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The first thing she sees is the lavender ceiling, so pale that it greys the longer she stares.

For a moment, that’s all she can do: stare blankly above as her thoughts barely churn. There’s nothing in her that dares to form a complete, coherent thought.

Eventually, she heaves herself upward. Her body stiffly resists the movement, but she manages to sit upright.

Her mind is tranquil, and she finds herself reaching her gloved fingertips— leather, strangely weighted, glinting in the light?— to her temple. Empty, she felt, but yet a strange mind-numbing tranquility filled her, stopping her from crisp thought. No, she fought. She wanted to think. She wanted to— she struggled within her thoughts, unsure of what it was she was struggling for.

Her fingers hit a hard edge and she stills. Carefully, she traces a portion of its shape, feels the way it does not shift from her face. An eared mask, thick and unmoving... yet she sees out of it with barely an obstacle.

Suddenly, she becomes consious of the blotted shadows around her. She tilts her head and lets her eyes sweep the room.

Around her are various machinery, staring down at her with needle-like points and exposed wiring. Shelves and shelves of unusual, unidentifiable materials sit on her left, while numerous metallic parts, left askew like grotesque appendages, edge along her vision on her right. The entire room is dull, bathed in a pale lavender light, and the cloth beneath her is a creamy peach; a hard surface despite its soft color.

A table. She realizes suddenly, her stare lingering at where her hand meets its edge. She’d been lying on a table. Not a bed, not even the floor, but rested upon a table, a thin sheet, and nothing else.

She finds herself staring blankly at the peach cloth, uncomprehending. She wants to think. She doesn’t know what to think.

 

“Good morning, my child.”

The words hit her, registering with a sudden clarity that leaves her feeling drowned. She doesn’t jump, yet she knows without a doubt that she should have. Would have, without this strange tranquility soaked into her mind.

She turns her head upward, blinking slowly as she takes in the owner of the voice. He stands a few feet away and half-engulfed in shadows, but she sees enough.

He stands tall, towering over her despite his distance. If his height didn’t intimidate, then his large horns and outstretched wings would. Silver glints off a pendant on his bare chest, against turquoise skin, unnaturally bright even in the dark.

”Who are you?”

The words come out clearer than she expected them to, with how muddled her mind feels. 

“I am the archdemon, Pythias. I am your creator,” he speaks with grandstanding arrogance, and she finds herself hearing without really hearing, as though they were spoken directly into her thoughts and listening was only a choice. She blinks, not really understanding, yet she still understands.

He is her master, and she is his servant.

There is something not quite right, and she knows it. She knows it, but she doesn’t know enough to know.

“I have made you so that you may serve me.” He steps forward with self-assured purpose and reaches out a clawed hand. Expectantly, near impatiently. The sharp points are a harsh sight, obvious even in the low light.

This much closer, she can see the cunning glint in his eye; single eye, while the other gleams glossy and pupil-less. His features still remain mostly obscured, but she sees the way his jaw twists, haughty and smug. Of what, she doesn’t know. She doesn’t know, and she’s not sure whether she wants to struggle with her state of mind to find out. She’s not sure if it’s worth that.

“You are Scia, and you will live in my castle and protect me as my bodyguard.”

For a moment, the world clears in honed focus. The name slots within her mind easily— not like a puzzle piece, but more a clipped-on addition. It fit, not because of a hole that had already been there, but simply because it did. Before she had no name to call herself, and now Scia did. There was no purpose or reason behind why; it simply was.

Scia looks at the demonic figure before her and she wonders; with this name, this purpose, all beholden to her master... what happens next?

 

 

Scia is so startled by the sense of having a name that she doesn’t realize that her hand has moved without her command, already in the grasp of a clawed demonic palm.