"We will begin today"

With those four words, so spoken, King Basatia initiated the experiments that would eventually save his nation from ruin.

"Excellent" Replied the head surgeon of the project, whose name was Dr. Koschei. He was the best in the civilized world, and he had volunteered as the brave doctor who would operate on the only heir to the royal throne. The job was inherently risky, and there was no assurance that the young Bahkeric would not die in the midst of the operations. But permission had been granted, and the honorable Koschei would perform his tests with his experimental metal solution.

"Errementari, go to the dungeon and make the preparations. I want the solution heated to fluidity, then cooled without reforming as a solid." He said to the man who had been his partner of many years – responsible even for finding the necessary materials and testing new mixtures over the many years.

The inhuman nodded and moved stealthily down to the place they would be working from now on. Errementari may have, like the head surgeon, considered this a great honor and a method of forever strengthening their race. He could have looked on it as a matter of great national pride that he would have a part in the coming battle, or perhaps, he did not. The inhuman rarely let his face change from the same blank, stony expression as he progressed down the stairs.

The king's brow was knitted in determination, his eyes hard as shining glass orbs. He set his jaw in a firm line as he looked out over the balcony and onto the city, where the sun was rising in a wave of soft red haze. It reflected off the glorious city of the capital – the greatest in the world on either side, of any race.

He caught himself as a drop of water drifted down from his right eye – a traitor to his weakening composure. The king let it drift down to his chin, where the tear then fell off his person, and dived down to land on the street of the city below. A deep breath, with teeth clenched hard, and he went to retire to the one place where he knew he could be alone.

The boy was sleeping soundly in his expansive room, full of toys, books, and mock weapons so he could amuse himself. His tutors came by everyday so that he could learn a new lesson, much to his childish chagrin at having his play time lessened.

He did not wake when the guards came into the room, closing the door softly behind them, and padded quietly to the silver draped bed of the child. His long white hair was sprawled out over his silken pillow, and his lips quivered slightly with every breath that came and left his little lungs. A young boy's chest with a young heart was beating steadily, because he had nothing to fear.

The leader amongst the men was the first to grab the heir to the throne, picking him up by the shoulders while the child jerked awake in a fit. His white eyes widened in surprise, but it was only moments before he started screaming with righteous indignation as he was lifted out of the room.

"What do you think you are doing? How dare you! I'll have your entrails on a pike for this, traitors! Father! Father!" He yelled before another could place a firm hand over his mouth – which was subsequently bitten.

"Father! Faaather!" He screeched down the long corridor, as the men brought his struggling little form into a once empty corner of the dungeon below the castle.

Bahkeric's mouth stopped screeching once he saw the place he was being taken to, because it was unlike anything he had ever imagined. There were six different stone beds, all bare and laid out in a neat little column at the center of the dark room. Next to those beds there were machines – great, noisy machines – that were full of odd levers and numbers. On the sides of some of the oddest looking mechanisms, there were large cylinders all full of something shiny and thick, with thick tubes leading out from the front.

"Where should we put him, sir?" One of the guards asked as four strange men appeared from the shadows in the corners.

"Put me down! You sniveling cowards! My father will-"The heir screamed as the unknown man, whose face was covered by some dark googles and a surgical mask, motioned to the closest slab of stone. Even his hands were covered in dark gloves, which looked like the sort the local blacksmiths used when they forged new mock swords for the young Bahkeric.

"Restrain him" The masked figure ordered in a muffled, cold voice.

The guards did as they were told, strapping the child down to the freezing slab with stretches of horse hide. His golden colored dressing gown was little protection from the chill, dank air and hard rock that surrounded him now. The finishing touch was when one of them tied a cloth tight around his mouth, so that the frightened young thing could only mumble his terror.

Bahkeric's heart was racing, with sweat starting to sprout all over his body – only making him feel even colder. His gaze shifted all around the ceiling, since he could barely even turn his head he was so tightly held down. He tried desperately to move his arms, hands –anything- but the binds were just too strong for him. He was trapped like a fish in a hawk's mouth.

While he lay there as the cloaked men with their masks and gloves moved around him, he wished with all his might that his father knew what these people were doing. He clung to the thought that The King would come to rescue him from these evil saboteurs before it was too late.

"Dr. Koschei, everything is ready. We will begin on your mark." A dark figure stated as he messed with one of the devices, emitting oddly colored lights and sounds.

"Everyone in positions. I want you to operate the main infusion device, you to monitor the intravenous source, and the rest to closely monitor and take detailed- detailed! – Notes on the boy. If he goes into shock, we must be prepared to act immediately."

"We are prepared, doctor. On your mark." A deep voice rumbled, without any emotion at all. It came from the masked figure at Bahkeric's right side, which was holding a long and sharp syringe at the ready. It was full of a baffling, dark brown liquid that looked like syrup.

Bahkeric heard a horrifying whirring noise, then the sound of something like a thick stew being churned. He couldn't help but close his eyes as the doctor let out a barking "Now!" and the needle was driven deep, deep into his arm. The pain was as nothing he had ever felt – searing all the way into the very bone itself. He tried to open his mouth to scream but he could only moan his agony through the cloth around his face. Then his body went into a set of convulsions that ripped through his arm, then shocked all the way down and back up to the top of his very skull.

"Blood pressure is sky-rocketing, intracranial pressure causing mass seizures…body seems to not be acclimating to the numbing draught."

"Doctor, should we abort?"

"No! Just wait, we must test the infusion process!"

"Errementari, is the solution volatile?" The doctor screamed across the room, over the din of the machines which were attempting to keep the iron ore solution pliable. At the moment the doctor was busy trying to keep the boy alive by pumping a number of strong medications into his still seizing small body.

"Yes" came the heated response as the solution became the right temperature for the experimental injections.

"Then…we begin!" The boy's senses were dulled by the pain erasing medication that was coursing violently through his veins, but he could still feel the burning heat of the iron ore as it came into his skeleton. The pain would become so terrible, that before much more than a tenth of the priceless solution had entered into his bone, Bahkeric would lose consciousness.

He blacked out with the worst pain anyone could have ever imagined – the formula for readying his skeleton to the iron, an immediate failure.

AN: Hope this chapter turned out well, sorry for a bit of a wait. And as always, thanks for reading :)