Ruby Rose sat with her face between her knees, petrified, with little tears trailing down her face. Ruby wasn't exactly sure why she was huddled up and crying, but she knew that it only made her cry when she tried to think about it, leaving her only more paralyzed in fear. She looked around only seeing black, black walls, a black table even the floor and ceiling were black; the only piece of illumination left was a single light above the obsidian colored table.
There had been a man at the table as well, or at least she thought there had been... Either way.
The man was gone now, though, and all she really could do was sit there, huddled up, scared, and confused. It fit her like a glove. Eventually, she raised her face from her knees and allowed her legs to sprawl out. "H-hello, i-is anyone there?" she spoke with a small stutter.
She let out a worried whimper before speaking up once more. "P-please, anyone..." At that moment, a door opened, and light leaked into the room, but it was a brief moment that didn't last long as a tall figure came through the door, which closed a moment later. Now returned to a twilight, Ruby listened to the loud clacking of shoes against the metal floor.
Her gaze went to the table and waited for the figure to appear there, and when the person did, she could barely make out their features. The lighting obscured their faces, leaving her even more terrified.
She repeated her words from earlier, "H-hello—" but stopped mid-way as the figure's head moved in her general direction. Even if she couldn't see their eyes or even general facial features, she still felt the coldness from it. It scared her, made her want to shrivel up into a small ball, and die.
"Come here now," the figure finally said, several words that were just as cold as their gaze, and instead of shrinking into a ball and dying, Ruby herself compelled to do what they said. Her body went against what she wanted herself, and she didn't want to be anywhere near this person.
She stood, she walked, she shivered.
With each step, her heart pounded, with each breath, sweat ran down the side of her head, with each shiver, she drew closer and closer and closer until she bumped against the chair.
"Ow." She let out a small groan as she took a step back. How did she miss that? God, it was like she was on autopilot!
Her shaking hands reached out and pulled the surprisingly light black chair back before sitting in it. It was frigid like the floor, and it was very smooth, to the point that Ruby feared she might slip off it entirely.
Something at the back of her mind told her that she would be just fine, and that same something then forced her to look directly at the figure who had become more defined.
The figure was a man with either brown or blonde hair, though the room's lighting made it hard to tell. Said lighting also obscured his eyes, preventing any sign of what he was looking at the moment. His face was strong, built, chin straight and clean, no blemish or stubble of hair. He wore a black suit for all that Ruby could tell, and his elbows rested on the edge of the black table, hands clasped together.
"Ruby Rose, are you okay?" Her eyes went wide as he spoke in a calm, warmer tone that sounded almost caring. "I know my sudden appearance may be unnerving to you, but I can assure you that I'm not like the others who have talked to you. If I need to give you time to adjust, I can leave if that makes you feel better." Ruby was taken aback by this, and she had nothing to say in response to those words, though that tingling feeling she felt in the back of her mind did help.
She crossed her arms and shivered slightly, "I-I, it-it-its fine, please, just go on." Ruby didn't look him in the eye, focusing only on the center of the table. For one reason or another, she felt compelled to do so.
He unclasped his hands, "All right, I guess I'll get to the point then." As his fingers touched the reflective surface of the table, it lit up blue as many icons and words popped up across it. With a single motion of his finger, he sent a blue blurb across the table, which stopped once it reached the end, opening up into several images of rubble.
In the rubble were identifiable features such as blonde hair, a white cloak, and a small girl. Ruby felt a twinge in her head and a sudden drop in her stomach. It didn't seem to end just kept going on further and further. The images grew increasingly disturbing. There was nothing but destruction, rubble, corpses strewn about; there were around twenty or so bodies, discounting the ones missing limbs or straight up cut in half.
From what she had seen of this utter carnage were three bodies that drew her attention. The first one being the blond-haired male, caused her to twitch in her seat. His face was unrecognizable, melted beyond recognition, bubbled, his clothing torn to crimson-stained shreds, an arm and a leg was missing, and several bites lined his torso and neck.
Her eyes drifted slightly.
The twinge did not cease, and her eyes twitched before she moved her gaze to the next image: a little blonde girl... or what remained of her. Her head caved in on one side, and the other was just a tangled mess of bloody hair, one lifeless eye blankly looking on. Her yellow shirt was torn and bloodied, and just below that was absolutely nothing.
Once again, her eyes drifted.
The feeling grew and grew and grew, and the next image set something off in Ruby. The white cloak contrasted with blotches of crimson, blood, and dirt. A steel beam punctured through the middle of the wrap and the body beneath it—Ruby's gaze moved slightly before she suddenly jerked away from the image and proceeded to empty her stomach on the floor.
It felt like it was never going to end, that she would be there hurling forever. When that passed, she was still heaving and panting. Again and again and again till her already pale face was dripping with sweat. She rested her head against the metal chair. Her body shook slightly as her eyes fixated on the man across from her.
He silently waited for a word, a peep.
She eventually croaked, "Why?" The man raised a brow as Ruby spoke, having expected a different reaction. "Why are there so many people like that?" The look on her face was of worry and curiosity. "Who did this to them?"
"What was the first thing that drew you in?" the man finally spoke calmly, ignoring the questions and just watching as she went silent. "What made you vomit?" He tilted his head slightly to the right as his hands remained clasped together. "Go on, explain." He gestured to the images.
Ruby froze on her seat, heart beating rapidly. Her hand rose slowly, and she pointed at the images which had set her off, the blonde, the girl, and the cape, she lowered her finger, and her gaze snapped to the ground to the pool of vomit. Ruby whispered a word or two before falling silent.
The stench of her vomit was repugnant, and it was getting worse by the moment.
"What was that? I didn't quite hear you," the man softly asked. Ruby's lips moved once more, and she spoke just a bit louder, just loud enough for the man to hear. "A baby," the man repeated in curiosity, and his shadowed body shifted a bit forward, allowing the green of his eyes to be seen. "Is that really what made you vomit, or are you afraid to admit the truth?" His voice carried a light chuckle. "Trust me. It is better to answer truthfully."
"Y-yes, the baby... I saw it, and..." She paused for a moment glancing into her lap. Her expression went neutral while her brain thought of what to say. "I..." Ruby's head rose slowly. "I saw all those other people! And I couldn't take it! WHO WOULD DO SUCH A THING TO THEM!" her expression was one of confusion, fear, worry, and anger, and then her eyes widened as she realized she had raised her voice, and her face full of embarrassment. "I didn't mean to yell, s-s-sorry," Ruby stuttered at the end as she looked away from the man's general direction.
The man chuckled again. "That is perfectly fine. You're angry and confused, and I have done nothing to help with that." He paused for a moment as a small red dot formed on his side of the table, flashing red, and he let out a sigh before he continued. "Sadly, I need to cut this short. But before I go..." He moved from his seat and stood up, looking down at Ruby as he tapped something on the table, making the red dot disappear. "I have an offer for you, Ruby. A simple one that also answers some questions that must be on your mind."
She perked up at this and listened to the man intently.
"It's a program for children without families, specifically the ones that want to get back at what caused all that gore." He tapped the table once more, lighting it up and causing a small white box with text to appear on Ruby's side, and the man turned around to walk away. "Note that the choice is yours on this matter, but do not choose lightly. There is no going back if you join this program." He approached the room's door and pressed something on the wall before it opened, revealing the lit halls. "Oh! I almost forgot."'
The man turned halfway and looked back at Ruby, who focused on the table and that small text box. "Those three people you pointed out, those were your family members." Ruby looked away from the table and to the man with a thousand-yard stare. Her eyes then moved around, looking around the room, as her mind ran ablaze.
But then it stopped, she spoke.
"Oh." Ruby's tone was cold, autonomous.
Her family, her family! Was that why they felt so familiar? Her breathing did not change, nor did any audible noises escaped from her.
No, no, no, why wasn't she feeling anything! She should be crying; why wasn't she crying!
She knew why.
It didn't bother her… she didn't care that her family was gone… why should she? She didn't remember a single thing about them.
Her eyes were moving swiftly, moving to look around as her heart started to beat faster.
But why did she cry, why was her reaction so loud and…
Her heart skipped a beat.
Those innocent people.
Lives stamped out forever.
She'd make them pay, whoever did this. They deserved to die…
Silence and the repugnant aroma of vomit filled the air for a long moment before the man left her alone in that cold, dark room, save for the single light in the middle. And as she sat there thinking to herself, her eyes moved slowly back to the white box, titled SPARTAN-III.
So to start off, I rewrote the story again. I... I have no excuse for keeping you all waiting, I was scared. I looked back at what I wrote and realized it wasn't the best it could be... It was, meh. There was too much going on at once and it, not enough focus, that, that is a problem I've realized with all my writing... save my grammar and punctuation skills... I do all these things at once and it just doesn't lead to something that feels right or satisfying. So I rewrote again and I honestly think this is probably the best version of what I wrote... I hope you can enjoy this and understand where I was coming from. I'm sorry, I really am and hopefully, this never happens again.