This story is part of the DC Mayhem continuity. Formerly a part of DC Genesis, but seceded into Mayhem.
“I'll k-kill you... I s-s-swear I'll k-kill you,” Rose muttered, breathing in deeply from the floor. She looked up, barely able to move her tired, chilled bones, unable to feel her fingers or toes, lips shuddering and numb. Even her clothes had mostly frozen and broken to pieces by now, leaving her near exposed in the frosted room, tiny little frozen flakes clinging to everything.
“Oh you'll try,” Killer Frost said, flashing that wicked grin of hers as she sat atop the chair in the center of the room, which was nothing more than a mostly empty space save for a bed, a desk, a chair, and a cold, stone floor. “And please do... I love it when they fight back.”
Rose groaned, clenching her frigid fingers tightly, trying to get any warmth from them she could. “F-f-f**k you.”
“Mmm... no, not the way it works,” Killer Frost said, wagging a finger teasingly. “But then you've already figured that out. Now, have a good night, my dear. I'll be back tomorrow.”
With that, the icy blue woman stood up from her seat and blew a mocking kiss at the girl, carrying with it a surge of extra chilled air. Rose cringed, shaking harder as she curled herself up into a ball, desperate for warmth. When Killer Frost finally left the room, that warmth did arrive, slowly but surely. The temperature grew, and feeling returned to her extremities. Within ten minutes, her breathing steadied and she could no longer see her own breath.
Is this what my life's become? she wondered. Is this... is this how I'm supposed to live now? As a prisoner? As a pet? Aplaything?All because my dad, because he... he sold me out... we were supposed to be in this together, but he gave me to these monsters!
She still couldn't wrap her head around it, why her father would done that to her. He'd been so good to her, been a real father. He loved her, trained her, was there for her when her life fell apart... but she'd seen it with her own eyes, seen him accept a trade of a couple million dollars for her imprisonment by these b**tards that called themselves the Syndicate, or at least a small part of of the Syndicate. This was only one of their strongholds, somewhere deep in Tibet.
It was bad enough... what Jackal did to her. But now this? Her father selling her out, and... and that Frost b*tch? Why did she find herself in these situations? Why was her life so full of... so full of sh*t? What had she done wrong?
When I get out of here... I'm going to kill them all. I don't care who gets in my way. They're all dead. Every last one.
“Wake up,” a cold voice stated, calling her from her sleep.
Rose quivered, squinting her eyes tightly and pulling her blankets closer around her body. Finally, she eased her eyes opened and looked up from the bed, vision slowly coming into focus. Standing above her was... a different woman, not Killer Frost. This woman, she hadn't seen before.
No wait... yes she had. In the security footage that showed her father taking the deal that left her here... this was the woman who had offered it.
“You!” she shrieked, bolting upright in bed. She sprang forward, lunging at the woman with every intent on crippling her. No, not crippling... killing. “You did this to me!”
The woman took a step back, watching with careful eyes as she brushed aside the wild attack. She stepped left, then ducked, then came forward with astounding speed and delivered a powerful blow to her attacker's gut. “Sit down.”
Rose's eyes went wide, body seizing up and a nauseous sensation bubbling in her stomach. Staggering backwards, she collapsed against the bed, gaping for breath.
“I did nothing to you,” the woman claimed. “Was your father that left you here. Your father, who sold you to us for cash. He did this to you. You know this, don't you?”
Rose swallowed, clenching her jaw and lowering her gaze. She squinted her eyes shut, tears already stinging from behind the lids. “So what, you're just gonna rub it in my face, huh?”
“Merely getting the facts straight.”
“But you're still keeping me here,” Rose said, tilting her gaze upward again, with a glare that could have stopped a charging bear. She winced slightly, hands clutching at her gut; the woman's strike had been astoundingly powerful. “I'm still your prisoner. You still work with the b**tard who ruined my life. And you give me to... to that b*tch.”
The woman considered the words a moment, nodding casually. “All true. But I have a question I'd like to ask you about that: would you like revenge on them? Would you like them to suffer?”
“What are you talking about?” Rose asked, eyes narrowing. “What kind of... of question is that? Why wouldn't I?”
“I thought as much. What if I told you that you could?”
“I'd wonder why the f**k you're telling me, when they're your friends.”
The woman smirked, chuckling lightly. “My friends... no. Pawns, more like. I have no regard for them, they merely do their part.”
“So then... what?” Rose paused, swallowing a lump in her throat. “You expect me to believe that you're going to let me get back at them?”
“Let you? No.” The woman shook her head, arms folding across her chest. “You're going to have to earn it.”
“I'm going to train you.”
Rose blinked, sitting up straighter with a puzzled expression. “What?”
“You're very talented, little dove,” the woman said. “But I could make you better. You could be the best... and you could get back at everyone who's hurt you.”
For a very long moment, Rose sat there, breathing in steadily and saying nothing. Finally, she bowed her head and stared at floor. “And why should I?”
“Because you will not get out of here any other way.”
Rose swallowed again, fingers tightening against her thighs. “And if I do this... let you train me... you'll let me go? Let me have them?”
“I said you'd have to earn it,” she replied. “If you learn enough, if you grow enough... then you will be able to do it yourself.”
Another pause. Rose turned her head, considering the woman's words. “Can you at least keep that c**t away from me?”
The woman shook her head. “Again, you have to earn that. Killer Frost... enjoys the strong ones like you, the ones who fight back but whom she can overpower... Become stronger and keep her away yourself. Consider that your motivation.”
Squinting her eyes shut, Rose took in a deep breath and bowed her head again. “One last question... just who the hell are you?”
“Oh, I had a name once,” the woman replied. Then, her lips slowly curled into the slightest of smiles. “But now, I go by a title. One handed down in my village for generations. They call me... Shiva.”
“You must be faster!” Shiva said, whirling the hard wooden stick around through the air. The end tip caught Rose's chin, snapping the girl's head back and sending her staggering to the ground. “And I know you can be. I've seen it!”
Rose pushed herself up to her hands and knees, but Shiva didn't give her a respite. Before she could return to her feet, the stick came down again squarely across her back. She uttered a tiny yelp, only for her breath to catch as a second blow came across her shoulder.
“You are not a normal girl, little dove.” Shiva paused a moment, waiting for Rose to get up to her knees, then brutally whipped the stick across Rose's cheek. The girl staggered again, but remained up right. “You are strong, fast, better than the normal human. You are special. But you your mind is clouded. You are hindering yourself, and until you clear your head, you will not improve. Now, dodge!”
The stick whistled through the air again, moving faster than the normal person could see. But Rose wasn't normal... she was like Shiva said, special. Faster, stronger, smarter than the average human, and she could see the attack coming. Or, at the very least, sense it. Bringing a hand up, she placed her palm directly in the stick's arc, catching it and then snapping it in half with a quick jerk.
“Stop... hitting me,” she said, glaring at the woman.
Shiva straightened slightly, pulling back her broken half of a stick and tossing it to the side. “That's better. Now, show me what else you can do.”
Rose didn't hesitate. She ran in full force, spinning her body and whirling in her hands expertly, aiming at the woman's pressure points. Shiva reacted far faster than she expected, twisting her arms away and then delivering a powerful knee to her gut. Rose's eyes went wide, lips bursting open with a silent gasp as she doubled over and then fell to her knees.
“You have skill, but you do not utilize it well,” Shiva informed, sending another kick to the girl's face. Rose snapped backward, landing on her back in the snowy ground of the fortress courtyard. “You attack like a wild animal, no focus, no sense of direction. You're very raw... and you must be sharpened.”
Rose groaned, rolling over and bringing a hand to clutch her split lip. But she didn't grow frustrated, or back down, or try to make excuses. This woman was just better than her, plain and simple... no getting around it. “Then sharpen me.”
Lady Shiva smiled, turning her body and preparing to attack again. “Exactly what I hoped to hear, little dove.”
“Oh Rosey,” Killer Frost said, pushing the door open. A frigid chill followed her, instantly frosting over the room. “I'm baaack.” She stepped into the room, looking around carefully... but saw no sign of the girl. “Rose?”
The door suddenly slammed shut. Before Killer Frost could react, Rose charged from behind the door and lunged at the woman, bringing a kick to the back of her knees, causing her to stumble. She followed with an elbow to the back of the head, and then moved in for a finishing blow... but in mid attack, a thick layer of ice abruptly surged up around her legs, up to her knees. She tripped, falling hard to the ground.
“Oh that's good,” Killer Frost said, holding a hand to the back of her head. She staggered back up to her feet, clearly woozy from the sneak assault. Turning around, she sneered, a gleam in her eye. “Do it again.”
“I swear... when I get my hands on you, you frosty b-mmff.” Rose recoiled sharply, as a thick casing of ice froze across her lips, silencing her.
“No no no.” Killer Frost shook her head, coming forward and driving her heel against Rose's chest, forcing her to the floor. “I'm still in charge here.”