A/N: I honestly cannot express how much I hate the title "Master" in anything I read. In some stories, it's bearable, but in others I just want to murder that dfaoijfas (words cannot express) who would do that to another human being. Because, you know, murder's okay, but not that.

So, uh. That's why I'm using it here. Because I hate it so much. (And because Danny's mind is so messed up in this it's not even funny.)

Enjoy?


Master


The world was empty. It lost life. Color.

Meaning.

He trod along obediently, without identity. There was a man, a man whose words he followed. He didn't want to give a name, because he knew the name would mean something and he would feel something bad. He didn't want to feel something bad.

He hurt. He knew he was hurting. It was just easier to not notice the pain, by not caring.

His eyes were blind to the world, seeing yet unseeing.

He was deaf in all but fact.

His lips moved on their own, words spoken without approval from his mind, his core. They said:

"Yes, Master."

When he did think about it, did bring himself to care, a roiling hatred burned in his core. It threatened – no, promised, with the sweet tang of hope – for the destruction of the world, for the destruction of everything around him. For the destruction of that man he called "Master."

Broken pride. Shame. Submission.

He retreated from those emotions.

He did as he was told.

.

.

.

One day, an opportunity came by.

A group of heroes had come sniffing by – Danny knew he had to eliminate them. He only knew what they were because of a small spark of curiosity sequestered inside of him, roused to life by the incessant grumbling of that man.

They said:

"Stop it!"

"We believe in you!"

"You can overcome this!"

Overcome what?

There was a gun in his hands. He looked at it curiously, caressed the cold metal. It meant something. It had a power to it.

Overcome what?

"Please, Danny! We know who you were!"

Danny.

Danny.

Danny.

The name wrung in his mind, a mantra pounding its way through his brain. A sensation of loss in his core, ripped out like little slices of mangled flesh. Indignation. Anger. Anger, anger, anger. He hated, hated, hated what had been done to him.

What had been done to me? he wondered.

He didn't care. The gun swung wildly. It turned around, spiraled, spinning in all directions.

"Daniel?"

It landed on a figure.

"Daniel? What are you doing?"

Danny (yes, that was his name) saw red.

"I took you in! You chose this –"

He pulled the trigger.

Vladimir Masters died.

.

.

.

.

Tears leaked from his eyes.

He had just wanted to feel alive again.