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Set Trajectory

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Kanba slouched in his chair, bowed his head and closed his eyes against the bright light of his computer monitor in the otherwise dark room. He could hear the other KIGA men shuffling around in the room adjacent, getting the teddy bear bombs ready to ship out. So it had all come down to this. It wasn't really a surprise though. When Kanba thought back on it, he really had never had a choice no matter how he looked at it. His father, his adopted father and mother, all of them were in the organization and he went to all the meetings as a child like a dutiful little boy being groomed to enter the family business. His life had been on a set trajectory almost from the moment he was born.

Looking back on it, his fate was probably sealed the night when he had sent Masako and Mario away. Away to their normal life, to live in their mansion, safe from KIGA. Because even back then, even at six years old, he knew something was wrong about the whole thing. That was the night that started the chain of events that had led up until now. His father had died shortly after and his grandfather had refused to take him in – he didn't want Masako and Mario tainted with their father's ideals. So he became a part of the Takakura family instead.

That was when he had met her. Himari. That was the moment when he had stopped living for himself; and though he didn't know it at the time, this was just another stop on his path. He swore to protect her. Things were good for a while until the Takakura parents had disappeared. After that, the three of them needed money or they were going to be separated. Three children couldn't afford to pay for a house, food and bills all on their own after all, and who was going to take in three children all at once? Especially when they weren't even "real" siblings. None of them could get a job. It seemed inevitable that they would all be forced to go their separate ways.

Kanba couldn't let that happen. Himari cried every day and begged her brothers not to leave her and nothing they said could comfort her. Kanba hated seeing her so sad. His own heart ached at the thought of losing his little family, especially her. They needed money; he had a plan. He went to the place where he knew KIGA held their meetings. It was the only spark of hope he had towards keeping his family together, though he wasn't sure if they would care at all. He had been scared at the time, though now looking back on it he wasn't sure why. He was a child of KIGA after all – both biological and adopted. Of course they had welcomed him, and when he told them his plight they had donated generously to his cause. 'Don't worry, you're Takakura's son. We won't let you or your siblings starve. Come back next week if you need more.' That evening when Kanba was riding home in an empty subway carriage he had cried because he was so relieved. His family was saved; they were going to be able to stay together after all. He stopped by a paint store on the way back and picked out some vivid colors to celebrate – the next day he would prove to Himari that her brothers weren't going anywhere and that she didn't have to cry anymore.

So Kanba had taken them up on their offer to come back the next week, and the week after that, and the week after that. Nothing was expected of him back then – he was only 13 at the time. But slowly his responsibilities increased; the members of KIGA started showing him around the headquarters before giving him the money, or telling him about their plans. Then one day, they had told him to go out and spy on someone for them before they gave him the money - after that day, he would always go on little odd jobs for them before they paid him. He didn't mind, though he was getting worried. The jobs he was doing were steadily increasing in risk; spying turned soon turned to picking locks, and picking locks turned to stealing. It was just a slippery slope from there.

And here he was today; sitting at his computer desk, coordinating the activities of terrorists. He had already killed someone and tonight, more people were going to die by his own hands. Somehow, he felt disconnected from it all, like he was someone else observing this person named "Kanba" descending into a darkness from which there was no escape. Maybe it was better this way, if he felt disconnected. What he was doing was wrong, but it had to be done. He wouldn't break the promise he made to Himari. And so he tried to harden his heart, to seal himself off from any feelings of regret, to keep him from mourning what he had become and what he had lost.

Suddenly Kanba felt arms wrapped around him and a small frame drawing him closer. It was Himari, of course. It had surprised him when she turned up at KIGA a day after he had left…he honestly wished she hadn't followed him. He didn't want her to see him like this.

Did she know what he had done? Had Shouma told her? Had he informed her that her dear brother was already a killer and was ready to kill again? Kanba didn't think so. If she knew, she would never forgive him, and she wouldn't be standing behind him, hugging him and whispering comforting words in his ears. The words offered no comfort and instead made him sick. Not Himari, of course; he loved her. But he didn't deserve her kindness. Even though he had done everything for her sake, he knew he could no longer be in her world the way he used to be. Himari was a gentle-hearted young girl and he was a murderer. Once he was done, she would hate him and he would either be in jail or dead. But at least she would be alive.

It felt so good to be held by her that he wanted to stay in her arms forever. But he couldn't – he didn't deserve it and he knew that he couldn't indulge before it weakened his resolve and he changed his mind. So instead he pulled her arms off of him and walked away.

"Himari, you mean the world to me."

He glanced back at her over his shoulders and despite himself, felt a twinge of an ache in his heart. This was probably the last time he would ever see her – or at least the last time he'd see her where she didn't think horribly of him.

'She'll be alive…' He repeated to himself.

All he could do was move forward. It was time to completely the set trajectory that was his life.