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Breaking Point, Chapter 1

On with the first chapter!  Make sure you read the prologue first, btw.  Hopefully, this isn't as bad as I remember it to be, though it's a very slim hope.  Then again, I've never met hope when it wasn't on a diet.  ^_^;;;

Breaking Point:
Chapter One - Vengeful Hearts.

By: Memory Dragon
Disclaimer: Gundam Wing belongs to Sunrise and Bandai. I don't own it and make no claim to.

Heero woke up with his hands tied behind his back and feet bound as well. It seemed as if he had just been thrown on the floor of the dark room. And he had a hell of a headache.

He groaned and tried sitting up. The boy was back down again seconds later. The fact that the room was spinning did not help his headache at all. His breath was short and shallow as he waited for the dizzy spell to pass, but it did not. Heero could see, vaguely, if he kept his eyes open. Cargo was piled all around him and underneath him Heero could feel an engine of some sort. They were taking him off the colony.

No guards. They must have a lot of faith in the gas to keep him down. Unfortunately for Heero, that faith was not going to be unfounded. If they wanted to kill him, they would have already done so. Trying to escape now would only get him hurt worse and ruin any chance he had of escaping later.

So he would wait. And feel guilty for bringing Duo into this. Doubtless, he was being held somewhere close as well. Heero closed his eyes. He doubted the headache would let him sleep, but luck took pity on him. After a few more moments of pain, he passed out again.

* * *

The braided pilot in question was, in fact, trying to sit up for more than five minutes and upsetting the nurses.

"Mr. Maxwell," a nurse with long, strawberry-red hair started, "you really should stay down!"

A younger nurse looked about to fret her nails off. "You're only making the effects of the gas worse! Please stop!"

Duo ignored them. He never liked doing things the easy way. What was the point of that? Anyway, anything was better than having all these thoughts running around in his head. Most were going too fast to even make sense of.

Where could Heero be? Who kidnaped him? Why didn't they take the braided pilot as well? How much would his insurance cover of the apartment?

Now, that was a question worth worrying about. Heero could take care of himself, but how would he and Hilde pay the damage costs? And what would they-

Too much. Lie back down.

He sighed. This was just not cool. The younger nurse was immediately trying to calm him down. Duo really just wanted to shoot the nurses. But he couldn't see straight. He would miss. Besides, guns weren't allowed in the hospitals anyway.

"You shouldn't push yourself so much!" One day. It had only been one day. And the effects were supposed to last a week. Killing himself sounded really good right now...

"Duo!" A familiar voice breaking his mental hell.

Wait a second, he can't be here yet! It was only one day! Sure, it may seem like forever, but it really was only one day! He opened his eyes to see a spinning young blond millionaire. A very concerned spinning millionaire. "Quatre? How-"

"I was visiting one of my father's old business partners on this colony when Hilde called. I was actually about to come and visit." He shook his head slightly, getting his thoughts back on track. "Are you okay?"

Duo smiled weakly. "I've been better," he sighed. Well, things were looking up. Now he didn't have to think so hard. "So, did-cha bring any good food for the sick?" The American then turned full force puppy eyes on Quatre, who laughed.

"Don't they feed you here?"

He stuck out his tongue. "Yeah, but it's all healthy junk!"

Quatre laughed more, but turned serious as he sat down besides Duo's bed. "The others are getting here as fast as they can. Then we can organize a search party for Heero."

* * *

Heero was being lead down the hall when a dizzy spell hit him. He fell down to one knee, bound hands trying to stop him from falling further. A week from when he first woke up, the dizziness had only lasted for a few seconds at a time. But the headache had stayed and it was almost unbearable when he was dizzy. Not like he had been given much treatment or food. Who ever they are, they left him in solitary confinement for about a week. At least, Heero thought it was a week. Transferring from the cargo hull of the ship to wherever he was now had been painless. Heero had been asleep the whole time. But now, he was not and walking added to the never ceasing headache.

"Get up, dog!" The voice came from one of his guards. Heero's eyes cleared too late to be able to dodge a well aimed kick at his side. The Japanese boy was too weak to recover, his breath completely knocked out of his lungs. The guard would have kicked him again when the second stopped him.

"No rough housin' him. Remember what we agreed?"

"Yes." The younger guard spat on Heero. He obviously doesn't remember well enough... "But it's more than he deserves."

As Heero regained his breath, he slowly got up. The pilot's two hands went up to his cheek and wiped away the moisture. Then, without the urging of the guards, he continued in the direction they had been leading him. His gaze was straight in front of him. The physical pain that shot through Heero's head nearly made him stumble again, but he kept going. The two guards followed.

"Ya were out numbered, youngin'." The aged man sounded far too old to be a guard. Heero would bet he used that to his advantage. "Don't ya worry though, this un will get his in the end."

Now that was interesting. What did they have planned?

The young prisoner looked at his at his surroundings out of the corner of his eye, once the pain receded slightly. The hall was tight and dark, the only light was an occasional lamp, spread thin to conserve energy. Heero had already decided he had been brought to earth. Where on earth? He had no clue.

The younger guard grabbed Heero's arm tightly enough to cut off the circulation and pulled him into a door way.

The light in the next room was so much brighter than the dim hallway that Heero had to blink several times to see clearly. When his vison returned, this was what he saw:

The room was full of people of all ages and sizes. A quick estimate was fifty people; women and men, young children, old invalids, teenagers about his age, all rugged with hateful gazes. All staring at him. Wonderful crowd.

He also finally got a good look at his guards. The youthful guard was well built, blond, hot headed, and stubborn. Heero's age when he first left for earth. Has an outfit that was slightly better than most of the others, but still worn and second hand. Hatred for Heero coursed through his body and tensed his muscles as if he were holding back from killing the pilot.

The older man was about fiftyish. Absolutely filthy, he was smoking a cigarette to add to the awful smell emanating from him. He was more laid back, feelings well hidden. But the hate was still there; Heero could feel it. As if he sensed the Japanese boy's thoughts, the older guard took out the cigarette out of his mouth and smiled nastily. The toothy grin showed yellowed teeth and Heero was hard put not to cough as the smoke from the cigarette reached him. How was he captured by the slums of the earth?

On the far side of the room the wall was covered with pictures, like Duo's house. It was the only happy part of the room. Families on vacation, weddings, and school pictures. The people in the photos were all happy, some even looked like the younger versions of the people in the room in better days. Before the hate and coldness was cast over their hearts. Heero's own heart sunk as he guessed at what they were.

The youthful guard pulled him to the front of the room, his gray eyes lit with glee as Heero tripped. Then he practically threw the prisoner to the floor. One of the men, the same short man who was on the kidnaping scene, came forward.

He was the fanciest of the lot, in an old suit with a worn-out tie that clashed horribly. Light blue eyes and dirty blond hair tied back in a short pony tail. He had the look of a lazy cat.

A lazy cat who was intent on playing with its prey.

"Hello, Gundam pilot," he began, smiling amiably. "I bet you're wondering why we brought you here." When Heero said nothing, the man continued. "You see, my associates and I," grand swiping motion toward the crowd with a slight smirk, "make up the X-cybers." Okay then, maybe they were not the slums of the earth. But certainly lacking in money. "Rather ironic, that. The media seems to think we're a political movement." They weren't? This didn't bode well... "But in all reality, we are just an organization out for revenge. Getting involved with politics was only a side effect." The realization hit Heero hard. He'd seen the signs but he had just not wanted to believe. That meant... "Yes, that means we want our revenge on you pilots. And which one better to start with than the pilot named 01?"

"Where is Duo?"

Heero had the pleasure of seeing the man thrown off by the question. He almost smirked. But the man recovered quickly. "Oh, you mean 02? We have no use for him yet. 02 can search vainly while we play with you. He could even contact the others, spreading the news and fear. He'll feel so guilty when we finally bring him here and we show him your dead body. We plan on killing you one by one." The man sat and contemplated for a moment. "We might just go out of numerical order and leave him for last... But that's getting ahead of myself. I haven't introduced myself yet." There was a chance. The X-cybers were underestimating the pilots. He hoped.

"I am Dr. Gerald Kotanay, my doctorate being in psychology. But by now you must be wondering what our plans for revenge have to do with you." Well that was hard one. What did the doctor take him for? An idiot? Heero almost had to remind himself he was in no condition to fight, even if the odds had not been against him. The man was trying his patience.

Or maybe the time he had spent with Duo was being to show some side affects on his personality.

Kotanay walked over to the wall of pictures. "You see these?" No response or indication of understanding. If the man was trying to drive Heero insane, the pilot was sure as hell going to try to do the same. The plan always worked when Duo refused to shut up. It didn't work this time though. "These some of the people you killed."

Resentment. He was a soldier. He had fought for people like them. It was not his fault they tried to stand against him. Suddenly Heero was very tired. Before, he could fight believing in only himself; he had to. But now it seemed they wanted to take even that away from him.

The doctor was pointing to different pictures, explaining how and when Heero, or one of the other pilots, had killed the people caught forever in the still frame. Never referring to the pilots by their names either. Only 0 this and 0 that. Heero recognized his objective. To make them seem like monsters, beings that could and would kill for fun. Beings that did not deserve names.

Eventually the doctor realized the prisoner had stopped listening. Taking one of the pictures off the wall, he walked slowly up to the pilot. "But I haven't told you the reason the founder of the X-cybers hates you so much." He grabbed Heero's chin forcefully and made him look at the picture.

It was of a beautiful woman with long raven black hair flowing softly around her. She was on the beach and a slender hand shaded her violet eyes from the sun. The doctor put the picture in his breast pocket. Suddenly the laziness left his stance. The doctor pulled Heero up by his shirt collar, forcing him to see the cruel and slightly crazed eyes. If the grip hurt, the pilot did not show it. "She was my wife, you callus bastard. My wife whom you killed on a visit to her brother on an OZ base." As suddenly as it went, the sleepiness returned in a heartbeat. He let go and turned to the others. "Take him away." The doctor waved his hand in Heero's direction. "We'll deal with him in the morning."

One of the teenaged girls in the room stood up. "Is that all? Why not kill him now?!"

Kotanay faced her with a kind look on his face. "Remember what we agreed, Miss Adéle. You will have your revenge." Heero was being dragged out of the room. The last thing he heard was the doctor telling the girl, "But first, he will suffer."

* * *

"So, how do we find him?" Trowa asked. They were all finally gathered in Duo's kitchen. It had been hard leaving Catherine, but he had to. His friend's life was on the line. The straight faced clown leaned against the wall, next to Wufei trying to think of something to help. The pilots had a precious little to go on. Wufei alternated balling his fists and relaxing his fingers. He had been the last to arrive, trying desperately to convince the Preventers to help Heero.

Quatre sat next to Duo, quietly sipping some tea. How many times had Duo come over for a cup? Just to talk and have some fun. Now the American sat beside him, barely touching the food and drink set before him. He went through great pains to make everyone believe he was fine, but Quatre knew the truth. "I don't know." The Arabian was always the one who came up with plans, but nothing he could think of was useful.

Wufei was frustrated. "Lady Une refuses to do anything. She says there would be a political uproar because of those X-cybers, if she gave us assistance. I'm not allowed a uniform or a badge while we search." He banged his fist against the wall. "Sally promised to tell us if she found anything unusual, but that's all we have to go on."

Quatre's soft features fell. He had really been hoping for Preventer back-up. The news on the paper he was about to lay on the table was disheartening as well. There were just too many places to search. "I've been doing some research and I think they took him to earth as luggage on a shuttle. I've already tracked all the shuttles that have left this colony for earth." He did not add that it was only a belief, not fact, that lead him to that conclusion.

Picking up the paper, Trowa glanced over the list. "We can rule out the smaller cities. If this is a terrorist group, the best place to look would be older cities, large enough to hold a big group of people," Quatre continued.

"The best action to take would be to split up and search," Trowa suggested. "Quatre and I will take Paris." Wufei came up behind him and declared he could search Hong Kong alone.

Trowa handed the paper to Duo. The braided boy was completely recovered by now and itching for action. The blond had a hunch he would be the one to find Heero, if it were possible. "I'll head for New York. If none of us find him, then we take the next place on the list."

Approving his choice, Quatre raised the next issue. "I'm too well known to the public, and Duo had his pictures everywhere when he was captured by OZ. We need to go incognito or someone will recognize us." He reached over and picked up Duo's braid. "You need to do something about this..."

"I'm not cutting it!"

Sigh. "I'm not suggesting you cut it, but we need to find someway to hide it." Quatre thought for a moment and then snapped his fingers. "Perfect!"

Duo looked very scared. "Perfect?" he chirped, his voice cracking slightly.

"Don't worry." Quatre said, getting up from his chair. He left the unconvinced Duo and the others in the kitchen as he quickly ducked into the bathroom. He found the two things he was looking for instantly, another hair tie and a brush.

He returned back to the kitchen and stood behind Duo, gently taking out the braid. "Quatre!?" Duo squeaked, pulling his braid out of reach.

The blond sighed in exasperation. "Don't worry, Duo. I won't hurt your hair. If we don't do something to your braid, then there's no way you could get close to the ones who kidnaped Heero!"

That won him over. Grudgingly, Duo returned the braid to his back. Quatre finished un-braiding it, then softly ran the brush through the thick hair. The next step was tying the long mane back in a pony tail at the base of Duo's neck.

Now came the hard part. Twist here, twist there. A couple complaints or gasps from the tortured Duo if Quatre accidently pulled too hard. There! Done! The millionaire stepped back to admire his handy work.

Duo's hair was in a flat, if not somewhat messy, bun at his neck. After waving his head around to make sure it would stay, he nodded. But just because he agreed to wear it like that did not mean he would enjoy it. The things he put up with for friends.

Quatre smiled with a hint of amusement. "There. You should probably use bobby pins to keep it in place better, but other than that you can just wear a cap over it. I don't think anyone could see the pictures well enough to recognize you like that."

The Chinese boy started to leave. "Let's go then. There's no time to waste."