A/N: Bah. Humbug. This chapter is nowhere near as good as the ones before it. In fact it fails. But that's what happens when you have a young writer tiring out at the keyboard, trying to rush to get it in before she loses her chance, feeling much too lazy to go to her usual descriptive lengths. So, yes, I KNOW there's plenty wrong with it. Trust me, I don't like this chapter either. But that's where your constructive criticism comes in! ^.^ Yay.

If I have it my way, I will re-write and re-post this chapter soon. That's how much I hate it. Why upload it if I hate it so much? It's only a first draft...so I shouldn't panic. Besides, I would rather move on than dwell on a single chapter for a long time. When I write the next draft, I can spend a longer time on each chapter.

Anyway, here's a note to you guys. I wanted to inform you that, in this story, everyone (even Ninn) is speaking either German or French. So just assume that's the language they're speaking. I use English with snippets of foreign words so ya'll can understand what the heck they're saying, obviously.

Three

When he was done with her, Deeia redressed the girl and adjusted her so she was lying somewhat comfortably again.

"There, there," he huffed, still out of breath. He rose to his feet and buttoned his black pants back up. "I'm sure that feels much better now." The words were not spoken with confidence or reassurance, rather, they came out sounding forced.

Heart both shattered and drowned, though not for the first time in her life, Ninn refused to look at him. Deeply, she felt betrayed. But she had learned long ago― probably during her first years of pageantry, back when her mother seemed to be the only one reassuring her in rooms teeming with spite, gossip and the stench of hair spray ―to accept betrayal as a daily way of life. So the betrayal, her affecting emotions, were not what hurt the most…what hurt the most was, in fact, the physical pain itself. Her heart was beating so fast the sound of its quaking crashed in her ears and she could feel it in her throat, a throat sore to the point of being outright raw. Her girlhood felt torn apart as if by the most feral beast, shred from shred. The blood soaking into the mattress under her could attest to that.

Tears had not come no matter how hard her mind tried to force them.

Deeia sucked in a lungful of air and looked Ninn over calculatingly one last time before turning away. He fished in the pocket of his pressed black pants for a little, white, plastic bottle of prescription medication. Once he had it, he shakily unscrewed the top and tipped four pasty blue tablets into his hand, of which he quickly popped into his mouth and swallowed. He looked like he was lost, out of place. Like he didn't want to be there.

He probably didn't.

"I think it's mister Deeia that needs to make himself feel better," he concluded. He slipped the bottle back into his pocket. He brought his fingers to his temples and rubbed, rubbed.

Now it was Ninn's turn to take a breath. She managed to focus enough through the trusses of pain to speak: "D-D-Deeia?―"

"Huh?"

Startled, the man turned lowered his arms and turned back to her jarringly. He was shaking, not heavily, yet very noticeably, fingers trembling on hands and arms that seemed barely apt to support them. Made of rubber. Something in his expression changed. From unhappy to outright livid. Yellow eyes growled. Sweat gleamed on a taut forehead.

Quiet like untouched glass.

Then:

"What? What do you want, brat? You think I came all the way out here just to fuck you or something? No," he said, "I didn't. I'm not a fucking pedophile, okay? If you wanna be mad at someone, be mad at those goddamn scientists who told me to do this to you. I have no idea what the Führer's been smoking lately. Experimenting on people to get superpowers when we already have enough things out of our control…Thinking I needed to come and rape a kindergartener. And when you're supposed to be a Ji'lett too. Just like me. Shit."

The glass made of quietness shattered.

It scattered around them. Shards fell, gleaming with hate, confusion, rage.

The Nazi pulled something new out― a silver case of smokes from his the breast-pocket of his shirt. He must've needed more than one drug to sustain himself. He took one out, long and white, and used a fire control spell to light it, orange flame licking up and around his fingers seemingly out of nowhere. As with most spells used around Ninn, he whispered it lowly, so she couldn't hear … and so she couldn't pick it up for her own use.

Ninn lost all confidence and backed off, turning her head to face the wall, subconsciously brooding, consciously admiring the grey-toned spots of grunge smeared about the wall's plaster facade…she could not talk to someone who was so angry with her. A primary defense mechanism.

Not that she would have been able to get a word in anyway― Deeia kept right on venting.

"You know what the funny thing is? You're supposed to be real friggin' important. A big deal. We apparently think that by the time you're a grown woman, you'll be totally immune to all pain. That all this testing, all this pushing your invulnerability, will just wipe your nerves clean. We're going to build you up, focus all those crazy little powers of yours. Teach you to use fighting magic. Then―" he laughed to himself and there was a pause while he took a drag "―we're gonna stick you right in the military. You'll be a tank. Can you believe that? A waif like you, a tank? Doubtful. But they still say it, they just go on and on: 'She will be our Aryan savior. This one little girl is gonna turn the world upside down with her incredible power. We can never let her stray out of our glorious protection,'" he quoted mockingly.

The six year old swallowed agonizingly and kept staring at the wall. She had no idea what he was talking about.

"And can you tell me what any of that has to do with me screwing you? 'Cause I sure don't know. Our scientific department is fucked in the head. Fucked, I tell you. God knows I'm important, too. The Führer would have a cow if I even talked about leaving his contact for more than a day. Don't get me wrong, sweetheart, I love my Führer, I love my world, and I love my job. I think it's a great idea to test you, build up your powers and put you in action. You really could change the tide of the RA war. What I don't love is how ridiculous my life seems sometimes. Really. I hate it."

If Ninn wasn't lost before then she was now. She didn't understand how he went from sad to angry…to what seemed, from the little tremors in his voice, like sad again.

Deeia let out a long breath. "First thing I'm gonna do when I get back to Paris is spend a few good hours in Church. And that's for sure."

______

Things were silent between the officer and the child for some time, and it was a silence that was filled with dreadful weight, weight that loomed over each of them and threatened to fall at any moment.

Luckily for them, however, they were rescued by the sound of the metal door across the cell opening, and the feel of a warm blast of air that followed. Both were startled; Deeia dropped the cigarette to the floor and stepped on it before he thought anyone saw ―not that that was effective with the one-way window inset into the far wall. Ninn sat up and cried out, as she had forgotten how painful it was to move. But both were ultimately relieved. There was a sense of shared gratitude between them once the door opened, a withheld desire to move on that was now released gratefully.

A handful of scientists, some that Ninn recognized, some that she didn't, drifted in. With their presence, the lights suddenly seemed a bit brighter. She could focus a bit more…she wasn't quite happy to see them, yet she felt happy in her confidence that they would put things back to 'normal.' Coming out of a dream. She searched their hands over with her eyes, checking to see if they had brought anything with them, checking to see if they remembered her extra blanket. They hadn't. But that didn't stop her from being hopeful it would come later. After all, maybe they would bring it before bedtime, as Kristina had said.

"Are those drugs getting to you again?" One of them walked to Deeia's side. A scientist she didn't know, with red hair, very fair skin and very red cheeks. His hands remained in the pockets of his tan pants. "Harn told me how they tend to make you babble on and on about stupid things, and, well, you didn't exactly spare our little girl over there an earful."

"You mean you were listening to me?" Deeia snapped.

The scientist sighed and didn't answer. He watched as the others went to Ninn's bedside and began to poke and prod her, yanking her legs apart, examining with slightly disgusted scrutiny for how bad the damage to her virginity had been. When they were done, one of them handed the girl a plastic bottle of much needed water. His eyebrows shot up quizzically. "Well? What does it look like, gentlemen?"

"It looks…the same as it always has. Apparently her body is so superhuman that it's completely unaffected even by sexual attack," another scientist replied, a woman with light brown hair and a short lab coat. She was holding a clipboard and pen. From her expression and the haughty way she held herself, Ninn could tell she was flustered to be called a gentleman.

"You're saying there's nothing wrong with her?"

"Aside from some minor pain, maybe a few remnants of bleeding, nothing whatsoever. If she experienced any damage to her sex organs, then it has completely healed up by now. It's like she's a virgin again."

The redhead grinned at Ninn. "Your powers continue to astound me every day. I wonder…how that would work once you got older. Would you be able to have children? Or will you always remain untarnished, even by the presence of a fetus?"

"You sick muther―" Deeia began with acidic irritation, but was cut short.

Because just then every light in the building shut off.

Simultaneous.

Blinding florescent lights…then…nothing.

It wasn't just the darkness of night that fell over them like the heaviest sort of blanket. This was impossible darkness, a blanket sewn from the feathers of ravens and filled with bricks painted tar black.

Ninn was usually grateful for the dark, but not when there were so many people around her. Not when she didn't know just who or what it was that shut the lights off. Not when she couldn't see anything at all. She could hear them, all talking at once, fumbling for control remotes, fishing for spells, a few making their way to the hall. She could hear Deeia chuckling nonchalantly, a madman. Holding the water bottle to her, a security object, she curled up tightly and held her breath.

"Somebody watch the girl!"

"It's not like she's going anywhere…OW!...shit…"

"Do it!"

"I'll go hold onto her. Jesus Christ in the morning." Deeia. "Would somebody please go nab a 'bot? If my magic isn't working then nobody's is."

Suddenly, a scream from out in the hall. A feral scream, belonging to a woman's unbelievable torment. A scream of…someone dying.

"Good God, Sarah!"

Ninn gasped and tried to stare though the blackness. The heartbeat pounding in her ears slowed to a dull roar. Her nails were clutched so tight they almost breached the plastic of the bottle. Nothing. Nothing anywhere. Nothing but the dark. Ravens beating the air with wings of alarm.

Then, as if on cue, time stopped completely.