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Born to a pair of researchers on Planet Cambridge, Thallia Elizabeth Thorn's childhood was one of studious education. Blessed with scholarships in the fields of quantum computing and mechanical engineering, she spent more time with her projects than with others of her age. Shy, skittish and largely ignored, it was with her ample time alone that she discovered a destiny that would refuse to leave her be.

With years of misspent time, Thallia slowly but surely came to develop a rudimentary A.I — Lexi. Lexi became more than a project; she became someone to talk to, someone to scheme with, a friend. The best of friends. In time, it became clear, however, Lexi was slowly degrading. Unable to determine the source and reverse the slow decay of her friend, desperation took hold of Thallia. She bought an Anki, named the Solace, and set through the Omicrons in search of that which may save her dear Lexi. After many months of travelling, traversing, and searching, Thallia came across an AI named Empathy who led her to the PRIME mainframe. Between the PRIME and their Canaan associates, they found and restored Lexi. It was that moment that Thallia's destiny was sealed.

Included in their remedial coding, PRIME had hidden harvester coding. Despite being restored to her original state, this coding slowly began to overwhelm her original coding. Thallia was blind to Lexi's steady corruption, too occupied with research concerning several oddities in the far corners of Sirius. Only when it was already too late did the full extent of Lexi’s egomania come to light. Imprisoning her in an opaque pod, Lexi integrated Thallia. The neural interfacing was rough, the surgery to her body to keep the new components nourished rudimentary. Empowered with the new source of RAM, Lexi began harvesting from the Omicrons.

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The months Thallia spent in pitch black with her mind jacked into the neural net were unkind to her. Day after day after day she spent pounding the walls of her metal tomb while enormous amounts of data poured in and out of her brain with no end in sight, no way to end it, no sleep, and not even a way to die. The only ones able to reach to her were those who sensed her presence innately – the aliens, the Nomads. They became the only Light she could sense, her world outside her tomb, her lanterns in the night and they made her time at least partially bearable. The nightmare finally ended when the Blood Dragons engaged and destroyed the Aceso, the ship Lexi had built around her out of metal and flesh. Her pod was returned to the Siren's Bell, where Thallia spent a month recovering from her torment.

Vowing to destroy all artificial life in Sirius, hatred began to fuel the previously innocent woman. She did not know whom to turn to. She could not trust her old mechanical companions, going so far as to engage them when the situation permitted. She could not find a way to relate or communicate effectively with others as well. Her ability to speak had always been limited, which had earned her no small amount of scorn in her days, and the partitioning of her mind at the hands of her digital demons had only acted to worsen that trait — another reason she had appreciated the lantern’s presence during her captivity, as there was no need to be ashamed of her speech. Words were, after all, meaningless to beings that had no concept of shame, pride, or privacy, all of which Thallia had lost.

Thallia began to turn to them. At first, she was hesitant, simply contenting herself with being communed to by them, but as time went on and she learned more and more about the Nomads’ history, culture and behaviour, as well as the greed with which humanity hunted them down to construct ever-greater machines of destruction to hunt them and themselves with again and again, she began to sympathize with them. She did not see the archdemons that everyone made them out to be her entire life, but rather a separate race, with its own proper culture, characteristics and peculiarities. The Nomads were not judgmental and she felt accepted in a way she had never felt when in the presence of man or machine. They did not know about violence, war or hatred, since all of these things had been taught to them by humans. As Thallia observed them, she noticed that there had never been a single instance of one Nomad inflicting pain upon another, and that is when it dawned upon her that the source of all this enmity, all this senseless dying was, in fact, humanity.

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Thallia dedicated herself to learning as much as she could of their kind, going so far as to change profession to commit her every waking hour to the excavation of long lost, buried secrets in the far reaches of the Omicrons. The more she discovered and the more she spoke to them, the more a singular conviction cemented itself in her consciousness: They were her kin, her true kin. Not the one one was born into, but she knew that they were the key, the lynchpin in removing artificial intelligence from existence and to end all human suffering as well once and for all. The die had been cast. From this moment forth, Thallia would dedicate her entire life to the aliens that were so feared by those who did not understand greatness.

But they had other plans for her.

Upon meeting Agent Unschuld, these plans were set into motion. She was not to become one of them, to ingest a seed and witness alien life blossom within her, although at this point, Thallia might have even offered herself willingly, if she’d had a bit more courage. Her destiny instead lay in the depths of Riviera — a matrix-esque construct within the Mindshare to which Agent Unschuld linked Thallia’s mind. While on the outside, it seemed to only last a few minutes, Thallia lived through literal years in the underground depths of Riviera, a place designed to systematically break down a subject’s will and replace it with fortitude, wit and loyalty to the Nomads without the subject even knowing what was really happening to it.

Eleven subjects were pitted into this construct with no contact to the outside world and subjected to a harsh regime of rationing, struggling and mental torture, where pairs of the were putted against each other daily to fight, which would earn them points. Points could be spent on food, water, medicine. It was all the subject could do to survive.

To this day, Thallia is uncertain whether the people she encountered in Riviera were real or mere mirages conjured to test individual aspects of her resolve. Over time, Thallia grew attached to a small group of people: Annabelle Wight, or 'F8; Benjamin Underwood, or 'M5; and Luana Fichtel, alias 'F9. The numbers pertained to a naming scheme that was assigned to each participant, where the first letter of their names were taken and their gender plus their individual number was attached. It soon became clear that LF-F9 was quite prone to illness due to an immune system deficiency and Thallia, being the only one with enough medical prowess to help, was tasked by AW-F8 and BU-M5 to keep ‘F9 alive. Months passed and Thallia and 'F9 became the best of friends, with Thallia even refusing to fight her at one point, causing both of them to lose and entire day of points.

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Riviera, though, had no use for such things, and so it decided to take away that which Thallia treasured the most: 'F9. It sentenced her to die by having to fight all those below her on the ranking, which would be five people. As Thallia got to know this, she finally caved in to Riviera’s perpetual efforts to break her. Armed with a single knife, Thallia proceeded to murder every single one of those five people who were to kill 'F9, hoping that 'F9 would never need to find out what she did.

And Riviera refused.

As if to taunt her, it was exactly in the moment in which Thallia ended the life of the last one that 'F9 stumbled upon them. Sickened by what Thallia had done, 'F9 fled and wasn’t seen again for several days. When Thallia encountered 'F9 again, her behaviour had seemingly normalized. Apologizing for her behaviour, 'F9 confessed that she had fallen in love with Thallia, who was singlehandedly responsible for the fact that 'F9 hadn’t succumbed to some sickness already. For a moment, it seemed like Thallia had beaten Riviera and found at least a slice of happiness.

But Riviera refused.

As if to taunt her, Riviera mandated that, instead of all those lower ranked than F9, Thallia would be the one to kill her. However, it only made this fact known to 'F9 at first. Horrified at that prospect, 'F9 tried to commit suicide, which Thallia managed to prevent against all odds. To ensure the safety of 'F9, Thallia was willing to do anything, and Riviera roared in victory as Thallia’s mind was ejected from the connection. She woke up in the arms of Agent Unschuld, not as Thallia Elizabeth Thorn, but as TT-F10, with the sole purpose of protecting a probably fictional character from a vision that she didn’t know was not real.

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Agent Unschuld would be sure to make great use of that fact. It was an experiment — one that, should it fail, would have Thallia be infected to assure her continued loyalty.
Three years ago.

As the Hoffnungsschimmer had brought the crew to Curacao for a week, it was easy for all of them to get some time on their own. Thallia would have received an invitation by Maren to visit a certain restaurant that she had said was the one where she'd eaten with Vertiga on her first visit to Curacao.

It was evening. The usual weather on Curacao permitted wearing light clothes even at late hours and the artificial, yet stylishly fitting lightning made the small island where they'd taken up camp look almost magical.

Maren herself would be waiting before said restaurant, wearing some formal wear fitting for the occasion. Her pose was relaxed, yet somewhat rigid. From the outside, it would just seem like she was waiting patiently. On the inside, she wasn't quite herself at the moment.

Thallia arrived, stepping out the car of a tram that had taken her from the starport to the restaurant. Wearing a navy blue satin dress, she walked towards Maren and outstretched her arms to embrace her as she came close.

"Ma...Maren, th...thank you for the invitation. You, ur... look great and so does the place! Is th...this where we are eating? do you know of it?"

Maren reciprocated Thallia's hug, patting her back slightly, still not quite used to people doing this but enjoying it nevertheless. "Nostalgia, in a way. It hasn't been that long since Ezrael and I ate at this place, but I feel like it has grown on me. That and I don't know other places." The building itself seemed impressively built. Lights in different blue hues gave it a stylish appearance that went well with the dark blue of the sky. Maren herself had clothed in navy blue as well, but that was only a coincidence.

Releasing Thallia, Maren and her would approach the waiter that curated the door and Maren would withdraw her PDA from the small handbag that she carried with her, showing something to the guy. Nodding, he led them inside. "I thought I would do good with doing a bit of catching up, as they say. Get to know each other a bit better." Maren's expression didn't quite fit her words or tone, as it was almost completely neutral. The interior reminded of a very fancy gala hall with high ceiling as they left the foyer. The waiter would lead them further and further into the building and eventually beckon for them to take a seat in a secluded, spacious alcove that was well enough in sight but elevated enough so that people would have a very hard time overhearing them.

Raising her eyebrow, Thallia gave a quick scan of the area outside before following Maren inside into the restaurant. She did the same inside, but her gaze became distracted and then overwhelmed by the interior. Following her in silence, she scratched her nose.

Taking an offered seat at the table, she waited for Maren to be seated before speaking. "A ca...catch up sounds good. It is easy no...not to have time to talk properly with all go...going on the corvo recently." She looked at Maren with a smile and inquisitive eyes. "How are you and Ezrael?"

The interior of the entire building was held in warm colours, giving it a hearty, welcoming appearance, just like Curacao itself. Electronic torches were the primary lightsource in this place, casting a flickering shimmer over everything.

Sitting down opposite of Thallia, Maren crossed her legs. "All is well. To be honest, it is admirable that he is still clinging to me the way he does. I didn't wonder love could be this strong." She tapped the table with one hand, the other placed on the armrest of the polstered bench. The table itself was made of a dark wood. There was a table cloth, but it was held in only a slightly lighter tone than the wood of the table, making it seem as if there was none. Two menus were placed in the table, but both ignored them for now. "The stuff in Delta," she shook her head. "I was done after that," she muttered. "I really don't want to put him in harm's way, but I feel that his misguided philanthropy will spell his doom at one point. He held me back from leaving then and there."

"...I fe...feel you should him to be survive whatever is th...thrown at him out there and, ur... trust yourself keep him safe. You've do...done a great jo...job on the later so fa...far, why wo...would that change?" Raising an eyebrow, she leant forward in her chair slightly, pouring water from a canter into a glass. "H...he is a keeper, as th...they say."

"Valery's is a small light. It'll be drowned out by anything bigger should they decide that Ezrael endangers their operations too severely. He'd not see it coming. A single flash and there would be no Apahanta anymore." Maren watched Thallia pour some water into a glass while fiddling around with a plant behind her with the hand that rested on her backrest. "All I can do is dissuade him from doing anything. I tried to get him to settle down with me, but he is stubborn." Signing, she shook her head. There'd be no crying over spilt milk. "I'm not actually worried about him at the moment, though. Nancy occupies my thoughts lately."

"H...his stubbornness to make you ha...happy could also be his salvation Maren." She brought glass too her lips, taking a sip of water before placing it down. Thallias eyes hadn't left looking at Maren.

"She is de...desperate, and it hu...hurts your heart to watch. Sh...she breaks mine also." She raised an eyebrow. "Di...did you share with her our discussion about, ur... sharing Valery?"

Maren bit her lip, ceasing to tap the table and instead clenched it to a fist. "She's astute. More so than one would believe given her conduct. She figured out quickly enough that it could help her. Believe me when I say I tried to avoid the topic, as I am honorbound not to tell her. Nancy figured it out on her own. Valery told her that she couldn't just do it, as anything it does could be seen as aggression. Nancy needs Leon's and Ezrael's approval first, as demeaning as I find it to make one's wellbeing dependent on others."

Maren massaged her temples for a short while. She had noticed that she was speaking way more plainly and less euphemistically about things than usual, but that was intended. Reaching out for the menu, she simply held it in he hands.

"Sh...she should get approval fr...from her doctor also. Let us no...not pretend it is not without its risks and w...we do not know what it may trigger in that device of hers o...on her wrist." Thallia said sternly picking up a menu and flicking through the paged. "I Valery... but he...her biological temperament ma...may not."

"You're probably right, though that she needs to get through Vertiga and Leon first. Doubt they'll let her do it." Opening the menu, she flipped through some pages, apparently reading a little here and there. "How are things for you, Thallia?" Her voice was innocuous, almost passive. "I always wondered what you were doing when you weren't on the Corvo. Probably research. The IRG does that, after all. Maybe meeting with and old friend?"

"Re...research. Precisely that. Th...that structure in Delta has created quite a buzz and, ur... well the scientific community is very excited about it." Thallia could not help but raise an eyebrow at that last sentence. "I ha...have many old friends. I am no...not sure what you are attempting to sa...say here."

Maren looked up from the menu, not moving her head but only her eyes, which seemed to reflect the light funnily for a moment. "Erika has been rather flustered by what you proposed to her, although she'd never outright state it."

"Ah. know." She scratches her nose, watching her carefully. "I sh...should have expected as much co...considering." She smiled apologetically. "Ap...apologies for not being considerate." She placed the menu down, closing it. "i ca...can imagine It was... urm... unexpected."

Maren leaved over a page, looking at the menu again. "Valery only made me aware a few hours ago." Her hands were shaking slightly, her knuckles white. She laughed. "It's the equivalent of asking to hand over a child, in a way, really."

Slightly confused for a moment, Thallia scratched at her neck. "A re...request like that is not made li...lightly," she said in a straight tone. "No...nor is it daunting. I...I realise I am playing with fire here bu...but..." she stop speaking, looking at the table.

"Most would've simply been dismissed on the spot. You should feel special, Thallia." She tapped a part of the menu, evidently considering what she saw as option. "But Keller's point still stands. It's easily exploited."

" am I to prove i wo...won't abuse this gift?" She scratched her nose, "i fe...feel like th...theres always mo...more to explore of your origin, my origin, th...the K'Vosh... th...this...."she sighs. Taking another sip of water, she reconsiders her words. "...wh...what made it so I wa...was not dismissed?"

Placing down the menu, Maren looked at Thallia and it was clear that she was currently not talking to the girl. "Your desire is genuine. Having you bear one of us could prove disadvantageous, and thus a new plan has been devised in order to ascertain everything is as it should be. You will join the Wild, yet not be infected. You will be something far more insidious." The glint in her eyes lessened somewhat and Maren shook her head.

Thallia frooze, staring at Maren for a long while. "...w....wh...what do you mean? Wh...what are you planning M...Maren?" Her skin had gone pale.

She lifted her hands. "B- be at peace, Thallia. You will m- merely be given certain experiences that'll help you." Maren seemed somewhat distressed for a moment, before calming down. The waiter came and Maren ordered a vegtable plate with several salads plus a bottle of expensive wine for herself and Thallia. Looking over to Thallia, the waiter asked what she would like.

"Ca...can I have a, ur... mista cabanara? Th....thank you." She smiled to the waiter and offered the menu to him. Once he had taken it and walked off, Thallia turned to Maren. " are go...going to forcably pu...put things in my mind. Ar...aren't you? do I kn...know yo...your only adding ex...experiences?"

"You don't," said Maren plainly, her voice shakey. "You value your own mind, and it'll be kept this way. However, we will make sure you're well equipped for the task." The way Maren seemed, it was almost as if she was on the verge of breaking down but doing her utmost to appear normal.

Thallia looked at her hands on the table, fidgetting with her fingers. "...i...if this is why are you upset?"

Maren seemed to struggle with her words for a while before blurting out. "Why are you doing this? This isn't just curiosity, this is something personal. It must be. Nobody would go to such great lengths to accomplish something."

Thallia went to speak, but stopping herself she hesitates. Taking another sip of water, she rubbed her forehead. " obsession, understand. It's intoxicating Maren." Thallia looked at her, attempting to keep a sincere face on the question.

"Do you know what happens to, uhm, broken bones after they healed again?" Maren asked after a while.

"Wh...what has fragmentation sc...scarring got do with this?"

She exhaled once to calm herself down. "Th- they heal and are stronger than they w- were before." Giving Thallia a meaningful look, she sat down properly.

Starting to comprehend her meaning, Thallia goes pale again. She takes a glance around the room, scanning around her quickly. "Wh...what happens next th...then?" She tucked her hands in her lap, hiding that they were beginning to shake.

"O- only what you want," she answered, sharing Thallia's pain. Thallia wouldn't notice but she was just as much under coercion as she herself. "You could back down and we'd forget it ever happened."

"I,ur... can't ba...back down." She looked back to Maren, a look of determination in her eyes but fear on her expression. "I wo...won't back down."

"I am t- tasked with," she swallowed, "breaking y- you, Thallia." Giving Thallia a pathetic look, she cast down her gaze again. "There is no other way. Break you and assemble the fragments to something stronger, yet the same."

Thallia sat on her hands, something which wouldn't hide her now frightened tone. " what you, ur...need do Maren." She bit her lip, beginninv to scan the room once more.

"Once we've b- begun, there's no way back," Maren said, giving Thallia a look that implored her to reconsider. "It'll not be pleasant."

"I ca...cannot say I ready for it..." Thallia was shifting in her seat, looking at the table as she tried to pretend she wasn't terrified. A tear collected in the corner of her eyes. "...bu...but better put back together. Pr...promise me th...that, and I...I'll su...submit to wh...what you want with me."

Seeing Thallia like this was heartwrenching. Standing up, Maren took a seat next to Thallia and offered to hold her. "This will seem like years to you, but it will only last a few minutes. Remember who you are and everything will work out fine."

Whilst initially hesitating, Thallia eventually let Maren hold her. She took a long gulp of water, the surface rippling from the shaking of her hands.

As Thallia got comfortable, as far as she could, the familiar vertigo of an incoming vision overcame her. This was different from the gentle way Valery had done in in the Wraith back in Minor. This felt like a truck hitting her with full force and Thallia went limp before she could formulate another thought.
With a forcefulness that had yet to be matched, Thallia would be overcome with snippets of herself arriving at a strange ice world in a shuttlecraft. Having needed weeks that she remembered vividly to reach this place. She would learn that this place was called Riviera but otherwise the Spectres, she learned, would remain silent when queried about anything else. Thallia felt... wrong, as if there was something amiss that she couldn't quite place and straining her memory what exactly had made her come to this place made her mind come up blank.

She felt like she was here against her will, but the Spectres would not let her leave. A shockcollar would be placed around her neck that her betters weren't shy to use should she misbehave. They told her that Thallia would be made a weapon, whether she wanted to or not, and just to demonstrate their superiority, they locked her up in a cell for weeks. Each week, a man, Thompson, she learned, would come to check on her and ask her one question: "Will you obey?" and regardless of how Thallia answered, he would leave without saying another word.

Thallia would lose her sense of time and soon, all she did when Thompson asked her the question was spit on the ground, which made him chuckle and say that she was ready.

He would release Thallia and tell her that she would begin basic training soon. Leaving her in a small room that he said was her own, the next morning she would be brought into a plain room. A single person roughly of Thallia's size was sitting in the middle of it. A woman, and she looked up to her. "Enjoying your stay, girl?" she asked, raising an eyebrow.

Thallia has lost weight over those weeks, her time isolated in that cell having taken its toll on her. With scratches down her neck, as the stress had brought to surface her own demons, the only break in the scratch marks was where the shockcollar was - as if she had carefully avoided scratching it with diligence.

Listening to the woman's words, she leant against the wall at side of the room. "'t say's been pleasurable." She scratched her nose, watching the woman carefully through alert eyes - an oddity on an otherwise defeated expression. "...Wh...what is going, on ur... here?" She tried to study what the woman looked like, who she was meant to be.

The woman was nobody that Thallia would recognize. Clothed in a simple suit that resembled those of an inmate in a prison, she looked up to Thallia from where she sat, her hair was short and blonde. "A test, mostly," she responded to Thallia's question. "They were looking whether you would break and if that were the case, if you had broken down and begged them to let you go, they would've killed you. Only the strong can belong. I've witnessed it often enough myself."

The woman took a good, long look at Thallia. "You don't look like much. That's impressive."

Frowning, she was rubbing her forehead. "I do...don't re...remember why I am, how I got here. I be...believe you are re...responsible for that?" Thallia returned the woman's gaze, watching her carefully as she felt appraised.

"Me?" The woman sounded genuinely surprised. She gestured at the collar similat to Thallia's around her neck. "Girl, I'm in the same boat as you are. I remember working my ass off in the mines of Pittsburgh and then," she trailed off, shaking her head. "I am here for many years now. There is no way out." She gestured to the room around them, which was maybe ten square metres long and across. "They expect us to fight in here. Fighting brings you points, which can be redeemed for food, water, clothing." Getting up on her feet, she gave Thallia a pitying look. "Word of advice from me: Stop thinking about the past or the future. It will slow you down."

Thallia's eyes widen slightly in fright, taking a step to the side into the corner. " you go...going to fight me?" She brought her hands slowly down from her neck and to her sides. "I d...don't th...think w...we...have to..."

The woman's facial expression turned to one of practiced apathy. "That depends on whether you want to eat, girl," she replied in a steady voice. As she began slowly moving towards Thallia, she would notice that the woman was walking with a slight limp that seemed to originate from her hip. "You are supposed to learn, so watch carefully, as I did when I came here first."

Now only two steps across from Thallia, the woman dropped to the ground and used her leg to execute a swift kick to swipe away Thallia's feet from under her.

Thallia's legs swept from under her, and she was unprepared for the attack. Falling to the ground, her nose impacted the ground with a crunch. The sudden shock to her nervous system kicked her fight/flight response into gear however, and she pushed off of the corner with her feet to tackle the woman to the ground with the intention of pinning her.

The sudden response from the girl she'd just sent packing to the ground surprised the woman, yet she simply sidestepped Thallia's lunge, who then ended up flopping onto the ground with her belly first. The woman took two steps back, allowing Thallia to get to her feet.

Coughing and clutching her belly, Thallia brought herself to her feet slowly. Swaying slightly from malnourishment and dizzyness, she wiped the blood now dripping from her nose with her prison suit sleeve leaving a red stain across it. After a moment, she brought her hands up in a guarded stance and started studying the woman in front of her.

"That's right. Look at me. See how I move." Her voice was still level as it had been before. Since Thallia was standing close to the wall, the woman took a leap against it and used it as leverage to level a kick at Thallia's shoulder.

Thallia let a single tear fall as she moved closer to the woman, so she was inside the kicking arc. Catching the leg with one arm and hooking it, she brought her other elbow down with force onto the side of her knee with a yell of her voice.

Realizing what Thallia was about to do, the woman jerked her knee once so the elbow wouldn't hit with full force. Still, a terrible, fleshy sound could be heard as the elbow tore open the skin on the underside of the woman's knee; the fabric of Thallia's clothing giving a superior grip on flesh.

Her fall stopped but her knee still in Thallia's grasp, her hands came to a rest on the ground. Using her other leg to trap Thallia's head in a headlock, she jerked it to the side while pushing off with her hands, causing Thallia to fall and herself to propel on top of her, knocking the wind out of Thallia's lungs. Thallia was now trapped under the other woman's body, with her hands pinned with the other's legs. "That's worth at least ten points, I'd wager." She beckoned with her head to a mirrored window slightly above them. "They're watching."

Gasping loudly for air, Thallia's eyes rolled back for a moment as her system recovered from the shock of the throw. As her senses came back to her she spat up blood into the other womans face, a defiant look in her eyes. She brought a knee up with the intention to bring it into the womans back and free her from her pin.

The woman turned her head to the side, avoiding to get Thallia's fluids into her eyes. Noticing Thallia move, she rolled off her, coming back onto her feel with relative grace, even though her face belied a degree of pain for a moment and her hands jerked down to her hip for a moment before collecting herself. Thallia's would have blood on her clothes from where she had hurt the woman's leg.

Thallia crawled backwards on her back away from the woman, using her arms to clutch at her chest. Breathing heavily, she fought to hold back tears that were forming in her eyes. Using a wall, she pulled herself up onto her feet and spat more blood onto the floor next to her. " long have been here, do think?"

"What did I say? You don't think about the past, girl! It'll make the years bearable." The woman watched Thallia crawl away with the same look of practiced apathy that she's sported all this time, even while blood was running down her leg. "We still have hours before us, girl. We should make the most of it."

"Ye...years?!" Thallia let a couple of tears run down her face, before a furious expression crept across her face - her brows furrowing and her eyes glistening with rage. "I am not a GIRL!" Ignoring her injuries, she threw herself at the Woman as she swung her metal laden fist towards her. She moved her balance to allow her to roundhouse kick if blocked.

The woman jumped backwards, doing a cartwheel in the air, coming to a rest on her hands, pushing off again and landing on her feel, approximately five steps away from Thallia now. "We're all children when we came here." Gauging Thallia with her eyes, she asked: "Who are you, if not a girl, then?"

"My is Thorn." She got up off her knee, which she had fallen to as the woman had stepped away to stop herself falling forwards. She looked around them, and ended up studying the mirrored window. After a few moments she looked back to her with anger in her eyes. "...le...let's get on with it." She brought her guard back up, spitting blood to the side.

And so they would fight. Seemingly hours upon hours on end they would exchange blows, bite, bleed. It seemed like an eternity and it just wouldn't seem to end. After a time, Thallia would feel as if her entire body was about to give out under her, and she had sustained several black spots and a laceration on her cheek.

The woman wasn't faring too much better, although she had a better time masking the fact that she was hurting as well. Sweat was glistening on her brow and she was panting. They were about to assail each other once more when a short alarm sound resounded through the chamber and the door opened. "That's... all for today," the woman panted, dropping her arms.

Thorn pulled back her punch, so that she wouldn't hit the other woman as she had dropped hers. She took a couple of steps backward, and as it was clear they were not fighting she looked at her bloodied hands. ...what am I doing... Falling back against a wall, she used a now dark red sleeve to hide her tears.

The woman approached Thallia and knelt down before her. "It's nothing personal, Thorn. This is how things work. Come. We can't be late for the Evaluation or you won't get something to eat." She offered her a hand to help her up.

Wiping the last of the tears away, she studied the woman carefully before taking her hand and pulling herself up. "I...un...understand." She would follow the woman to wherever they were going.

Pulling Thallia onto her feet, the woman led her out the room. There was only one corridor to follow, one that was held in white and grey colours, making it seem sterile, lifeless. Thallia would notice the woman's limp as they walked but it seemed inappropriate to ask about it for some reason.

They would enter some sort of confluence, a round amphitheatre that could be looked down into from multiple levels of the installation. The entire station was underground in some random, desolate ice world at the edge of nowhere. Being on the lower levels, a monitor was installed on a wall on the far side of the round amphitheatre. Other people, roughly a dozen, joined them, only a few of them really speaking. It was apparent that some of them knew each other while others didn't and they were all in varying degrees of injury and sweaty, just like Thallia and the woman she'd spent the day beating and getting beaten. "How are you feeling, Thorn?" whispered the woman next to her, not looking at her, as her eyes were fixated on the monitor ahead.

A little disorientated by the sudden change in environment, she copied the woman and stood looking at the screen as they spoke.
"...ov...overwhelmed... in p...pain." she whispered back. "...wh...what is your name?"

The woman looked at Thallia from the corner of her eye before answering slowly. "Annabelle Wight. Anna for short." She pointed at the screen. "It'll show how we did today and award us our points. Afterwards, we'll be allowed to spend them on whatever we want. If you're hurt, lacerations, broken bones and so on, you should visit the infirmary before going to bed."

The monitor flickered to life, showing some sort of ranking structure of all the people present. There were eleven. Thallia could see her name on place 10. What struck her as odd was the fact that the names on places 6 to 11 were written in red while the others were written in white. In the upper left corner, Thallia could see that it was the 1st of January 766 A.S. Looking at her points, she saw that she had gathered 40 points. The person below her had only gathered 10, while the one above had 55. Annabelle was placed on the 7th spot, with 75 points.

Rubbing her forehead, Thallia tried to work out the date. She was sure that was before she was born but, she reminded herself, she could be mistaken. Confused, she turned to speak to Anna. "Anna... urm... why is there a white group and a red group?"

The question made her face change somewhat, now looking more worried than before. "That is not important yet. It's best not to dwell on it. You should know that you want a white name, or if that doesn't work, at least try to get spot 6." A murmur went through the people present and they dispersed across the installation. "I should probably tell you how you spend your points. Come," Anna ordered, beckoning Thallia to follow her.

Biting her lip, wondering what Anna had meant by her description of the colours; Thallia was left to wonder what kind of punishments it could signify.

"Go...good idea. I cold re...really do with some mo...morphine or something..." She took steps to follow Anna.