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Valkyrie (played by Xaotic)

September 27th; 2145

The girl stood in the middle of the small room. It was a white, sterile lab room; the furniture consisted of a toilet, a desk with affixed chair, and a thin metal cot., all of which was made of chrome and bolted to the floor. That was to ensure they did not make handy weapons. One wall was a reflective surface, a large two-way mirror to observe the room’s occupant. She was a young girl, around ten years old. She wore a peasant’s clothes, scratchy wool sweater, a corduroy skirt, wool socks, and sturdy boots. The only thing that was in any way remarkable about her clothing was the heavy leather jacket she wore. Worn and black, it had the insignia of the 83rd Lance Corp. A rampant griffon clutching lightning bolts.
The girl herself was dirty, grimy, unclean. Her exposed legs showed a welter of scratches and cuts and what appeared to by bites. Her long chestnut colored hair was tangled and snarled. Her face was smudged with dirt and what looked like blood. Her eyes were hazel, but the irises were becoming milky, as if suffering from glaucoma.
She stood in front of the mirror, knowing there were people behind it. At least two were present. She could hear the murmur of voices. If she strained her eyes, she could almost see their outlines. She knew she should be afraid. There was, in fact, a small knot of icy cold fear had settled in her stomach, but it was not acknowledged. This place, wherever she was, could be no worse than where she was. There were, at least, no ghouls here. She had seen her friends, her family, everyone she knew taken by a ghoul-pack. She, herself, was bitten multiple times. She knew what that meant. But there was no fear.
As she gazed in the mirror, she saw her eyes, already filming over. She knew she was infected; she knew what that meant. But again, the fear was secondary.
She was resigned. There was courage in the acceptance of fate, no matter the outcome.
Two men stood on the other side of the glass.
One of the men was in a lab coat, simple scrubs under them. His face had a hawkish cast under thinning hair, glasses perched on his nose. His name was Doctor Miles Abraham, Director of the Center of Human Advancement, simply known the Facility, was of the men. The other man, dressed in tailored charcoal grey suit, was impeccable in every way.
His name was Monahan Pickett, a Company Man, A Reclamation Specialist. In war torn areas like Serbia, the Companies sent out troops, called Peacekeepers, to aid the civilian populations. While it certainly sounded altruistic, orphans such as this one was often claimed as spoils of war and used for all sorts of experimentation by the Companies. These Companies paid huge donations to keep the Facility up and running with cutting edge technology, as well as specimens such as this one for experimentation.
“Where was she found?” Abraham asked, without preamble. His manner was abrupt, curt. This was not out of any dislike for Pickett; it was simply how he was. Conversation wasted time. Better to get to the relevant facts
“Serbian Demilitarized Zone” Came the smooth reply. “83rd Lance Corps found her in the ruins of a farmstead. Lone survivor. Family missing, presumed dead. She was the only living thing on the farm”
“What’s her designation?”
“PDC says Ekaterina Zagoyev. Serbian national. Daughter of Svetlana and Andrei Zagoyev. Age eight” Pickett replied.
“Excellent.” Abraham said. “Any known relatives?”
Pickett nodded, the gesture unseen, “Aunt and uncle in Serbian Zone 9.”
“See that they, too, fall prey to ghoul attack, Mr. Pickett.” Abraham said. “Oh, and Mr. Pickett? What is the highest concentration of ghoul packs in that area?”
“Around the southern border.”
“See that the 83rd is deposited there. Some sort of executive extraction... and Mr. Pickett, see that there are no survivors.”
Pickett frowned, “There is a substantial dollar amount attached to the 83rd, Doctor”
“No survivors.” Abraham repeated. “That will be all, Mr. Pickett”
With a last glance at the girl, Pickett left.
Standing alone in the room, Abraham didn’t know how long he stood there, staring at the glass, at the girl beyond. Eerily, it seems that their gaze was locked. She was staring directly at him, her eyes on his. A shiver ran down his spine momentarily at the coldness of her gaze. He had the impulse to summon Spikings and have done with the girl. Too late for that, though. Events were in motion. Ten heavily teched and decked men were on their way to a suicide mission, but he had a feeling about the girl. He only hoped the trouble was worth it.
It was the opening of the door behind him that snapped him from his reverie. April Downing, his assistant, came in the room and stood diffidently by the door. Ms. Downing did everything diffidently around him. Out of sight and earshot, she had the reputation as a tyrant that evoked his name to gain what she needed when she needed it. It amused him for her to so, so long as it furthered the Facility’s goals. In every instance, her motivations seemed to be business oriented, and not personal, which suited him fine.
“Preliminary results have determined the girl is positive for Hartnett’s”. The thing Dr. Abraham liked the most about Ms. Downing was that she did know when his attention was focused on her. She knew from the moment she walked in, he was paying attention.
“Anything else?” He asked.
“Negative, Doctor. All tests come back nominal for one in her condition. Records show that there are no risks for inherited diseases, following back three generations. She is, after all said and done, a healthy specimen.”
“Excellent.” Dr. Abraham replied.
Ms. Downing stood in the background, saying nothing. She had not yet been dismissed, and as was often the case, Doctor Abraham would have some task to set her upon. This time however, was unusual.
“Ms. Downing, please come here.” He instructed.
There was a hesitation before she started walking. He heard it in her step. She moved to his side, looking up at him expectantly, but his eyes were on the young girl in the room; had he not been looking, not been expecting it, he would not have seen it, but her eyes flicked over to Ms. Downing before returning to him. She could see him through the glass.
“Extraordinary.” Doctor Abraham murmured.
“Doctor?” Ms. Downing asked.
He hadn’t realized he’d spoken out loud. “Nothing, Ms. Downing. You may go.”
He heard her footsteps lead out the door, the door closing behind her.
Doctor Abraham remained where he was, scrutinizing the girl in front of him.
Hartnett’s. He knew that already. The eyes told the story. The scratches and the bites on her only sought to prove what he already knew. Those bites, looking weeks old, were most definitely made from a human jaw. Oh, the punctures were from enlarged canines, typical in ghouls.
Onset time of Hartnett’s is typically ten to fourteen days, on the norm. There were those who succumbed after a longer period of time, but not usually with one this young. It was a virulent disease; later it would be called VITAS, but for now, it was still named after the doctor that first identified the strain.
The eye clouding told him that she was only a few days afflicted, four days at the very most. But the bites looked much older. Weeks old, from his initial observation.
He rubbed his chin thoughtfully, saving this particular puzzle for another day.

October 11th, 2145
The girl stood in the same place as before, in the same sterile, white lab room. It was two weeks later, and her clothes were replaced with a utilitarian jumpsuit of navy blue, over which was the leather jacket given to her by one of the members of the 83rd. Instead of the long hair she had, it was now shoulder length and lustrous.
She stood as she did before, now fearless in truth, her eyes studying the glass in front of her. She knew now some of the names.
But there were others in there that she did not know. At least one; she believed more. Her gaze focused on the mirror, on her own eyes. It almost caused her to shiver. A bolt of pure electricity shot down her spine as she studied her own eyes. The irises had all but faded, leaving nothing but white behind; her pupils… her pupils were what caused that shock. They were elongated, narrow in the middle, with two bulbous ends, like a lazy Mobius strip. It was downright creepy, knowing her eyes looked like that.
Most of the people she was exposed to would not meet her gaze. Security, doctors, orderlies… none of them. She could smell their fear. It was like cinnamon, spicy and strong; it made her sneeze on more than one occasion. The only time she did not smell fear was with Abraham. With him, only curiosity. To him, she was a puzzle to be solved. Pieces to be taken apart and then rearranged. She did not like the way he looked at her. A curious object.
She remained still. She knew they were observing her. She knew they expected her to interact with her world, to rant, to rave, to lash out; she did none of these. There was a calmness to her. A predatory waiting that did not suit her age.

Doctor Abraham stood on the other side of the glass as he had done hundreds of times, with hundreds of specimens, but this one… the one was different. Beside him stood Ms. Downing, back and to his left stood. Security Chief Spikings. Jonah Spikings was a squat man, barely five foot eight, but wide with muscle. His barrel chest was lined with slab muscle as was most of the rest of him. He was more human than human; a recipient of augmentation. He had a blonde crew cut and green eyes that looked like marbles. Most of security had minor tech alterations; mostly to protect them from their charges. Spikings had more than just that. He was jacked with a suite, lacing his bones with ceramic, lining his musculature with titanium webbing, and reinforcing his skin to protect from most small-arms fire. Near the door was Gavin Holcourt; Spiking’s ‘attaché’. Abraham allowed the man his little extravagance. Little men were often impressed with such things.
Spikings may have been insecure about his height, but he had seen his share of war, and came out alive, and with a Major’s rank. He knew what he was doing when it came to security. In this, Abraham had every confidence.
The three (Holcourt didn’t count) were waiting for the arrival of a fourth.
All three stood studying the girl. Abraham was motionless; Spikings continued shifting his weight from foot to foot; Downing pensive, one arm across her stomach, the other arm resting the elbow upon it as she tapped her chin with a pen. Something she did when she was thinking.
All three were studying the girl’s eyes in particular. Abraham found it to be oddly compelling. He did not know how this piece fit in. She was an enigma to him. The door opened, and he knew that the last member of the group arrived when Spikings sighed, “About damn time.”
The fourth member was Wanda Defresne. She was tall (taller than Spikings by at least two inches) and athletic, a swimmer’s body. Her skin was the color of mahogany, and her long black hair fell down her hair in cornrows. She walked smoothly, confidently. Her dark brown gaze settled on Spikings, and he looked away first. There was no love lost between the two.
Spikings only concern, Abraham mused, was the security of the staff of the Facility, and managing the hundreds of specimens monitored there.
Long had there been rumors of brutality at the hands of the various security personnel. The boys under his watch were often controlled one of two ways; they were systemically beaten until cowed, or they were given rewards.
The girls were often much easier to manage. They were not beaten, if misbehaving. They were simply given over to groups of boys. It was rumored that the members of security partook in this particular activity; even Spikings himself, if the rumors were to be believed.
All that stopped with Defresne arrived. Within a week, she was aware of the situation. Within hours of being made aware, she took steps. Overnight, that particular activity stopped. Defresne made some abject lessons of those she discovered to be guilty. Most of those men survived more or less intact; a few did not.
Abraham did not care all that much about the rumors, it was the results that mattered. It was, however, a distasteful practice.
Wanda Defresne was a practitioner of The Way. She could harness her own body in ways that most could not. While most called it magic, she called it meditation, self-mastery, and discipline. She had intense control of her body and her Chi, and she could use both to do incredible things. Abraham knew she was of the Old Blood, and was born in the Swamp States, down in the Confederate States of America. Abraham found Defresne’s presence an annoyance, and felt that there was nothing the Way could do that science could not do better… but she had her own ways of controlling her pupils, and they were very often the best-behaved specimens in the facility. No, he did not like Wanda Defresne, but he could not deny that her methods got results.
Defresne sauntered across the room, in no particular hurry, unperturbed by the stares of Downing and Spikings. Abraham did not bother to glance her way. There would be no particular point. She moved up to stand beside him, directly in front of Spikings, which caused him to have to step farther to the left.
“She has the spark.” A gunshot could neither have been more shocking, nor louder in that room right then.
Spikings’ mouth hung open. There was a light ‘ticking’ sound as Downing’s pen hit the floor, falling out of her hand.
Only Abraham did not outwardly show any surprise. He bit his bottom lip for a moment
“Are you certain?” He finally asked.
“I can feel her from here” Her voice had an odd cadence to it, she was of Cajun blood, and spoke in their dialect. Often hard and thick, it was a musical sound coming from her lips, nonetheless.
He did not doubt her. She had never been wrong. “She will report to you tomorrow, at your convenience.”
“How does… nine AM sound?” She replied.
“As you wish.” Abraham would definitely have preferred that young Kat did not go to Defresne. She was clearly dangerous enough in her own natural state; learning the Way would make her exponentially more so.
As Abraham understood it, Adepts like Defresne were only limited by what their bodies could supply. They could certainly attain superhuman traits, and bolster those traits further for a short while, but they were still human. Kat was not human. The upper limits of her abilities were unknown. They would not be, could not be, until she matured.
He did not like having to defer to Defresne. She was a subordinate. But in this, Mr. Pickett had final say; and the Company said to see that she reaches her maximum potential, no matter the cost. Abraham had his orders. He would follow them.

October 25th, 2154
She stands in The Room. In her mind, that is what she called it. She knew she came here to be viewed. She looked much the same as she did two weeks before, however, the color of her irises was completely gone. She also had two pupils. Side by side, they were roughly the same size and a millimeter apart. The inside pair were her ‘human’ pupils. With them, she could see as she normally could, although more acutely. The other pair, the pair on the outside, were her ‘ghoul’ pupils. With those, she could see far more. Darkness and shadows did not affect her vision; nor did such things as smoke or fog. Her sight was such that she could read seven-inch letter at half a mile with no problems. The downside, she found was in the fact that she was blinded by bright light, such as from the glare of the lights in the room. She was also distracted by, and attracted to, sudden movement. Oddly, she found that she could shunt the input from one pair to the other. She could only see out of one of the pairs at a time, completely blocking the input from the other pair completely.
Her sense of smell was also highly acute. She could track by scent, and identify individuals by their scent. She could even sense certain emotions, by the pheromones they released.
Her hearing was extremely acute, reaching into both the subsonic range for human. Things such as a dog whistle, she could hear normally. Her hearing was also much amplified. The voices in the next room, for example, were heard with crystal clarity.
She knew who most of them were by their voices.
If Spikings was there, that meant that Holcourt was also there.
There was a fifth, present.
She remembered him. It was he that brought her there. She shunted her human gaze over to her ghoul pupils, narrowing her eyes at the sudden brightness that only before did not affect her. She searched quickly through the glass and identified him, locking her gaze onto him before shunted her gaze back to her human pupils.
She stood at ease, hands behind her back, feet slightly apart. She was using her breathing techniques to control her emotions, the fear and anger held at bay. There was only calm. She was taught to be a buoy on the ocean. The things around her may toss her two and fro, but she would remain afloat, unaffected.

Abraham immediately noticed the shift of her attention. She always stared at him when she knew he was in the room. He didn’t know how she knew, but she did know. He glanced over to Pickett to see if her realized; but the man hadn’t.
Pickett stood to his right, Downing next in line; to his left stood Spikings. Defresne leaned cross armed and amused against the wall. Abraham knew that she realized Kat’s attention shifted. Defresne had also mentioned that Kat tended to stare at him when he was in here. Defresne was no fool.
Abraham shifted his attention to Spikings. “I thought I told you to take that jacket.” He didn’t need to say more. The leather jacket she wore was a bone of contention. The specimens here had no possession. They were possessions. Kat’s PDC had been removed. Personal Data Chip. It told of her name, age, region and date of birth. It told her parent’s names, and their parent’s names. It contained a GPS signal, so that she could be located anywhere across the globe.
She was now persona-non-grata.
“Sir” Spikings began, “We tried. I sent five men in to restrain her and remove it. She had two of them down before we even knew what happened. She bit two more. The fifth barely escaped.” It was not said that the two men whom were bitten were put down; to make sure they would not be infected.
Abraham narrowed his eyes, “She had two down, HOW, exactly?” His tone was dangerous.
“We simply do not know” Spikings replied, mystified.
“Doctor Abraham?” Ms. Downing began.
Abraham turned his head slightly to allow her into his field of vision, “Yes, Ms. Downing?”
“I may be able to clear that up for you.” She said, “The two men were tested; there was some sort of agent in their bloodstream. We are not sure how it got there, or in such similar amounts… “
“This clears nothing up.” Dr. Abraham pointed out.
“We did further testing, sir.” She offered.
“Oh?” He had turned slightly to face her better, one eyebrow raised in question.
“We tested the Specimen.” She replied. “Her… saliva… contains an agent, a soporific; the same agent found in the two security guards.”
Abraham turned to look back at Kat, subconsciously mimicking her stance.
“We believe she spat in their faces.” Downing proffered.
“What. The. Hell?” Spikings blurted. He blinked in surprise at his own outburst. “Sir.” He added belatedly.
“She is a weapon, that one.” Defresne announced to no one in particular.
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