"What the *Hell* do you mean, you didn't know what was happening?!?" Jack Ryuzouji was shaking in fury after watching the video
recording of the gang rape that had occurred mere moments before. "It's your fucking job to make sure that kind of shit doesn't happen,
damn it! That kid's only 17, for Christ's sake, and you just *let* those animals attack him like that?!?"
The guard in question was speechless. This kind of thing happened all the time here and no one had ever made any big deal about it.
These creeps were all murderers and rapists to begin with, weren't they? He never bothered to find out anything about any of them in
particular, he got paid the same if he did or if he didn't. Why do extra work you didn't get paid for? The man's supervisor neither
defended nor attacked him, he just stayed out of the way hoping he wouldn't lose his job.
Below, the shower area had been cleared of the gas, and medical personnel were frantically trying to separate which prisoners were
beyond help and which weren't. Jack noticed that "his" prisoner still lay neglected, unceremoniously bleeding and injured, and toggled on
the loud speaker, "Hey! Imbeciles! Get the kid over there out of here and off to the infirmary *now*! I'm calling ahead of you morons
and getting surgery set-up!" Jack had handled rape cases similar to this and could tell even from a distance that Heero was in bad shape.
"Hey!" One of the medics shouted back, "You don't prioritize patients, we do!"
"Wrong, asshole! That kid's a god damned hero! He was a Gundam pilot and if he dies because you're a bunch of idiots we'll have the
whole fucking world down on our necks! Now move it!!" Somewhere in all of this, Jack had totally forgotten to try to dislike Heero
Yuy. Seeing this horrific mistreatment had finally shifted the personal scales of justice in his own mind; he had once been an idealistic
police officer, but had long ago given up on the concept of true justice. Now, his inner vision cleared and he could see the scales for the
first time in years and he was *not* going to lose that vision again.
"I'll be damned if anything else *ever* happens to him! He's my responsibility and look where he's at now, damn it!" Just who Jack was
yelling at was unclear, but the sincerity of his proclamation was beyond question. "I don't give a rat's ass what he did to wind up here,
but he sure as hell ain't staying one minute longer than possible! I'll have him transferred out when he's healed enough and I don't care if
it costs me my badge to do it! There's no fucking justice in this Hell-hole, that's for damned sure!"
And with this decision firmly in mind Junpei "Jack" Ryuzouji made the first compassionate decision of a long career of self-centered ones
and decided this one boy, no, this one *man*, was worth whatever it took to get justice back on track again.
During the flight to the prison, Quatre's uchuu no kokoro reacted strongly to what happened to Heero and the young man had
passed-out from the pain. It had taken longer than usual for Trowa to help his lover regain consciousness, yet when he did, the Arab
was suffering greatly. When the pain eased, it frightened Quatre even more fearing his friend had died, but Heero's essence could still be
detected, but only barely.
"Oh, Allah, no," Quatre moaned, rocking back and forth inconsolably in the warden's office. When he and Trowa had arrived, there was
already a major situation going on and they correctly had feared the worst, just as their "daughter" predicted.
Trowa, his mind lost in memories of pain and remorse of his own, absently stroked Quatre's back, but could do nothing more to comfort
him. They were both in great pain and yet had the strength to try to overcome it for the sake of their friend whose life currently hung in
The warden had stepped out to get a report on just what exactly *did* happen regarding the confirmed gang rape of Heero Yuy, but
was most displeased with the idea of going back in and facing the victim's friends. Such occurrences were commonplace at this
god-forsaken facility and even the warden had been unable to make much progress in changing that. Now, a young man, credited with
saving humankind from annihilation by destroying the piece of a space station that would have sent the world into the equivalent of a
nuclear winter, lay undergoing surgery for a savage attack a negligent guard could have stopped with ease. Taking a deep breath, he
returned to his own office feeling terribly out gunned by two men half his age put together.
"Mr. Winner, Mr. Barton," he said sitting down wishing he was anywhere else just then. "I regret to inform you that there is no new
information that I can present to you at this time. I can, however, show you the video recording of the incident if you wish. Frankly, it is
brutal and very disturbing. The guard on duty has already been placed on probationary leave while this is investigated, but it will
undoubtedly result in his dismissal."
"No!" Quatre's eyes burned with an inner fury. "That's not enough! He should be held accountable for the damages done! This is blatant
negligence and should be treated as such. I fully intend to press charges on behalf of Mr. Yuy."
Shaking his head the warden answered, "I wish that you could do so, Mr. Winner, truly I do, however, it will not work. Since Mr. Yuy
was here under court order, he is not protected by the same rights an ordinary citizen would have. Furthermore, there is no way to
prove conclusively that the guard was negligent beyond what we can utilize as grounds for dismissal. There is simply no way to
prosecute him further."
"That's outrageous." Trowa added flatly. "Rape is *not* an acceptable practice under any circumstances, why should this guard be
relieved of his responsibility simply because of Heero's status within the prison system?"
"I heartily agree, Mr. Barton, however, under our laws unless he actually was a party to the incident by either being one of the rapists or
making it demonstrably easier for the deed to have occurred, there is no way to prosecute him further. He looked sadly at the two
young men seeing their pain and anger so clearly on their faces. "Would you truly wish to put your friend through the agony of testifying
about this when the men who actually committed the rape are all dead already?"
The two looked at each other realizing how important this fact was they had neglected to take into account. Heero had indeed exacted
his revenge efficiently before giving out to the sleeping gas and injuries. Perhaps it was best to leave it be no matter how much it angered
Firming his resolve, Quatre turned to Trowa and apologized, "Trowa, I doubt you want to see this, but I feel I must see the recording of
what happened. I know the pain you carry of your own past and if you don't wish to see it I understand, but I feel I owe it to Heero to
know as much as possible about what happened. Maybe then I'll be better able to help him heal when he's ready. As it is, I felt the
terrible pain go through him at the time and my uchuu no kokoro can barely feel his presence now due to the anesthesia."
"No," Trowa took his fiancÚ's hand in his careful to make certain the two rings touched, silently reaffirming their vow to support each
other regardless of the circumstances. "If you feel you need to see it then I will stay with you. You are much stronger than we ever
understood, Quatre, but even you may not be able to handle this. At least I know what to expect to a certain degree." He nodded to the
With a look of resignation, the man turned on the video recording that began right before the attack and ended with the medical team
packing up as the dead were hauled away in body bags.
Trowa, his face set in a firm resolve of neutrality, supported his distraught love. Never before had Quatre witnessed such utter brutality
and cruelty. Even during the war, deaths were cleaner, pain was intense but fleeting, and this, this hideous example of everything that
was wrong with the penal system nearly shattered Quatre's resolve to refrain from violence of his own. A peaceful soul, once stirred to
fury, is often the most dangerous. He reflected on his own resources knowing they were numerous and vast; of course what money
could not obtain, perhaps the Maganacs *could*.
And to *Hell* with anyone who stood in his way.
Leaving the prison, Quatre swore an oath to see Heero freed no matter what it took. Even if the action itself was deemed "illegal" by this
obviously flawed society.
"No! I don't want it!" a small fist slammed into the table in front of Laurel.
Sadeema, totally caught off guard by this behavior was at a loss. "Why not, Miss Laurel? I thought you liked peanut butter and jelly
"Not today, I don't!" Laurel looked accusingly at the sandwich laying before her.
The child had acted strangely all day and the entire estate staff was confused. Rasid had departed quickly to organize the Maganac
forces nearby in case they were needed and had not stopped to inform anyone of the contents of the child's nightmarish visions. It was
no wonder she was so agitated.
Even Duo had been unable to make sense of what was going on. One moment she was happy and the next angry or sad or any of a
thousand things that simply weren't normal for her.
Duo had taken it upon himself, as her 'Uncle' he felt he had a duty to fulfill, to seek guidance from Akheem. He arranged for the doctor
to casually wander into the kitchen right about the time the whole sandwich issue arose and he took the opportunity to talk to the girl.
Within a brief conversation she flashed through a range of emotions and eventually Akheem gestured Duo to follow him back out.
"So?" Duo asked anxiously, "What's wrong? Is this normal kid stuff?"
The physician sadly shook his head in negation. "No, this is quite abnormal for her. I'd say something traumatic has happened to her and
she is showing signs of being emotionally disturbed. We must not speak to the child about this, though, until I can speak with Master
Quatre. Perhaps he can find out what is bothering her. In the meantime, I believe some extra rest would do her good; come with me and
I'll give you some mild sedatives for her so she can sleep for the afternoon. With luck, that may solve the problem, but I'm not counting
Duo wasn't counting on it, either, but he felt desperate to do *something* for the child who had changed from day to night so suddenly.
Little did he know his own world was about to change even more radically.