~Chapter 1~

Yusei cowered on the iron post bed as the security officer let the beam of his flashlight scan the room for anything unusual. The officer let his beam rest on Yusei's bed; Yusei squeezed his eyes shut hoping the officer would continue on his nightly rounds.

"Number C-109…"

Yusei's breathing deepened into uncontrolled gasps; he quivered with fear as he heard his number repeated once more. Yusei scooted himself to the edge of the bed, his scuffed shoes inches away from the floor. Easing himself slowly off the bed, he walked towards the officer his over-sized shoes giving him an awkward gait. He was pushed along down the hall to a large room where a security officer checked his notes boredly, two other boys stood nervously a few feet away from him. The room was eerily dark except for a single light overhead that was burning low. The room was so cold that ice had gathered on the floor and walls, Yusei's breath was boldly visible as he tried to steady his breath.

"Remove you shoes, socks, jackets, and shirts…" The officer said in a bored monotone, no one moved and Yusei hugged his arms closer to his body to bring about extra warmth, "Now!"

Yusei's small fingers shivered in the coldness as he removed his shirt and jacket along with his shoes and socks. The officer that held the notebook took a small piece of chalk from his pocket and made three circles on the concrete floor a yard away from each other.

"Each one of you boys' step in the middle of the circle in front of you and remain in a standing position."

Yusei took a small step forward, the concrete floor coldly accepting the given weight of his small form. Yusei stared unmoving at the wall in front of him; his skin tinged a light blue due to the constant exposure of the coldness. The officers studied the boys keenly looking for complete submission. The other officer leaned back in his desk chair and sipped on some hot liquid. After they stared at the boys for awhile, they grew bored and began talking and telling each other jokes.

The boys on the side of Yusei shivered and after a few hours one fell to the ground unable to maintain a standing position. Yusei closed his eyes as the boy on the left side of him screamed as one of the officers hit him repeatedly with a metal switch. Warm blood splattered on Yusei's bare feet as the switch drew forth blood from its innocent victim.

Yusei tried to block out the screams of pain, all he wanted to do was cover his ears with his hands and cry until the pain had been erased from all his memories. Inside of himself, Yusei was huddle tightly in a dark corner with no way for his pain to fade away, all of a sudden, Yusei was standing in a warm comforting light. As quick as the light came, it faded away and Yusei opened his eyes. He was the only one in the room beside one of the officers; panicking Yusei wondered what had become of the other two boys.

The officer wrote a few things on his notebook and then stood up, he handed Yusei his clothes and ushered him back to his assigned room. The clock in the hall revealed that he had been away for six hours, already the light was softening.

Yusei shivered as he neared his bed and turned as the officer spoke to him, "Get ready to leave in an hour."

In an hour Yusei was ushered to a security car, the widows were too high to really get a good look out of so Yusei boosted himself up by sliding his feet underneath him. A speaker next to him went on, "Get your feet off the seat you little brat!"

Startled Yusei look up, past the iron mesh that separated him and the officer. The officer was glaring at him through the review mirror before turning his attention to the road.

After hours of time had passed, the car jerked to a stop and the officer step out before opening the side door, Yusei stepped out and looked around with wonder. He had never been outside before; the sun that shined through the bare trees glistened in the morning frost. Yusei followed the officer up the steps.

"Wait on these steps," the officer ordered coldly before knocking on the door and letting himself in.

Yusei sat down on the steps and swung his feet, making a soft rhythm. He looked up to see two young boys standing by the officer's car. One had a rather arrogant air about him and was clad in a white hoodie and white tennis shoes, his spiked yellow hair and violet purple eyes deepened his arrogant personality. The other little boy was a little shorter and had white hair that hung about his face, giving him the air of a mischievous personality. Yusei watch them with curiosity as their low voices were carried across the still air.

"I dare you to do it Kallen!" dared the boy with yellow hair.

Yusei watched the boy called Kallen choose a sharp stone from the ground and then run it along the officer's car, scratching the paint and making jagged lines across the shiny car door. Yusei gasped, horrified at how the officer might react to having police property treated in such a disrespectful way.

Kallen laughed, and pointed at Yusei, "Jack look at that kid's face! He looks like he's going to have an accident." Yusei blushed and hid his thoughts so that his face looked blank. However, that made Jack and Kallen laugh all the harder.


"He's a good kid ma'am… would love to have a son like him. He passed all the tests and has been released a year earlier than other kids. He's smart and bright-"

Martha ignored the officer's words as she swept back the curtain and peered out the window to study the young dark-headed boy sitting on the steps. He seemed to be of meek spirit, but she also wondered if she would be able to care for him. Children that were sent to a special branch in the Security Group often had anger issues or nurtured deep hatred that would break out with little warning. Though the branch was meant to help children become better citizens before releasing them to families or orphanages in the Satellite; it only made matters worse and robbed children of their youthful innocents with harsh regulations and discipline.

"I think not officer… I barely can feed the other children I have taken under my wing…" her voice trailed off. "No. No, I can't do it… as much as my heart aches to help every child I'm offered, I couldn't."

"Just for a trial bases… it's that or we take him back to the detention center," stated the officer truthfully hoping to play on the woman's emotions.

Martha met the officer's eyes, "For a trail bases then… one week."

The officer hid a smile, emotions for children always worked, "Very well, ma'am I'll send an officer to check in with you in a week."

Martha followed the officer out of the door, the officer pasted Yusei without even a backwards glance, "You'll be staying here for week, I'll send someone to check up on how you're doing," he called coolly over his shoulder.

Yusei watched the officer drive away before hesitantly looking into the woman's face. Martha smiled, "Hello Yusei, my name is Martha and you will be staying with us for a little while." Martha held out her hand and Yusei hesitatingly took it, "Jack, Kallen… come along inside now!" she called.

Yusei quickly stepped out of the way to avoid Kallen and Jack who eagerly ran into the house. Kallen stepped on Yusei's foot as he ran past, Yusei winced but said nothing. Martha guided him into the parlor and called for the children to join her.

"Children this is Yusei… he will be staying with us for a short while. He's nine years old… so he'll be sleeping in the older boy's room with Kallen and Jack." Martha motioned to each boy in turn.

"Does he have to sleep in our room!" pouted Jack. Kallen said nothing but seemed to side with the way Jack felt.

Martha frowned; her hand went to Yusei's shoulder. Yusei flinched, his eyes mirroring pain. Martha's sharp eyes caught the way Yusei reacted and she removed her hand. "Kallen and Jack you will be kind and considerate to Yusei… is that understood?"

"Yes ma'am…" they both muttered.

"Good." Martha flash the boys a satisfied smile before introducing Yusei to the other children. "Now you all run along and play while I get lunch on the table."

Yusei wandered around the house, like a lost little soul. His blue eyes held blankness as he wandered about. An hour later, Martha noticed Yusei alone in the parlor staring out the window at a little Robin bird who hopped from one bare branch to another, chirping as it went.

A smile flitted across his face, "Fly away little bird… maybe some day I'll have wings and I'll fly up in the sky, and I'll never come down…" Yusei watched as the bird flew away. He didn't know what kind it was; in fact, he knew very little. While in the detention center the only books there was to read was the Dictionary and the book of Rules & Regulations for Good Citizens. He could never get enough of reading and yet he had only read up to the section of the words beginning with "B."

Martha held back the tears that filmed her eyes. Yusei was already winning a place in her heart.

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