything. She's been drained. We need to get her to IRIS now! Danielle needs help."

A voice shouted from nearby, but she couldn't see who spoke. "The hovercraft's ready, Jade! Get her inside and we'll leave."

The woman, Jade, carefully lifted Danielle up and carried her aboard a hovercraft. Danielle fought against drowsiness, struggling to stay awake. As the hovercraft started up, Jade bent down and spoke to Danielle in a whisper. "Just rest. You need it."

Rest… That sounds very good to me right now…

When she closed her eyes again, she drifted off into a peaceful sleep.