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Winter's Heart

Chapter Text

Prologue

Somewhere in Eastern Europe

The pain was beyond anything she'd ever felt before - and she's been shot and stabbed a few times so she thought she was experienced enough to tell. At least she thought she'd been injured before. The drugs - not painkillers obviously - but a multitude of others was being pumped into her system at regular intervals. More than likely even before she had woken up.

The last thing she remembered... she was positive about... but was she really? It didn't matter, she told herself as she continued to scream and thrash helplessly against her restraints, it didn't matter because it was real...

It had been a mission. But it had gone wrong, terribly wrong. Her hand slipping off the railing... The train... There had been a train... her body tumbling through the air... A gorge...

Her eyes losing sight of... Red hair... There had been someone... Someone important... Someone...

A fog drifted over the memory, wiping it away.

She screamed again, this time in fury that she was unable to finish the memory, so she skipped forward. To the cold... it had been so cold... she'd fallen into a river... Tumbled down the roiling rapids and.... onto a boulder... Then a tree crushing... Crushing... her arm...

Her arm?!

Her eyes slid to her side, to the doctors hovering over the bloody, mangled remains of her left arm.

To where it had once been, strong, and healthy. This was where the pain was radiating out from... that and her head... her mind... like ants eating away at a leaf. Things... Memories? Thoughts? Slipping away. Bit by bit. Piece by piece. It was all slipping away like water from a pitcher. Something important. Or was it? She couldn't think. Couldn't concentrate.

There was only...

White.

And pain.

And was there screaming?

White.

And pain.

And...

Another syringe. Another drug plunged into her vein.

It would be hours before the screaming finally stopped. It would be weeks before the scientists declared their work a success.