Disclaimer: All 40K concepts and elements belong to Games Workshop.
A/N: This fic came from speculation about how Dark Eldar would successfully raise any children, given their temperaments. My solution? They don't. Which also left room for a suitable rite of passage to prove whether their young can cut it as Dark Eldar...
Everyone knows what the Dark Eldar do to their prisoners. Freda knew it as well as any other, and had wept in terror with her friends when they'd been plucked from their home in the swift and brutal raid.
Their fears had been confirmed when they'd seen - she didn't even want to remember it, those might have been humans once, but they definitely didn't look it by the time the xenos were done with them.
And then... she and some of the others had been taken away. Freda had found herself in a small, relatively clean room, and an impatient xeno had handed her a little bundle.
"She die, you go back to knives like the rest," it told her in mangled Gothic. "She live, you stay here."
Freda had looked down as the xeno left.
A xeno baby, true, looking strangely distorted, but closer to human than the adult ones. "Hi there," she told it nervously. It was a xeno, but at least looking after something like this had to be better than what had happened to the others.
The child grew with time. Freda had found herself playing games with it, the same games she'd watched her mother play with her younger sisters.
Ahriza, the child's name was, she'd discovered. The little Dark Eldar girl was a healthy child, and always alert.
Freda found herself gradually ceasing to resent her duty. Ahriza wasn't just a xeno. She was a little girl, and needed to be looked after.
The girl went out for lessons sometimes these days, but she always came back to Freda, always greeted the human with a hug and a happy smile.
Freda absently swept a loose thread from the sheets, looking up as Ahriza returned. "Hey there, kiddo," she beamed, hurrying over to her ward. "How was your day?"
"I learned much," the little girl told her.
Freda went still, freezing in place as the needle pricked her skin. She slumped as the paralytic agent flooded her system... but she could still feel. Even if she couldn't protest. Even if she could only make a few muffled whimpers as her little xeno charge advanced upon her with a knife.
"Let me show you what I learned."