A week had passed since the 'incident.' A rogue virus had rampaged through the abstergo systems and infected every tester in the system. It had not been an easy issue to deal with. Motoki and the other handlers were still in charge of their partners but said partners were in quarantine at the moment. Each was painstakingly kept from the others. Who knew what could happen if they all met? Usagi had been one of the lucky few to clear her test, but regardless she still suffered the same fate as the others.
Usagi glumly turned her attention to the high window in her prison. It was supposed to be a warm comforting room, but to her it was only a place of entrapment. She was being fed extremely well. In fact if she had not been so mentally devastated then she would be in heaven. "Mamoru," the whisper escaped her and new tears welled to her eyes. Funny, she had thought she was all cried out.
Motoki was a glutton for punishment. He had been in to see Usagi every single day. Today was not going to be an exception. He was dealing with that wary distrust in her eyes. It hurt more than anything else remembering what emotion those baby blues had held before she went under. "I'm here, Usagi."
As upset as she was, Usagi was tired of hurting this patient friend. She was not entirely sure how this world worked yet, but Motoki was always there for her every day. It was not his fault he could never replace her perfect Mamoru. "Motoki?"
Finally! Finally she was talking to him! It was worth the week that he had spent hating himself and endlessly waiting for her. "I know everything is different, but you are going to get through this, I promise." He tilted his head towards the door and tried to smile winningly at her. "The others are having a tough time too, but don't worry. I know all of you are going to be okay."
"Okay…" Her tone was soft and flat. She had been thinking a lot that past week. Despite it being less and less likely, she still had not given up hope that her fellow guardians would come and find her. She and they had been through far too much for her life to have been a computer program, especially when she never could make heads or tails of computer programs.
Motoki fought the sinking feeling in the pit of his stomach. It was going to be okay, sure, Usagi wasn't being super receptive right now, but that did not mean she would always be that way. "Once the quarantine is over, I think you are really going to like the other testers…." His voice trailed off as a stray through crossed his mind. He could only hope she didn't like the others too much. It was unlikely she would ever remember what she meant to him at this rate.
"Others?" Usagi had taken note of him mentioning the mysterious other people that were involved in her predicament but she had put it out of her mind for the moment. She had no real desire to care about anything but the raw agony that was eating her from the inside out. She had only cared up to this point about the empty hole that was ebbing away at her soul. "I think I want to meet them, Motoki." Maybe these others were the answer to this particular problem though. Maybe one of them knew just what was going on, or even more importantly, just how she could get back.
He didn't want to push his luck that he was having with the blonde thus far. It probably was not the time to let her know that until everyone went through severe mental checks, no one was allowed to have contact with each other. The last thing they needed was another Heero Yuy incident. "You will have to talk to someone first, Usagi." At her puzzled look his eyes escaped her searching gaze. "Think of it as an exit interview. Abstergo needs to talk to you to see what went wrong and if they can fix you."
"Your name please," the voice and the owner of the voice was pleasant enough. Cold, and impersonal, but polite at least. As her subject didn't quite make eye contact with her she sighed in faint annoyance. She had quite a number of these interviews to do and no one to share the load with. It was flattering, of course, but also mentally exhausting. "Name."
Draco's face was pinched to a deep scowl. "I don't have to introduce myself to the likes of you, muggle," his sneer was evident even in his tone. Just what had happened to him? One moment he had been watching the trials with everyone else, cheering for the defeat of that pompous Potter. Next thing he knew he had been inside a small dark room with an entirely too happy guy with a long braid.
"We need your name before we continue," the woman insisted staring just as coldly at him over the rim of her glasses. She sighed as she went over her mental notes about what program the teenager had been enlisted in. "If you ever want to leave this room, you are going to have to cooperate. I have a list of other testers to see and some need me a lot more than you do."
"Need?" Draco didn't bother trying to hide the disgust in his voice. "I don't anything form you, muggle." He glanced at his surroundings and frowned faintly. This didn't exactly look like any place he had ever been before actually. "Not that you deserve to hear my name, but I am Draco Malfoy. If you do not let me out of here immediately you will pay." Only after he answered the question did he realize something that was very alarming. His wand was gone.
Her fingers danced over the handheld device in her hand as she studied the subject thoughtfully. "Okay, Draco. We are going to run through a word association test. Do you think you are up for that?" at his bored nod she flashed a dazzling fake smile. "Okay, first, what is the first thing that comes to mind when you think of the word pilot."
"Pilot?" Draco repeated wondering just what kind of stupid person he was seemingly locked up with. Again she didn't seem inclined to say anything until he elaborated. He almost felt like she was a lazy frog waiting for a fly to land near it. "I guess a stupid airplane."
She nodded distractedly and typed that into the computer. Her head lifted and she made eye contact as she stared into his blue eyes. "Gundam," she stressed the word slowly as if was something important. "Gundam," she repeated in that same brainwashed tone like it meant something.
Draco shivered as a chill went down his spine. Was it a spell? It did not sound like anything he had ever heard before, and yet it made him feel something deep inside like a memory long forgotten trying to stir. No, this woman was no witch, and that was a fact. What did that leave? "No," he replied slowly.
"I see," the strange reaction had not escaped her notice. "Okay, I have one more for you, Draco." A smile slid onto her lips as she felt herself nearing the end of this little exercise. Now that she had one reaction she just needed one more for her research. "How do you feel about guns?"
"Guns?" Draco couldn't hold back a snort. "Why would I use a gun?" he started to demand but caught himself at the last moment. He had the strangest feeling this stupid muggle had tried to trick him! It was obvious from the way she was actually smiling now.
"I see," her voice trailed off as she got lost in her thoughts. She had been present for Heero's last interview before the decision to allow him back into the program. Truthfully, she had been against the order. It was amazing how much his personality had been changed in the last run through. He was at least not a danger to everyone this time around. "Okay, Draco. One last question. Do you know who Heero is?"
Duo was not exactly having a great day. First of all, his partner Heero Yuy had been once again convinced that the world he had been exploring, was in fact real. If that hadn't been bad enough though, every other tester in the whole program was convinced of the same thing. They had people thinking they were magical girls, ninjas, pirates, assassins, mecha pilots, and the list never seemed to stop. Why were so many different programs infected in the first place? "What do you think we should do about all this? The wait is killing me."
The other handler glanced Duo's way. His blue eyes were filled with mirth and he smirked. "It doesn't really matter, Duo. Everyone will be okay eventually. I mean even Heero came out fine the first time. He got a lot more interesting if you ask me." He scratched the back of his head ruffling his pony tail and looked thoughtful for a second. "But you know, I'm not sure what to do about Yasha. He thinks that he's a demon and he's under some curse. He keeps staring outside all confused. At least your friend thinks he's some crazy wizard."
Duo chuckled and then sighed. He couldn't even enjoy bantering with one of his best friends. "Yeah, Heero won't listen to me at all. His interview is going to be the first one considering his history. Do you think he might remember his real past this time?" As hopeful as Duo was, he didn't really believe that it could happen. The first time Heero had flipped out and nearly killed people after testing the system had been a disaster.
Author Notes: While Updating Smcrossover Net I came acros sa few stories that needed updates over here, so here they are.