The smell of fire was ever-present as was the stench of burnt flesh amidst it. It was getting hard to breathe by each and every passing second she stayed here. In the distance multiple screams echoed. She couldn't distinguish between shouts of commands or cries for help anymore since it just was a ball of horrifying noises coming straight out of some people's greatest nightmares.
Her lips moved, quietly and without a sound.
"Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name."
A golden cross fell out from her torn and dirty shirt, loosely dangling on a simple rosary as she was forced to her knees by the man who secured her arms. A short grimace moved over her young face when her scraped up and blistered body moved and her closed eyes cracked open just a bit to see the face of her captor.
The man in camouflaged clothes titled his head and gave the other one behind her a curt nod. Just a second later, she felt a hand gripping the back of her head and pushing her roughly down towards the wet ground beneath.
The gazes met and she straightened her back, resisting the force from behind her. She refused to bow and admit that she was, indeed, caught and, in their eyes, completely at their mercy. For them, she probably was just another little fly in the net of a spider.
The man before was clearly amused by her vain attempt to resist. An ominous smile spread on his dry, split up and bloody lip and he lowered his weapon. In this very moment, he proclaimed himself as the victor of their little game of hide and seek.
Slowly he bowed down to her eye level, his gaze moving from her face down to the golden rosary which he then took carefully into his black gloved hands. He gave a quiet whistle and chuckled as his gaze moved up to meet hers again.
"Well look at that. You know that stealing things is a deadly sin, don't you?"
"Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven."
The young woman's lips curled up into a gentle smile.
"As is killing. Do you really think just because you are hiding behind your armour and weapons you are better any than me? How fool..."
She was cut off as his fist connected with her stomach, driving the air forcefully out of her lungs. His fingers intertwined with her dark, messy hair and brutally yanked her up, so that she was forced to look into his grinning face again.
"It seems that I have to remind you of your place, scum."
In the end, this insult earned him nothing more than a weak chuckle.
"As man who kills for the promise of money...do you really think you have the right to call me scum?" Her mocking voice betrayed her still gentle smile. Traces of raw anger flickered over his face and she knew she was testing his patience. She closed her eyes, waiting for him to release this emotion onto her.
"Give us today our daily bread."
This time, he kicked her but she bore it without a whimper escaping her throat. After the third kick she could swear that she tasted something metallic on her tongue. The other told him to stop. She wasn't useful being dead. The man agreed with a grunt and grabbed her chin, titling her head upwards.
"...Now would you tell me where you friends went?"
"And forgive us our trespasses."
She stayed silent even when he repeated this words in a more forceful tone, pulling on her hair again, forcing her to stand up.
"Answer my question, scum. Tell the truth like your God wants you to do..."
He looked down at her like an executor waiting for a confession.
"Where are they hiding?"
He threw her roughly to the side, kicking her again. Her eyes were hidden behind her fallen bangs of hair as she sharply breathed in, feeling burning pain moving through her tattered body.
He waited, believing she would finally talk now after the beating she received and how she curled up in a ball in self-defence and started to shiver as his comrade finally put her again into an upright position.
"I promise you I make it painless if you just spill the beans."
Her head moved up, her lips parted and she could see his smile return as he came closer again. He didn't want to miss a single detail of information coming from her mouth.
Then she started to shiver again.
But this time he noticed that she was laughing quietly to yourself and frowned irritated as if she had lost her mind.
The young woman looked at him, the grimace of pain gone and a smirk firmly placed on her bloody lips.
"You people are just so easy to fool."
"As we forgive those who trespass against us."
Suddenly her knee connected with his stomach while she snapped her head back to hit his comrade in the face with it. Both lost their balance, surprised by her sudden attack and stumbled away.
Her right hand formed a simple sign as her gaze was still locked with the person in front of her. A second later, she heard a surprised yelp behind her.
"What the…" He stopped mid-sentence and his eyes widened as he watched his comrade disappear in the darkness of the alley.
She titled her head and smiled at him. There were three shoots followed by a panicked scream that was brutally caught off. There was still something moved behind her, accompanied by ire chuckle.
Then a deep sigh escaped her as she rubbed her reddened wrists, looking at them with a frown.
"…Just catch that malnourished person. Nothing will happen…"
The woman looked at him.
"Seriously, I took you for proud fool but not being that of an idiot."
Before he could ready his weapon, she stood in front of him. A fist hitting his throat, making him cough and choke before one of her legs kicked him to the floor. He tried to scramble on his feet again. As expected from a hired soldier, he could withstand a certain amount of pain or the adrenalin just did its wonders.
She kicked the gun out of his reach just as he was about to reach it.
The man cursed at her.
Unfortunately for him, she hadn't the time to spare but nevertheless the deserved her attention.
"And lead us not into temptation"
The young woman opened a hand and something moved from the shadows, placing another gun in it. His eyes widened in horror as she then proceeded to point the barrel of her gun directly into his face.
"Sometimes humans are so terribly easy to read…"
He tried to say something as his glance flickered into the twilight behind her, hoping his comrade would return. Almost as in answer to his unspoken prayer, a body feel to the ground next to him, bloody all over and eyes glancing empty to the side.
It took seconds for the other to realize what had happened. His hand searched for another weapon on his belt, but she wouldn't let him. Again a kick, before she stepped on his neck, slowly applying force with each passing second.
"But deliver us from evil."
A soft click echoed weapon as she loaded the weapon.
The fear danced vividly in his eyes but he tried to save some dignity.
"E-even if you rid of me now, you still will be captured and killed like...all the other scum."
The woman supressed a chuckle.
"Scum..." She laughed. "Fool, do you now have any idea who I am or where you are?"
Dark figures stepped out of the shadows, drawing closer to him.
Suddenly panic gripped his very body. He began to shiver, starting at the moving figures and then back to her.
"You should know it very well as a sinner...Now confess."
She closed her eyes and heard him scream at the top of his lungs.
"For Thine is the kingdom; The power and the glory"
Slowly the young woman opened her eyes again, looking at the man with blond hair who was sitting right in front of her, just the table separating them.
"They might have already informed you, but I will repeat it again. You have shown to be compatible with the new God Arc. Or rather one of the newest series of God Arcs."
Even after they had cleaned her up, black bruises still showed on her white pale skin, but he didn't remark on it. Maybe because they informed him about her or because he didn't really care about her circumstances.
Slowly he placed her golden rosary on the desk, his gaze never leaving her.
"As it might seem that you don't really have a choice, I will still ask you." He leant forward on his seat. "Will you consider joining the Far Eastern Branch?" Her lips curled upwards, well aware of truth behind this deal. He needed someone for his experiments and then, if she survived them, someone who could fight.
She had heard of these 'God Eaters' and seen one or two doing their work.
Her hands wandered to the cross, letting the chains of shackles around her wrists clash against each other.
"Director Schicksal was the name, wasn't it?"
He gave her a simple nod instead of giving her a full reply. She felt his gaze observing her carefully.
"I appreciate the offer but do you think it is wise to hire someone you know nothing about? It is a very dangerous game to play."
A fair warning, out of respect for him even daring to make such a bold move and out of curiosity why he thought she was a good choice in that matter.
"What is a game without taking risks once in a while?"
Her smile widened, pleased with the answer.
"If you don't regret it…I will be willing to join. From this day on, I will be under your care, Director."
He mirrored her faint smile and looked satisfied. For survival, every mean or tool was permitted, even when it meant that she had to live with invisible chains.
Her shoes clicked in steady rhythm against the hard pavement as she walked through the dark corridors of her new home. Her new red wristband almost glowed in this dark twilight as she caressed the cross with her fingertips and placed a kiss on the golden surface. A mere whisper escaped her lips, but it wasn't a prayer.
"…Shall we start this game anew?"
And the woman smirked at the darkness in front of her.