Defender Scarlet Shadow in the Robots of Heart: Part Three
"D-Director Sinis! I, I..." Sopherie stuttered, trying and failing to come up with a feasible excuse to explain her presence there.
"What are you even doing here?" Director Sinis asked her.
"I could ask you the same question, Director. What I saw back there was awfully suspicious." Sopherie replied.
"Was it now?" Director Sinis said in a silky tone. "And why would it interest you? Aren't you supposed to be finding the lab's escaped experiments, not sneaking around here?"
Sopherie glared at him, while his tone of voice gave away nothing, the twitching of his four ears did. A common nervous tic among the Aisha species.
"I am here because I decided to do the right thing. And while it's not my original mission, it is my mission now. How could you be so cruel to something that can feel?" Sopherie said. Director Sinis scoffed.
"Oh, figures that you would be a bleeding heart just like Redford. They are just robots, Scarlet Shadow. They exist for tests and experiments alone. Nothing else. Nothing they can feel is real." Director Sinis said. Seeing that Sopherie remained unconvinced, he simply shrugged. "Oh well, I suppose it doesn't matter that Redford got you on his side. You won't be leaving after all."
"Oh yeah? What makes you think you'll be able to stop me from going by yourself?"
"Did I say I was going to stop you by myself?"
And with those ominous words, Sopherie heard loud footsteps, turned in their direction and saw more androids that were much more robotic than the ones she'd seen in the tubes in the Android Maintenance Room. She found herself wishing she could slip away into the shadows as she usually did whenever she was in a jam like this. But where could she slip away to? Then Director Sinis suddenly looked surprised and looked around. "What? Where did she go?" He said, looking quite confused. Sopherie was equally confused, she was standing right in front of him. "Wait, I think you're still there. But for some reason, it's like you're not." Director Sinis said in a musing tone. Sopherie wasn't sure what was going on, but she took her chance and ran. While Director Sinis' eyes didn't follow her, the androids' eyes did, meaning they could still see her. Seeing the movement of the androids’ eyes, Director Sinis came to the same conclusion.
"They seem to be able to see her. That must mean... Seize her but do not kill her! Bring her to the Experimentation Room #3!" Director Sinis said. The androids quickly pursued Sopherie and much to Sopherie's dismay, they were much quicker than she was. Two androids quickly grabbed her arms and held them firmly. Sopherie struggled, but knew deep down that it was futile to try and get out of their grasp. Then she felt a sharp pain on the underside of her wrist and saw one of the androids remove their finger from her wrist, the tip of it having a needle protruding from it. Then she felt all the strength drain out of her body. To subdue her, they had injected a substance that stole her strength for a while. Then she felt the pain of another needle being injected and after she felt sleepy. Sopherie could not stop herself from closing her eyes. The last things she heard were footsteps and a voice saying, “Goodnight, Scarlet Shadow.”
When Sopherie awoke, her weapons and mask were gone, her clothes had been replaced by a pale grey gown and she was strapped down to an operating table. While she had seen this scenario happen to heroes in comic books, she never thought she’d be living it. There was also the mad scientist to go with it, that being Sinis. But she wondered why she was in this situation in the first place. If he wanted her to be silenced forever, killing her would be the best way to go. Not that she wasn’t grateful for still being alive. She just didn’t know why she was still alive. Then she remembered a certain moment before she was caught, for some reason Sinis could not see her for a moment there and it wasn’t like he had dropped his glasses or anything like that and she doubted that he had temporarily gone blind. It was as if she’d gone invisible, but the androids could still see her so that couldn’t of been the case. Sopherie had always believed that she had no powers to speak of, but now she wondered if she was wrong. Then she heard someone enter the room.
“Ah, you’re awake. Well, that makes things easier for me,” Sinis said as he crossed the room over to her. “Still, aren’t you full of surprises? I didn't think there were still wielders of the Enziaka’s Veil.”
“Enziaka’s Veil? What is that?” Sopherie asked him.
“I’m not surprised you don’t know of your own power. Your use of it before shows that you’ve been subconsciously using it. Enziaka's Veil is named after the first Neopet who ever wielded it, a maiden named Enziaka. What Enziaka's Veil does is that it creates a magic field around you and it tricks organic minds into ignoring that you are there, so to them, it is as if you have disappeared. You could go right up into somebody’s face and they still wouldn’t be able to acknowledge you. It didn't work with my androids because they do not have minds like you and I.” Sinis explained. Sopherie took a moment to digest this new information. So she had a power all along but she simply wasn’t aware of it, which she chalked down to her amnesia. Also, by the way Sinis was talking about it, it also was a rare power.
“So, is that why I am still alive? Because of my power?” Sopherie asked.
“Yes. It is an inherited power and I happen to be doing studies on inherited powers and magic,” Sinis replied. “My studies are on whether magic and powers can be used by anyone if they are given the right genes. I have been successful with elemental magic and powers. But inherited types of magic or powers, I have not managed to be able to isolate the gene for them yet. I did have a test subject with an inherited magic, but he escaped a long time ago. How fortuitous that you have inherited powers so I’ll be able to test new methods on you after I try the old ones. I hope you have a high threshold for pain.”
Sopherie gulped. Sinis was going to use her as his new test subject and it was going to be very painful by the sounds of things. Sopherie found herself almost wishing he had killed her instead.
“Y-you can’t keep me here! The Defenders will look for me, they’ll find this place!” Sopherie said, more to comfort herself than anything else. Her comfort was snatched away from her as Sinis began to laugh.
“Oh, the Defenders may indeed look for you, but they won't be finding you. Do you know what optical shields are?” Sinis said to her. The term did sound familiar to Sopherie and she searched her mind for where she knew the term from. Then she remembered, it was a report she had received on new Virtupets technology.
“Optical shields, shields that affect a Neopet’s eyes so whatever is behind the shields is hidden.” Sopherie replied, remembering what it said on the report.
“Well, aren’t you well-informed? I guess it’s part of your job. It just so happens that I’ve installed optical shields all around this old factory as I can’t have anyone find my personal laboratory in here. So they won’t be finding you because you’ll be hidden along with the laboratory.” Sinis said. Sopherie began to tremble. While she didn't want to show weakness in front of Sinis, she couldn’t help it as the gravity of her situation pressed down on her mind. She was trapped here and as far as she knew, there would be no help and no hope of escape. “It seems you realise that you’ll be staying here at least until I figure out how to extract your special gene, even if it takes the rest of our lives and that it is futile to try and escape.” Sinis said with a gruesome smile on his face. “But the experimentation will begin later tonight. Dawn is already breaking and I have a job to do. Ciao, Scarlet Shadow or should I refer to you of your real name of Sopherie Halaslom?”
Sinis walked out of the room chuckling and the lights turned off.
“Of course he knows my real name now, it’s encoded on my Defender license. What a mess…” Sopherie sighed to herself. “Well, no point in feeling sorry for myself. There must be someway to get free!”
Many hours later, Sopherie found that she was very disappointingly wrong. The straps that pinned her to table held strong. The androids came to deliver her food and every time she tried to move off the table, the androids would pin her down and move her back onto the table again and nothing would distract them all. Sopherie was rapidly losing hope that she would ever escape. Night fell again and Sinis returned, with a sadistic smile on his face.
“Greetings again, Sopherie. It’s time to run a few experiments. All I need you to do is to try and stay as still as possible. I want to say it won’t hurt, but it will. Immensely.”
To be continued…