Chapter 22:

022 – Torment

Rainbow of the Horizon—Illuminating Our Darkened Path | Our World

"Ginji… Why didn't you tell me sooner? Just thinking about it makes me remember of what I did in the past…"Bookmark here

"I needed concrete evidence. For me to be very sure, it was necessary to take a month or two. You know me, Doc. I do not trust easily, even if it was my own intuition."Bookmark here

Seventeen days since Ginji's upbringing, the two are still seen arguing in the doctor's office about his discovery that may have unlocked more of the dark history of Rishou Kagetora.Bookmark here

The doctor's eyes carry dark bags under them behind his glasses. What is thought to be a mysterious topic has been bothering him for a couple days thus, unable to make himself sleep.Bookmark here

Ginji on the other side has been keeping himself composed as he is sat in front of Kagetora's desk. Collected as he might be, he still bore worry over the document he discovered.Bookmark here

"Even after that… it is still astonishing that such coincidence has happened, following the story you told me."Bookmark here

"Yes… It is almost unprecedented. But that in itself… terrifies me the most."Bookmark here

"…Bookmark here

Sorry that I can't relate to your long-term anxiety. I too have regrets, but they just seem so little when I see you like this."Bookmark here

What could perhaps be circulating in Rishou Kagetora's mind is the reverberating voice that utter "What have I done?" or "Why did I ever do that?" Thus, his crippling anxiety grew ever so bigger.Bookmark here

But the serious atmosphere was suddenly broken… only for it to come back immediately.Bookmark here

Opening the door came walking three individuals with unique white masks worn on to cover their faces along with a stress-expressing nurse. Indeed, they are Exiles.Bookmark here

One of the faceless, which happened to be a woman with a shoulder length hair, spoke even before the two broke out of sudden surprise.Bookmark here

"Dr. Rishou Kagetora, that is you, right?" and she followed with a quick glance on the other person inside the room which was Ginji.Bookmark here

The doctor fell to extreme shock.Bookmark here

"Y-You people… you are… Exiles…Bookmark here

Why… Why are you here…?"Bookmark here

"So you are the Exiles, huh… Not the fanciest welcomes, I would say," Ginji does not seem to have lost his composure even upon seeing rare individuals that suddenly showed up while keeping themselves in the dark.Bookmark here

"Dr. Kagetora. We came here to ask you to fulfill a personal request. We are representatives of the person that has made the request."Bookmark here

"M-Might I know who the person is, if possible…?"Bookmark here

"The individual Gin Sakato's life is endangered."Bookmark here

The two reflexively stood up out of sheer shock upon hearing the name of the involved.Bookmark here

Ginji, who has been keeping himself in check, has lost his untroubled behavior as his heart suddenly thumped hard over and over.Bookmark here

"027…?! Tell me… Please… What happened to him?!"Bookmark here

"We should make this quick as we ought to not waste any more time. Gin Sakato is currently suffering from an extreme mental stress even as I speak. But I suppose the doctor already knows what it could be."Bookmark here

"T-The program… eleven years ago…"Bookmark here

"The mental stress is due to his memories coming back in a manner that they are rapidly being stored in his mind thus, the severe stress.Bookmark here

In accordance to that, his entire physical body has weakened. Whatever he eats does not help to make him better. We ran out of our solutions, and so we are here."Bookmark here

"Let's just say that you, Exiles have known the history of Gin. Everyone can be involved in information leakage, you know? I can't just believe you that Gin is in danger," Ginji carefully spoke showing an apparent distrust. "Now tell me… how can you make us trust you people?"Bookmark here

"…Bookmark here

This is on our hands of expectation, Ginji Satoshi…"Bookmark here

Having his name coming out of nowhere, he spoke, "How do you know my name…?"Bookmark here

"It could be information leakage, but that is not the case. I myself have my fair share of experience with predicting possibilities like this, as I am personally acquainted to code 027 himself.Bookmark here

I've thought that we will need a mediator for the doctor's party to gain our trust.Bookmark here

G… if you still don't get it, you are seriously lagging behind."Bookmark here

After all that was said, the faceless female removed her mask in front of them, revealing the appearance of Rin.Bookmark here

"Oi, oi… Now this took me off my guard…"Bookmark here

Calm as his tone may be at the very least, his sudden paled complexion and terrorized visage said otherwise.Bookmark here

"Ringo… who are you really…? No wonder why you haven't been to school… What is happening really…"Bookmark here

"I am nothing but someone who borrowed a mask from them. I am here because I too asked for the assistance of the Exiles, and to ask help from you, Dr. Kagetora.Bookmark here

I am a mere human… I am not an Exile."Bookmark here

"Please take me to where he is…Bookmark here

Please take me to where 027 is right now…! I can't… I can't let anyone to die because of me… I don't want that to happen anymore…Bookmark here

Please…! Let me help cure 027! I still want to pay this priceless debt I had on him…!!"Bookmark here

The regretful expression has grown to the doctor's face as he cried with all the thoughts of the past haunting him once again.Bookmark here

"Doctor… We have no time to waste. I can't leave Gin behind any longer than this…Bookmark here

G, I'm sorry but you have to stay put. As much as you distrust… I have also known the Exile's distrust to us humans," Rin wore her mask again as they left the office not empty-handed.Bookmark here

"…Bookmark here

Ginji… close my office. And explain to them that I have a very important appointment I need to attend."Bookmark here

"Ringo…! Since you appear to know the Exiles… do you know the person who fended off the bomb?"Bookmark here

"…Bookmark here

Do you really think I have the time to answer that?"Bookmark here

In front of the cold and enraged gaze of Rin, a sharp chill rose up on Ginji's back.Bookmark here

A minute has gone by with silence inside the office. His head has lowered down as he sat with his hand covering his face.Bookmark here

"I was too late…Bookmark here

Those two are suffering again… Tsk."Bookmark here

~ ~ ~Bookmark here

Regardless of the attention that Rin's party has caught, they made their way on their vehicle with the doctor.Bookmark here

"J-Just to clarify… I have no right to know where we are going, right…?"Bookmark here

"Yes. We also have measures for that. Though we are avoiding doing that," said Hiro who was behind his mask and the steering wheel.Bookmark here

"There is not a need for that.Bookmark here

I don't want to pile up my sins anymore."Bookmark here

The doctor then punctured an injection to his arm, making him unconscious after a few seconds.Bookmark here

With that, they successfully came back to the base.Bookmark here

~ ~ ~Bookmark here

As if Gin had thought over this before his current condition, he chose to be confined in an isolation room that makes the entire base not visible from the inside. Meaning, there were no windows seen.Bookmark here

Because of that, they did not come to the trouble of transporting him to another room with the presence of Kagetora.Bookmark here

After a few minutes of being inside the closed out room, the doctor awakened with the sleeping drug faded away in his constitution.Bookmark here

"You're finally awake, Dr. Kagetora."Bookmark here

He immediately stood up remembering the purpose of him coming in the base as soon as Rin called out to her without her mask. He looked around so as to look for the person in question only to find Gin behind a glass window, sat on the darkness in full silence.Bookmark here

"Can… he talk…?"Bookmark here

"That, we do not know. He speaks when he feels like he can. It has been 17 days since he was holed up here."Bookmark here

"I-I might as well try…Bookmark here

027… Can you hear me…?"Bookmark here

Upon hearing the voice of the doctor, Gin flinched and quickly hid darker on the shadows, thus unable to see what face he is making.Bookmark here

"Don't… Don't come near me…! Go away!Bookmark here

I don't want to die… I don't want die… Get away… I don't want to see you… Don't come… Go away… You murderer…"Bookmark here

The doctor then fell to his knees as he interpreted the obvious message of the last phrase. He thudded his trembling fist to the floor with the echoing scream, repeatedly revolving in his mind the word "murderer."Bookmark here

"Dr. Kagetora. If you're going to despair more, we won't gain anything. If you do nothing in this situation… then I at least know that you will think that you will be held liable if ever something happens to him…Bookmark here

Gin is like this because he heard your voice and triggered his trauma, and you called him by his code, which we greatly avoided. The major parts of his memories are being simulated through his actions whenever he remembers them.Bookmark here

But even so, we personally requested of your assistance. We will not be going anywhere unless you do something, doctor."Bookmark here

"…"Bookmark here

"We're going in."Bookmark here

The door opened making the entrance of Amano and Senna Sakato, immediately directing their attention to the kneeling doctor.Bookmark here

Seeing the couple, he once again stood up in spite of his legs that had weakened.Bookmark here

"Mr. and Mrs. Sakato… Please… hear me…Bookmark here

I am in no position to say this, as I had the intention of killing him in the past… But I promise that I will make your son better, ironic as it may be coming from a degenerate like me…"Bookmark here

"Hah. At least you finally admit that you're a heartless degenerate."Bookmark here

"Wahh… That's Uncle Amano for you. Now I see that Gin got that behavior from him," thought Rin.Bookmark here

"Whatever consequence it may be, I will accept it."Bookmark here

"…Bookmark here

That's not for us to decide. I will leave that to Gin later on. You yourself have two children, so I hope that you finally realized your sins and know how we, as parents felt when we saw our child… not like the way he used to be."Bookmark here

"I… I will put my all and make this case of his to never happen again. I swear to my life that he will continue to live after this. I promise that, and I will not consider any failure in this."Bookmark here

"…Bookmark here

Yes. We will take up to your words."Bookmark here

▪ ▪ ▪Bookmark here

‹Gin›Bookmark here

Ahh. So Kagetora really came.Bookmark here

So it has been seven months of memories that I have recalled. At this point, we were down to forty children. I am surprised that I wasn't taken by the temptation of ending my life at that time.Bookmark here

But only to slash myself when I was out of it ten years later.Bookmark here

It scares me…Bookmark here

It scares me that I absolutely feel nothing—not bothered by whatever is happening. Not even feeling a thing when I recall the children that are slowly dying in front of me.Bookmark here

I can feel the fear that I am exuding outside my mind and it is causing me pain that even I can't comprehend. It is painful as I watch not only my memories, but what has been happening out of my consciousness?Bookmark here

I'm terrified that I am now slowly shunning them off—rejecting them, even Rin. It hurts. I don't want that. But my despair always gets the better of me. And at that, I always run away, making me alone every single time.Bookmark here

But despite of all those thoughts… I feel empty. I feel nothing. My mind is truly black and blank… and the world has gone monochrome, and so is my existence.Bookmark here

My thoughts are still within my family, friends, my love, those who have helped me overcome adversities, and even the children that was long gone now. But I hate myself because of this emptiness that is not only in my mind but in my heart.Bookmark here

I have been reduced to "something…" something that one may not be called a true human anymore.Bookmark here

Bookmark here

Ahh. It still keeps coming.Bookmark here

This is now the eighth month… I see. I have attempted another escape, but ended up leading myself to an unfamiliar place—like some kind of an office. I don't get what's happening. But then I came to a desk and opened a drawer containing a lot of papers… or documents.Bookmark here

As far as I have known, no one in the children ever told each other names and addressed themselves as code numbers, aside from Ken—in which he asked my name, but called me with a different, unknown one. And that was Eiji.Bookmark here

I discovered that they are data from each and every child. Thus, I learned their names. But one thing I noticed now is that the document for code 019 is not compiled along the ninety-nine.Bookmark here

But then…Bookmark here

Bookmark here

The memory cut off there.Bookmark here

▪ ▪ ▪Bookmark here

Nineteen days since the beginning of this distress.Bookmark here

"Hahh… Gin has finally maintained a better state. Thank goodness…"Bookmark here

Whatever could be Hiro's expression behind that mask; it undoubtedly has relief on it. Two sleepless days have passed with the sole purpose of bringing back Gin into shape with the help of Rishou Kagetora. With how Gin's constitution works a tad differently from the average humans, his improvements are very apparent. Although, he is still in an unstable state in which he is sat down in one place together with the lifeless blue and black eyes.Bookmark here

Rishou Kagetora's stay was never discriminated. Whoever Exile knew of Gin's case does not look at the doctor with anguish. He was treated well although he can't leave the room.Bookmark here

"Say, Hiroomi… you've been staying here for a while now. Are you not worried about your work?" Rin suddenly asked out of curiosity away from anyone that can hear them.Bookmark here

"I guess I haven't told you, but ever since you told your friends about what is happening to Gin, Jean immediately ran off to the restaurant and asked if he can work temporarily until Gin comes back.Bookmark here

I too wonder what was up with him saying those all. But then he suggested it because him knowing what we have done for Gin, he presumed that we are needed here without Sean and I taking an eye out of him. Thanks to him, we have no distractions."Bookmark here

"Ahaha… I wonder how things are going there. But I really should thank him once everything has settled down.Bookmark here

I will have to say… I'm scared that we almost lost Gin… I can't… I can't bear losing him… I still want to be with him…"Bookmark here

"…Bookmark here

I heard that he promised you that he will be back, Ms. Ringo. He has a strong will to live. A very strong one. But I think that he needs to break through that will, as he needs to steel himself more while enduring this unimaginable torment.Bookmark here

Ms. Ringo, you really love him, huh."Bookmark here

"Of course I do… I love him very much."Bookmark here

At that point, the seriousness in Hiro's head temporarily drifted as he was reminded of something and he silently began sweating so much that it looks as if it was penetrating through his mask.Bookmark here

"I continue to love him because I want to make him happy. He has been giving me happiness all this time. Now he is a very big part of my life and I care for him because I realized that he really needed someone beside him when he is in pain… like this.Bookmark here

I wish for him to move on with all this sufferings… and I know that it is wrong to make him forget of this, as those memories are a part of his life. However painful it is, he moves forward with all his pain, and now he decided to not run away from it anymore. And with all those, I want to be by his side… as someone that will always save him from his chasm."Bookmark here

With such bravery that was displayed in Rin's eyes, Hiro was greatly astonished by the will that perhaps was influenced by Gin's resolve. He gave an unseen smile taking to consideration the example of Rin.Bookmark here

"…Bookmark here

Hahh… I lost. I'm still lacking so much."Bookmark here

"…?"Bookmark here

"I could really see you being a good wife to Gin, Ringo."Bookmark here

"I have to admit; I've dreamed and imagined that so much that I space out because of that.Bookmark here

And now you're addressing me casually."Bookmark here

"Hahahaha. How honest.Bookmark here

I hope that Gin will be a good husband to you."Bookmark here

"Please don't say that…Bookmark here

Yet."Bookmark here

"Yes, yes. I'll be sure to attend your wedding in a few years’ time. Well, you do feel like a sister to me, honestly."Bookmark here

And so, Rin's cheeks turned red imagining a hand placing a ring on her ring finger.Bookmark here

"I say that all, but I…Bookmark here

I really have to take a look for a ring," is what bothered Hiro's mind as he stepped out of the room with a huge sigh.Bookmark here

~ ~ ~Bookmark here

Meanwhile, the doctor and Amano have been talking face to face just before the window of the isolation room around the same time when Hiro and Rin were talking.Bookmark here

"Cat's already out of the bag, doctor. I want to know the roots of that disgraceful program eleven years ago."Bookmark here

"…Bookmark here

But before I say anything, it is best to tell you first that the one behind the implementation of Medical Children Program is deceased. A few days before the program ended, he was found in his office with multiple stab wounds that counted to twenty-six. Apparently, a father of one Child was the one that murdered the head, which was actually a government official."Bookmark here

"So you're telling me… the government is the one behind that damned program…?!"Bookmark here

"Yes, Mr. Sakato. The Medical Children Program had the purpose of producing new medications mostly for children, as an incurable epidemic was happening in that generation that affects children from five to twelve years old.Bookmark here

Because of the illness being incurable at that time, the government promised a solution in the duration of a year, which was not possible as the illness was still unknown. In reality, it would take more than three years. Unless…Bookmark here

Unless living humans were used for the experiment.Bookmark here

With the establishment of the program came several data containing an autopsy report of a deceased child. The program became like a jigsaw puzzle—figuring things out one at a time.Bookmark here

So we gave children various incomplete drugs and have their bodies examined, regardless of any side effects. It became a hurdle to us because along with the growing death of the Medical Children, others relied to suicide to escape. With every child gone means that the remaining will have intensified experimentation… until they were reduced to only one person.Bookmark here

We were running out of time and so we pressed all our gathered data to one child and in turn made way to the production of successful medication that halted the epidemic.Bookmark here

That entire burden fell to Gin Sakato. That is why I actually fear him. I still can't see him in the eye. He had the most suffering among all the children… so much… that all of our doings made him do a sinful act…Bookmark here

For that, I took full responsibility of making him do those. It was not him who killed that doctor. It was I, who Gin Sakato called a killer, ended someone's life.Bookmark here

I will admit… I was a naive doctor back then. I wanted fame, and so I set aside the consequences to obtain achievement. It was foolish of me to turn a blind eye to life. A doctor that is giving up life to save millions? That is hypocrisy… I am a hypocrite…!Bookmark here

My regrets can't bring them back, no matter the weight of it. But despite of that reality, I came back from being a doctor and vowed that I will do my hardest not to lose any more patient. That is why at least… I want to save Gin Sakato, who is bearing the lives of ninety-eight- no… ninety-seven children."Bookmark here

"Then… How did you come up with unthinkable solutions that made my son at least better?"Bookmark here

"I have recalled that a similar case had happened to him when he was still a child. He was also sat like that on the floor with dead eyes.Bookmark here

I combined many concepts that helped him in the past and I applied it once again after further diagnosis. And thankfully, things went-"Bookmark here

"Stop…!"Bookmark here

A shout voiced out from the glass window that made the two stand up and look to the glass as they saw Gin standing up with his trembling body, as if he is seeing someone with fear as he slowly steps back.Bookmark here

"N-No… I don't want this anymore…Bookmark here

Shut up! I don't want to…! I don't care! I will never do this again…!"Bookmark here

"What happened?!" Rin came running from where he was talking to Hiro.Bookmark here

"This… His hair… His hair grew at a very short time… I don't even know if there is a basis to that…"Bookmark here

"What is Gin saying that for, doctor?!"Bookmark here

"Mr. Sakato… this… this is February of the year 2008."Bookmark here

"I said I don't want to…! Stop!! I will never do this again!!!Bookmark here

Uhh…! GAAAAAHHH…!!!"Bookmark here

With a sounding shout coming from what seems to be a resistance from something, he dived to the floor and sat on his knees, as if he is sitting over someone.Bookmark here

There began a barrage of punches to the floor as it slowly became marked with blood. But Gin continued to hit the floor without pause regardless of his hands breaking.Bookmark here

Then he stopped, staring onto nothing with eyes that has nothing significant to see. Upon folding his arms and seeing his hands, he loudly cried.Bookmark here

Seeing the current setting, Rin immediately ran and opened the locked door, giving the crying Gin a tight embrace as her tears also fell down.Bookmark here

"Gin… It's alright now. Don't be scared… I'm here now. Don't look anymore… It will just terrify you more.Bookmark here

You said it yourself… This is not your fault…! You said that this is no one's fault! So Gin…! There's nothing to be scared of… Don't cry anymore…"Bookmark here

"…Bookmark here

It seems… that Ms. Akanami is aware of what is currently happening, Mr. Sakato. Nine months in the program… was when I ended the life of a doctor in my team…"Bookmark here

▪ ▪ ▪Bookmark here

‹Gin›Bookmark here

So I'm already at this point—the point when my hands were covered in blood as I saw with my very own eyes… that scene…Bookmark here

I’m coming back to reality again. Even I, who is stuck in my own mental world has shut down in the black void of my mind. I was out of it… but I still can see all of my memories pouring down at a very fast pace. It has been nine months of my memories that have been unlocked.Bookmark here

I wonder what will happen after the twelve months of these memories… Will there still be more that I have forgotten?Bookmark here

I realized that I suddenly shut down before seeing what the contents of the one final document that I was yet to see. Thus, I saw nothing… I still know nothing of code 019. The memories continued flowing without flaw after that. I do not know what caused my shutdown, but I probably went unconscious at that time.Bookmark here

Even when I was in the verge of dying up until now… I still look out for others. Rin has taught me that—as I was a selfish being. Indeed she did not teach me how to become strong, but she taught me how to be kind.Bookmark here

She is my light, after all.Bookmark here

As much as I am an abnormal human, Rin is much more amazing than me. And I look up to her more than myself. She has become a very big part in my life.Bookmark here

I will not disappear. I will stay by her side. I will stay and come back to my family. Because I know it all well, that if I suddenly disappear, I will only cause sadness even if I’m gone.Bookmark here

That is why… I will be back. No matter what. I want them to smile… I want Rin to smile. I will go back home…Bookmark here

Yes, indeed.Bookmark here

Hah. Now there is someone talking inside my head.Bookmark here

Yes, indeed.Bookmark here

Hahahaha… Hey, Kuro. What took you so long?”Bookmark here

Yes, indeed.Bookmark here

At least answer me seriously.Bookmark here

I managed to break out of your despair just now. Even if you were just as hopeless as the oblivion, I still saw hope. Finally, I saw you again.Bookmark here

It’s all your fault, you know.Bookmark here

Is that so… Sorry about that.Bookmark here

Hey.Bookmark here

Hey?Bookmark here

You are not going anywhere but home, you got it?Bookmark here

Bookmark here

Yep.Bookmark here

▪ ▪ ▪Bookmark here

“Are you okay, Ringo? It took you a lot of time to make him calm down.”Bookmark here

“I am still fine somehow, Uncle. But I will have to say… he’s hard to deal with.”Bookmark here

“Hahahaha. Finally you got the feeling when we were raising him with his so little behavior. Honestly, he was quite a pain. He didn’t even talk literally for a long time.”Bookmark here

“Fufu… What a stubborn child Potato was…”Bookmark here

Gin has calmed down after reminiscing the scene in his mind. Tranquility has taken over the whole room for two hours. But suddenly, he started muttering words.Bookmark here

“I’m sorry… I’m sorry… I’m sorry… I’m sorry… I’m sorry… I’m sorry… I’m sorry… I’m sorry… I’m sorry I can’t save you all…Bookmark here

Raven… You… Hitoga… Rotsuhi…Sid… Natsume… Atsuya… Fumi… Ron… Shibuki… Nino… Ruki… Ned…”Bookmark here

Hearing the names that had been uttered by Gin, the doctor ran off in front of the window, looking intently at him with his whole body trembling anew.Bookmark here

“I didn’t know this…”Bookmark here

“Doctor… what are those… who had those names…?” Rin urgently asked.Bookmark here

“Ren… Inuki… Chiba… Takami… Jefferson… Yasu…”Bookmark here

“014… 015… 016… 017… 018…Bookmark here

Bookmark here

020…”Bookmark here

“Doctor… Don’t tell me… Gin is reciting all of the names of the children…?Bookmark here

But why did you skip a child?”Bookmark here

“…Bookmark here

P-Please don't mind it…”Bookmark here

Gin continued.Bookmark here

“Kou… Akaku… Jinta… Al… Shindo… Yama… Rai… Saki… Ihetsu… Edine… Fuuta… Tachi… Yuu… Ram… Kura… Kyousuke… Miki… Ryan… Kugo… Pin… Ihei… Touko… May… Io… Naga… Rus… Gou… Colt… Yomu… Rie… Ian… Sachi… Kento… Fuji… Tomo… Jonas… Tsuki… Shinji… Remi… Jiro… Ray… Zenju… Doki… Kai… Lin… Sara… Mami… Emma… Arisu… Shun… Taku… Bert… Hana… Ougi… Sujin… Art… Waka… Miyu… Rainier… Del… Atori… Shin… Tetsu… Chris… Iwa… Aaron… Ogen… Neil… Kenshu… Roki… Mizu… Eric… Kitsu… Endo… Angelo… Marie… Kouka… Hyakumi…Bookmark here

I’m sorry… I’m sorry I was useless… I’m sorry that I can’t do anything for you… I’m sorry…Bookmark here

I promise… that I will become a better person… I won’t let this happen again… I will do everything… so that this will never happen again… I will do all this… all for your sake…Bookmark here

Bookmark here

Hahh… Haa… Haah… RAAAHHHHH-“Bookmark here

With all the thoughts that had plagued inside Gin’s head, he attempted to punch the floor again, as if pounding the Earth itself, but stopped right at the very end and held his bandaged right hand as it shook.Bookmark here

His mind is still puzzled, but the small, but firm hope stopped him. However unstable his mind had become, he persevered to battle against the heavy weight of despair and fear in his heart.Bookmark here

Still with lifeless eyes, he intently stared towards the people behind the glass and passed out on his knees.Bookmark here

▪ ▪ ▪Bookmark here

Hey, Kuro. Do you know what is going to happen next?Bookmark here

Of course not. Whatever you see, whatever you feel, whatever you think… is also what I see, what I feel, and what I think. Even if you are despairing in the outside, you still had the will and did not give up.Bookmark here

It’s just like when we were hit by that truck. You’ve given up your life, but deep inside, you did not.Bookmark here

Hmm… That’s a long answer for a short question.Bookmark here

Well, it seems that I passed out again. Who knows when I will wake up?Bookmark here

A memory is flashing again…Bookmark here

Bookmark here

March 2008. Two months before the experiment ends. Again… I am attempting an escape… even when we were down to sixteen children.Bookmark here

My self is once again traversing a path as if I knew it well. The cameras were as easy to be exploited, thus, it felt like it was just a walk in the park. I am looking for the office with my heart pounding ever so strongly.Bookmark here

As much as I was so curious as a six year-old, I am more than curious when I used to be. It may not be a big deal for me whoever was 019, but that mystery grew fond in me. Right now, I feel that I need to know it… as a feeling that something very significant is missing even before I get to remember.Bookmark here

This may not be what I thought in that past, but I can’t afford to fail this, as I feel that I will be at a loss if I don’t remember this.Bookmark here

And so I found the office again. The data was still there. But I can’t seem to find the certain document I was looking for. I rummaged through the desk and finally found the treasure that I was looking for after a long… a very long search.Bookmark here

Finally… I found it.Bookmark here

…………Bookmark here

▪ ▪ ▪Bookmark here

“Please don’t worry about Gin, Ms. Ringo. I will just be a half day that you will be out. Hopefully nothing will happen, but please rest assured.”Bookmark here

“Thank you, Sean.”Bookmark here

“The car is ready. I’m sure that you do not want to waste any time, so you better get going now.”Bookmark here

“Yes…”Bookmark here

Early in the next day, just after the sun rose, Rin had planned to go out of the base and come back home shortly to get some things and check up on her own family.Bookmark here

It is no doubt that she was scared to leave his lover, even if just shortly. But her worries had not ended yet as anxiety crippled and kept giving her a chill down to her spine. From the point of view of someone endeared to the other, it was painful to leave, even for a moment.Bookmark here

Nevertheless, she came back, knocking on the door of their house.Bookmark here

“Oh, daughter. You’re finally here.”Bookmark here

She received a warm hug from her mother and a sad, lonely smile from her father.Bookmark here

“I’m sorry that this will be a short visit, as I am needed in the base.”Bookmark here

“How is Gin, anyways?”Bookmark here

“…Bookmark here

Things still look very bad… Remembering so much from such a short time took a great mental toll… that became dangerous to his life…”Bookmark here

“I’m sorry… that your mother and I weren’t there when you were suffering so much…Bookmark here

But memories…? Don’t tell me he had amnesia…”Bookmark here

“Not much for amnesia and someone with that case will still be fine if they regain their memories. But Gin is different… it’s not just his memories coming back… it also has the great pain with it…Bookmark here

I’m sorry, Mom, Dad. It is still morning, but I have something to tell that will leave an unpleasant tone. Besides… I’ve never had a good morning ever since…”Bookmark here

“What is it, then…?”Bookmark here

“There is high chance that you do not know of what I will be saying first, but please hear me out.Bookmark here

Gin… has lost his memories from when he was five years old. He never had a good childhood, but now he is remembering them in every detail in a very fast manner. What was lost is a year’s worth of memories. And in just nineteen days, he already recalled almost nine months of it, along with the sufferings that even I can’t comprehend.Bookmark here

Gin is… a Medical Child… that has helped millions of children from stopping the epidemic years ago. His code was 027… he was involved with living experiments, making children take dangerous dosage of medicine, that eventually killed and deteriorated the body…Bookmark here

Out of the two children that survived, he was the only one that survived a year of what one will call tor-Bookmark here

Mom…?!”Bookmark here

Her mother suddenly fainted for some reasons she cannot tell. But Rin had observed that the expression of her parents turned grim upon hearing every word that came from her mouth.Bookmark here

“Mom…! What happened?!”Bookmark here

“Ringo, let her rest…Bookmark here

There’s something… something that I really need to tell you, even if I do not want you to hear it…Bookmark here

What I will say from this point on might make you despise us for our bad decisions… But please… hear me out… even if it ends up hurting ourselves…”Bookmark here

▪ ▪ ▪Bookmark here

At the eighth hour of the current—twentieth day of Gin’s recollection…Bookmark here

“Hi… ro…”Bookmark here

Rare as it is to hear Gin’s voice, Hiro jumped up from his seat and hurriedly came towards the window, where Gin was seen standing with an even longer hair covering his eyes.Bookmark here

“Gin?! Are you okay now?! Is there something wrong?!”Bookmark here

“Hiro…Bookmark here

I need… something to write with…”

Chapter Message:Bookmark here

You have finished 022.Bookmark here

I can't really assess if what I had written for this part of the story is actually good, but I can remember that I was somewhat proud with how I paced these developments even now. But I think I can infer that the hints I have given was an easy guess, but nonetheless I enjoyed writing this and the following few chapters.Bookmark here

Thank you for reading!Bookmark here

NextBookmark here

023: Simply put, the truth absolutely hurts.Bookmark here

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