When Emily Everlock was born, it was in the comfort of Elektra’s room with a few of the other servants in the Panther. She first opened her big, dark blue eyes to show a flicker of sparkling light in them; peculiar, but beautiful. She was raised in secret, hidden from the patrons of the facility. Elektra never knew who the father was and it seemed that Emily would never learn, either. That was alright with both of them in the end, however.
Emily grew into a well-behaved girl just like her mother. She listened to her mother’s magical teachings and her life teachings all the same. A talk about respect held as much worth to Emily as a talk about mana and the magical forces around her. With time, Emily was able to start pooling her mana. Before long, she was able to create tiny, insignificant wisps of flame at her fingertips. It was peculiar as a child as young as her was never known to be able to use magic. Elektra theorized that the very, very early exposure to magic and mana in the womb is what resulted in an expanded mana pool within Emily. It was just a theory, though.
When Emily turned fourteen, she was stolen away from Elektra from the Mistress- an evil, vile woman. She replaced the man that had lead Elektra into this place. She was much more brutal on the women when it came to punishments. She was much less lenient when it came to taking more food than necessary or taking more breaks than necessary. She even, at one point, threatened to throw Emily off the back balcony for sneaking in forbidden sections of the building. Elektra nearly lost her control and released her magic, but was able to keep herself subdued.
Emily was shoved into the work that Elektra did. It took all Elektra had to keep her and her daughter happy. These were very depressing times for both of them. The end of the day had less magical teachings and more massaging of new bruises and sore muscles. Emily lost a lot of her ability to learn magic, but kept her mother’s other teachings in mind. She was to remain as behaved and obeying as she could.
Before Emily had turned nineteen years old, Elektra had found herself ready to finally leave. It was not before, however, the inevitable happened. Elektra was pulled out of her room, leaving a confused Emily behind. The door to the room was slammed and Elektra was dragged down the halls. The Mistress pulled her by the hair out of the main doors and threw her to the ground in front of the Panther. It was the first time in a long while that Elektra had been truly outside the building.
Elektra lifted herself up and brushed off the short clothes she wore. She looked up to see a face that she had always expected to see again one day. It was surrounded by a sea of iron, steel, and silver. Flames engulfed some of the crowd while ice encased others. Blood stained the weapons of the many suits she saw. The leading figure was tall, sleek, and had a sword engulfed in a blackened flame. Its eyes glowed red and its body left a thin wisp of black fog. It was her father and the true force of House Everlock.
Elektra gulped and dropped to her knees. It was the end, it seemed. No, the beginning of the end. She looked up again at the sea of metal. Her father’s free hand extended and opened, as if beckoning its daughter. Elektra looked back at the now closed doors of the Panther, knowing she had no choice. She turned, stood, then took the metal figure’s hand. The army retreated from the building and traveled back to the Everlock Manor.
Along the way, Elektra was horrified by the city she was forced to leave behind. Scorched buildings and disheveled marketplaces lined each corner. Many corpses were piled at the sides of the roads. Impaled guards and High Knights were left against the crumbling, undermined houses. It was clear that Elektra’s parents were not to be tested. It was clear that the city’s guards had no chance. It was clear why Elektra was a forbidden heir to the throne of House Everlock. If she continued on this path, only bad would come.
Back in the Panther, the Mistress stepped into Emily’s room. Her face was wet with fake tears and she held a handkerchief. She sat down on the edge of the mattress in the corner where a confused and worried Emily sat. The Mistress relayed her interpretation of Elektra’s disappearance, though it was completely false. She told Emily that Elektra was accidentally dropped from a high balcony into the waters below. It was an unfortunate accident that couldn’t have been prevented. Emily broke down, as any young woman would from hearing about their mother’s supposed death. After telling the fabricated story, the Mistress left the room, dried her face, then went on to replace the makeup that smeared for she had ‘more important’ business to take care of.
“What, she’s gone?”
“Gone, sir. She will not be returning.”
“That’s bull and you know it. I expected that my contributions would amount to something around here.” The burly, disgusting voice became hushed. “You know I’ve got men in here ready to rip you all apart. That’s not what we want, is it?”
The Mistress’ voice quieted as well, but retained the same vile composure as before. “I’m well aware, sir. I’ve not your favorite, but a close second. What of the daughter?”
The man dressed in a tightly-tailored suit with gelled-back hair thought for a moment, then licked his lips. “We’ll see how she does then, won’t we? I want her in the Tiger Room at 5 o’clock sharp. I will not hesitate to make a hasty decision if she doesn’t live up to my expectations.”
“Very well, sir.” The Mistress bid the patron adieu and briskly glided up to Emily’s room. Inside, she was sat at the desk with her eyes on a book. “Everlock, you’re required in the Tiger Room in fifteen minutes. Do not be late.” Emily didn’t look up from her book, even after the door was closed. It was like talking to a wall or, perhaps, a shell.
Emily slowly walked down the steps in her corset and ragged undergarments. Her makeup was haphazardly covering her face. She maintained a decent composure as she walked to the main floor, then down into the lower floor. These rooms were her least favorite. Each one consisted of bindings and chains- things that made her skin crawl. The door on the end, the Tiger Room, was left cracked open. The man inside was the one who constantly requested Emily’s mother. There was no doubt in her mind that this man was the one who ended her life.
Emily stepped into the room to find the man bound to a chair. While some prefer to dominate, others prefer to be dominated.
“I hope you’re not half as worthless as the other. I better not be disappointed.” The man’s voice was sickening. It made Emily’s blood boil, but she didn’t respond. She moved over to the tables which held various tools used in these kinds of scenarios. The man piped up again, “I expect you know the safe word, woman.” Emily, again, didn’t respond, but instead moved over to the door. She held a knife in her hand, gripping it with the anger of having dealt with 5 years of pain and suffering. She slowly swung the door closed, then got to work.
After it had been done, Emily dropped to the floor outside of the room. She had wiped the tears and smeared makeup off her face with a rag that was left on the blood-pooled floor inside the room. After taking some time to come back to herself, Emily stood up again. Her heart was beating out of her chest and her legs were shaking from anxiety. Her vision was a bit dizzy, but she managed to get out of the lower level. The first women who saw her gasped, but stayed back. Emily kept going through the halls until she reached her room again. She put on one of her mother’s hidden robes, then looked in the mirror. Her face was plastered with blood, showing great difference between her skin and her dark blue eyes. Her eyes showed a mix of crazed anger and exhaustion. She didn’t care; it was the end, after all.
Emily looked to the back door in the room; the door that led to the balcony. It would be almost no time before that damned woman started slamming her door down. Emily stepped over, then opened the door. She stopped midway, then looked around one last time. She went back and pulled open the drawers of her desk. A small ring sat in the middle drawer, which Emily quickly slipped onto her finger. It was a lucky ring, after all.
Emily stood straight again and smiled; her mother’s items always made her feel a bit better. She turned again to the half open doorway and moved over to it. She went through the door onto the metal balcony and closed the door behind her. The wind blew her hair back as she looked out to the waters below. They would be cold, for sure. This thought crossed Emily’s mind as she turned, then sat on the railing. Through the window in the door, she could see the Mistress swing open the room’s front door. She locked eyes with Emily before realizing what was going to happen. As the vile woman began to run towards the balcony, Emily pulled back and flung herself into the dark waters below.