Prologue


A/N: So as usual, my imagination got the better of me. You'll learn more about the unnamed woman in the next few chapters, this is mainly just a teaser to see what you all think.


The cold bit at her, digging relentlessly like a knife twisting under her skin.

She unglued her eyelids to darkness. It made her feel claustrophobic, the fact that she could not see anything. Fighting back panic, she took a few deep breaths and focused. Her eyes would soon adjust to the overwhelming darkness and then she would be able to see – but would she want to? That final thought sent shivers down her spine.

She couldn't remember where she was or how she got there. She attributed that to the dull ache in the side of her head, the throbbing that made it feel as though she had been hit hard by something. Knocked unconscious. She rubbed at her arms, feeling goosebumps rising on her skin.

"Hello?" she called out, her voice hoarse and meek, echoing in the expanse of the dark room. As she'd predicted, her eyes adjusted. It was bigger than she had expected, but had all the grimness of a cell. She was lying on a bed, crisp sheets pressed against the bare skin of her legs. There was a dresser and a basin across the room.

She eased her frame across the bed, setting her feet down on the floor. The stone was cold too. Everything about this place seemed cold and dark, and she closed her eyes and made herself focus, trying to think back to what happened.

She remembered an attack on the moon base of Chrydia where she had been located. She didn't remember who lived or who died – but shivers overcame her entire body as she remembered a huge warlord dressed all in black armour. His skin had been sapphire blue marked with coal black paint, his eyes sharp and piercing. She had attempted to shoot him. She couldn't remember what happened after that, no matter how hard she tried.

Why hadn't he killed her? She remembered that face twisted in contempt, as though she was some lower life form. Why had he chosen to spare her, when he clearly despised her? Sucking in her breath, she pushed herself to her feet, crossing over to the basin. The taps looked odd but she turned them all the same. She splashed her face with the cool liquid, but something felt off. It was thick and sticky on her fingers.

She fumbled desperately for a light. She needed to be able to see, for the darkness felt like it was consuming her. Her breath came in ragged pants as she finally found a switch, and when she flipped it she had to cover her eyes from the dim light that shone over the room. When her eyes adjusted to the light, she found that there was no mirror, but the basin was silver. Peering at her reflection, she expected to see her pale complexion and fiery red hair, but instead her face seemed covered with something black. Like the coal-coloured paint on the warlord's face.

She screamed and staggered back, scrubbing at her skin frantically with her sleeve. Her panic ascended into terror. Her heart raced in her chest and she spun around at the sound of the door to her prison hissing open. Her hands balled into fists and she prepared herself for whatever was to come.

The warlord entered the room, and she was struck by his sheer enormity. He was much taller than her, despite the fact that she herself was quite tall for a woman. She swallowed the lump in her throat and met his gaze defiantly.

"Who are you? Why did you bring me here?"

"My name is Ronan the Accuser." His voice was baritone, and she recognised the name with a thrill of horror. A Kree psychopath who was destroying Xandarian outposts all throughout the galaxy, relentless in his mission of administering justice – but for what? "And you are here to answer for the crimes of your people."