A small wail came from the ruins of the recently destroyed castle. It came from the hidden rookery beneath the stones. Normally, the wails would have been silenced soon with contented purrs, which would never have been heard, but those who had cared for her had shattered in the daylight attack. Even her brothers and sisters had been crushed by falling debris. Only she survived the destruction of her home which she never saw.

Her hungry cries drew the attention of the very people who destroyed her home. The men smiled at each other and searched the ruins, coming at last upon the small infant. Little did the babe know that from that point on, her destiny was altered. She was handed into hands that cared nothing for her. She was just a tool, a tool to be refined and honed, but a tool, none the less.

She was taken from the world she had never gotten to know and placed into a world which even the most hardened criminal would blanch.

----

She knew her world by heart. It was big enough for her to stretch her small wings, high enough that she could climb the walls and glide if she so chose, long enough for her to reach her full speed, and wide enough for her to leap from one wall to the other, barely.

She knew her world by touch. Whatever sound she heard she created, so she knew her world by the echoes she used to make. There was nothing but the walls, ceiling and floor. The only change in the walls was the reinforced steel door, through which food and water was delivered.

She was given no comfort. She was to sleep on the floor, the cold hard floor, or hang from the ceiling, where she could gain some warmth, but left her tired. Her dark world never had sunlight.

The sounds she made became harsh to her ears until she couldn't bear to hear her talons dig into the floor any longer. Her footsteps changed, her presence lessened until it was no more than a ghost, soon, the only thing she ever heard was the pounding of her heart, the only thing she could not silence.

----

The door creaked open, its ill-used hinges stiff from the long years of immobility. The light that shone through made the child hiss in pain, her eyes adjusting to light it had never had to deal with. There was a silhouette in the light, blurred as the child struggled to see for the first time.

"Stupid creature, you've grown these past six years. Ugly thing aren't you?" The voice was distinctly masculine and the child shield away from the noise he made. "Will it do?" The last was not directed at her.

Her eyes focused enough and she could see the two distinct shapes now. One approached her and she backed away, the scent in the air making her want to scream.

"Wings? I didn't believe you when you said you had this thing. It will work perfectly, but how do you know it can learn?"

"If it doesn't, I'll simply kill it. If it has no use, it doesn't deserve to live." The girl shivered at the coldness in his voice. The room was warmer than his voice. "Take it to the training facility, do with it what you will. If it can learn, teach it. If it can't, feed it to the blood hounds. They can always use fresh blood to drive them to kill."

The girl screamed as three more shadows came in and beat her unconscious, before she was dragged from her dark home to wherever it was they were taking her.

----

"Again." She didn't allow the cry of pain to escape her lips as the length of chain smashed into her tender back. She could feel the trickle of blood start to trail down to the base of her tail. She erased the word she had written on the board, was given a new problem, and began again.

She was glad she had decided not to sleep last night. Otherwise she wouldn't be able to do the work before her. The complex puzzles and logic sequence were difficult understand, but thanks to her preparation last night, she was at least able to muddle through them within a few minutes.

She completed her task and turned with her head bowed to her instructor. The man looked over the problem and smashed the chain into her shoulder. She felt it dislocate and this time she let out a cry of pain, no more than a whisper to the rest of the world, but a scream to her sensitive ears.

"On to combat training, stupid thing." The man hissed, kicking in the side, causing her to promptly collapse. "No need for rest, you're ready to go." It wasn't a question, but she knew she was expected to respond anyway.

"No rest for demons." She replied. It satisfied him and he left, closing the lights behind him. She was plunged into darkness and she heard the bolt slide into place. She could hear the hounds being released at the other end of the room. She managed to get to her feet just as the first of the creatures tore into her flesh.

----

They attached something around her neck. They had never given her anything before. It was a simple metal band, but it was the prettiest thing she had. She fingered it, exploring it with touch. The metal seemed to have sealed itself, making it seamless. It made her suspicious. She didn't trust them. There had to be a catch.

She found out the next day. In one moment of rage, she had leapt at the man, who had not even attempted to get away. Instead, he smiled, pulled something from his pocket, and the next thing she knew, she was on the floor, convulsing as pain tore through her. It was gone as soon as it came, but it came from the metal band, and she tried to rip it from her throat. Her rage doubled when she realised this was the catch, the pain. She leapt at the man again and again, each time dropping to the ground, but each time she rose, more rage burning within her each time.

That moment was when her hatred began.

----

"That is the small thing I gave you twelve years ago?" the man spoke in utter disbelief. The creature before him stood straight, its eyes looking past him at the wall, through him at the wall.

Before it had been nothing more than skin and bones, but now it was all sinew and muscles. There was not an inch of its skin that softened the contrast of its muscles. The metal collar around its neck was the only thing that gleamed on its dark skin. Its skin was black, the bat like wings the same. Its short hair was a shocking white, yet somehow it fit. The only sign that the creature before them lived was the slight rise and fall its chest. Even its ice blue eyes were dull, never moving from its fixed spot on the wall.

"Can it be controlled?" The man said to the trainer. He smiled and nodded.

"Attention." The creature immediately focussed on the trainer. The man noticed chains to the ground and binding on the wings. "Training pattern six. Twenty blood hounds, four snipers. You chained with six locks, five combos, and handcuffs. Your task is to break into that safe, in which is a coin. Retrieve it and bring it here within seven minutes." The creature would have just stood there, but a quick shock through the collar made it give the trainer a jerky bow.

"This demon will complete its task in six." It declared.

"We won't want to be in here." The trainer said his employer. "Lights, new moon cloudy." The area went dark just as they closed the door behind him.

"How are we going to see?" the trainer just shushed him.

"What do you think I used that administrator money for? I installed a window that will allow us to see anything in any light for observation use." The two of looked through the window. Three men were chaining the beast to the floor. The trainer pointed out the three places where the snipers were located.

As soon as the last lock was in place, the beast tried to attack the men who had bound her. It managed to break one arm before they got out of its reach. Immediately after they got out of the room, the trainer started the timer.

"Watch." The employer obeyed and watched. The hounds were set loose about thirty seconds after the timer had started. The beast had knelt and kept still.

"What's it waiting," he was silenced when the first blood hound reached the chained figure.

A single hand snapped out, breaking its neck. The other hounds reached it and their view was obscured. Several moments later there were several snapping sounds. Two dead hounds were thrown away and the rest followed, to eat their brethrens dead bodies.

The employer lost sight of the beast, his eyes having followed the hounds. He was startled when the first sniper hit the window with a thud. He could hear the soft sound of the guns firing. He heard a scream, followed by another shortly. He jumped when another sniper hit the window.

"She fast today." The trainer muttered.

"Good."

"No, that's bad. The men who hit the glass are dead now. If she was running behind, she would just have knocked them unconscious. It's getting hard to find people who will actually go in there for training."

The creature had reached the safe. It pressed an ear next to the combo and began to spin the dial. A few moments later, the door swung open. It looked in the direction of the window before it thrust its fist through the open door. The employer gaped at the open display of power. The steel had to be at least six inches thick.

A few moments later, the safe went sailing across the room to land among the hounds. It blew up, sending blood splattering against the walls.

The trainer clicked the time and glared at the time. It said exactly six minutes.

Men poured into the training area, wearing armour and all of them armed. Even so, the man was impressed when the creature managed to bash in the heads of four men and fling two others away before they had her chained to the ground again. It strained against the chains.

The trainer sent a jolt through the collar and the beast's motions stilled.

"Once in the field, I won't have to worry about tranquillizing it by hand. A tranq. gun will work, but at close range, she would just dodge." The trainer smiled. "This little thing keeps her obeying and as long as you have one of these, she won't attack you. Just make sure to stay at least three feet away." He handed his employer the collar's control. "I have an extra control in my office if that one manages to get damaged." He stated. He gave the other man a grin. "The demon assassin is fully trained and ready for missions."

"Good. We'll send it out tonight, on a test run. Send her to get that gem in the museum… the one Xanatos donated. It's a high security thing. Make it get that." The employer was about to leave when he paused. "What did you name it?"

"Its name is Assassin." The man shook his head at the lack of originality but continued out the door.

----

She sniffed the air. The wind made it that much easier. She could smell the guard though he was out of sight. His scent covered the area. It disgusted her. She could smell the need all over this one and it repulsed her.

She gripped the wall of the stone, waiting patiently for the man to pass. The amount of light the moon cast made her eyes hurt, but just being able to raise her head and allow her hair to be combed by the wind made it all worth it.

She leapt down to the ground silently, shadowing the man into the building. She was getting bored. She was tempted just to rip the man's throat out, but she forced herself to remain patient. By following him, she wouldn't be surprised by another guard. Not that she would be. These filthy people had heavy footsteps, unlike the trained men at her cage. If it wasn't for this collar, she would never return.

She spotted the gem ahead. She slid forward and let a soft hiss escape her throat. She let out a fraction of the rage that was curled up inside her.

The man turned, the flashlight aimed directly at her. Before he could scream her talons had snaked out to grab his throat and lift him from the ground.

The fear that tainted this man's scent paused her in the height of her rage. She tossed him aside after a moment and his head hit the wall in a sickening crunch. She had already cut the security camera by destroying the surveillance room upstairs.

It was a matter of moments to replace the necklace on the pedestal with a stone she picked up outside. So, without raising any alarms, she climbed up the wall and out the skylight of the next room.