Freya curled into a ball in her decimated cell, padding and fabric hung from the rips into the walls and floor. Her feet had clawed them in the first few hours of her conscious imprisonment. Trapped in a straitjacket and thrown into a thick metal cell, she had never felt more helpless. They had been giving her sedatives for days and trying their best to ‘help’ her, while unsubtly questioning her about her creator and her family. That had been before they had killed Jormung.
She could hear a large group approaching now. They were talking outside, plotting their approach, before the thin Professor opened the door. Freya curled even more into her ball and turned away from the door. The Professor entered and patted her shoulder softly. “You have some visitors if you feel you can talk with them. Beryl would like to speak with you. Is that alright?”
Freya picked up her head slightly. Beryl had recovered? She could have been happier about that in other circumstances, but after her imprisonment she mostly felt suspicious and bitter. The Professor moved out of the cell and the girl, Lisa, pushed Beryl over in a wheelchair.
There was a long and uncomfortable silence as they just stared at one another before Beryl spoke, “I just heard about Jormung. I’m sorry.”
“They killed him!” She responded with all the vehemence her heart could muster.
“Yes…but you know that the professor here didn’t do it. That he tried to stop it.”
The Professor agreed, attempting to point out that without his intervention all of them would have died, but Freya did not want to hear him. She hid her face back into the ball and flexed her claws inside and out of the straight jacket. She wanted to hit someone, to bite them until they felt as miserable as she did now.
As a shadow got between her and the light outside she noticed Lisa had helped Beryl get out of the chair. He moved inside alone and rested on the torn padding looking up at Freya intently. He whispered very quietly to her, so that even her ears could barely hear inches away, “I am still on your side, Freya.”
Freya stared at Beryl suspiciously and whispered just as quietly, “Are you?” She had heard these hollow words before from the doctors and guards.
“If you told me you had to escape, I would fight to get you out of here.” Beryl said with a quiet, but fierce integrity that surprised Freya. “I would fight Bookworm, Mr. Wright, anyone to help you escape. I would lose, but I would do it if you asked. It is what I am.”
Freya couldn’t help but feel hope rising within her, the weeks they had spent in hiding together had seemed a distant memory after her captivity here. For the first time she felt like there was a way to escape, though clearly Beryl was in no condition to help her now.
“But before you decide when you want to go, you should consider that going back would mean returning to the ones you fled in fear.” Beryl said, reminding Freya of even more memories that she had been avoiding. “The Professor could never have guessed what would kill Jormung or the rest of you.”
Freya knew that was true, but if the Professors had not created the poison the truth was worse. A traitor in their home had tried to kill them, and without more of their personal formulas they would die.
“He still wants to help you, just like they helped Kuga with a new formula. Kuga will live and they can save you too.” Freya had heard of the new formula they were giving to her brother, and was divided between feelings of hope and suspicion. Beryl waited for a few moments before continuing, “They want to use your remaining formula to create a substitute but they want your permission first. If you can’t, then who else could know your formula? What can anyone do to save you and your other brother?”
Freya paused for a moment and tried to consider the situation like an adult, like her brother would have wanted her to do, but the choice was made for her. She had to do something to save Percival, “Only the master…the master and…Lilith.”
Beryl nodded, slowly, whispering to her again, directly into her ear, “You only need to tell me when you want to go.” With that final promise Beryl leaned back and raised their voice, “So if we get Lilith we can save you and Percival.”
Freya nodded softly to Beryl, and then added, “Yes…and they can use my formula, whatever is left of it.”
The Professor and others began to move about making arrangements already. Before Beryl left they had one final question, “Do you know who would have done this? It doesn’t sound like Prometheus or any of your brothers…not in the stories you told me.”
“No. They couldn’t. Only the master could have.” Freya said as she slowly sunk back into herself again, biting at her jackets restraints in frustration.
Beryl nodded, and then called out to request a cot for themselves in the cell as they moved back to the doorway gently. Freya watched them go quietly, daring to hope that they would one day come through on their promise.
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