Beginning of the End
By Dana Quell
        Rose Law paced around the cold, bare room, looking for some 
way to escape.  There was none, however.  Instead, there were four 
metallic walls, a bare hardwood floor, and a ceiling full of bright 
fluorescent lights, which bounced off the walls and hurt her already 
sensitive eyes.  It was nondescript, as were the agents who had brought 
her to the room.
        She was alone, for now, and she had yet to figure out where 
she was, or why she was there- she had a feeling that she would find 
out the answer to all her questions soon enough, though.  After all, 
they wouldn't bring her there, then leave her alone forever.  All she 
had to have was a little patience.
        So she paced around the room.  Thump, thump, thump.  The sound 
of her combat boots hitting the hardwood echoed past her ears.  Thump, 
thump, thump.
        After an eternity (or maybe only five minutes), Rose sat down.  
She had never been the most patient of peoples, and she was now 
growing restless.  Here, there was nothing for her to focus her mind 
on, nothing to think about to keep irrational fears out.  So she began 
singing.
        
"Il est un quel-qu'un que je veux revoir
Chaque matin et chaque soir-"

        She was interrupted by the sound of a wall being moved out of 
place.  That was how she came to be in this place, since there was no 
door in the empty room.  When the wall was no longer there, she could 
make out two shadowy figures in the darkness.
        "Ms. Law?" a voice called from that darkness.  It was low, 
male, raspy, with a sort of sing-song quality to it.  He spoke her 
name in a way she had never heard it spoken before.
        "Yes," she answered back, her own throaty voice waivering a 
bit.  "What do you want with me?"
        The man stepped out of the shadows, and Rose could now see the 
smile plastered upon his face.  "We don't want anything to do with you.  
It's your father we're after.  Unfortunately, he's surrounded by 
security and can't be kidnapped at the moment."
        "What does this have to do with me?" Rose asked, staring at 
the man.
        He stared back, his blue eyes locking onto her green ones.  
"If we can't kidnap your father, we kidnap you.  Which is exactly what 
we did.  You see, your father, as acting Regent, has made himself a 
few enemies.  Some are even his friends, but he doesn't know about it 
yet.  They're the kamikaze soldiers of this mission, willing to blow 
themselves up as long as he dies."
        "If he's going to die, why do I have to be kidnapped?"
        "Ah, see, this is the thing.  Your father dies; you take his 
place.  But if you're missing, you can't be acting Regent.  Therefore, 
the power then shifts back to your grandmother, who's just undergone 
treatment to cure herself of her weak, feeble mind and make her fragile 
body stronger.  In actuality, though, while her body has become 
stronger, her mind has now become weaker, controlled by myself and my 
operatives."
        "You've brainwashed her!"  Rose was horrified to hear what had 
become of her grandmother.
        The man chuckled.  "Brainwashed is such a harsh word- I prefer 
mind-meddled."
        Rose was now furious.  To hear this man laugh about the 
beginning of the end was the last straw.  She charged him, letting her 
anger take control.
        He brought up his hand when she reached him, and she froze, 
hearing something squish.  Then she felt the searing pain as her 
stomach was torn open by some sort of sharp edge.  She glanced down 
and saw the handle of a knife sticking out of her, the man's hand 
still attached to it.  She then brought her agaze up to meet his eyes.  
They smiled back at her.
        "Guess we didn't really need you anyway," he said cheerfully.  
Then he twisted the knife and brought it out of her body.  She fell to 
the floor with a groan, then died.
        He bent and wiped the blood off his knife using her clothes as 
rags.  Then he stood again and kicked the corpse.
        Laughing, he walked out of the room to plan the world he'd 
create after taking this one over.