"We've finally found her. After all this time Subject Zero is finally in our grasp." The voices carried in the room, bouncing off the lineloum walls. Bright lights shone in the room, reflecting off the tiles in blinding fashion. "Make sure her restraints are tight. We can't let her get free." Heavy breaths escaped her lips as she struggled against the tightening straps. Why couldn't she move? Who were these people? Panic began to settle in as she tugged at the restraints that held her down. Leather straps dug into her wrists, chafing her skin as she struggled.
"Let me go!" Her cry rang out, a sound of anger and frustration reverberating across the walls.
"How did this happen?!"
The caltter of trays collapsing on the ground rang out, a cacophony of sounds as everyone began to run around frantically. Lifting her head, Jess let her gaze flash around the room. "Don't let her get free!" Hands gripped her body, pushing her back down upon the bed under her.
"NOOO!! LET ME GO!!" Struggle as she might, the combined weight of the men surrounding her and the straps tightening across her body left her immobile. "Let. Me. Go. Let me go!" Her screams fell upon deaf ears as a needle pinched her skin. Roaring, her body rocked in anger. The straps continued to tighten across her, straining to contain her movements.
"That's enough! Too much and we will kill her. I haven't spent all this time searching for her just to lose her to your incompetence. Let the sedative do its job. It was specifically designed for her physiology." That voice. Her chest tightened as it cut through her, a fear she had never experienced before coursing through her veins. Why? Why did this voice bring this reaction? The room began to blur as the sedative took its toll upon her. "See? I told you it would work." That voice grew closer, blurry form standing over her. She struggled to make it out, to put a face to the voice. "It's so good to finally meet you Shamhat." Everything faded as she drifted off before she could make anything out.
Coming to with a jolt, she sprang up from her rest. Body aching, she rubbed her wrists, blinking as she tried to clear her head. Where was she? What had happened? The events began to play in her head again as her hazel hues scanned the area. A single cot rested under her, but that was all she could see. Was she in the middle of the room? She couldn't see any walls around her, but surely she wasn't left alone in the open. People walked by, seemingly ignoring her as she called out to them. It was as if she wasn't even there.
"Hey. Hey!" Calling out, she stepped towards those she could see. Scientists, judging by the labcoats that adorned their bodies. Reaching out, her hand thudded against the air. "What the-" Murmuring to herself, she pushed her hand out, once again hitting the force. "A wall?" It had to be. One she could see out of, but it didn't appear to be glass. Didn't feel like it either. Her chest tightened as she moved to her left, hitting another one of those walls after just a couple steps. Breaths began to come out shakily, quick short breaths as she held her hands before her, running them along the invisible wall. Following it around, she hit the corner very quickly. "No no no.." Whatever this room, this cell, was, she could tell it was small. Barely big enough to hold the cot inside and give her this little walking room. Her heart began to race, shaky breaths coming out rapidly. Enclosed spaces and her did not mix.
"Good morning Subject Zero. Glad to see you awake." The voice crackled in the air around her, seemingly coming from all directions at once.
"My name is Jess." she spat out through gritted teeth.
"Yes yes. Jezebel Elizabeth Hart. Born to Ben and Carla Hart on April 12. I know the history we implanted into you. Stories. A fabrication, of course."
"It's who I am!"
"It's all lies. Your name. Your birth. You are Subject Zero, Shamhat Lanfear. The greatest creation ever concieved." The wall before her began to light up like a computer screen, article after article flying across it. Names, dates, locations all piling up. Lisa Collins. Jessica Tabernathy. Zoe Lake. Alice Cross. 1312. 1778. 1941. Moscow. Berlin. New Orleans. All different, yet one common denominator: every single article produced a picture of her. "You are special."
"What is all this?"
The screen flickered, going dark before lighting up again. This was not what she was expecting. Green eyes looked back at her, dark hair framing a strong face. A female full of beauty, but she could see the strength in her outline. This woman was not someone to be trifled with, that much was clear to her. "What do you think it is? These were all you."
"You expect me to believe that?"
"You are expected to believe nothing. The evidence is before you. Whether you believe it or not, this all happened. We have been searching for you Shamhat. For far too long you have escaped us. We've missed you. I've missed you."
What was she talking about? Jess didn't understand any of this. "Let me out! Please? I can't-I can't breathe." Her breaths continued to struggle, heart racing.
"You never knew why you were so frightened of tight spaces, did you? Why your body reacts this way?" The female vanished from the screen for a moment, but continued speaking. "You never liked being liked in a cell. It was one of the reasons we struggled so mightly with containing you. Thankfully our sedative dampens your power. And regulates your breathing. As long as it is coursing through your veins, you are fine. Even if you feel like you can't breathe."
Eyes came back to the screen, face close to it as the female seemed to stare into her. "Dr. Carroway, she is ready." Jess' gaze lifted up, confusion upon her. "Oh, did I not mention it? This entire time the sedative has been getting pumped into your cell. An aerosol form, of course. Enough to be absorbed through your skin and dampen you, but not enough to cause you to fade away again. We need you awake for this."
"Awake for what?" Her words slurred slightly, eyes drooping as a door slid open. An elderly gentleman walked in, gray hair slicked back, kindly eyes looking her over. "Who are you?"
"James Carroway." That name clicked in her head, something bubbling forth from it, but it slipped from her before she could grasp it. "Come Subject Zero."
"Where are we going?"
"Somewhere we can check you out. Make sure you're alright." She was too groggy, too weak to argue as she was settled into a wheelchair. "We'll take good care of her Theia." The elderly gentleman acknowledged the face upon the screen. Stern gaze lingered upon him, but he ignored it as he wheeled Jess out of the room.
The two were given a wide berth as they moved through the halls, more men falling in line with them. A contigent of guards escorting them. "Open the door." James ordered. One of the guards lay his palm against the pad upon the door. It scanned him, light turning green as the door slid open to give them access. Wheeled into the room, the doors slid shut behind them with a whoosh.
A metal chair sat in the middle of the empty room. Jess was picked up, slid into the new chair where she slumped over. Mumbling under her breath, she lifted her head as much as she could, trying to see the people before her. Arms were restrained to the arms of the chair, metal links locked in place around her wrists and ankles. More wrapped around her upper arms and criss-crossed over her chest and thighs as well. "What is all this?" Nobody answered her as the room began to clear out. "Answer me!" Silence was her only reply.
Left on her own, her head fell forward, doing her best to calm her breathing. At least she wasn't enclosed in that tight space anymore. She could move about in here. If she could actually move, that was. Minutes passed as she was left alone. Five minutes, then ten. A half hour. An hour. There was no way to tell how much time had passed. For all she knew it was only a couple minutes that just felt like hours. Who could blame her for losing track of the time. Nobody came back into the room, nobody spoke to her.
"Commencing test." A robotic voice called out, empty and hollow. Test? What test? Pain exploded in her as electricity coursed through her body. Her entire core seared as she cried out from the pain. It only lasted a few seconds, but those few seconds were agonozing. As it stopped, she let out heavy breaths, slumping forward.
"Wh-What was that?" No answer came, only another round of pain as it coursed through her again. Her body racked with the intensity of the jolts. This round lasted longer, the unbearable pain bringing tears to her eyes. Why were they doing this? Relief came as the electricity stopped running through the chair into her once more. Breathing heavily, her body tensed as the electricity once more began to course through her. Screaming out, her body began to convulse against the restraints.
"Are you sure this is the way?" the question came from the control room as they watched Shamhat on their screens. Her vitals were spiking, but they did nothing, knowing the limits they could push.
"We need to reawaken her. She has forgotten who she is. Forgotten her mission. She was created for one thing, and one thing only. I lost her once before. I will not lose her again."
"But Lady Theia-" Her hand moved far faster than anyone could react, even if they knew it was coming. Backhanding the one defying her, her gaze fell across him. Cowering to the gaze, he slowly fell back.
"My daughter can handle this. I can handle this intensity, and she is stronger than I am. Don't you dare defy me!" Her attention turned back to the screen, turning back the dial to turn off the energy going into Jess. The body was slumping completely in the seat, tears streaming down her face. "She'll break soon. Up the intensity again." The screens flashed red, a warning, but she ignored it. Reaching for the dial, she turned the machine back on. Lightning crackled against the chair, visible across Jess' body as it coursed through her this time. The screams riddled the room, windows vibrating with the intensity of it. "Soon.."
Jess couldn't take much more of this. She had lost all sense of time as this went on. How was she even still conscious? "Stop..Please.." her voice was hoarse from her screams, body weak. Was this how it was going to end for her? There was still so much she wanted to do. Needed to do. The crackling of the energy began to build up, and she knew it was coming again. She was beginning to be able to tell when it was coming. Readying herself, the energy began to course through her again. Every time it came back was more intense than the last, and this was no different. No, this time was worse than all the others.
The electricity coursed through her, more intense than ever before. And not just through her. The energy began to flow out of her, visible along her skin and in her eyes. Letting out one long scream, her body collapsed as the energy continued coursing through her.
"SHUT IT OFF!!" The yells could be heard through the glass as the machine powered down. "Go see to her!" Doors sprang open as lab workers piled in, carrying more machines and anything they thought they may need. As they approached, a burst of energy shot forth, crackling through the air. "Is she okay?" There was no reply from the scientists as they made their way in.
The machine powered back on, energy coursing back through her again. "Who turned that on?!"
"No one Ma'am. It powered back up on its own."
"That's not possible." Electricity shot out of Jess' body, ravaging the room. Bolts streaked across, connecting with workers and shooting them back. Screams rang out from the workers as they scrambled to get out. Just as quickly as it started, the doors slammed shut. "What's going on down there? Open those doors!"
"They're not responding!"
More screams came out as bolts continued to streak across the room. Scientists fell as they were struck. "Sh*t, it's her!" The chair shook as the restraints snapped open, ripped apart as Shamhat rose to her feet. Electricity crackled through her, lips curling into a smirk as she stepped down. "Sedate her!"
Turning her gaze to the ones yelling, they grew silent, grabbing their throats. "Sleep." They slumped down, unconscious, as the command took over them. "Cut out." The feed to the room cut, giving Theia and the others no vision into the room.
"She's loose! All hands to the ready! Get her back!" Dr. Carroway bellowed over the comm system, trying to rally everyone.
"Belay that order. Let her go. We've done our job."
"You heard me." Theia's lips curled into a grin as the screams rang out through the halls. "Shamhat has been reborn. You are witness to the rebirth of the greatest Reaper ever created. Isn't this what you wanted? The rebirth of your ancestor's works?" Leaning forward, she swiped her hand across the screen. "Vision." Feeds came back online as she watched the devestation left in the wake of her daughter's work. "Long live Subject Zero."