A Heart in Hell
The Labrum Needle

Prologue:

"Quiet your mind, steady, and carefully," he commanded as he focused his mental powers into the mind of the young child. She was just eight years old but already Kimmuriel found her potential impressive, even by his highly placed standards.

In the beginning he had been reluctant to accept her into his training and his care. Kimmuriel had his own studies to resume and already felt the burden that maintaining and running Bregan D'aerthe had placed on him.

Jarlaxle had very cleverly coaxed him into taking the child, assuring him she would be worth his efforts; worth his while. Kimmuriel was disgusted with himself for allowing Jarlaxle to, yet again, convince him otherwise. Apparently even a psion as great as Kimmuriel was not above Jarlaxle's persuasions.

"Focus your intent on the object, think strongly on what you want it to do," he commanded again, this time even more sternly in heavy drow language.

Her mind wandered and she found it hard to concentrate intently on the silver mirror lying on the table between Master Kimmuriel and herself. She could feel the tingling sensation of Kimmuriel's psionic energy and coupled with her own it was annoyingly painful, like a muscle spasm, only in her head. He had made it clear to her that the more she exercised her abilities the less annoyingly painful it would be.

Refocusing her mind was taking all the mental effort she could muster. She was now fighting back the tears that threatened to drown her eyes. She simply could not allow herself to cry in Kimmuriel's presence. He did not take kindly to any show of emotion. He reprimanded her often simply for smiling or giggling. But crying in Kimmuriel's presence merited a much worse punishment. Kimmuriel despised crying.

She managed only to budge the mirror slightly in Kimmuriel's direction-not sufficient enough. The tears began streaming down her cheeks and her little body trembled in a desperate attempt against making any noises that remotely sounded like crying. She knew she was doomed.

Kimmuriel's expression was always the same; cold and blank. There was no hint of life in his crimson eyes. His lips rarely cracked a smile and he was always in control of himself. He showed no temper and barely showed any sort of emotional reaction, even when the world around him was choatic and unpredictable.

His eyes locked with hers and though she could see no visible signs of his disappointment she knew he was. Her little hands grabbed the edge of the table as she braced for her punishment. A sudden blast of psionic energy exploded through her, leaving her frail little body quivering on the floor. Her mind went blank, her body limp, and the world around her was swallowed by blackness.

Kimmuriel stood over the pathetic little mass on the floor with no care or remorse for what he had just done to her. She would learn how to use her ability and he would be responsible for her training and molding her into perfection. She was special, if only Jarlaxle knew just how truly special she could be.