Author's Note-Sorry for taking so long, guys. I just started up highschool as a senior last week, and it's been keeping me busy. Not to mention Dirge of Cerberus... -grin- Anywho, I don't own FMA and I don't own any of the characters except Abby. And I dunno why the ruler thingies don't seem to be working...so until they do, bear with me.
Time passed. He had no idea how long. Maybe it was a few hours, but it all seemed like a mere eternity… He tried to look away, to focus his eyes on something else. But he could still hear everything clearly, see everything clearly. The disk seemed to have recorded more than just the memories that Aiden had unearthed, but his entire life. And now he was reliving random memories…over and over again. It was hardly much different from rubbing salt into an open wound…
Abby had been right. This was hell on earth. And while the viewing of his memories and sins never seemed to cease, he could gradually feel his hope starting to slip away. Yes, he was stubborn, he was determined, but…facts were facts. He cursed his skeptical mind for naturally looking more at the facts than the slim reassurances that the others had said earlier.
The others…how long had they been here for? Years, right? Even if the military did start putting more focus into the case, if they had even been on this case to begin with, then there wasn't much of a chance that they would be found…was there? If they were going to get out, then it would have to be up to them, and considering the circumstances, those chances seemed even less. They would never escape…would they…?
But…no…he had to help his brother…he had to make things right again… But how would he do that when he was being imprisoned in here? And even if they did escape, could they do it before his mental and physical state was pushed to and past their breaking points? What if they were already? …How would he be of much help then…?
He wanted to believe that they could do it. He wanted to believe, but as had happened many times before, he couldn't grasp that hope. And with all of this…he couldn't even focus enough to come up with a plan for escape, or barely even motivate himself to try. The chains of the past now weighed heavier on his mind and soul. So all he could do now was sit and watch his sins being replayed over and over, becoming lost in the depths of memory. Everything had gone wrong because of him. Could he fix it now…? …No…not anymore…
Edward Elric wanted to believe…but the only light that remained were the light from his memories on the screen.
The next morning, Tsuki sat in the far corner of her cage, bandages thick around her left hand and head, covering her right eye somewhat. She rocked back and forth slowly, cursing the world.
Aiden hummed softly as he walked into the room, flipping through a few papers clipped onto a clip board. "Good morning, filths."
The girl in the far cage-Ash-had sat up, leaning sideways weakly to watch. Her eyes were maroon and her hair was long and white. She had large, bat-like wings folded behind her.
"Where the hell is Ed?" Abby demanded.
Aiden smiled. "He's either alseep or insane..But I'm not taking bets on which. Who's ready for breakfast?"
Ezra glared at Aiden and looked away, muttering something low under his breath.
"What did you do to him?" Abby demanded, her green eyes flashing dangerously as she gripped the bars tighter.
Ash got a hopeful look in her eyes at the mention of breakfast. Theo hadn't fed her in nearly a week.
Ezra rolled his eyes and held up his hand. "I'll take some of that breakfast, Aiden," he spoke up, obviously doubting that he would get any.
Aiden smirked and opened a little cabinet in the back of the room. He pressed a button under the counter and two bowls rose up in each cage, one full of water, the other empty. He hummed softly as he pressed several more buttons. Two rock hard pieces of molding bread popped up in Abby and Ezra's bowl, a fresh piece in Ash's, and milk filled Tsuki's free bowl.
Tsuki looked up slowly, ears slanting backwards. "You fuck. You're kidding me."
Abby was meanwhile unamused. "I asked what you did to Ed," she repeated.
Ezra glanced at Abby. "He's not going to tell us. It'll be all the more amusing for them to have him show up wrapped in bandages and moaning in pain. There's not much we can really do."
Abby frowned, then looked away as she sighed in frustration.
Aiden smirked and tilted his head, watching Ash with an arched brow.
Ash blinked, slowly and weakly bringing a hand up to the bar as she watched.
Ezra followed his gaze and turned to look at Ash as well. "You know, why not just give her some food instead of taunting her with it?"
"Oh..Of course." Aiden frowned. "She has food, imbecile."
Ezra shrugged, "Then leave her alone and let her eat it without your big nose in her face."
Ash turned and picked up the bread, starting to eat it.
"Running out of effective insults?" Aiden taunted.
Ezra turned and looked at him, his eyes flashing. "I've decided not to insult the scum that don't deserve my time." He looked back at Ash. "For now, anyway."
Abby sighed. She wasn't about to be distracted from what was important. "At /least/ tell us when Ed is coming back. I know you haven't killed him."
"I have no idea when I'll let Ed out. Whenever I get bored, I guess." Aiden smiled and sipped daintily at a cup of coffee.
A girl inside one of the test tubes opened her eyes slightly to watch.
Ezra merely turned and glared at the bowl. He wrinkled his nose disgustedly and kicked the bread out of the bowl. "Too bad he isn't here, he could use this stuff to scratch a fucking transmutation circle..."
"Can I have some cereal to go with this damn milk?" Tsuki grumbled, ears flat against her head.
"Mm...No." Aiden purred absently and glanced at Ezra. "It's all you're getting for all the back talk you've been giving lately."
Abby glanced over at him, then sighed and picked up her bread. "Hm..." she muttered. She banged the bread against the concrete floor, raising an eyebrow. "This is supposed to be bread..? Look at this! It's not even breaking… I think one of you guys just gained a hobby with painting mossy rocks brown…" she commented. In spite of her complaints, though, she looked over at the transmutation circle Ed had started to begun to scratch inside his cage earlier. She turned her back to Aiden and began to copy it with one of the more pointed parts of the so-called bread. When she copied all that there was, she started to improvise.
Ezra shrugged. "I can go weeks without eating." He glanced over at Abby. "Why does she have this shit too? She hardly did anything. I'm the one who insulted your fucking orientation."
Aiden frowned at Ezra, holding up the remote. "Did you like the smell of that gas?"
Abby frowned, thinking for a moment. Finally she finished all she could, thinking it looked ready enough. 'Hope I can do this...' she thought, placing her hand on the small circle.
Ezra shrugged. "Either way I answer, I'm screwed over." He glanced at Aiden. "Press the damn button again. I can take it. I took it last night and I'll take it again today."
"I'd hate to waste it on you.." Aiden tilted his head, and pondered asking Theo to remove Ezra's voice box the next time he played doctor.
Abby glanced over at the others, then closed her eyes, trying to concentrate. What was it that Ed had done? There was a split-second pause, then a flash of light... The transmutation circle began to pulse with light, not enough to actually glow from the floor yet, but just enough to fill the etchings of the circle.
Ezra laughed hoarsely. "What's wrong, Aiden? My lack of enthusiasm bothering you?"
Aiden frowned, ignoring Ezra and glancing to Abby. "You shouldn't play with your food, Abby."
Abby's eyes opened as the transmutation circle dimmed. "Tch. Whatever..." she mumbled, lying back on the circle to hide it.
Ezra grinned amusedly at Aiden, his eyes flashing. "No answer, huh? I guess it must be bothering you. Since you're avoiding the subject like a pussy." He paused and gave a mock expression of shock. "Oops, did I just insult you again? I guess that didn't last long."
Tsuki rolled her eyes at that one. "You are trying -way- too hard. Don't make me throw this bowl at you," she said, even though she knew that the bowl was not going anywhere, no matter how hard one chose to pull at them. Aiden frowned at Abby, then smirked and looked down at his paper work.
Ezra laughed and looked over at Tsuki. "I'd like to see you try, Tsuki." He looked over at Aiden. "I guess I'll just have to insult him when everyone else is here. It's much easier to put him into a threesome with the whore and the boytoy."
Tsuki growled and splashed milk and water towards Ezra's cage. "Shutup! If my finger weren't attached I'd throw it at you!" She hissed.
Ezra looked over at her, raising an eyebrow. "Look, Tsuki, I'm not here to pick fights with you."
"Then shut the fuck up! You're getting annoying!" She huffed and turned her back, crossing her arms.
Ezra glared at the back of her head and picked up his piece of bread, tossing it up and down in the air, ignoring her comment. He sighed boredly as he hit the bread against the ceiling of his cage.
The girl in the test tube watched Aiden. Her eyes slowly shifted to look over at the tools hanging on the wall. One of the screwdrivers on the wall began to wobble slightly.
Aiden smirked at them. "Hm. Internal conflict with the renegades? Have fun for a few minutes," Aiden muttered turning and walking out of the room, leaving his coffee cup on the counter.
Ezra watched him leave then brushed off the piece of bread and leaned forward, reaching his arm through the bars of his cage and tossing the piece of bread towards Tsuki. He watched it land just outside her cage bars before leaning back against his corner. "You can throw it, or you can eat it. Your choice. I just thought it might be better than milk."
Meanwhile, the girl in the test tube watched the man leave the room. The screwdriver wobbled again, then began to rise up from the rack. When it did, it moved out a bit, then dropped to the floor. It slowed to a stop before it could land with a clatter, then began to make its way towards Ezra. The girl kept her eyes focused on the screwdriver the entire time, staring at it intensely.
Ezra blinked and turned to look at the rack. He could have sworn he had seen movement. He noticed the movement again in the corner of his eye and looked down at the screwdriver. "What the..."
Abby blinked at the screwdriver, then up at the girl and grinned. "Telekinesis..." she muttered. "Looks like those bastards gave one of us something useful after all.."
Ezra looked up at Abby, then followed her gaze and looked at the girl. "Great, another girl who can throw my kindness back in my face." He grumbled slightly then leaned back against the cage bars. His eyes moved to the screwdriver again.
The screwdriver hit the bars of Ezra's cage and stopped. The girl looked up at him and smiled through her air mask.
Ezra raised an eyebrow and looked at the girl before picking up the screwdriver, turning it so it came through the bars. "What exactly do you want me to do with this?" Even if he could get out his cage with it, he wouldn't have time to free the others. The security would go off and shut every door in the stupid lab. They'd go into lock down and get nothing but stale, moldy bread for a month.
The girl blinked, not able to hear him but seeing the confusion on his face. She paused, thinking for a moment. The screwdriver suddenly began to tug out of his hand, towards Abby.
Ezra glanced down at the screwdriver and stood, letting the screwdriver pull him towards Abby. He glanced over at the girl, then at Abby, then back again. "Abby..?"
"I see..." Abby muttered quietly. "She saw me go chameleon yesterday..."
The screwdriver reached her cage and she reached down, picking it up and then walking over to the lock.
Ezra looked up at the camera in the corner of the room and glanced at the girl, walking over to the side of his cage and nodding towards it, looking at her questioningly.
The camera slowly, conveniently began to turn away. The girl looked like she was starting to get weary, but continued to concentrate.
Abby began to pick at the lock. "Dammit..." she muttered. "I was never really good with this..."
Ezra smiled at the girl and looked over at Abby. "Hey, Abby, toss it. If I can get us out, you can free the others and I can go find the alchemist. I just have to work up my speed."
Abby glanced over at him, then nodded and tossed it back over to him. "Just be sure to get his arm," she muttered. "I think I see it over on the back table. Or it could be his leg; I can't tell.."
"Wait, wait, give it to me. I can go faster than all ya'll." Tsuki waved her hands at Ezra. "And I know how to pick locks."
Ezra glanced at her then tossed it to her. He glanced at Abby. "Do you think they've got an extra set of keys somewhere?"
"Lying around here? Somehow I doubt it..." Abby said. "Now this is the basic security of the area based on what I've seen: the whole place is mainly underground. Four stories to be exact; there's one story above. All floors and hallways are white and look the same. There's all sorts of locks, alarms, and cameras. Are you /sure/ you'll be able to dodge all that shit?" she asked, looking over at Ezra.
Tsuki snorted, catching the screwdriver. "I ain't goin through anyone's pockets," she mumbled, standing and slipping to the door of her cage, working at the lock. It popped open moments later and she smirked, easing the door open. She murmured something or other to herself and snuck around the back of the cages to Abby's, cracking that lock in a matter of moments. "Alright.. Can you handle everyone else?"
Ezra rolled his eyes, "I can move faster than all those cameras. It's just a matter of knocking them out. I can pick something out of here to do that with."
Tsuki huffed and glared at Ezra. "We'll both go. You can't do it alone."
Abby nodded as she stepped through the door, pausing for a moment, then going into chameleon mode. "Yeah, sure," she whispered. "Tsuki...thanks. And...if it comes down to it, leave if you both get caught. Don't bother coming back for us; just go," she said.
Ezra rolled his eyes at Abby, leaning against the bars of his cage. "I'm not leaving anyone behind. If we end up getting caught, stealth won't matter, I can head to security and turn everything off. It'll leave the scientists in confusion."
"I'll go and get help if I have to.. You guys just have to work at staying alive and in one piece.." Tsuki smiled and gave Abby a thumbs up before lookig to Ezra. "Why don't you go do that now, if you're so sure. I'll be slowed down if I have to carry Ed back here."
"I'd already be gone if you'd have picked my lock first."
"Fuck off and just do it." Tsuki hissed, scurrying towards a door in the back of the room. "Abby.. There's a lantern thing in here, in case Chipper here cuts off the lights too. I'll be as quick as I can."
Ezra looked over at Abby in annoyance. "Get me out of here, Abby... I need to shut everything off."
Tsuki smirked and waved a mock-salute to Ezra before turning and sprinting off thru the door they had taken Ed into.
Abby nodded and crept over to Ezra's cage, beginning to pick at it with the screwdriver. "After this, I'll get Ash and the other girl out.." she said.
Ezra glanced up at her then rolled his eyes. "I am going to shut off the lights Abby, it'll help keep the scientists under confusion. Only use the lantern when you need to. The light will alert the scientists that something's up. Let your eyes adjust to the dark. You probably can't see as much as me, but it'll be easier. Once you free them, get out of here."
Abby nodded. "Look, I'm serious. If something happens to me, make your way to a military base and ask for Clarissa O'Brien. She works for Lieutenant Hughes," she said quietly as she worked. "They'll be able to find this place, especially with a refugee to help them."
Ezra smiled and put a finger under her chin, lifting her face to meet his. "Nothing's gonna happen to you, or them. We're all going to get out of here. Got me?" He winked at her and gave her a confident smirk. "Besides, the Hag's probably busy with the Boy Toy and the faggot."
Abby blinked, then sighed. "Yeah. Okay..." she said. "Always good to be prepared, though..."
Ezra nodded. "True... But I'll make sure nothing happens to ya."
The lock eventually came undone and Abby opened the door slowly and quietly.
Ezra smiled and stepped out. He glanced up at the camera. "Keep yourself safe, Abs." He smiled and seemed to disappear suddenly, appearing at the door. "See ya around." He smiled once more before disappearing, the door swinging shut behind him.
Abby watched, then nodded. "Sure.." she said. She walked over to Ash's cage and began to pick the lock. "Not sure if you can walk.." she muttered. "Hopefully you can."
Ash looked up at her and blinked, then nodded. "I might be able to.." she whispered.
Abby managed to break the lock open to Ash's cage, then darted over to the girl and stared at the tank for a moment. "Oh, this is gonna be hell..." she muttered, trying to recall what computer skills her sister had taught her as she began to press buttons on the test tube panel.
Tsuki purred contentedly to herself as she snuck down the hallway, peeking around corners before slipping around them, pressed flat against the walls to avoid being seen by the cameras. She came to a door and peeked in, arching a brow. She stood up straight and stared... It seemed to be a massage therapy room. Her eyes widened somewhat as she closed the door, making a disgusted sound.
She snuck further along and opened another door, standing up again. She stepped inside, closing the door behind her. It took seconds for her eyes to adjust completely, and when they did, she wished they hadn't. She stared as pictures that were unfamiliar danced across the far wall, emitting a soft glow to the rest of the room. "...Eh..Ed...?" She called hesitantly, eyes wide. She looked to the figure in the chair, walking over to it quietly and placing a hand on his shoulder and turning him slightly.
Ed had tears running down his cheeks. He looked over at Tsuki with shameful eyes. "Please don't watch..." he whispered. "Just turn it off..."
The image of the results of the human transmutation was flashing on the screen again. A chibi Ed, trying to save his younger brother with the soul transmutation, using his own blood...
Her eyes widened further as she stared down at Ed. She nodded suddenly and looked away from the wall, but she couldn't help but glance back as she fumbled for the power switch. "Jesus.." She whispered, stumbling as her toe caught something on the ground. The images stopped all of a sudden, and the face of Ed's mother faded slowly into blackness. Tsuki blinked a few times and sighed heavily, staring fixedly at the ground and the pulled power cord to the machine. She let out a little 'eep' when something bumped her hand and she looked down. A disk had popped out of the TV. She frowned and took it, looking it over before stuffing it into her pocket, beginning to tear at the duct tape that held Ed to the chair. "We're gonna get you outta here, okay Ed? Okay?"
Ed blinked up at her, his eyes blank. "O...kay..?" he said, disoriented.
Tsuki stared at him for a moment, frowning. "...Ed?"
Ed blinked. Was she talking to him? Ed... Was that his name...? He looked around, not seeing anyone else aside from the two of them. "I guess..." he said.
Author's Note-Yep, we're back! It's good to see we have so many loyal fans… I'm surprised at how successful this story has turned out so far. –nodnod- Anywho, time to respond to the reviews! Hopefully I'll have some time to update Darkness today, too… (Which reminds me, if anyone's a fan of the X-Files, be sure to check it out! It doesn't have FMA in there directly, but I did add a few touches from it in there.) I'll probably update it tomorrow if not today. Heh…anyway, on to the responses!
Silver Windflame-Glad you like it. Updating now.
The Teenage Writer-Heh…pleasant surprise for the morning, ne? Now, for the torture idea, it's Kisike (Aiden and Tsuki's roleplayer) who gets most of the applause for that. I merely suggested the idea of the memory machine thingy, but Kisike was the one that turned the experiment into a torture idea. Of course, with me roleplaying as Edo, I got to surprise everyone with the end result of little accident that happened at the end of the chapter… -grin- As for the investigation, it might be a couple of chapters before we jump back to them, but they will be making their reappearance eventually. –nodnod-
Chibimacha7-Heh. Sorry about that. –smiles and sweatdrops- I'm trying my best to update regularly again. –nodnod-
Eyelet Lace-Aw, thankies. –smile- It's fun to roleplay, too. –nodnod-
xcloudx-Sorry about that. I got a little lazy. –smiles and sweatdrops- I'm glad we're back, too. –nodnod-
TO-Thankies! Though Kisike, Mikomi, and I are curious to know…how does Ezra remind you of Envy?
Mecha Otaku-Lovely? Heh. Thanks. We try to be descriptive and all. –nodnod- Updating now.
Edward elric's wife-No problem. –smiles and sweatdrops- Anyways, nah. He hasn't exactly gained something, yet, at least. Though there is something that he's lost…
Chrosis-Updated! What do you think? –grin-
IloveJesus7390-Heh. I react the same way when it comes to most schoolwork. I should probably get out of the habit of doing that, now that I have AP English… -smiles and sweatdrops- Anywho, yeah, Kisike does roleplay a pretty good Roy (I normally roleplay Hughes-the obsessive personality ish fun to roleplay, as well as Edo and a few other characters), and she roleplays an even better Envy. –grins and nods-
An Angel's Wings-Yeah, there were quite a few wordy-derds. That's one of the main reasons that I've been debating on changing the rating to this. On the other hand, it is already rated teen, and language like that is fairly common at my highschool… -smiles and sweatdrops- Anywho, yep. Maeva and Theo are bad people, but by far, I think I'd vote Aiden the worst. –nodnod- But yeah, I'm glad you like it so far.
Ayame-Glad that you like it! Updated. –grins and nods-