A/N: Takes place in the Blood Rayne verse. You may or may not actually see or hear of Rayne in this. I don't know yet. This stories is from another's point of view. Let's see if you can guess who. Old story. May or may not continue. Depends on the reviews.

Caged: The tale of one of many

We are told since birth that not everybody is the same. We don't all think the same, feel the same, we don't have nearly the same ideas. We dress differently, speak differently. The world itself is full of different people and creatures, things that are....and things that shouldn't. We were all put in the same place, on the same Earth, to live then to eventually die. A never ending cycle we all share, yet we are not the same.

But if we are all different, then why are people angered that we are not the same?

I use to ponder this often while I was imprisoned. "Caged" as he called it. I could see why.

Growing up, there was many of us, sisters in arms. Each one like the next. I was one of many. So many in fact, he saw no point in giving us individual names. We all were supposed to be the same. Each appearing like the next, a perfect set, dark hair, striking blue eyes. We were the same as I believe anyone could. So much so, we almost had the same thoughts.

We could easily pick up on each others thought process but rarely knew what the other was thinking ahead of time. He liked it that way, made us easy to command, to work together as one. Yes, he very much liked it that way.

The others, mainly brother Zerenski, said we were...how did he put it..."just plain creepy."to him. Brother Xerx on the other hand, was ecstatic as he would say. Brother Xerx wanted to take us down to his lab "to see what makes them tick and perhaps improve their already interesting traits" as our brother phased it.

He told them no and Brother Xerx never asked. I was thankful for that. I had never been in brother Xerx's lab before but I've been close enough to hear.....things.

Mostly high pitched screeches of machines that were easily mistaken for the brutal cries of some dying animal, sometimes it was mixed with ear pinching screams. Oh the screams. Such agonizing, pleading screams. Screams filled with pain and malice, screams of someone pushed to the brink, of someone begging their tormentor to stop only to have their pleads fall on deaf ears and all hope ripped from their skewered bodies. I've seen the things that come out of that lab. Monstrous things with empty eyes that bore no soul, only the will to serve it's cruel creator until the day it can blissfully raise no longer to continue the tasks beseeches of it, then to be rid of thoughtlessly like a broken toy.

To be honest it....frightened me. I know I shouldn't let it. It shouldn't be allowed. The others didn't fear it and if they did, they hid it well, as did I. We are all suppose to be the same...but we weren't. We each had something the other didn't. Most if the time it was so little that it wasn't noticed. Unfortunately, not everything goes unnoticed.

I remember our training, from the beginning we were expected to be the same, equal in almost every way. If one was stronger then the other, then that meant the rest of us had to work harder. If one of us perfected a technique, we either all perfected it or we weren't allowed to use it.

One of my many look-alike sisters was once a master at the whip. It didn't matter if it was just an ordinary bull whip or a cat o' nine tails, she could use each one with such mastery it would make even Zorro envious. From the first time she held one, she was enthralled, practicing every alone second until she could no longer hold her whip or she was greatly satisfied with her progress.

The other look-a-likes and I tried our best to catch up with her but it was easy to see that that was her skill, her gift, that none of us could hope to match and just like anything else we didn't share, it was put out of our reach.

He came to us during training one night, seeing for himself our inability to catch up to our own sister. He must have been appalled by the very idea. Before the session even ended, he took hold of a whip of his own.

"Give me your best."He challenged.

We were shocked at first, this was the first time he'd ever asked for such a thing. Wanting nothing more then his praise and approval, we gave him what he wanted, we gave him our best. My sister stepped forward, her favorite whip in hand. The rest of us gathered around, eager to watch the battle unfold.

It was amazing, a true spectacle to behold. I never knew such grace and power could be put into such a weapon. My sister, the flowing grace as he, her opponent, since our birth thought as the pillar of unbreakable stone, moved with such poise for a man of his stature it was astounding. His whip radiated power with each mighty crack as if just one hit could bring even the tallest of trees to their knees.

With such attacks it wouldn't take the wisest of men to worry for my sister. Surely it would only take a few hits to render her defenseless. That is if any of the hits could touch her.

They ducked and danced around each attack,quickly retaliating with each strive. When one attacked high, the other attacked low, yet neither seemed to connect a single hit on their opponent. Each perfectly tuned to the each other as if the battle was choreographed. He pulled back his whip again. This time snapping it a few inches too close to her ear. It was merely a nick really but it caught my attention all the same. My sister's movements have gotten sluggish as she began taking in shallow breathes. She was tiring out.

It was to be expected, her agility was impressive but not enough to win the battle. She couldn't possibly measure up to the years of stamina built on his shoulder. Though I had to admit she lasted longer than I ever thought possible.

Missing her chance to attack, she dodged desperately, losing her footing and ending up spared out on her stomach, leaving her back exposed. In a last ditch effort she shifted her strength to her legs, somersaulting forward as he pulled back his whip again to deliver a crushing blow. Mid-swing he turned, attacking away from my tumbling sister. Moving out of the way, I narrowly missed the whip's burning kiss. The look-a-like behind me wasn't as fortunate. The room echoed a sickly wet snap as leather connected with flesh. Taking the blow on the stomach, the power behind the whip threw her across the room and into a pile of training equipment. Furious, he stalked after my fallen sister.

"Worthless." I heard him say before grabbed her by the front of her shirt and lifted her off her feet.

"Why didn't you dodge that?"

She didn't answer.

"Is it possible that you didn't see it coming? Your other sisters saw it coming, they dodged it. Is it possible they're better than you?"

His harsh questioning gained him a whimper from her but nothing more. Apparently finished, he tossed her away from him, hard enough to knock her into a wall, probably to make his point. Several of my look-a-like sisters went to her aid. She would be fine of course. We always healed quickly. Her ego was the only thing that really needed healing at this point.

"I suggest all of you work harder from this point on. The next time I come to check up on things it better be worth my while. Am I understood?"

"Yes sir!" We answered in union.

He made it halfway across the room when he stopped again."you!"

My whip wielding sister straightened visibly as he called her out.

"It is apparent that you success in this where your sisters do not and they may never reach your level of skill. For that I never want to see you pick up another whip as long as you live."

My sister stood in shock. There was nothing she could say. For a minute there I wondered if she even heard him at all.

"Understood?" He asked, commanding her to speak.

Her mouth opened and closed repeatedly, the words caught in her throat. Then she looked down at her hand, as if she needed to will her fingers to uncoil from her whip. Slowly she watch her whip roll out of her hand and onto the floor.

She spoke hesitantly "Yes....understood."

And from that day on she did what she was told. She never picked one up again. Just like that, her passion was taken from her without so much as a fight. I still don't know how she managed it. So much time wasted on something that was taken away so easily. I just didn't understand it.

We often worked together to keep our differences hidden. It wasn't too hard. Most of our siblings could tell us apart, let alone be able to report anything that made us stick out. And they thought we were uneducated. We knew how to read and write. Our English wasn't perfect but it is one of the hardest langues to learn, especially when we're expected to learn so many. Our training was placed before our education anyway. They obviously thought our battling skills were more important. Not that we didn't love a good fight. Most of us lived and breathed for the battle field and couldn't be happier without a dagger in our hands. Yet despite the joy I felt during a heated battle, it wasn't enough for me. There was always this certain scene of...yearning that called to me from beyond the battlefield. A certain curiosity. One that would get me into trouble more than I've ever thought possible.

I recall this one time brother Zerenski sent me to one of our many libraries to fetch a certain book for him. Finding that book wasn't hard. In fact I found it almost immeaditly. I just got a little...distracted along the way.

One of the books had caught my eye on the way in. I tried my best to ignore it and continue my mission but no matter how I focused, the title of that book kept taunting me. Begging for my attention. Finding the book brother wanted, I sent one of my other sisters back to deliver it, like he could tell the difference, leaving me alone in the library with my wondering thoughts. I carefully reached for the book and slowly took it from the shelve, almost as if it was booby trapped or something.

From the lack of dust I could tell it was relatively new to this library and certainly didn't look like it belonged here. It was a fictional book. Fiction meant it was about things that aren't real I thought to myself. Or what the author thought wasn't real. Humans are continuously blind to what surrounded them most the time, too busy revolving around their own lives to open their eyes for a change. Regardless the book sparked my interest.

It was titled 'Journey To the Center of the Earth.' "What a ridiculous idea." I mumbled openly, thinking I was alone. There couldn't possibly be any use in going there. One would be fired to a crisp before going anywhere near it. Or so that what brother Xerx says.

Slightly more curious then I'd like to admit, I cracked open the book and began to read. I was immediately spellbound by it. It fascinated me to no end. In the back of my head, I kept thinking 'Just this one chapter and I'll put it back. Someone might be looking for me or something.' but when I came to the end of the chapter I couldn't put it down. I'm not sure how long I stood there reading that book but about a little more than halfway though it I felt a shiver run up my spine and knew too late that I wasn't alone.

A tendent of shadow brushed me as sister Ephemera read over my shoulder. It is bad. Preparing myself, I slowly turned to face her. Any jittery or fast movement could be seen as fear or anxiety. Weakness if anything else. Showing weakness to her would like waving a red flag in front of a bull. I allowed her to make eye contract with me which was a big mistake. Now I would be forced to hold it for my own sake. Her hair of midnight shadows flowed endlessly as if blown by a breeze that I couldn't feel. It whipped between us and occasional tickled my skin with it's icy tips. It took all the control I had not to shiver or move away. Staring into those black endless pits that were in place of her eyes, I felt the delayed fear began to raise up in my throat, choking me as it did. My hands wanted to shake and my knees buckle but I held myself still.

She continued to look at me. No. Looking straight though me was more like it. I could almost feel her very gaze making it's way into my soul. It.....it was too much for me. I faltered a bit and broke eye contact, looking down at my feet.

DAMMIT! Well I was good as dead now. Figuring that I'd just signed my own death certificate, I squared my shoulders and stared her in the face again. If I was going down, I was going to do it with pride.

But then she did something unexpected. Instead of ripping my throat out, she....smiled. If it was possible for her to look any scarier, she achieved it.

"You're a bit different then the others, aren't you?" She seemed quite amused by my actions.

I didn't speak. I thought if I played dumb maybe she would think I was just putting the book up or fetching it for one of our sibling.... No such luck.

"I see you have taken an interest in this book. Yes, a most interesting piece indeed." She said looking over my shoulder at it again.

It was an awkward chat between us. This was the first real conversation I've even really had with sister Ephemera. I'd fumbled through my answers when she ask something of me but I mostly kept quiet. In the end she informed me that she wouldn't speak of this little incident as long I did some favors for her.

Favors meant basically gathering information for her every once in a while. I didn't mind it much. In fact when she really wanted something found out, she'd usually just show up out of nowhere with book in her hand and using it as a prize if I gave her exactly what she wanted. Those were some good books too and it was all our little secret. None of my look-a-like sisters knew and that made it....well, exciting.

I wasn't a fool though. I had a feeling this little deal of ours could easily be used to her advantage. Since I couldn't do anything at the time, I just let it slide but was completlely expecting a betrayal of some sort. I just didn't know what.