They took her without much of a struggle. She was walking slowly towards nothing, just away from Kelley, away from her sister's body, away from...everything. They came from behind with nothing but a sweet-smelling handkerchief. Raeza didn't even try to resist. They handcuffed her and took her to an armored van, but it was like her head was in a cloud, somewhere outside, somewhere better, somewhere else. It was like she had no pain left in her, and yet at the same time, it was stronger than before, not just the loss of her sister and the betrayal of a childhood friend, but the feeling she'd had for years now, sometimes it was stronger than others, that feeling like she didn't belong. In life. Without her machines, without her sister, without Kelley, (who would hardly be likely to forgive her after what she'd said, and she didn't even want him to), what did she have? What purpose in the world did she have, besides this prophecy that she would "turn a tide." Aevil was the only one who believed in that, anyway. Raeza didn't see herself as the type of person who would ever make a major difference alone.
Avalyn lay strapped to the table, rows of parallel cuts running across her forehead, legs and arms. The psychic stood over her, and then it was as if she was no longer in the room.
The visions blurred, were so she couldn't tell what they were, but she supposed they must have been distortions of her past, her fears, images that were meant to break her. Whatever symbols J.A. had drawn on Avalyn's hand were doing their job of blocking out the emotional torture. She supposed the ink turned invisible after a time, or something like that.
Her lack of screaming must have alerted the psychic that this method of torture wasn't very effective, because the visions disappeared and the man with the scalpel returned.
The guards practically carried the still-groggy Raeza to the cell. It looked empty at the moment, but apparently she would eventually be sharing it with someone named Obscurity.
"We have to do two in a cell now?" one of the guards asked.
"This is war, Feroce. There will be lots of prisoners, and sometimes they have to share a cell. If they kill each other, tough, but it's less work for us."
"But isn't she--"
"Ssh! She may not be asleep, you know! Idiot!"
There was a scuffling, then they set her down on a hard bench or table or something. She couldn't move yet, still on the edge of consciousness, and she couldn't see, whether because she was dreaming or because it was dark, she didn't know. She became a little more conscious, enough to see a dim light somewhere far away and and enough to hear the screams from somewhere nearby.
The young man cried out one last time, reaching toward her for help, help she could have given, but she stopped. No, the part of her brain that was witnessing all this cried. This is what happened before, you were too slow, and he died. As the thought sunk in and her subconscious began to grimace, Seth's face changed, from pain to anger,
"You let me down, J.A., now it's time for me to do the same for you,"
"No!" she screamed as he pulled out the knife and started towards her.
"You betrayed me."
"I never betrayed you, Seth!" Her screams were met only by ice.
Crunch, went something inside. Even after all these times, that feeling of being squashed never went away. She could recover more quickly now, though. Which she hurriedly did as the visions faded and J.A realized she wasn't alone in the cell.
"A-are you all right?!" Raeza asked hesitantly,
"I'm fine," the woman said, clearly lying. Her voice was rough and slightly raspy. "I just...get nightmares when I sleep."
Raeza raised an eyebrow, but accepted the explanation for now. No use pestering the woman about it. "So are you Obscurity?"
"No, I'm not. They're still...interrogating her." With that word 'interrogation' came a silent one, torture, and Raeza realized that was it. The woman had been screaming like she was being tortured. Were her nightmares really that bad?
The woman stuck out a hand, shifting position as she did so. Raeza blinked as she shook the woman's hand, taking in the long scars all over her forehead and shoulders, and probably elsewhere as well. "I'm J.A."
"Oh, Raeza. Raeza Blayd."
Raeza had a suspicion that this woman did see. It was a bit unnerving.
"Raeza, I heard the guards talking about you, they think you have something and will stop at nothing to get it. Not even torture!" she was starting to get...emotional. Raeza started to step back, wondering if J.A was even sane, then stopped. How was she any better?
"I can help with some of it, though," J.A. offered, calming down slightly. "I'm a symbolist, I know glyphs that can soothe physical or emotional pain. Not both. If you want, I can--"
Raeza smiled sadly as she realized. "No, J.A., your glyph doesn't soothe the pain, it redirects it...to you. I'm not even...human...not anymore. There's no reason why you should help me."
J.A. nodded grimly. "You're human, alright. Even if you're made of clay. You can feel pain, same as me or anyone else. Anyone else with even a spark of life left in them. This war is enough to drive anyone mad."
"Why do you do this?" Raeza asked, changing the subject to avoid admitting she was still unconvinced. "Why? I don't 022230300450 care! I'm not..."
"Stop feeling guilty, Raeza Blayd. If you're who I think you are, you don't need to take torture to try to resemble something like a hero. Believe me, just stay strong."
They heard the outer door creaking open, and guards entered the cellblock, several of them.
"And not a word to any of them about my little scheme, you hear?" J.A. sounded desperate now, so Raeza nodded. She couldn't help this woman, she was no hero. She watched as the guards stopped outside her cell, opened the door and dropped a limp body inside. As she turned back to J.A., however, the strange woman was gone.
(Sorry I've been so distant! D:)