The wind billowed relentlessly, strident Alternian rays slipping through the treetops and settling mildly against The Handmaids' skin.
Any normal troll might have boiled alive in such a situation, especially one with such warm blood, but He had taken specific precautions to prevent such release.
It was a painful process, but most things were when it came to Him.
The virulent growth that took root in Alternia never would quite suit her, but she was breaking a cardinal rule already.
She grew homesick for the moon and lonely without her warden, who had long since faded into Him. It wasn't as though he was all that kind to her, much less was he all that 'fatherly', but he served his purpose in raising her. The Handmaid convinced herself it was just instinct. To feel in her line of work was disallowed, not to mention unsafe.
But of course, such petty things are difficult to avoid forever.
So as a favor to her softer side, she took the mortal route.
The Maid decided to savor the unstable vegetation, inhaling acidic scents that danced in the back of her mind in ways so similar to the smells of home.
This was not a smell specific to the moon itself, of course, but of her prison.
Doc Scratch had always had an odd choice in incense.
But to her increasing lack of surprise, nostalgia proved as useless as time itself in a world where everything happens at once, and before the maiden could open her eyes she had stumbled upon her destination.
A rundown supposedly abandoned city smacked in an Alternian tundra.
Much if it was, understandably, charred by a raging fire. But she knew time all too well for such a facade; these burns were recent. A sweep, at the most.
Walking steadily, she continued, unbothered by the 'ancient' city.
It would be terribly linear of her, after all, to consider anything as ancient. She was a relic herself, by that logic.
In an embarrassing mistake on the rebels part, the door to their whole operation was hidden just shy of a drones comprehension.
As if they would be the only ones out to get them.
Despite her disdain for speech in general, she scowled to herself.
It's almost like they wanted to be killed.
She easily demolished the metal trapdoor, every present member of the falsified 'rebellion' exclaiming in fear
"They've found us!..."
"Shut up, hide everything!..."
Desperate attempts to shelter their foolishness were made, but it was too late now-
She knew she was in the right place.
Gliding gracefully down the shoot, into a room so brightly lit it seemed odd they were even inside, she happened upon a pathetic group of teenagers who dared call themselves radicals.
The room seemed to be tinted blue, with articles they were desperately ripping to shreds covering every wall, flyers that continued to print, and children that continued to scream.
Her eyes reverberated, a stroboscopic aura overtaking the room as each and every useless child's body imploded.
Their final shrieks of horror seemed to reverberate around her with such force that their fear became tangible.
The room was heavy with sadness, but the Maid shed no tears.
It was a mess of colors, chokers, and piercings- one of them even seemed to have an eyepiece of sorts. It was advanced enough to survive, which impressed her just a little, but obviously, it's the owner wasn't much to speak of. All that remained of him was a little mustard stain. Fools. All of them.
Yet as she turned to leave (she would have admired their "corpses" longer, but the sugar-smelling blood began to irritate her sinuses), a familiar color shone in her peripheral vision.
The smell came upon her with a such a sudden, undeniable presence that it was shameful she hadn't seen it before.
With it erupted a small whimper, like that of an insolent child, which made her shiver by sheer instinct.
A mutant. How queer that one would be so strong.
Pivoting to face the pathetic creature, it took little time to find it with her taste for the smell.
A human? On Alternia? Such an uncouth piece of information for Him to withhold.
She kneeled beside the bitter child, who among a myriad of their friends' blood could only sob and await the same demise. With little care, her hand arose, their fate mutually decided.
Yet as is a habit with most children, its' inexorable innocence stole the merit of violent death.
Their body collapsed upon hers, head falling squarely in her lap. The childlike bravado was lost as it tugged violently upon her skirt, fists balling for anything to grasp at. It was pitiful and tugged at strings she'd taken well to cutting. Despite efforts against it, she pitied the human. For such weakness, she would surely be slaughtered.
If she did not kill the creature, the death might be immediate.
They continued to sob, hateful and bitter, but she still pressed against them. She knew better than to think a thing of such purity would ever truly love her; monstrosities had little need for affection.
But even still, she sang a hymn, voice a murmured lullaby designed to kill With ease,
As the lulling timbre of her voice died away, as did her victim.
Her means of comfort were an unfortunate trait to inherit from Mr. Scratch, but at least it granted the human a peaceful demise.
The pity that now rested like guilt in her gut died away with time, and she soon reassembled her firm distaste.
And as she exited the bunker, figure caked in blood, a gut-wrenching epiphany struck:
Her day of judgment was coming soon.
The wind billowed in strident hatred, and The Handmaid grew giddy at the thought.