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A/N - I want to thank you for giving my book a chance. I will be editing this novel over the summer, but for now, I would like to dedicate each chapter of this and the sequel to a different reader and supporter of this two-book series! Thank you all!
This chapter is dedicated to niyah027
SE-491 looked out the "window" to her cell, one hand grasping the cold metal bars. She briefly looked up as the door creaked open, and a guard walked in, his boots scraping against the concrete floor. "Get up." He barked, forcing her to stagger to her feet. As he unlatched the lock, the girl folded her jet-black wings, ducking her head through the doorway. She reluctantly held her hands out as he attached the short chain to both of the magic-resistant cuffs. "New burns? Figures."
The girl stayed silent, quickly moving her eyes down at the burns around her wrists, peeking out from under the cuffs. "If only I could get these retched things off." She thought. Of course, she had thought that for quite a while, but it still gave her a small sliver of hope.
The guard guided her through the familiar series of hallways, to the circular room she despised. SE-491 pulled against her chains, but he gave a quick slap to her cheek and she stopped. The commander, the one she always knew to be in charge, stalked in with a long, leather whip. A spiked whip. And a lighter in the other hand.
The girl pulled harshly against the chains that brought her closer to the man, but the guard was much stronger than her. "Come here, NOW! Or would you rather me add an extra ten lashes for disobedience?"
That shut her up. The guard promptly attached her chains to a hook on the ceiling, so the girl's arms were above her head, and she stood tiptoed on the rough floor that constantly scratched her bare, calloused feet. SE-491 sucked up all her bravery, and made a silent vow that she would not cry, not this time. Not. A. Tear.
The commander walked in front of her with loud, even steps. "So, I think thirty will suffice, hmm?" She nodded her head, ever so slightly. If she didn't agree, he would add more. He started the lighter, and held it below the leather. The girl's eyes went ablaze.
Numb. She felt numb. The pain had subsided, or rather, it was too painful to feel. Her fingers trailed slowly up her back, wincing as she touched each lash. A new tank top, shorts, and a strip of bandage lay at the edge of her cell, but she let them be. SE-491 wrapped a hand around on of the bars of her window, and pulled. It moved, not so much that someone who came by would notice, but it moved. They switched her cell every month or so, so she wouldn't get used to her surroundings. Now, it was her way out. The girl rested her hands on her lap. She glanced over at the security camera, which beeped in response.
The camera turned off during the day, starting an hour before a guard came to get her. She had an hour. SE-491 sat up and reached for the gauze, pulling off her barely recognizable tank top. She unraveled it, careful not to let it fall into the small pool of blood on the floor. The girl wrapped the bandage around her torso, tucking the end in to secure it. She put on the tank top, then the new shorts, leaving her tattered clothes at the door. Leaning back, and looking out the window, she smiled.
She had lived almost her entire life in that cell, and was ready to be free once again. Little did she know, a lot lay beyond that barbed-wire fence...

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