Chapter Fourteen: Trauma

"W—What?" Misaki stuttered, his eyes going wide. "Nii—Nii—chan? How can that be?…No, no…it can't—"

"It's true," Alpha replied soberly. "When we were trapped, did you see the man with Korovin? The one in the suit?"

"Yes…who is he?"

"He's the President of the FMA…and he's my father."

Misaki's mouth dropped and he touched his forehead, trying with difficulty to remember the man's face. But the gas had made it hard to see anything.

"B—But," The teen stuttered. "That can't be. What kind of father would talk to his son that way? He tried to kill you! He wanted you dead!"

"Because I rebelled against him. About a year ago, he started talking about using humans as the next step in the arms race, creating super humans that would obey every command. And when he began to test chemical engineering with Korovin, I sabotaged it. But I was a fool. I acted out of anger towards my father, and my emotions clouded my sense of reason. I never thought he would go to such lengths to put me in my place…

"I was taken to the lab as the first subject, and they ran all kind of scans and tests on my brain. Even still, I fought back. And so that bastard took the next step… by attacking those closest to me. Everyone who is here Misaki…is here because my father ordered it. He took Hiroki and Nowaki…and even random people nearby like Miyagi and Shinobu and his sister. And he took the people he knew would hurt me the most…you and Takahiro.

"He knew we'd been friends in school and college…and he knew how deeply I cared for the two of you…on the day you were brought here, I was forced to watch. But he didn't want to use Takahiro for the experiments, he wanted to send a message to me. So they…killed him instead.

"They planned to kill you too Misaki, but you were the right age and they were looking to continue the superhuman line. You were spared…only to become one of their lab rats…

"Misaki," Alpha writhed in pain. "Every second of every day…I carry a burden on my shoulders. The overwhelming weight that everyone's lives were taken because of my rebellion. But the weight of your brother's blood on my hands is that much sharper…Misaki, I loved Takahiro very much…and I am so sorry…"

Misaki could hardly believe what he heard, and what seemed like days passed before he could even reply.

"Y—you mean," He murmured, his eyes growing moist. "That my brother is dead…that I'm like this…just because he knew you?"

Alpha cringed with agony as he nodded, tears flooding behind his closed eyelids. Misaki held his head in his hands as the pressure of the truth ravaged his mind. And in the midst of his muddled memories, he caught a snippet of something long forgotten.

"Wait," He murmured, squinting his eyes shut. "I—I remember something…my—my brother used to talk about a friend he had…he called him—he called you Usagi!"

For the first time since they boarded the plane, Akihiko's eyes flew open in profound shock, having thought he'd never hear that special name again. But as Misaki's voice vaguely echoed Takahiro's, he found his eyes filling with more tears as his body shuddered in pain.

"Misaki…I'm sorry…I'm so…sorry." Misaki gasped as Alpha's eyes rolled back and his body went limp.

"Nowaki!" Misaki yelled, who quickly ran over and placed two fingers underneath Alpha's jaw.

"He unconscious, but he has a steady pulse." The giant said. "I think he'll be okay."

Even though logic dictated that the young tortured boy should hate the origin of his suffering, Misaki breathed a sigh a relief. No matter what, no one deserved to die so horribly.

"Well," Hiroki said as he set the coordinates for the autopilot. "Now that the crisis has been averted, it's about time we have a few things explained to us."

"Hiro-san," Nowaki said quietly, sensitive to the truth Misaki had just heard. "Is now really the time?"

"Yes." Hiroki said, standing up and staring down the teen. "Digamma, explain me to precisely how all six of us got out of there alive?"

Misaki's eyes still hadn't left Alpha's unconscious face, but he quietly began to talk.

"W—When they were about to take Shinobu…I started screaming and suddenly everything just stopped. I don't know how I did it but…I think I stopped time. So I went and did what Alpha told us to do. I got the information and set the virus loose in the computer and then I made sure we could get out safely."

"How did you know which plane to choose?" Hiroki asked, his face still stoic.

"Before he passed out, G—Gamma murmured a string of numbers to me, and they turned out to be the number on this plane."

Hearing this, Hiroki and Nowaki turned to Miyagi, who was smiling sheepishly.

"You had a vision of this didn't you? When you fell." Nowaki said.

"Well I couldn't very well tell everyone that we would be trapped like rats and gassed. It was inevitable to our survival that I let things play out."

"Don't you dare presume to make choices about our survival!" Hiroki spat. "We all know your visions aren't always one hundred percent accurate. Even if we all got out Akihiko nearly died because of that gas!"

"Which he anticipated," Miyagi said calmly. "Seems to me he knew about his potential for anaphylactic shock and brought along an antidote. It's almost as if he expected this to happen."

"Like hell he did!" Hiroki yelled, making everyone jump. The fourth clenched his fists and breathed a deep sigh as he felt his heat rise, and he knew he had to calm down before he burst into flames.

"What matters is this," Nowaki said solemnly. "We're all here and alive to fight another day. And since Misaki got the plans to the primary base we can proceed as Alpha planned. In the meantime, it would benefit us all to settle down. It will take us a while to get back to the base so everyone get some rest."

After all the panic and turmoil everyone had experience, Beta's words were like a soothing balm, and for the first time Shinobu's bowed head finally rose. He didn't say anything, but shakily stood up and walked over to Miyagi's cot, carefully lying down next to him. Miyagi wrapped his arm around the teen and stroked his golden head, thanking the gods that Shinobu was in his hands and not that fucking demon's.

While Hiroki went back to the cockpit to keep tabs on the radar, Misaki sank down to the floor next to Alpha's cot, his mind still tossing and turning with questions. Ever slowly, silent tears began to roll down his cheeks as he once again mourned his brother and his pain.

Nowaki's brow creased as he saw how traumatized the poor kid looked, and he took a spot next to him on the floor, wrapping an arm around his shoulders.

Misaki was far to numb to lean into Nowaki's touch, but he appreciated the giant's kindness, even if it did nothing to heal the bleeding wound that Takahiro's death had opened. And learning the details of his demise only ripped it deeper. He was so caught up in what Akihiko had said that he didn't even think about how he'd managed to stop time. What did it matter if he could stop the clock? He couldn't turn it back.

Oh how he wished he could just wake up from this nightmare. That this hell he was living in was just an apparition of his mind that the morning sun would take away with its warm rays.

What seemed like an eternity passed as everyone silently sorted out their own trauma, but as they neared the base, they were woken by Hiroki's voice and brought back to black reality once again.

"Oh my god…Nowaki!" He said with a tremor in his tone. The giant rushed over and his face contorted in horror as he looked out the cockpit.

"What it is?" Misaki said in fright. "What's wrong?"

"The island," Hiroki swallowed. "It's been bombed…"

Hello everyone and thank you for your patience with the updates. We are heading towards dark times but I hope you all can stay with me and enjoy the lighter bits as well. And for those of you who thought I was actually going to kill off Akihiko, did you really think I would do that? I fucking love that guy XD Too bad he must suffer...

And all of you making the Fullmetal Alchemist jokes, hardy har har. Yes, I do smile a little whenever I write FMA, but honestly, I think Ed is far too short to form a giant human experimentation conspiracy. Especially considering he hates the military...

aokochan17, KiyameHikari-chan, Artemis Fortune, MAX FANG FAX, Schwachkopf, Chiho Kazusa, PeanutButterBirthmark, wishIwereanime, An-chan, seshomaru94, Kuro no Kiseki, 33, The Grand Jester, Ocean Eve, and Guest- Thank you all for your bomb tastic reviews! Lol, bomb joke...was it a little too soon?

LLL- Believe me, it pays off to wait for your reviews :) forgive me for being a giant cock tease yet again and pulling another cliffhanger.

Thanks again for everyone's support!