Darkness and light, obscurity and clarity. Iora’s eyes fluttered open and shut in vain. Her body still waking from its unconscious state, it battled with her every step of the way. Monumental exertion on her part was required just to view the world around her. Lush bangs dangled from the crown of her head and obscured her vision further, her eyes had to peer from within the obscurity of concealment. What was happening? The world that she had formerly known had been ripped from her grasp and in its place, a hellish nightmare had manifested itself. Where was she? This didn’t look like Dragon Roost Island, at least, no part of it she had ever seen before.
Her body laid motionless, pinned against the firm bulwark supporting her backside, her arms fastened in place. No matter how hard she tried, she couldn’t make any part of her body break free from the torturous prison. It was then that she looked down, a most unfortunate mistake on her part. They weren’t jut restrained, they were suspended, ten feet above the ground by the looks of it. Iora’s mouth opened in a muffled gasp of terror, the ten foot drop feeling like a meteoric plunge. She tried desperately, her body thrashing against the bars that held her in place, in an attempt to free herself. The panic of her new found heights forcing her to lose focus for a second. Her vision blurred again, darkness crept into the fringes of her eyes giving her tunnel vision, the pale skin of her body became flush, a visible sign of panic.
She thrashed her head from side to side, that was when she noticed the others, like her, suspended, restrained, trapped. Not quite like her however, they weren’t Rito. Two of them looked similar, just with no wings or beak, but the other...person? Thing? She wasn’t quite sure what it was to be honest, a machine? She had never seen any of them before in her life, she was quite sure of that. Then why were they here also? What did they do, actually, more to the fact, what did she do to be here?
A wicked, ear piercing, cackle echoed across the expanse. Her attention turned quickly to its point of origin. A man...was it really a man? Was busy disposing of an assortment of goods, all sorts of valuable equipment and personal belongings. Some of them belonging to herself, her mouth opened in a pathetic attempt to call out to him, to condemn his actions, but her voice failed her. The only thing that escaped was a muffled moan as she dropped her head in pain. She watched helplessly as her belongings were cast into a dark pit, possibly to not be seen by her eyes again.
There were others in this room, others like them braced against the opposing wall. Not quite like them, no, these looked different, an aura of sophistication and privilege shrouded their presence. One of them looked familiar, no, extremely recognizable. His face was twisted in pain and exhaustion, his garments betrayed his status even though they had obviously seen better days. His eyes were cast downward, looking to the ground below. His look was despondent and reflected the inner pain he must have been feeling. Then it clicked, it was the prince! Anybody would recognize his face anywhere! With Iora’s hawklike eyesight, she would recognize him anywhere. His tussled, wavy black hair and his seemingly, sad blue eyes. Everyone the world over would know him, the residents of Dragon Roost Island were no exception. What did the maniacally laughing man want with them?
Her train of thought was cut short by a searing pain and a bright light as the man activated a machine with the push of a few buttons. The yellow luminescent light cascaded from the shade that covered a most perplexing glass cylinder. The light extended out into beams that forced its grasp into her and the others’ bodies. The pain was beyond excruciating, like someone thrust their hand into her chest, wrapped their hands around her heart in a vice-grip, and began to extract its still beating life force from her very body. Only it wasn’t her literal heart, no, it was extracting something else entirely. Something beyond definition of words.
Tears began to stream down her face, teeth biting her bottom lip in frustration and pain. Why would anyone do such a thing? What did he need from them? She finally let out a high-pitched cry of pain, her body losing the will to fight as exhaustion overcame her and her senses. A little dribble of blood escaped from where she bit down too hard on her lip, it ran down her face and dripped silently on the terrifying depths below. It was then, that all hope had escaped her. Not only was her strength being sapped, but her will to live. She was sure this was going to be how she died.