Disclaimer: I own nothing and no one, except Ciarra
The dark is generous. Its first gift is concealment: our true faces lie in the dark beneath our skins, our true hearts remain shadowed deeper still. But the greatest concealment lies not in protecting our secret truths, but in hiding from us the truths of others.
-Excerpt from Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith
Chapter One: Prison
Ciarra Iksana was not having a good day, no, scratch that, she was not having a good month. At least, she thought it had been a month. It's so hard to tell time when you can't see anything.
You're probably confused by now. Well, the first thing you need to know about Ciarra is that she's incarcerated in the prison under the Barron's palace. Why you may ask, because the orphanage she was staying at went bankrupt, and not two hours after she was dumped on the street, she was taken to her own personal "Hell on Earth". From that moment on, she was enrolled to be a guinea pig for the infamous Dark Warrior program. She didn't believe the rumors whispered amongst the prisoners at first, but then her first day of 'testing' began.
Not two days after being imprisoned, Ciarra was dragged from her cell, to a bright, but ominous white room. After adjusting her eyes to the unaccustomed light, she spied a chair that would have looked innocent enough, if there weren't restraints to strap a person to it, or blood on the headrest. Seeing the blood made Ciarra start to panic. She never liked blood.
Of course it didn't matter whether Ciarra liked blood or not, she was forced down and strapped into the chair nonetheless. Starting to feel the panic overwhelm her, Ciarra's eyes darted frantically around, searching desperately for a distraction. Unfortunately, what she saw didn't reassure her. She observed three scientists fiddling with, what appeared to be a gun. They were whispering in low voices, but with adrenaline pumping through her body, Ciarra was able to hear snatches of their conversation.
"Could put a whole new light on the Project…"
"Which area do we target?"
After the last was mentioned, all of the scientists started to whisper excitedly, like five-year-olds over a shiny new toy. Ciarra couldn't make out anymore, but what she did hear gave her a feeling of dread. From what she could make out, these insane men were going to do something to her. Something she instinctively knew was not going to be pleasant. But, before she could work herself up even more, one of the scientists appeared out of nowhere and injected her with something that made her go limp. He smiled an obviously fake smiled at her and said; "We don't want you to hurt yourself, now do we?" Ciarra couldn't answer because a second scientist had tied a piece of cloth over her mouth. She didn't think she could have made her mouth and tongue work anyway, the combination of the drug and her own fear had made her immobile. Scientist number one and two turned to the third scientist, whom Ciarra saw was carrying the gun she had seen earlier. She watched in horror as scientist number three approached her, took a position directly in front of her, and aimed the gun right between her eyes.
"How long," scientist number three grunted.
Scientist number two shrugged, "How should I know; this is an experiment. Keep it on as long as you like."
Scientist one, nodded.
"Fine," Scientist three answered. Looked into Ciarra's eyes then grinned manically as he squeezed the trigger.
Sheer agony was what Ciarra felt. No, it was worse, much worse. Hot, throbbing waves of pain traveled from the point the gun was shot, all the way down to her toes. In that moment all that existed was the pain, slowly extinguishing her existence. It was eternity, and yet no time at all before the scientist released the trigger, leaving her gasping through the material over her mouth.
Ciarra wasn't all there anymore, half unconscious, she heard the scientists talking, but couldn't make out what was being said. Finally, with one last attempt at consciousness, Ciarra surrendered to the darkness waiting to take her.
It is now one month after the first experiment. After that, she had been taken to the room almost every day, and each and every time scientist three, or Errol as she now knew, would hold the trigger longer and longer. Of course, by now, she knew exactly what these "experiments" were for. Apparently, the Barron had got it into his head to pump people full of dark eco so they would turn into these so-called "Dark Warriors". Unfortunately (for the Barron) every time he would pump dark eco into someone, they would go insane, die, mutate in horrible ways, or a combination of the three.
That's where Ciarra comes in. See, because of these failures, the Barron's scientists proposed injecting dark eco into a specific area rather than the whole body, like they had been doing. Apparently, targeting a specific area would make the area super enhanced and narrowing the space touched by eco would prevent all of the "side effects".
That was the idea at least. Ciarra doubted that the scientists experimenting on her had ever touched eco in their entire lives, because, if they had, they would know that no matter how small the area targeted, eco spreads through the entire body. She could feel it, the corruption flowing through her veins. She felt dirty, tainted, but that wasn't the worst of it. The worst took place two weeks before.
Ciarra had woken up from her most recent "session" only to find that it was pitch black in her cell. This was very unusual. The cells were always slightly lighted. Moving very slowly, Ciarra stood and attempted to make her way to a wall, only to trip and fall over, what turned out to be, her meager ration of food. After wolfing it down like the hungry little girl she was, Ciarra resumed cautiously making her way to the wall of her cell. Sighing in relief, she finally made it. She then proceeded to follow the wall until she felt the bars of her cell door. Peering out, Ciarra was met, once again by a frustrating wall of black. Now she knew something was wrong. Ciarra's torture sessions were always held at night, and she never slept the entire day. She should have been able to see sunlight coming in through cracks in the ceiling, but there was nothing. Absolutely nothing. It was impossible, there was no way…unless…No, it couldn't be. But it was. She tried to deny it, but deep down inside, she realized the truth. They had taken her sight.
So, that brings this little story to Ciarra's contemplating her inordinately bad luck. Fortunately, however, Ciarra did occasionally have a spark of good fortune, for not long after waking up to that blackness, Ciarra had discovered that she had been wrong about her previous assumption. She wasn't blind; well, in a sense she was, but she could still 'see,' or more specifically, she could see eco.
While not as detailed or accurate as good-old-fashioned sight, Ciarra's new eyes did prove useful because she could See traces of eco in the people in the surrounding area, regardless of the iron walls of her cell, which she couldn't seem to See at all. At least, she couldn't See them until a couple of days ago.
After another 'session,' Ciarra had awoken to discover that the glow of the dark eco emanating from her body had not leeched away as time passed like it had before. It had stayed, bathing her surroundings in a purple glow and revealing the objects around her, whether or not they contained eco.
Since then the glow became stronger and weaker, depending of the strength of Ciarra's emotions. At the moment, she is impassive, if a little depressed, but when angry, her sight encompasses her entire cell and the hallway beyond.
Now though, Ciarra's vision was dwindled to the point where she could only perceive the floor she sat on and the wall she leaned against until she heard the synchronized marching that signaled the approach of the Crimson Guards. Calling upon the, now-familiar, anger she felt whenever in the guard's presence, Ciarra expanded her awareness and observed as the group stopped in front of her cell and her least favorite person in the world unlocked the door and stepped in.
Errol, the vilest person on the face of the Earth, including the Barron and the sick scientists that assist in the experiments; the scientists may have been doing their work because they believed what they were doing was right, but Errol was different. He actually enjoyed the screams of pain he ripped from Ciarra's throat, and he made sure he was always the one to pull the trigger.
This sadistic pleasure was practically rolling off of him as he came closer to the wall Ciarra was leaning against. She knew he wasn't there to drag her off to play guinea pig again because she had just been there a couple hours ago. She could still taste the metallic taste of her blood in her mouth where she had, once again, bitten through her tongue and feel the fresh dark eco crackling, just beneath her skin. Unless they were going to up the dosage of eco, Ciarra's stomach twisted at the thought. She didn't think she could survive more. Fortunately, and unfortunately, her fears were unfounded.
"Well, eco freak," drawled Errol, "it seems that the Barron is displeased with the results of our little experiments so far."
Ciarra could feel his smirk and growled under her breath as he continued.
"A blind little girl was not what the Barron wanted as a warrior it seems. So, with great sorrow," Ciarra could tell he wasn't sorry at all, "I regret to inform you that you will be terminated if you do not win in the arena."
With that, Errol turned on his heel and departed, allowing the guards waiting outside to enter, bind Ciarra's hands, and shove her after him.
Ciarra's head was reeling. The arena, she had heard mutterings about that place. Apparently, it was where hopeless cases were sent to kill each other off as entertainment for the guards. It made her sick just thinking about it. There was only one rule in the arena; kill or be killed. The winner was allowed to live on, but if you failed to kill the loser, Ciarra heard that they let Errol 'play' with both the winner and loser until one died. Ciarra shuddered as she recalled the sick happiness rolling off of Errol as he informed her of her fate. He must have been confident she would lose. With a surge of loathing, the likes of which she had never felt before, Ciarra vowed that she would not give Errol that satisfaction.
With new hatred to fuel her Sight, Ciarra observed the room she had been placed in while she had been contemplating. It was solid iron on all four sides, but with her Sight, Ciarra could make out the arena beyond one of the walls, and her opponent in a room similar to hers, on the opposite side.
Her opponent was colossal, maybe seven feet tall and seemed to be made of nothing but muscle. Ciarra's resolve started to crumble as the reality of her situation started to sink in. She was not a fighter. Oh sure, she got into the occasional tussle in the orphanage, but they had been playful fights over trivial things like snacks and toys. Ciarra didn't know how to fight seriously, she had never killed anyone before, and she certainly didn't know how she was going to defeat a seven-foot tall muscle man with her half-starved, five-foot form.
Before Ciarra could even begin to come up with a plan, a buzzer sounded and her mind went blank with terror as the wall between her and the arena slowly began to rise.
Review please! Even if you absolutely hate it, I still want to know so I can improve my writing.