And so… she died without knowing a single good thing the world had to offer. Based on the manga. Spoilers
She… had always lived here. This… place. There was no other word for it she knew of. As far as her memories reached, there was only this place, these people, these tests; her sisters were the only ones that sometimes changed. A new sister sometimes came, and an existing sister was sometimes carted off and killed.
She hadn't always been in this room, however. Even now she could feel her sisters on the edge of her senses, and once in a while a sister's scream would echo through her mind and the minds of the other sisters. She remembered when she lived in the Underground with many other sisters. Down there, she wasn't even Number 28, she was a nobody. But she was nobody with the rest of her sisters, and she liked that at least. Not that she knew what any of her sisters looked like; they all wore helmets, sacks, cases and other things over their heads, labeled by the color, shape, and number of eye-holes. She didn't even know what she looked like. She only knew that she, along with all her sisters, she had horns, and that made her bad.
So she listened to what the horn-less had to say and did what they told her to; it hurt less that way.
But she was still bad; she didn't have "hands" like her sisters did, and she remembered when the horn-less ones came to the Underground and plucked her out of the group and stuck her in this bright, white room and chained her to the cold wall. She couldn't so much as sit down to ease the burning in her legs.
Then came the experiments.
And it was all hurt. They shot at her, threw things, electrocuted her, cut her open, and made her bleed. When they were satisfied, they hosed her off with freezing water from a hose and fed her stale, tasteless bread. Then she fell unconscious -not sleep, no it was never really sleep- and when the horn-less came back it started all over again.
She remembered, very clearly, how it was when a little sister died. She could hear the little sister screaming and crying: "No! No more! I'm scared! I'm scared!" Then the little sister's mind had snapped, echoing through all the other sisters' mind like the sound of bone being broken, loud and cruel. She felt it when the little sister escaped, killed many of the horn-less and ultimately was killed. Little sister 3 hadn't been trying to escape, she just went and killed.
Some sisters cheered, but Number 28 had been afraid. She wanted to die like that, she wanted to matter, but she was afraid. She wasn't broken like little sister 3 had been, and her "hands" weren't strong or long. She was weak, and her "hands" were only wriggly, pathetic nubs. Still, she and her sisters' minds buzzed for months after the incident.
Then came Mother. Oh, there was no mistaking Mother who shone like the sun against the countless tiny stars that she and her sisters were –she had never seen the sky, but the sisters that had seen it talked of nothing else-. Mother even outshone the Big Sister, who lived deep, deep down in the earth, even deeper down than the Underground. And Big Sister was the biggest and strongest of them all.
Mother was strong, everyone could hear what went on in her mind and felt Mother's emotions as if they were her own. Mother fought against the horn-less constantly and she was always full of anger and hurt. However, it was not a kind of hurt that Number 28 could understand, becaused Mother was not experimented on like all other sisters.
And still Number 28 endured various experiments aimed at making her "hands" grow, seeing what would happen to her if her horns were broken off, and for a while Number 28 didn't even remember that she was Number 28.
Then something unusual happened.
Another "sister" was felt, and all sisters felt it, but it wasn't a "sister" like other sisters. It was a brother.
At first, all the sisters were afraid; afraid and curious. How did they get Brother, when all there had ever been were sisters? In the beginning, they loved Brother, this one and only brother blindly. They feared for him, tortured themselves with ideas of what sort of experiments Brother would be forced to undergo, but as time went on, it became clear that their fear was unfounded. Brother was not tested on. Brother was not forced to hurt, to be chained to the wall, to be mistreated like all the sisters and Mother were. His mind never screamed "Stop! It hurts! Kill me!" While sisters were treated worse than animals, Brother was treated like one of the horn-less.
And so they came to hate Brother.
And they pitied Mother, who hurt so much in a way they could not understand, that Mother did not even notice that Brother existed.
However, the most significant thing to affect all the sisters –that Number 28 lived to feel- was when Mother escaped. The feelings were strong and bold and full of hate. They felt the dozens of horn-less die at Mother's capable hands and felt the earth shake as she smashed her way out of the place. And they loved and admired Mother.
Then, suddenly, Mother vanished. Many sisters screamed through each other in fear, rage, and shock, thinking Mother to be dead. The older sisters, however, could tell that Mother was not dead. Their minds whispered, and they knew that Mother's horns had been broken and she was no longer their Mother.
The experiments came back, more painful and agonsizng then ever, and the sisters that were clumped together in the Underground began to feel hate and terror deeper than any before. Sisters were being taken away, hurt, and taken across the sea, though the remaining sisters could still hear their screams as the taken sisters were sliced up into pieces and put in a "room" together. And Number 28 was terrified that she would be next, because she knew that her usefulness as a test subject was not going to last much longer since her "hands" would never grow longer or stronger. So she listened to what the horn-less had to say and did as she was told so that she might not become one of the taken sisters.
The horn-less were desperate to find Mother, and Number 28 and the other sisters lost track of how long Mother had been away. They secretly reached through the earth toward Big Sister, longing to know when Mother would come back, kill the horn-less, and make a good place for them all to live, but Big Sister only listened to Father, and she never reached back or answered their pleas. So, they were all lost in the darkness that ate at their souls.
Number 28 knew her time was nearly up; more and more little sisters were coming to the place, and most of them were killed or taken to be torn apart before they could even open their little eyes.
Number 28 was honestly not entirely surprised when Father sent the Black Horn-less to her, but she really hadn't thought it would be anything like this.
She had lived her entire life in this place. This cage. She knew pain. Pain was her only real companion. Black Horn-less grinned down at her, and she felt something terrible. She didn't know what laughter was, not really, but she knew that Black Horn-less was glad that she was screaming, he liked how he was hurting her, hitting her, biting her, grabbing her, sticking that-that thing, up between her legs and causing her to hurt in a way she didn't even know existed. He was breaking her in two, and like the rest of the horn-less, ignored her cries as she begged him to stop.
Then, barely conscious, he let go of her, and the horn-less in white coats took her off the wall and took her away. Number 28 hurt more than she'd ever hurt before, and she assumed she'd been taken and was doomed to be ripped into pieces and put into a "room" with other taken sisters. However, when she realized what the horn-less really had planned for her, she truly wished she was going to be put in a "room" with the other taken sisters. But the horn-less would not be so merciful with her.
They cut her open, sawed at her spine, pulled her insides out, and jammed tubes into her back and chest. There was no relief from the pain, in was constant, and only grew as time went on. Her diapragm was gone, they had no reason to let her breathe anymore. Her legs and belly were gone, those were a waste of space. Finally, they shoved her, mind screaming and body torn apart, into a black case and gave her to the Black Horn-less.
The pain was too much, she couldn't use her knubby "hands", couldn't hear the cries of her sisters, there was only pain that grew and grew and grew and grew and grew. Her usefulness was at an end. Her only purpose now was to be used to find Mother. Number 28 screamed, wished to die, and wished that she had been strong enough to be like little sister 3, even if only for a moment.
A sister was near, and she cried out to her.
"It hurts, hurts… It hurts so much…"
"Who is it? Where are you?" The sister exclaimed.
"Run… now… It hurts! Run!... run…" Her powers were forcibly being pulled from her through the tubes, beyond her limit. She could feel her mind, her flesh burning, melting away. Still, she cried out to sister.
"What's wrong? Are you wounded?" Sister asked, full of fear.
She reached toward the sister, pleading. "Kill me… kill me… now… kill me now… PLEASE KILL ME!"
Her connection to the sister was shattered, and the pain was ever-growing. Black Horn-less mistreated her case, and suddenly light poured into her face. Number 28 had never seen a sister's face before. This sister, the only face of another Horn she had ever seen, was beautiful. Beautiful Sister.
Black Horn-less was taunting Beautiful Sister, hurting her. Beautiful Sister was screaming, and for the first and last time in her life, Number 28 prayed. Prayed that Beautiful Sister would manage to run away.
Black Horn-less kicked the case that was keeping Number 28 alive –though barely- and it toppled over, her amputated torso smashing into the floor.
Number 28 died without knowing of a single good thing that the world had to offer.
Number 28 is a character exclusive to the Elfen Lied manga. The manga is much more extensive than the anime, and still amazingly wonderful. Number 28 only appears in about two chapters, but she is really a character that never left my mind. This story follows what I think her life may have been like.
Mother- The ever infamous Lucy/Nyu/Kaede
Big Sister- Anna (exclusive to the manga. Director Kakuzawa's mutilated daughter)
Father- Director Kakuzawa
Black Horn-less- Sunglasses Man (exclusive to the manga. His actual name is never really revealed)
Brother- Lucy's half-brother (exclusive to the manga. The only true male diclonius in existence. Son of Director Kakuzawa)
Little Sister 3- Actually Nana's younger sister. She's the one that escaped, killed lots of people, and infected Kurama, and thus is responsible for the existence of Mariko.
Beautiful Sister- Nana/ aka Number 7
Elfen Lied belongs to Lynn Okamoto
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