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…"
"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."
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.
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.
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.
"Even after that… it is still astonishing that such coincidence has happened, following the story you told me."
"Yes… It is almost unprecedented. But that in itself… terrifies me the most."
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."
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.
But the serious atmosphere was suddenly broken… only for it to come back immediately.
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.
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.
"Dr. Rishou Kagetora, that is you, right?" and she followed with a quick glance on the other person inside the room which was Ginji.
The doctor fell to extreme shock.
"Y-You people… you are… Exiles…
Why… Why are you 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.
"Dr. Kagetora. We came here to ask you to fulfill a personal request. We are representatives of the person that has made the request."
"M-Might I know who the person is, if possible…?"
"The individual Gin Sakato's life is endangered."
The two reflexively stood up out of sheer shock upon hearing the name of the involved.
Ginji, who has been keeping himself in check, has lost his untroubled behavior as his heart suddenly thumped hard over and over.
"027…?! Tell me… Please… What happened to him?!"
"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."
"T-The program… eleven years ago…"
"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.
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."
"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?"
This is on our hands of expectation, Ginji Satoshi…"
Having his name coming out of nowhere, he spoke, "How do you know my name…?"
"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.
I've thought that we will need a mediator for the doctor's party to gain our trust.
G… if you still don't get it, you are seriously lagging behind."
After all that was said, the faceless female removed her mask in front of them, revealing the appearance of Rin.
"Oi, oi… Now this took me off my guard…"
Calm as his tone may be at the very least, his sudden paled complexion and terrorized visage said otherwise.
"Ringo… who are you really…? No wonder why you haven't been to school… What is happening really…"
"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.
I am a mere human… I am not an Exile."
"Please take me to where he is…
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…
Please…! Let me help cure 027! I still want to pay this priceless debt I had on him…!!"
The regretful expression has grown to the doctor's face as he cried with all the thoughts of the past haunting him once again.
"Doctor… We have no time to waste. I can't leave Gin behind any longer than this…
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.
Ginji… close my office. And explain to them that I have a very important appointment I need to attend."
"Ringo…! Since you appear to know the Exiles… do you know the person who fended off the bomb?"
Do you really think I have the time to answer that?"
In front of the cold and enraged gaze of Rin, a sharp chill rose up on Ginji's back.
A minute has gone by with silence inside the office. His head has lowered down as he sat with his hand covering his face.
"I was too late…
Those two are suffering again… Tsk."
~ ~ ~
Regardless of the attention that Rin's party has caught, they made their way on their vehicle with the doctor.
"J-Just to clarify… I have no right to know where we are going, right…?"
"Yes. We also have measures for that. Though we are avoiding doing that," said Hiro who was behind his mask and the steering wheel.
"There is not a need for that.
I don't want to pile up my sins anymore."
The doctor then punctured an injection to his arm, making him unconscious after a few seconds.
With that, they successfully came back to the base.
~ ~ ~
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.
Because of that, they did not come to the trouble of transporting him to another room with the presence of Kagetora.
After a few minutes of being inside the closed out room, the doctor awakened with the sleeping drug faded away in his constitution.
"You're finally awake, Dr. Kagetora."
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.
"Can… he talk…?"
"That, we do not know. He speaks when he feels like he can. It has been 17 days since he was holed up here."
"I-I might as well try…
027… Can you hear me…?"
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.
"Don't… Don't come near me…! Go away!
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…"
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."
"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…
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.
But even so, we personally requested of your assistance. We will not be going anywhere unless you do something, doctor."
"We're going in."
The door opened making the entrance of Amano and Senna Sakato, immediately directing their attention to the kneeling doctor.
Seeing the couple, he once again stood up in spite of his legs that had weakened.
"Mr. and Mrs. Sakato… Please… hear me…
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…"
"Hah. At least you finally admit that you're a heartless degenerate."
"Wahh… That's Uncle Amano for you. Now I see that Gin got that behavior from him," thought Rin.
"Whatever consequence it may be, I will accept it."
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."
"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."
Yes. We will take up to your words."
▪ ▪ ▪
Ahh. So Kagetora really came.
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.
But only to slash myself when I was out of it ten years later.
It scares me…
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
I have been reduced to "something…" something that one may not be called a true human anymore.
Ahh. It still keeps coming.
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.
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.
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.
The memory cut off there.
▪ ▪ ▪
Nineteen days since the beginning of this distress.
"Hahh… Gin has finally maintained a better state. Thank goodness…"
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.
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.
"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.
"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.
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."
"Ahaha… I wonder how things are going there. But I really should thank him once everything has settled down.
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…"
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.
Ms. Ringo, you really love him, huh."
"Of course I do… I love him very much."
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.
"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.
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."
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.
Hahh… I lost. I'm still lacking so much."
"I could really see you being a good wife to Gin, Ringo."
"I have to admit; I've dreamed and imagined that so much that I space out because of that.
And now you're addressing me casually."
"Hahahaha. How honest.
I hope that Gin will be a good husband to you."
"Please don't say that…
"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."
And so, Rin's cheeks turned red imagining a hand placing a ring on her ring finger.
"I say that all, but I…
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.
~ ~ ~
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.
"Cat's already out of the bag, doctor. I want to know the roots of that disgraceful program eleven years ago."
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."
"So you're telling me… the government is the one behind that damned program…?!"
"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.
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…
Unless living humans were used for the experiment.
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.
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.
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.
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…
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.
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…!
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."
"Then… How did you come up with unthinkable solutions that made my son at least better?"
"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.
I combined many concepts that helped him in the past and I applied it once again after further diagnosis. And thankfully, things went-"
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.
"N-No… I don't want this anymore…
Shut up! I don't want to…! I don't care! I will never do this again…!"
"What happened?!" Rin came running from where he was talking to Hiro.
"This… His hair… His hair grew at a very short time… I don't even know if there is a basis to that…"
"What is Gin saying that for, doctor?!"
"Mr. Sakato… this… this is February of the year 2008."
"I said I don't want to…! Stop!! I will never do this again!!!
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.
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.
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.
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.
"Gin… It's alright now. Don't be scared… I'm here now. Don't look anymore… It will just terrify you more.
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…"
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…"
▪ ▪ ▪
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…
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.
I wonder what will happen after the twelve months of these memories… Will there still be more that I have forgotten?
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.
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.
She is my light, after all.
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.
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.
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…
Hah. Now there is someone talking inside my head.
Hahahaha… Hey, Kuro. What took you so long?”
At least answer me seriously.
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.
It’s all your fault, you know.
Is that so… Sorry about that.
You are not going anywhere but home, you got it?
▪ ▪ ▪
“Are you okay, Ringo? It took you a lot of time to make him calm down.”
“I am still fine somehow, Uncle. But I will have to say… he’s hard to deal with.”
“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.”
“Fufu… What a stubborn child Potato was…”
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.
“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…
Raven… You… Hitoga… Rotsuhi…Sid… Natsume… Atsuya… Fumi… Ron… Shibuki… Nino… Ruki… Ned…”
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.
“I didn’t know this…”
“Doctor… what are those… who had those names…?” Rin urgently asked.
“Ren… Inuki… Chiba… Takami… Jefferson… Yasu…”
“014… 015… 016… 017… 018…
“Doctor… Don’t tell me… Gin is reciting all of the names of the children…?
But why did you skip a child?”
P-Please don't mind it…”
“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…
I’m sorry… I’m sorry I was useless… I’m sorry that I can’t do anything for you… I’m sorry…
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…
Hahh… Haa… Haah… RAAAHHHHH-“
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.
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.
Still with lifeless eyes, he intently stared towards the people behind the glass and passed out on his knees.
▪ ▪ ▪
Hey, Kuro. Do you know what is going to happen next?
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.
It’s just like when we were hit by that truck. You’ve given up your life, but deep inside, you did not.
Hmm… That’s a long answer for a short question.
Well, it seems that I passed out again. Who knows when I will wake up?
A memory is flashing again…
March 2008. Two months before the experiment ends. Again… I am attempting an escape… even when we were down to sixteen children.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Finally… I found it.
▪ ▪ ▪
“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.”
“Thank you, Sean.”
“The car is ready. I’m sure that you do not want to waste any time, so you better get going now.”
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.
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.
Nevertheless, she came back, knocking on the door of their house.
“Oh, daughter. You’re finally here.”
She received a warm hug from her mother and a sad, lonely smile from her father.
“I’m sorry that this will be a short visit, as I am needed in the base.”
“How is Gin, anyways?”
Things still look very bad… Remembering so much from such a short time took a great mental toll… that became dangerous to his life…”
“I’m sorry… that your mother and I weren’t there when you were suffering so much…
But memories…? Don’t tell me he had amnesia…”
“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…
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…”
“What is it, then…?”
“There is high chance that you do not know of what I will be saying first, but please hear me out.
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.
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…
Out of the two children that survived, he was the only one that survived a year of what one will call tor-
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.
“Mom…! What happened?!”
“Ringo, let her rest…
There’s something… something that I really need to tell you, even if I do not want you to hear it…
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…”
▪ ▪ ▪
At the eighth hour of the current—twentieth day of Gin’s recollection…
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.
“Gin?! Are you okay now?! Is there something wrong?!”
I need… something to write with…”
You have finished 022.
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.
Thank you for reading!
023: Simply put, the truth absolutely hurts.