Sailor Rifts
Chapter 6: Hell In A Needle
By Simon Woodington

When her eyesight quit on her she wasn't sure. All she felt was pain. Since they returned, she only vaguely recalled the questions they asked. Names, something about namesŠ A name? She groaned, unable to move as she lie there on the white floor.

They had wanted to know about someone, whoŠ Her? What? They finally called her a name. Mostly curses, angered, taunting words. Where did she come from? Who was she with? Who was her boyfriend?

Juan was not her boyfriend.

Oh JuanŠ Tears failed for lack of strength. Why did you leave me?

Who taught you magic? Who taught you. Was it Lazlo? Are you a criminal of the state? Yes, you are. Never forget that. Never.

Finally she lost consciousness. Even then, the words rang in her mind, in her dreams. She screamed at them, and managed to avoid the striking hands. Darkness consumed them. The darkness gave way to light.

Pain flared in her stomach. "Wake up, bitch."

She scrambled away from the source of the pain, gasping.

Something caught her hand. Her eyes opened, perceiving distorted images of a man, a man dressed in white. She also saw a pair of black towers behind him. No, those where men too. She felt a pulling at her arm, dragging her to her feet. She stumbled, still half blind, one eye swollen shut. Clothes were a thing of the past; they had relieved her of them before the beating.

"Come on!" He cursed. "We want you to see someone."

Rei was afraid to ask, even if her throat hadn't been too dry to let her. She just followed him, stumbling, and falling twice. Some doctor had come in and set her leg, so she could walk. Every step brought a new variety of pain to her already beaten form. She wished she could remember the doctor's name. He had been so nice.

It wasŠ wasŠ Dr. Š ArchŠ No, Agon. Dr. Agon. He hadn't said anything, but he'd smiled. The smile looked familiar. HowŠ? I've never seen him before! He was so gentleŠ

"Hey you," the man snapped, pulling her forward with a jerk. "Keep up, will ya?"

Rei flinched. He grinned. "That's right, know your place. Right at the th' bottom," he laughed callously. He stopped. "Here we are." He pressed a series of buttons. "Go on." He pushed her through, and closed the door behind her.

Rei fell forward and landed on her face. For a while she just lay there, not really caring who it was they were talking about. Finally, she staggered to her feet. Her eyes blurred. Adjacent from her was a girl, shorter than she. She wore the same as Rei, a collar, and what appeared to be a band of metal strapped to one hand. The other arm looked somewhat strange, a little discoloured, but Rei took little notice of it. She was slight of build, had blue eyes, and blue hair.

"By Lazlo's good name!" Rei muttered, her voice failing. "Ami-chan!" She cried, finding strength to run towards her. Rei hugged her, and the girl just lookedŠ confused.

"Well aren't you friendly!" she said. "Have we met?"

Rei froze, emotionally as well as physically. "You don't remember me Ami-chan? I'm your friend, Rei-chan!"

"You do seem awfully kind, butŠ no, I don't think I know you." She gazed down at this strange black haired girl. "Oh my!" she said, voice sounding shocked. "What have they done to you?"

Rei dissolved into tears.

"My name is Sarah," she cooed, holding Rei gently. "Sssh darlin', I know. I know what they did. It's gonna be okay."

Several minutes passed while Rei cried. Hope, after the last night's beating, had fled into some distant shadow with her only seeming friend; Dragon Fella. Sorrow welled within her, living to see the next day had become suddenly a very uncertain thing. Slowly, her tears ebbed, and she calmed.

"You going be okay now?" Sarah asked. Rei looked as if she had been asked if she would survive the world ending. She shook her head, and said nothing.

"I'm sorry I don't remember you, you seem so nice. Were we good friends?" She seemed genuinely curious.

"Hai, we were," Rei said as she stepped away from her. When she went to put her hand on her shoulder, she noticed a split in the skin where Sarah's arm visibly joined her body at the shoulder. Under it wasŠ

"By Lazlo's name," she whispered.

Š metal.

Sarah looked seemed to barely notice Rei reaction. "Oh yeah, my arm. Nothing special, just prosthetic."

Rei was frozen, not moving, not even breathing. Sarah took her by the shoulders.

"Hey. You okay?" She shook her slightly. "Darlin?" Sarah shook her again. She swore, then drew her hand across her face in a quick motion. Rei gasped.

"Better?" Sarah asked, studying the black haired girl's swollen eyes carefully.

Rei sank to her knees and sat down, head bowed. There was a hiss as the door opened. A man in a white lab coat, and a black armoured grunt entered. The man gestured for the grunt to wait. He approached the two. Sarah snarled protectively, noting the needle in his hand.

"No no, it's me, Dr. Agon. I'm just here to give you your shots," he said reassuringly. Rei's head snapped up to him. She mouthed the words; 'Dragon Fella', and smiled slightly.

"That's right," he crooned, "this'll just take a second."

Rei put up as much fight as her strength would allow, which was not much. He kneeled close, as if he was holding her down.

"I can't stay, they suspect me," he whispered, "I promise you, I'll be back as soon as we can shift the blame."

Sarah also feigned putting up a fuss, but eventually took the needle. Then, with a snarl, she pushed him roughly towards the grunt. He fell against the armoured guard, who cursed.

"You bastard," Sarah snarled at the doctor as she got her feet. For a moment, fear ran amok in Dr. Agon's mind, before he realized what she was doing.

Play along, her gaze told him for not much more than an instant. She snarled and leapt at the grunt, who knocked her aside. Dr. Agon cried out, and pounded at the door.

Rei lay there crying, lost.

Sarah continued to snarl at Dr. Agaon, who appeared to be scared out of his mind as he scrambled against the door, hoping to claw his way out.

The grunt punched in the door combination as he eyed the amazon warily. The doctor flew through the door like it was the pearly gates, leading to his salvation. The grunt seemed in no hurry to leave. Sarah decided he needed some convincing. She dove at him, aiming to wrench the weapon from his black gaunleted grip. At the last instant, the grunt stepped aside. She sailed into the wall, face first, her nose snapping like a thin twig. As she impacted, she felt a jolt of pain, and a numb sensation began to spread through her back. She felt limp to the ground, paralyzed.

"That'll teach ya," the grunt chuckled.

A neural mace? Sarah's mind fogged as she watched the grunt approach Rei, still consumed by her tears. The grunt raised the mace, and Sarah found she couldn't get her voice to work. She could only watch as he stunned her, and carried her off over his shoulder.

She felt fear for that kind girl.

"Careful, careful!" He cried. "I don't want any unecessary bruising!"

"Yeah yeah," the grunt replied, letting her fall with no paticular care to the examination table. "Do you really think I give a frick? You do your job, I'll do mine. Okay?"

The doctor's scrawny features assumed a unpleasant expression, making him look like a dissatisfied vulture. "Moron!" he snappped. "I ask for elite gaurds, and what do I get? Simpletons like you!" he almost spat at the grunt.

"Listen you," he replied grumpily. "I didn't ask for this lousy job, so why don't you just mind your own crap!"

"Oh go on, haven't you got a Dog Boy to associate with?"

The grunt departed, muttering something about apes and the doctor's mating habits.

"Philestine!" The doctor croaked as the door slid smoothly shut. He shook his head and sighed, muttering curses under his breath. As he neared the young woman the grunt had unceremoniously dumped on his lab table, a smile began to warm his face.

"Aren't you a pretty one," he observed appreciatively. "Hardly any fat at all. All muscle. It's too bad they won't let me do Juicer conversions on your kind. You're so strong already," he said, as if she were awake, as if she were a child requiring nuturing. He began the task of binding her to the table. He hummed as he did so, some nameless tune that had no direction, nor key. "The doctor is going to have to remove this collar," he said, "it will interefere with the tests."

As he moved up to remove the collar, his eyes fell to her long black hair. "Such pretty hair," he muttered, running his sinewy fingers throught the thick strands. "Dr. Ravelli is going to have to shorten it. A pity."

After he was finished binding her, he took a seat on one of his stool chairs, and took some time to just admire her. An hour must have passed before he noticed her eyes fluttering open.

"Oho! She awakens!" He piped cheerily, hopping down from the stool so he could stand next to her.

Her gaze, confused, fell on him, making her face look fear filled. He could see the muscles of her body tensing as she tried to move, as she realized she was restrained.

"No no, don't panic. It wouldn't be good for you to panic."

She relaxed somewhat. He smiled, the sags of flesh on his face tighening into lines.

"Good good, that's it. Relax." He reached for something out of her line of vision. She felt the tips of fingers on the inside of her arm, and tensed again. There was a sharp spike of pain as what she recongized to be a needle slipped into her arm.

"No!" She cried. He flinched, digging the intravenous too deep into her arm. Blood began to trickle from the wound.

"Now that's no good," he said softly, "can't have you startling me like that." He proceeded over to a wall of vials, beakers, and other scientific equipment. "No talking," he whispered, returning with a gag, wrapping it around her head while she struggled.

"See?" He mock questioned as he picked through a number of heated IV bags. "Isn't that better? I much prefer the silence, myself. Life is really much too loud."

The doctor finally settled on not the green bag, not the blue one with red spots, and not the neon one, but the gruesomely coloured rainbow one. "Ah-ha," he smiled, "Hell In A Needle. Just what the doctor ordered!" He chuckled. "Will you listen to me? I just made a funny!" He laughed for several moments, not seeming to notice the wideness of Rei's eyes, how they watched the bag he held in utter horror.

With great precision, he set the bag on a hook on the wall nearby, then hooked the tube to the IV in her arm.

"Oh," he gasped, noticing the blood on her arm, "my little goof up is making a mess everywhere, isn't it? I guess I'll just have to do something about that." He dissappeared from her sight for a moment, then returned. "Here," and he slapped a bandage on the 'oopsie.' Rei gasped loudly into her gag. A solitary tear travelled down her cheek.

"That better now?" He smiled at her as the rainbow sludge mixture drained slowly into her bloodstream. Eventually, his eyes began to wander. Rei watched those eyes, wondering what it would be like to crush them in their sockets. She also came to wonder how far you had to open the mouth to slip a knife in and carve out someone's tongue. Considering how would be the most painful way for him to die, her mind raced to the fire.

The fire; it had always guided, helped her, in her time of need, and when the scouts had needed to know of the evil that the Negaforce unleashed. Her mind saw his flesh boiling under the extreme heat it could produce. She saw him being consumed by the fire, and heard him screaming, pleading for mercy. Anything for mercy, please!

Her mind waded and stood amongst death, knowing that these thoughts might be her last. She wondered what could possess someone to


Why would you

(crush someone's skull, sending pieces of bone deep into)

Her mind faded, blurred, scurried at the reality that hers' was changing.

A silent vow came to her, a reaching, a probing, a lost hope: If I survive, I will kill him. I will use the fire to fry him alive!

Then her reality ended.