Chapter One: Waking Up

Linka woke up slowly, as if she had been medicated. The first thing she noticed was that her surroundings were cold and unfamiliar. The lighting was harsh and fluorescent, bouncing off barren walls. The air had an antiseptic odor, reminiscent of a hospital or clinic. The only sound was the low, steady hum of electronic equipment punctuated by occasional beeps.

She tried to turn her head to survey her surroundings when she felt a sudden burst of pain shoot through her head and down her neck. She started to scream, but when she opened her mouth it came out only as a pained gasp.

Within moments she was surrounded by a crew of what she assumed to be nurses and doctors. They were a swirl of activity around her. Her senses seemed dull, her vision blurry and her hearing muffled, as if she were underwater. She could only make out bits and pieces of what they were saying and doing. Even so, she got the sense that there was something very unusual going on. The crew did not exude the usual compassion and sympathy associated with their chosen profession. Instead they seemed cold and impersonal, more concerned with doing a job than caring for their patient.

After what could have been a few moments or a few hours the nurses and doctors left the room, with the exception of one. She was a striking young woman with long blonde hair and cold blue eyes. She was dressed in a black turtleneck that appeared to be military issue. She looked disturbingly familiar- though in Linka's drugged state she could not figure out how.

The young woman stood over Linka, gazing at her with a cold, analytical expression. She looked like a scientist observing an experiment. Something in the woman's gaze triggered a sense of panic, even though Linka was powerless to do anything about it.

As Linka lay on the gurney, looking helplessly up at this mystery woman, another person walked into the room. He was an older man wearing a military uniform decorated with a large amount of medals. He had short, graying hair and a stern face. This man stood over Linka as well, heightening the nauseating feeling of panic that was already welling up inside of her.

"Is she ready to talk yet?" the man asked, sounding rather impatient.

"Not yet," the woman answered tonelessly. "She needs a few more days."

"Why the hell is she being so difficult?" The man sneered. "The others are starting to drive me crazy asking about her."

"She was injured in the capture. We have to be delicate." The woman had not taken her eyes off of Linka to look at the man. "She is the one that we need, we have to be careful with her."

"Well see what you can do to speed things up, time is urgent!" the man barked, before turning and walking out of the room.

The mysterious woman continued to stand over Linka's bed, studying her with a calculating look. "Don't worry about him," she said emotionlessly. "He is used to having everybody around him obey his orders. He does not understand things that will not react according to his rules."

Her words could have been comforting to Linka had they been spoken with even a trace of compassion. Instead they left Linka feeling vaguely uneasy.

The woman picked up a syringe and filled it with a clear liquid. She injected it into Linka's IV line, and within a few moments the Russian Planeteer sank into a deep, dreamless sleep.


A/N: This is a story I have been working on for a long time (not just this chapter, I mean, but the whole story) I was hesitant to start posting until I was a good ways into it, cause it's a pretty complex storyline and I didn't want to end up writing myself into a corner. Also I didn't want to post a long story again unless I knew I was going to complete it. But I am seriously 100% confident that this time I will finish. ;)