i.i: Cold Water
She felt her body being pushed and pulled.
The ravens call ringing in her ears.
Something had called to her. To let the woman know she wasnt to be afraid of what was meant to be. They have waited for their chance to snatch her from the grip of her frail life. One of pain and inner resentment of memories that would never fade. The inner scars of her past lay open inside of her, revealing her most darkest kept memories.
A young girl lost in the world.
A woman going through life without purpose.
Such was the fragile life of men.
She could feel how light her body was. She could feel the water.
Just beyond the rift of consciousness, something kay dormant.
Drowning is considered one of the most top fears of humanity. The fear of the unknown that lingers below the surface. When you are in open waters, that fear grows and manifests into something foreboding. The fear of the waves pulling you down as you struggle against the current. Your body is weak and your lungs filling with water. The more it pulls you down, the harder it is to see the light.
They say drowning is not a peaceful death.
They placed Dakota in a tube-like machine that was filled with cool water. Her heart was steadily beating and her blood pressure was low. She had lost some blood, but not enough to actually kill the woman. They were in good fortune that she survived at all. Her body was fighting to keep alive as it was submerged in the water. Her skin reacting to the coolness, causing it to jolt from exposure. Her heartrate had spike just slightly, but calmed himself when it felt the gentle current moving over her body.
In order for the subject to survive, they had to put her in a medical induced coma. There were many factors and risks if they were to keep her awake. She could fight them and injure herself further. The test subject had to be in a calm and submissive state in order for them to work on her. She had to be submerged into the water to relax her already tense muscles. The blood need to clot. The wound needed to heal. What use could they get out of a subject who only had little maneuver of her body and nerves?
"She's stable." A woman's voice said. Her eyes looking from the monitor to the paperwork attached to the clipboard in her hand. Her brows knotted together in frustrating. "She is lucky to have lived. Missing the brachial plexus, she will still have full function of her arm. It will take months or even years to recover from damage to her muscles. Be lucky you missed her bone. There is no saying how damaged her motor skills with her arm are."
This was not the good news that they wanted to hear. Dakota was not to be harmed to the point she would be rendered useless for god knows how long. They needed her to be in good condition. There should not be anything wrong with her on this kind of level. She was even lucky to not need a blood transfusion or else her blood would be contaminated by another's.
"You better pray she pulls through or else I will have you two punished for insubordination. You two almost failed this mission. She will be useless if she dies. Fuck! She is useless with one fucking working arm." Markus and his partner felt the back lash of their bosses' tongue. Every word aimed at them. They were sloppy in the retrieval of the subject; a valuable asset to their mission. Dakota was not to be harmed. Markus could admit to fucking up and take the blame for the fault in their actions.
This was not how it was supposed to be.
Dakota looked so pale. Her body was still in the water. Her dark hair swaying in the current with a tube going down her throat to help her breath. She looked close to death at this state. It was almost pathetic to Markus. She was not the same woman he had seen once before.
Nothing went according to plan. Markus was going to have to be punished for his misdeeds. The highest order was going to fix a punishment fit for someone of Markus's status within the Templar code. How his ancestors would be humiliated at his actions.
"But she is here, is she not? Alive?" His partner boasts with a shit-eating grin upon his face. There was something threatening about the man that Markus could not stand. His eyes held back their true intent on retaliation. A stare of a killer that held no control over his actions. Markus had to put him in place before things got too dangerous here. There was no room for more error when they were both already on the shit end of the stick.
Markus heeded his partner's composure before trouble started. No sense in being killed for misjudgments. Only fools get killed so easily.
"She is wounded. She was supposed to be in my grasps without a scratch. You fucking idiot!" Their boss yelled. Paul flinched back his ego just a bit for Markus to notice. His partner stood tall before the angered man, still trying to assert dominance in a losing battle. There was nothing that their boss would do to them. But they were the best at retrieving targets. In Markus's years of being in the order, only one subject was killed. Not to the fault of his own, but by other circumstances.
"Maybe you should be out there trying to retrieve your so-called subjects. Instead of hiding away like the rest. Picking people like us to do the dirty work." His partner was ready to kill. Every single word spat out; he was offended by. The man just could not place pride aside to these circumstances. "Rich men think they own the world. Piss off with your high and mighty fuckery!"
Markus placed his hand upon his partners shoulder. This was going too far. Time to take damage control. Pushing him aside; their boss was angered and pushed off. Markus would take the lashings for one simple mistake- this time. "Paul speaks of pure arrogance."
His partner- Paul- glared hard at Markus. Their boss had always respected Markus for his calm and cautious nature. Paul was not so lucky to receive such high honor. He was always the loose bullet who ran into situations without thought. Markus was clearly the brain is the two with ma y years of experience under his belt.
"The subject was shot accidentally by a stray bullet. If Paul was not so eager, she would be flawless. Are we able to continue the experiment? Time is being wasted and the council does not like to be waiting." Paul scoffed at Markus. Always the boy scout that followed all rules. But Markus was a man not to be crossed. Paul was Markus's fifth partner in these types of missions.
"Don't let stupid decisions slip again. Next time, it will cost you. Taking away your pay is not a threat but something more." Their boss walked away from the two men. The room they were in had grown colder than any other area in the building.
Markus could see his own breath. His eyes shifted towards the computer screen. Dakota took in a deep gasp of air and screamed to the top of her lungs. She was violently moving within her confined space. The oxygen mask releasing bubbles at an extreme rate. Dakota's wound had opened and blood began to swirl around her in the water.
Markus ran past Paul in a hurry. Dakota was in the other room, trying to get out. This was bad. Markus had to calm the young woman down before she ended up hurting others and herself. Her eyes were closed tight. The nurse that was in the room with her tried to hold her steady, but Dakota threw the young woman to the side.
"She's unstable!" She called out.
Markus and Paul felt a sharp ringing in their ears and could not hear the nurse clearly. Paul fell hard to the floor with hands over his ears. Markus clenched his teeth as too try and pull through. But when he reached Dakota, she was pounding on the glass. Her eyes were still closed. She was fighting. Dakota was fighting while unconscious. The computers were flickering and a few moments later, Dakota was no longer there.
Just an empty tube with water sloshing around. Markus felt nauseated and threw up the contents of his stomach. How where they going to explain this to the council?
Even god could not help her now.
She felt the waves gently caress her skin with comfort. It has been a long time since she felt at peace. Letting the water carry her through the current; was this death? All of the pain in life that plagued her would finally cease into nothingness. Was she feeling serenity within the waves? Having the current move her body to a place unknown.
Free at last.
She felt free from her troubles. The nightmares that forever plagued her. The hidden scars she would never let anyone see. No one knew her pain of emptiness. Only so few could see the look within her eyes. So hollow and worn. A soldier with nothing to live for. A fire that was put out roughly and letting the smoke dissipate into the sky.
Dakota's heart was slowing its pace to embrace death. After all, has she not lived a more fulfilling life? God or whoever, was laughing at her misfortune. Chasing after fame was a greedy road. She wanted recognition from those who had doubted her. She could fight till her body gave out and yet, what she truly wanted was something of a dream.
That little girl crying in bed was a reflection of who she once was. Those dark nights waiting and none would come for her. Days turned to weeks. Turning to months. Before she knew it, years. She was alone in a world that she didn't understand. Thrown out and used many times, until she found her footing. One had to survive and eat. One had to fight until she couldn't anymore.
'Is this all?' She thought. 'Is this how it finally ends for me?'
Dakota had stopped fighting when she felt at peace. She would let the current take her. To let her bones be buried with time. But something felt wrong.
If she stopped fighting, Dakota would fail and her life would have been for nothing. She would lose everything that she has worked hard for. She would never lose again. She was always the fighter. Dad taught you. Mother perfected. But they left you to be nothing more than a mirror image of them.
She opened her eyes to the water surrounding her. She kept the urge to gasp when she noticed that the water was clear and above her were moving shadows. Her body was being tossed and turned through the underwater current rather roughly. Her lungs were burning from having to hold her breath. The once gentle waves had become violent the moment she refused to die. She could see streams of blood and this awful pain jolting through every joint and muscle in her body.
Where was she? How did she get here?
Her mind was racing frantically with questions upon questions. The taste of salt left a bitter taste upon her tongue when it was becoming harder to swallow. Every movement caused her to feel so much pain that she needed to breathe. That urge for air was just above the water's surface. Every attempt to gasp would only fill her lungs with water; she was going to drown if she did not reach the surface. Her instincts were kicking in to swim to the top; to finally breathe. But, in her dazed state, she did not know where the surface was. Her heart was racing and she knew she was running out of time.
Calm. Stay calm. She told herself. Dakota could not panic now. In these types of situations, panicking would only make things worse. Address the situation at hand. Okay, simple enough. She was underwater- obviously. How she got there, was a mystery to her and maybe she'll find the answer if she gets out alive. Right now, she was wounded and had to breath. There was no saying on how long she was under the water. Humans can only hold their breath for a short time, unless you were trained in free diving. If she stayed under while the current pulled her, she could drown.
She made bubbles through her nose to see where up was. She could that the bubbles were going in the right direction instead of feeling vertigo. Up was where the water shined and fish were swimming just above her in a school. She moved steadily through the waters as her lungs burned and her vision became blurry.
Reaching the surface, she gasps in as much air as her body would allow. Her lungs expanding with each desperate gasp. Air. Getting her bearings, she looked to the sky to see that it was a clear blue. Not a cloud in the sky and the sun was shining so bright that it reflected off the water. She needed to find land fast or else her blood would attract whatever was in the water. She was lucky nothing came and nibbled on her.
Dakota moved steadily. Her body was too worn out and she was still bleeding from her wound. In the distance, she could see a beach. It looked barren, but it was better than being in open waters.
Keeping a steady rhythm in her strokes, Dakota could see that she was close to the shore. Breathing in and out, her muscles were due to fail on her. Her good arm was the only method of reaching land, while her injured one would only slow her down.
She would have laughed at the thought if she wasn't in dire need to reach land. She was a fighter. Always has been since she won her first fight. Dakota never backed down from her opponent. She would face them head on. Her mentor disciplined her into the fighter she was. The military might have shown her a few things, but once she found purpose outside of that life.
The waves pushed her body onto the land. She felt relief the moment she touched the sand. Dakota chuckled at the thought of her being so close to death. She had made it to land. She survived this strange ordeal. Then, she groaned the moment she tried to sit up. Her body was not yet ready to take on the task after being in water for- God knows how long.
She laid back with her forearm over her eyes. Dakota could feel her body beginning to shiver and her lips were quivering. She had to find shelter on this island. She had to survive and fight once more. But something was different. She was not sure what it was that made this island so mystical. Something in the air maybe?
She placed her attention to her wound. Seeing the blood stain her shirt, she pulled it down to see that it was a pretty good size. Dakota knew she had to be stitched up. It seems that she would not die of blood lost. Nothing major was hit and everything looked intact.
"They did not want me to live." She spoke. Her voice cracked and husky.
Dakota noticed that she still had on the clothing she wore for the fight. Normally she would be wearing a sweater and sweat pants to train, but fights consisted of wrapped hands, black spandex and a black sports bra. Better for her to move her body the way she wanted it too. Her opponents could never match her skill and Dakota knew instantly that she was born with a gift.
The waves continued to soak her body. She could not move anymore and Dakota wanted to rest. To find slumber in this place. She closed her eyes, knowing no one was going to save her. She was alone. She was going to die alone and no one was there to tell her that beyond this life, maybe something better.
But the fighter in her soul told her to keep going.
Something landed on top of her chest, causing her body to jolt from the weight. The pain within her shoulder escalated, but she was too tired and worn to move. Gritting her teeth, she opened her eyes to find that a large eagle landed upon her. Looking at her with these large eyes that showed wisdom. Dakota was mesmerized by the creature for a moment, until the pain once more brought her to reality.
She found herself looking at the eagle and all became a blur. She could hear a voice of a man near by calling out. Two figures came running towards her. Dakota's world turned dark once more.
Free at last.