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Old 2024-03-18, 01:38   Link #21
kiak666
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Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Malaysia
Quote:
Originally Posted by LightDragonman View Post
I may have to edit that. I just assumed that he did given how quickly he was able to overpower Saki, and he was pointing a gun at her, so yeah.

On the note of A-Drei, I honestly think he got off too easy on the series, given that he was really one of the main reasons this massacre happened in the first place. So he will also get put through a bit of an emotional ringer, though I still plan to have him live and redeem himself by the end.
Well, seeing how L-Elf is able to easily take down both Saki and Raizo in that one episode, it wouldn't be that hard for a fellow Karlstein graduate like A-Drei to handle Saki, especially when he has the gun advantage.
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Old 2024-03-18, 01:58   Link #22
LightDragonman
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Join Date: Oct 2013
Hence why I edited it to have him simply pistol whip her instead.

But man, I really can’t wait till I get to the part where I have Haruto rescue and reunite with Saki. Again, their relationship I think was the one that made the most sense, as both characters managed to grow and mature thanks to it, as opposed to holding on to past desires that they need to move on from. The fact that the writers still had Haruto line for Shouko the whole time I think really prevented him from actually moving forward as a character, which his connection with Saki on the other hand would allow.

So yeah. Call me an obsessed shipper, but that’s the one I plan to have this fic end with. Any other implied relationships between other characters are more or less gonna be left up to interpretation as to whether or not something is sparking between them.
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Old 2024-03-18, 21:51   Link #23
LightDragonman
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Join Date: Oct 2013
Welp, here comes the next part. Note; any nods or shout-outs to other works going forward are intentional. XD

_____


As Haruto continued to look at Saki's injured form, guilt welling up by the second the longer he looked into her despair-filled eyes, the screen suddenly shifted from her to another area.

"This is Barlet, reporting for ARUS Golden News" the reporter announced, standing in front of a massive ship. "Most of us here are shocked by what the Fuhrer has shown us, and I am currently inside the Module 77 hanger."

Haruto rose to his feet. "What is he doing over there aboard the Phantom?"

Shouko looked confused. "Phantom?"

As Barlet continued to investigate, the images he brought up were damning. The rows of captured people, their heads hooked up to green wires, and energy being drained from them, causing them to go into seizures, was all transmitted across every screen checking in to the event. It certainly didn't help that several of the captured were related to several of the students currently in attendance.

"DAD!" yelled Vice-Student Council President Iori, shocked at seeing her father among the captured.

"Just what are they doing to this people over here?" Barlet asked harshly.

The screen cut back to Amadeus, his face set in stone.

"This is the horrifying truth behind Module 77 and New-Jior!" he announced. "We uncovered these heinous actions and made plans to stop them. Before you criticize Dorssia, I will say once again! We are fighting an army of immortal monsters that feed on humans! The New-Jior inhabitants are all inhuman monsters!"

To end his declaration, he once again gestured towards Saki's broken form. Indeed, now most watching the broadcast viewed her with fear and anger, as she was no longer the simple idol of New-Jior, but a brain-eating monster in the eyes of the world.

One of the few who didn't share such views was Haruto. Taking one last look at his ally before the broadcast turned off, he felt all the despair she was currently feeling, amplified by his guilt at seeing her be exposed like this.

"Again," he thought sadly, "Why does she have to suffer for what I've done?"

_____


As the screens switched off, President Jeffry Anderson got to his feet in indignation.

"What is the meaning of all this Prime Minister Shouko Sashinami? Are we in a den of monsters?!"

"No!" she protested. "I didn't know about any of this, nor was I ever informed!"

"Right" Haruto added, the reality of the current situation catching up to him. "We were going to tell you all of this after the summit was concluded!"

Immediately, he regretted the words he just uttered, as Shouko turned to him, eyes wide open in shock.

"Haruto......You knew about that ship?"

"So what you are saying" Anderson questioned, "is that had the Fuhrer not showed us that, we would've all become meals for you?!"

"No, that's not true!" Shouko objected.

However, the President was unyielding.

"As per international law, I hereby classify all inhabitants of Module 77 as Type Seven Specialized Dangerous Lifeforms!"

The students gasped in horror.

______


The images hadn't just shocked the people in attendance at the auditorium. All across the school campus, suspicions were being raised by the students, especially as they gazed upon the ones who had partaken in that mission to Earth.

"What's going on?"

"What the hell were you doing on Earth?"

"Are only the pilots monsters?"

Inuzuka, inside a classroom with his back to the wall, found himself facing a throng of questioning students, their eyes all demanding answers.

"Calm down everyone!" he said, his hands raised. "We didn't-"

"Just what did you go to Earth for?!"

"You're one of them too aren't you?!"

"Please, let me explain" he said, placing a hand on the shoulder of a questioning female student. Said girl recoiled with disgust.

"Don't touch me you monster!"

"That's right!" a male student yelled. "After all, that strange ship's yours right?!"

"..." Inuzuka could only remain silent, the situation now out of his control.

_____


Back in the auditorium, the tension in the air was reaching a breaking point. In one last attempt to clear things up, Yohei got to his feet.

"Listen President!" he yelled, rushing towards Anderson, "This is some misunderstanding! We never-"

*BANG*

He never got to finish his sentence, as he was silenced as an ARUS soldier unloaded a round into his head, blood and brain matter splattering against the floor.

"YOUHEI!"

"He was shot!"

As terror gripped the students at the sight of one of their own being killed, three female students also made an attempt to leave. They didn't make it very far before they too were gunned down by ARUS soldiers.

"NOOOOO!"

"Why is this happening!?"

"Please" Shouko begged, her eyes glistening with tears, "don't kill anyone else!"

However, Anderson was unthinking in his mindset.

"They are no humans! They are Type Seven Specialized Lifeforms that have deceived us all this time!"

He turned to the ARUS Troop Commander. "We are conducting a purge! Commander, you and your men are to eliminate every single monster in this area!"

"No, PLEASE DON'T!" Shouko screamed, getting to her feet.

Immediately she was apprehended by several of the ARUS soldiers, guns pointed at her. Haruto quickly tried to shield her with his body, eyes closing in anticipation for the pain he was about to feel.

"I'm sorry Shouko" he thought.

*CRASH*

Just then, the left roof of the auditorium broke apart. As moonlight filtered into the auditorium, all attendees looked up in shock. There stood Valvrave Unit 06, it's left fist pointed at Anderson and the other ARUS members in attendance.

"Shoot a single student" the voice of Akira Renbokuji bellowed from the mech's speaker, "And I'll shoot back!"

Needless to say, no more bullets were fired for the moment.

"Didn't we have control of the hanger?!" Anderson asked, not having realized that Akira was watching the whole thing in her Unit, and came to the scene as soon as the first broadcast was shown.

______


Throughout the school, the situation was quickly turning dire. The Other ARUS soldiers were taking over the classrooms with the students still inside, some even being forced to line up against the connecting walls.

"Please, don't kill us!"

"We're only kids!"

"I'm not a monster!"

For his part, Lieutenant Joseph Sheridan of ARUS hadn't planned on this night turning out this way. He figured that all he had to do was simply safeguard the president against maybe a couple mischief makers, not suddenly be forced to gun down inhuman monsters. Granted, they were all kids, or at least at the appearance of them, but orders were orders.

"Shut up!" he snapped at the panicking lifeforms. "We won't allow your activities to go on any longer!"

"You have to believe us!" a student with short green hair protested. "We're on your side!"

"Shut up!"

With that, he and the others in his squad raised his rifles to open fire, his finger just about to pull the trigger.

"HOLD YOUR FIRE!" the voice of his Commanding Officer suddenly bellowed in his earpiece.

"...Commander?"

_____


It was more or less a standoff inside the auditorium. None of the soldiers dared to shoot another round, lest they face the wrath of a gigantic machine and its inhuman pilot.

Haruto and Shouko found themselves surrounded by ARUS soldiers, the barrels of guns pointed at them from all angles. Satomi and the other students in attendance were all forced into a circle, also surrounded by unfeeling soldiers. All while the president yelled for his men to fire as soon as reinforcements showed up, while Akira kept her Valvrave's weapons pointed at him.

As the situation continued to grow in intensity, the Commander of ARUS looked back at the bodies of Youhei and the three female students. At first, he simply scoffed at them, as the fact that they were kids just disgusted him even more, as how dare these monsters take on the visage of children to dissuade others of attacking.

However, the longer he looked at them, something seemed a bit off. Clearly, he had seen that witch on the broadcast quickly regenerate from a stab wound. So that means that these ones should be getting back up any second now. Hence, why he still kept his rifle trained on their bodies.

So then why weren't they getting up?

"Mr. President" he said, kneeling over Youhei's body, "somethings not right!"

"Of course things aren't right!" Anderson yelled. "We're in the den of monsters right now, with a demon about to reign fire down on us should we try to defend ourselves!"

Akira gritted her teeth in her cockpit, eyes obscured by her hair bangs.

"That's not what I meant!" the Commander clarified. "We all saw how quickly that witch easily regenerated!"

"Of course we did!"

"Then why aren't these lifeforms getting back up?!"

At that sentence, the other ARUS soldiers all looked towards their commander, eyes wide open as they too looked at the grisly sight the latter was investigating.

"Are you questioning the orders of your president!?" Anderson barked. "They aren't human! You are to purge them immediately!"

The commander wiped his hands over the wound on Youhei's forehead. To his horror, he saw that the hole hadn't healed, and the student still wasn't regaining consciousness. Looking over at the dead female lifeforms, he noted the same thing.

"If they aren't regenerating" he realized, his eyes widening in horror, Then that means that we just............oh no."

"HOLD YOUR FIRE!" he yelled into his headpiece. "I SAY AGAIN! ALL ARUS SOLDIERS, HOLD YOUR FIRE!"

At that, the others ARUS troops lowered their weapons. Some, as they looked at the sight their commander was witnessing, also came to the same realization. Indeed, a few of them even looked they they were about to vomit.

"What is the meaning of this?!" President Anderson yelled. "You are defying an order from the President of ARUS himself!"

"Sir," the commander retorted "if these truly are inhuman monsters like we saw on the screen, then the ones we gunned down shouldn't still be dead!"

"That's right!" Shouko added in, now that guns were no longer being pointed at her and Haruto. "We had no idea of any of this to begin with!"

"Listen to her!" Satomi said. "We aren't some group of brain eating monsters!"

Anderson remained firm in his decision however. "So you're going to side with these things over your own leader?! What about the Phantom ship?!"

"We can investigate that later!" the commander replied. "In fact, that's exactly why we shouldn't kill these kids. We should take them in for questioning instead."

He looked back at the dead bodies, his expression heavy. "Mr. President, if we don't get this right, then we are essentially murdering innocent children. How do you think that's going to reflect on ARUS, let alone you?"

The President gritted his teeth. This was not the way things were supposed to be going. Yet looking at his commander, it was clear that the latter's mind was set.

".......Alright, fine" he eventually capitulated. "Take Prime Minister Shouko Sashinami and pilot Haruto Tokishima into custody. The rest of you will hold control over Module 77 until we get some answers."

At that, every single student breathed a sigh of relief. Even several of the ARUS soldiers looked grateful that they didn't have to spill any more blood.

"You heard him" the commander said to Shouko. "Prime Minister Shouko Sashinami, you and your friend there are to come with us to ARUS for testing and questioning. I'm expecting some answers regarding everything that was shown up there."

"Don't worry" Shouko said shakily, looking as though she had aged several years. "We won't hide any secrets from you."

Haruto nodded, though he still couldn't keep a grimace from his gracing his mouth.

"Of all the ways for the truth to come out to Shouko, this isn't what I had in mind"

Unseen by the ARUS soldiers or the students however, President Anderson placed a hand to his hear, whispering something.


_____


"It all went according to your plan" Amadeus said to Cain, while watching Saki get dragged away. "I'm surprised that we didn't get more resistance though."

"As I said" Cain replied, thinking to his former student, "you cut off the head of the snake, it ceases to function."

Just then, he put his hand to his ear, receiving a transmission from the President. As he listened, his expression grew more set in stone. He turned back to Amadeus.

"It would appear that our new partner is having some troubles with our plan. His men are softer than we anticipated."

Amadeus snorted. "This is why you can't rely on the weak-willed forces of ARUS to do what is asked of them."

With that, he put his hand to his ear.

"Taurus Company, execute the mission."

_____

Pretty long one huh?

Yeah, I decided to not have the ARUS forces conduct the massacre. Honestly, the fact that the first students they gunned down stayed dead should've tipped them off. I mean, yeah the president is obviously a pawn of the Council, but the soldiers should've known better.

However, that doesn't meant he massacre isn't going to happen. Quite the opposite.

Thoughts?

Last edited by LightDragonman; 2024-03-18 at 22:09.
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Old 2024-03-18, 23:33   Link #24
kiak666
Senior Member
 
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Malaysia
Quote:
Originally Posted by LightDragonman View Post
Welp, here comes the next part. Note; any nods or shout-outs to other works going forward are intentional. XD

_____


As Haruto continued to look at Saki's injured form, guilt welling up by the second the longer he looked into her despair-filled eyes, the screen suddenly shifted from her to another area.

"This is Barlet, reporting for ARUS Golden News" the reporter announced, standing in front of a massive ship. "Most of us here are shocked by what the Fuhrer has shown us, and I am currently inside the Module 77 hanger."

Haruto rose to his feet. "What is he doing over there aboard the Phantom?"

Shouko looked confused. "Phantom?"

As Barlet continued to investigate, the images he brought up were damning. The rows of captured people, their heads hooked up to green wires, and energy being drained from them, causing them to go into seizures, was all transmitted across every screen checking in to the event. It certainly didn't help that several of the captured were related to several of the students currently in attendance.

"DAD!" yelled Vice-Student Council President Iori, shocked at seeing her father among the captured.

"Just what are they doing to this people over here?" Barlet asked harshly.

The screen cut back to Amadeus, his face set in stone.

"This is the horrifying truth behind Module 77 and New-Jior!" he announced. "We uncovered these heinous actions and made plans to stop them. Before you criticize Dorssia, I will say once again! We are fighting an army of immortal monsters that feed on humans! The New-Jior inhabitants are all inhuman monsters!"

To end his declaration, he once again gestured towards Saki's broken form. Indeed, now most watching the broadcast viewed her with fear and anger, as she was no longer the simple idol of New-Jior, but a brain-eating monster in the eyes of the world.

One of the few who didn't share such views was Haruto. Taking one last look at his ally before the broadcast turned off, he felt all the despair she was currently feeling, amplified by his guilt at seeing her be exposed like this.

"Again," he thought sadly, "Why does she have to suffer for what I've done?"

_____


As the screens switched off, President Jeffry Anderson got to his feet in indignation.

"What is the meaning of all this Prime Minister Shouko Sashinami? Are we in a den of monsters?!"

"No!" she protested. "I didn't know about any of this, nor was I ever informed!"

"Right" Haruto added, the reality of the current situation catching up to him. "We were going to tell you all of this after the summit was concluded!"

Immediately, he regretted the words he just uttered, as Shouko turned to him, eyes wide open in shock.

"Haruto......You knew about that ship?"

"So what you are saying" Anderson questioned, "is that had the Fuhrer not showed us that, we would've all become meals for you?!"

"No, that's not true!" Shouko objected.

However, the President was unyielding.

"As per international law, I hereby classify all inhabitants of Module 77 as Type Seven Specialized Dangerous Lifeforms!"

The students gasped in horror.

______


The images hadn't just shocked the people in attendance at the auditorium. All across the school campus, suspicions were being raised by the students, especially as they gazed upon the ones who had partaken in that mission to Earth.

"What's going on?"

"What the hell were you doing on Earth?"

"Are only the pilots monsters?"

Inuzuka, inside a classroom with his back to the wall, found himself facing a throng of questioning students, their eyes all demanding answers.

"Calm down everyone!" he said, his hands raised. "We didn't-"

"Just what did you go to Earth for?!"

"You're one of them too aren't you?!"

"Please, let me explain" he said, placing a hand on the shoulder of a questioning female student. Said girl recoiled with disgust.

"Don't touch me you monster!"

"That's right!" a male student yelled. "After all, that strange ship's yours right?!"

"..." Inuzuka could only remain silent, the situation now out of his control.

_____


Back in the auditorium, the tension in the air was reaching a breaking point. In one last attempt to clear things up, Yohei got to his feet.

"Listen President!" he yelled, rushing towards Anderson, "This is some misunderstanding! We never-"

*BANG*

He never got to finish his sentence, as he was silenced as an ARUS soldier unloaded a round into his head, blood and brain matter splattering against the floor.

"YOUHEI!"

"He was shot!"

As terror gripped the students at the sight of one of their own being killed, three female students also made an attempt to leave. They didn't make it very far before they too were gunned down by ARUS soldiers.

"NOOOOO!"

"Why is this happening!?"

"Please" Shouko begged, her eyes glistening with tears, "don't kill anyone else!"

However, Anderson was unthinking in his mindset.

"They are no humans! They are Type Seven Specialized Lifeforms that have deceived us all this time!"

He turned to the ARUS Troop Commander. "We are conducting a purge! Commander, you and your men are to eliminate every single monster in this area!"

"No, PLEASE DON'T!" Shouko screamed, getting to her feet.

Immediately she was apprehended by several of the ARUS soldiers, guns pointed at her. Haruto quickly tried to shield her with his body, eyes closing in anticipation for the pain he was about to feel.

"I'm sorry Shouko" he thought.

*CRASH*

Just then, the left roof of the auditorium broke apart. As moonlight filtered into the auditorium, all attendees looked up in shock. There stood Valvrave Unit 06, it's left fist pointed at Anderson and the other ARUS members in attendance.

"Shoot a single student" the voice of Akira Renbokuji bellowed from the mech's speaker, "And I'll shoot back!"

Needless to say, no more bullets were fired for the moment.

"Didn't we have control of the hanger?!" Anderson asked, not having realized that Akira was watching the whole thing in her Unit, and came to the scene as soon as the first broadcast was shown.

______


Throughout the school, the situation was quickly turning dire. The Other ARUS soldiers were taking over the classrooms with the students still inside, some even being forced to line up against the connecting walls.

"Please, don't kill us!"

"We're only kids!"

"I'm not a monster!"

For his part, Lieutenant Joseph Sheridan of ARUS hadn't planned on this night turning out this way. He figured that all he had to do was simply safeguard the president against maybe a couple mischief makers, not suddenly be forced to gun down inhuman monsters. Granted, they were all kids, or at least at the appearance of them, but orders were orders.

"Shut up!" he snapped at the panicking lifeforms. "We won't allow your activities to go on any longer!"

"You have to believe us!" a student with short green hair protested. "We're on your side!"

"Shut up!"

With that, he and the others in his squad raised his rifles to open fire, his finger just about to pull the trigger.

"HOLD YOUR FIRE!" the voice of his Commanding Officer suddenly bellowed in his earpiece.

"...Commander?"

_____


It was more or less a standoff inside the auditorium. None of the soldiers dared to shoot another round, lest they face the wrath of a gigantic machine and its inhuman pilot.

Haruto and Shouko found themselves surrounded by ARUS soldiers, the barrels of guns pointed at them from all angles. Satomi and the other students in attendance were all forced into a circle, also surrounded by unfeeling soldiers. All while the president yelled for his men to fire as soon as reinforcements showed up, while Akira kept her Valvrave's weapons pointed at him.

As the situation continued to grow in intensity, the Commander of ARUS looked back at the bodies of Youhei and the three female students. At first, he simply scoffed at them, as the fact that they were kids just disgusted him even more, as how dare these monsters take on the visage of children to dissuade others of attacking.

However, the longer he looked at them, something seemed a bit off. Clearly, he had seen that witch on the broadcast quickly regenerate from a stab wound. So that means that these ones should be getting back up any second now. Hence, why he still kept his rifle trained on their bodies.

So then why weren't they getting up?

"Mr. President" he said, kneeling over Youhei's body, "somethings not right!"

"Of course things aren't right!" Anderson yelled. "We're in the den of monsters right now, with a demon about to reign fire down on us should we try to defend ourselves!"

Akira gritted her teeth in her cockpit, eyes obscured by her hair bangs.

"That's not what I meant!" the Commander clarified. "We all saw how quickly that witch easily regenerated!"

"Of course we did!"

"Then why aren't these lifeforms getting back up?!"

At that sentence, the other ARUS soldiers all looked towards their commander, eyes wide open as they too looked at the grisly sight the latter was investigating.

"Are you questioning the orders of your president!?" Anderson barked. "They aren't human! You are to purge them immediately!"

The commander wiped his hands over the wound on Youhei's forehead. To his horror, he saw that the hole hadn't healed, and the student still wasn't regaining consciousness. Looking over at the dead female lifeforms, he noted the same thing.

"If they aren't regenerating" he realized, his eyes widening in horror, Then that means that we just............oh no."

"HOLD YOUR FIRE!" he yelled into his headpiece. "I SAY AGAIN! ALL ARUS SOLDIERS, HOLD YOUR FIRE!"

At that, the others ARUS troops lowered their weapons. Some, as they looked at the sight their commander was witnessing, also came to the same realization. Indeed, a few of them even looked they they were about to vomit.

"What is the meaning of this?!" President Anderson yelled. "You are defying an order from the President of ARUS himself!"

"Sir," the commander retorted "if these truly are inhuman monsters like we saw on the screen, then the ones we gunned down shouldn't still be dead!"

"That's right!" Shouko added in, now that guns were no longer being pointed at her and Haruto. "We had no idea of any of this to begin with!"

"Listen to her!" Satomi said. "We aren't some group of brain eating monsters!"

Anderson remained firm in his decision however. "So you're going to side with these things over your own leader?! What about the Phantom ship?!"

"We can investigate that later!" the commander replied. "In fact, that's exactly why we shouldn't kill these kids. We should take them in for questioning instead."

He looked back at the dead bodies, his expression heavy. "Mr. President, if we don't get this right, then we are essentially murdering innocent children. How do you think that's going to reflect on ARUS, let alone you?"

The President gritted his teeth. This was not the way things were supposed to be going. Yet looking at his commander, it was clear that the latter's mind was set.

".......Alright, fine" he eventually capitulated. "Take Prime Minister Shouko Sashinami and pilot Haruto Tokishima into custody. The rest of you will hold control over Module 77 until we get some answers."

At that, every single student breathed a sigh of relief. Even several of the ARUS soldiers looked grateful that they didn't have to spill any more blood.

"You heard him" the commander said to Shouko. "Prime Minister Shouko Sashinami, you and your friend there are to come with us to ARUS for testing and questioning. I'm expecting some answers regarding everything that was shown up there."

"Don't worry" Shouko said shakily, looking as though she had aged several years. "We won't hide any secrets from you."

Haruto nodded, though he still couldn't keep a grimace from his gracing his mouth.

"Of all the ways for the truth to come out to Shouko, this isn't what I had in mind"

Unseen by the ARUS soldiers or the students however, President Anderson placed a hand to his hear, whispering something.


_____


"It all went according to your plan" Amadeus said to Cain, while watching Saki get dragged away. "I'm surprised that we didn't get more resistance though."

"As I said" Cain replied, thinking to his former student, "you cut off the head of the snake, it ceases to function."

Just then, he put his hand to his ear, receiving a transmission from the President. As he listened, his expression grew more set in stone. He turned back to Amadeus.

"It would appear that our new partner is having some troubles with our plan. His men are softer than we anticipated."

Amadeus snorted. "This is why you can't rely on the weak-willed forces of ARUS to do what is asked of them."

With that, he put his hand to his ear.

"Taurus Company, execute the mission."

_____

Pretty long one huh?

Yeah, I decided to not have the ARUS forces conduct the massacre. Honestly, the fact that the first students they gunned down stayed dead should've tipped them off. I mean, yeah the president is obviously a pawn of the Council, but the soldiers should've known better.

However, that doesn't meant he massacre isn't going to happen. Quite the opposite.

Thoughts?
The bloodbath is about to begin.
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Old 2024-03-18, 23:38   Link #25
LightDragonman
Senior Member
 
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Indeed it is. And unlike the ARUS soldiers, Taurus Company does not think twice about what they are doing.
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Old 2024-03-20, 03:47   Link #26
LightDragonman
Senior Member
 
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Okay, looks like I can't delay the massacre any more.

_____


For now, the situation inside the school had more or less calmed down. ARUS soldiers were stationed in all the rooms and hallways were the students were being held, keeping them contained until further orders. That said, the latter were still highly untrusting of the former, and the same for vice-versa.

"This doesn't mean that we still think of you as human," reminded Lt. Sheridan to Inuzuka, the latter currently huddled in the middle of a classroom with several other students. "Given that you are a pilot yourself, I'd light only you up were it not for my orders."

"Noted," Inuzuka replied with a glare. "Just remember that I wasn't the one who invaded the school with a rifle."

The Valvrave hanger was also in a stalemate. Raizo, in the pilot suit of Valvrave Unit 03, was just about to head on out to back Akira up when the order from the ARUS commander to hold fire was issued. So now he was sitting impatiently in the cockpit, while ARUS soldiers surrounded the legs of his mech.

"Tch, what do they think they can do against Nobu-Lightning?" he said to himself. "They're not even in the hanger where their Splicers are!"

"Stay calm Raizo" Kibukawa said, him and Rion in the command post overseeing the school. "We don't want to raise any aggression."

"It's Thunder!" Raizo protested. "And I know what to do! Just that this situation is really starting to tick me off. We're not monsters after all!"

In the auditorium, Akira still kept a watchful eye over the remaining ARUS troops, however she had also seen fit to lower her Valvrave's wrist, seeing as though there was no real threat at the moment. Indeed, as she looked inside, she noted that the dead bodies of Youhei and the three female students were being respectively covered by sheets that Satomi and Takahi had found.

It was a solemn affair, with the students either weeping for their dead comrades or shooting glares and curses at the ARUS soldiers for killing their friends. Not that the latter were doing any better. Indeed, the soldiers who had opened fire were either emptying their stomachs on the floor, or looked about ready to break down sobbing.

"I.....I just killed.....!"

"Why is this happening?!"

"You bastards! I'll never forgive you!"

"Death to ARUS!"

"Calm down kids! We're sorry for everything!"

"You think that's going to cut it?!"

Satomi and Takahi had to do all they could to hold back several of the angrier students from rushing the soldiers, lest more shootings happen. It was still a struggle, and Takahi herself seemed willing to just let the students at them.

Akira looked back at her display, having gone over the broadcast several times now that she wasn't worried about the students. She, like Haruto, was horrified at what had happened to Saki. The image of her being made an outcast only made her wish to go save her, as she knew all too well what that felt like. But for now, all she could do was try to pinpoint her location.

"Tracing video feed...." she muttered as she scrolled through the footage. "Matching up images.........Got it!"

Having found what she was looking for, she downloaded the data directly to her screen. With that finished, she returned her attention to the camera feeds, hoping to at least see where Shouko and Haruto were being escorted.

However, she noticed something in the camera pointing at one of the hangers outside the forested area. It looked like an ARUS flagship, but something seemed different about it. It was colored all black rather than green, and it seemed to have the insignia of a bull's head inside of a four-leaf-clover. Looking closer, she saw soldiers pouring out, all decked out in body armor, carrying heavy weaponry.

Concerned, she began to look through the other camera feeds. Three more hangers showed the exact same thing, some even containing what looked like Dorssian style attack-choppers and artillery. All with the same exact logo plastered on each of them. Her panic growing, she quickly turned the feed over to the hanger where Haruto and Shouko were being led.

The president's flagship was there sure, but armored soldiers were descending from the entrance of another ARUS ship. One that had the same logo as the other unannounced newcomers. Akira gasped in horror.

"SHOUKO-SAN!"

_____


The trek to the hanger was tense, to say the least. Haruto and Shouko were being marched alongside several other students who had volunteered to be brought in for questioning as well, at a very brisk pace. The commander tried to show some degree of mercy by leaving them uncuffed, but the atmosphere was anything but homely, especially with the ARUS soldiers giving them all suspicious looks the whole way through.

In fact, Haruto and Shouko both noted that the only one who seemed calm was President Jeffry Anderson, who hadn't stopped his face from portraying a stoic expression the whole time they were walking.

"What's he thinking?" Haruto thought.

Shouko however was more in thought about her crush. He had just said that he knew about that ship that contained those humans hooked up to machines. Why didn't he tell her as soon as he returned? Did he have any more secrets that he was holding close to his chest?

"Haruto" she thought, glancing over at him, "What more have you not been telling me?"

"We're almost at the hanger" the commander of ARUS mentioned said, now that they were past the shrine. "Again, I expect you students to answer honestly, as if we find out you really aren't human, we will not hesitate to take action."

"Understood," Shouko answered. "But I promise you that you will not find us as anything other than flesh-and-blood humans."

She didn't catch Haruto's grimace upon her statement.

"How am I going to explain the results to her" he thought, the shrine in his view only amplifying the guilt, given what had happened there. "And to think, I was going to propose to her here."

Suddenly, the commander motioned for all of them to stop. Approaching them from the front was another group, one that appeared to be armed.

"About time reinforcements showed up!" Anderson said, relieved.

"What are you talking about sir?" the commander replied. "I didn't call for reinforcements."

"Well I did." Anderson retorted. "You could use some help when dealing with these threats after all."

The commander raised an eyebrow. "You know we are only going to interrogate these children for now right?"

Jeffry said nothing.

At this point, the approaching squad was now made much clearer, having stopped right in front of them. Aside from the soldier in the front, whose face was uncovered, all were decked out in pure dark green body armor, with only their eyes visible behind clear-dark visored helmets, some of which contained NVG and other accessories. Each soldier was carrying a rifle larger than the ones the ARUS soldiers were holding. Attached to their waists were large magnum sidearms, and multiple types of grenades. And imprinted on their shoulders, the head of a bull inside a four-leaf clover.

"What's this?" the ARUS commander asked.

"Your backup." the leader of the squad replied. "Mr. President, we are here to escort you to your ship."

"Thank you very much" Anderson said, moving to join the new platoon. "Honestly, being stuck out here with these lifeforms was quite nerve-wracking, I must say."

"Wait, what's going on here?" the commander said. "What backup did you call for exactly? All we're doing is taking these kids to be tested."

At that, the head of the armored squad moved forward. "I understand. You boys have now been relieved. We'll take it from here."

"Now hold on a minute." the commander protested. "We can do our job perfectly fine. We just have to escort these children to-"

"Why are you insisting on calling these things 'children?'" the platoon leader interrupted. "They're Type Seven Specialized Lifeforms, like our President here said."

He narrowed his gaze, staring at the students. "In fact, why haven't you executed these ones yet. Far as I've heard, only four are currently dealt with."

"They weren't regenerating." the commander argued. "Not like the witch seen in the broadcast."

"Please listen to him!" Shouko cried out. "We're not inhuman!"

"And you think that gives the commander the right to question orders?" the leader asked hotly to the two. "Given your insistence on keeping these things here alive, that makes me wonder.......are you perhaps one of these Lifeforms as well?"

"W-what nonsense are you speaking right now?! I'm the commander of the ARUS troopers here!"

"Mr. President," the leader said. "It would appear as though your men have been infiltrated by Type Seven Specialized Lifeforms. It's good we arrived when we did, otherwise who knows what state we would have found you in."

"Thank goodness for that." Anderson said, wiping his brow.

"This is ridiculous!" the commander protested. "You know that only New-Jior inhabitants are able to pilot the Valvraves! Remember when we tried to have one of our own take over that red one?!"

"That's right!" Haruto chimed in. "It's why those things are cursed after all!"

"True" the leader said. "But whose to say that it only affected him because he was human?"

"Well whatever you are insinuating, we don't need your help" replied the commander. "My men have the school and its children under control."

"Oh that." The leader of the armored squad smirked. "Your men are currently being.........detained."

_____


"SHOUKO-SAN!"

Seeing that her friend could be in danger, Akira took off in Unit 06, much to the confusion of the people inside the auditorium.

"Akira-chan!" Satomi called out to his sister. "What's happening?!"

"Where is she going?!" Iori asked in a panicked tone. "She's just going to leave us here to fend against these men?!"

"Now hold on there young lady," an ARUS soldier called out. "We're not going to shoot you or anything."

"Still," another one muttered, "what could've led her to take off that quickly?"

As the murmuring continued, Takahi felt something nudge her foot. At first she thought it was just one of the students, but as she looked down, she was shocked at the sight of a pinned cylinder directly at her feet. Looking around, she then saw even more being thrown under the entrance doors.

"Wait, are those....OH CRAP!"

"EVERYBODY GET DOWN!" she yelled, and not a moment too late, as many of the other students and soldiers in the area obliged, though for others, it was too late.

Just then, the cylinders exploded, covering the auditorium in heavy smoke. Soon, it was near impossible for the occupants to see anything through the haze that that was covering the auditorium, even with the artificial moonlight shining through the hole Akira's Valvrave had made.

"Is, *cough* everyone alright?!" Satomi yelled.

"What the heck is this?!" an ARUS soldier called out. "Where'd the smoke grenades come from?!"

As if to answer his questions, the doors were suddenly blown off their hinges, the blast shredding several of the troops that had been right in front of them. Immediately afterwards, armored troops began flooding in, their guns illuminated by their attached flashlights.

"Take them all out!"

Before the terrified occupants could even take another breath, the sound of gunfire soon echoed throughout the room. The terrified students were ventilated without a second notice, their blood caking the interior.

"NOOOOOO!!"

"WHAT'S HAPPENI-ARGH!!!"

"SOMEONE SAVE US!!"

"YOU BASTARDS!" yelled an ARUS soldier, returning fire with his own rifle.

However, all of his shots simply ricocheted off the armor of the invaders, and he too was gunned down. Indeed, the soldiers made no distinction as to who they shot, be it New-Jiorian or ARUS.

Inside all the chaos, Satomi could only duck for whatever cover he could find behind the podium on the stage. Covering his head, he took a peek around to see who was left.

"TAKAHI! IORI! ARE YOU TWO OKAY?!"

He wasn't sure if he could be heard over the gunfire. Thankfully, he was answered back.

"WE'RE STILL HERE!" Takahi yelled from behind a table she had tossed over. "WE HAVE TO GET OUT OF HERE!"

Iori for her part was screaming hysterically. Not at all helped by her legs being stained with the blood that was running throughout the floor.

"HANG ON!" A surviving ARUS soldier yelled, pulling a grenade from his vest. He threw it at one of the side doors just milliseconds before he was gunned down as well. Luckily, it did its job, and the door was blown open.

"OKAY, EVERYONE MAKE FOR THE EXIT AS SOON AS THEY RELOAD!" Satomi yelled. "DON'T STOP RUNNING!"

A few moments later, the shooting did finally stop, as the soldiers had run out of ammo. Taking this opportunity, Satomi got to his feet and ran out the side doors, followed soon after by Takahi helping a traumatized Iori through as well. A few more students and ARUS forces made for it as well, but unfortunately, some ended up shot just before they could escape.

Hearts racing at miles per hour, the survivors sprinted towards the hangers, not looking back lest they get pumped full of holes.

_____


"Hang on Shouko-san!" Akira yelled internally as she tried to get her Valvrave to where she was being escorted. But as soon as she made it halfway, the sound of gunfire and explosions made her pause.

Looking back, she gasped in horror. Smoke was coming out of the auditorium, and she could even see bright lights flashing inside.

"ONII-CHAN!" she screamed, realizing her mistake.

Akira quickly turned Unit 06 around, preparing to fly in and rescue the students. Suddenly though, her Valvrave was hit by an explosive projectile. While the damage was minor, it did cause her to be knocked around a bit.

Getting back to her seat, she looked around to see where it was coming from. To her right, she saw the source. A huge truck with missiles attached to the back had her in its sights, with other armored soldiers by its side, holding what appeared to be blue-tinted cannons.

"FIRE THE THUNDERBOLTS!"

Immediately, the two troopers fired their weapons, and blue orbs of electrical energy made contact with Akira's Unit. The lightning caused her to crash back to earth, her flight boosters partially disabled.

Akira struggled to get herself reoriented, as she could see the missiles slowing moving into position. Just before they could fire, she launched one of her Fan Talons at the truck, destroying it and the soldiers in the nick of time.

Finally managing to get her Valvrave back on its feet, Akira looked in horror at the school. Explosions were going off all around the grounds, as the ARUS soldiers placed there on guard were being massacred by the new arrivals. And as she zoomed in to look through a window, red liquid was being splashed across the screens.

"Please be okay Onii-chan!" she fretted, before moving her Valvrave back to the grounds to help the situation.

_____


The sounds of gunfire alarmed the students on the upper classrooms. Some of them turned to look at the ARUS soldiers in alarm.

"What's going on?!"

"You bastards! I knew we shouldn't have trusted you!"

For their part, the ARUS soldiers themselves also looked confused.

"Did you get the order to fire?"

"Negative. We never received any update on-"

*BANG*

Just then, the first classroom was breached. More faceless soldiers poured in.

"Targets are Type Seven Special Lifeforms and ARUS sympathizers."

"Roger that, clearing now!"

And at that, they unleashed their payload, shredding the first group of students.

"NO PLEASE!" a frightened teenage couple yelled. "WE'RE HUMAN AS WE-"

They never got to finish before they too were gunned down.

"WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!" yelled an ARUS trooper, firing several shots to no effect.

"Cleaning up the mess" the masked man responded, before coldly mowing him down as well.

_____


"Your men are currently being.......detained."

As soon as the words left the man's mouth, the sound of an explosion hit the ears of the group. Turning around, their eyes widened in horror at the sight of seeing the school being bombarded with gunfire, with Akira's Valvrave struggling to assist the ARUS forces.

"YOU BASTARD!" the commander yelled, raising his sidearm.

But all too late, as the leader was simply faster on the draw. Without even blinking, he shot him point blank in the head, his blood splattering on the horrified students and supporting ARUS forces.

"You have my orders to purge them and all traitors to ARUS!" the President yelled.

"Way ahead of you sir." the man said with a smile. "In the meantime, you should leave before things get too bloody."

With that, he sent half of his team to escort the president to his flagship, before turning back to a group of traumatized survivors.

"Now where were we?"

"SHOUKO LOOK OUT!" Haruto yelled, tackling her to the ground.

As the two tumbled down the hill, Shouko held securely in Haruto's arms, the remaining survivors were filled with lead.

_____


And that's just the start of this horror. Still need to get to the evacuation and all that, plus Inuzuka and Raizo.

Thoughts?

Last edited by LightDragonman; 2024-03-20 at 04:30.
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Old 2024-03-20, 22:58   Link #27
LightDragonman
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Join Date: Oct 2013
Time to continue this horrific sequence. Man, this is turning out a long longer than I thought.

_____


"Everyone stay down and remain quiet!" ARUS Lt. Sheridan instructed at the other occupants in the classroom.

He had just overheard the cacophony of screams and gunfire piercing through his radio. Whatever was happening in the auditorium and the other rooms of the school, he knew for sure that he would not like to be a part of it. So currently, he was lying prone just underneath the entry windows of the classroom, alongside several other students, including the one with short green hair, and the other two soldiers assigned to his group.

"This isn't going to work!" a female student cried. "We're going to die here!"

"Shut up!" another student said. "We'll be found if you don't keep your mouth shut."

To say the others were panicking was quite obvious. Even the other two men he had with him looked on the verge of a meltdown.

"We're screwed man" the private chattered. "We're so totally FUBAR!"

"Suck it up soldier!" Sheridan reprimanded. "I'm sure this is all some sort of misunderstanding."

Though to his ears, he wasn't so sure.

The only one who didn't seem on the verge of a nervous breakdown was the green haired male whom he had been arguing with just moments before. Indeed, he seemed remarkably calm, even as sweat dripped down his forehead.

"Maybe you should go out and try to convince them that this classroom is empty" he suggested. "I mean, they are with you, right?"

"You think I wouldn't have done that already?" Sheridan retorted. "I've never seen soldiers from ARUS dressed in that sort of armor. Plus, they're shooting at my fellow troops, so what do you think will happen if I try?!"

The student couldn't think of an answer.

Just then, said boy's phone received a broadcast. Turning the volume down as low as could while still remaining audible, the group looked at it. On the screen, the face of ARUS President Jeffrey Anderson and Dorssian Fuhrer Amadeus was displayed in front of their respective flags.


______


"Let me go!" Rion Nanami screamed, struggling against the grip of Takumi Kibukawa. "I have to save the students!"

"No!" he replied, his hands firm. "You'll just get yourself killed!"

"Why is this happening?" Rion asked sadly, having calmed down somewhat. "This is a neutral area!"

"Neutral for humans." Kibukawa said morosely.

Just then, the screen of the control room turned on, showing the faces of the ARUS President and Dorssian Fuhrer.

"I am the President of ARUS!" Jeffrey announced. "Today we have borne witness to the rise of a new threat against humanity! As a result of this danger, we have come to a decision! We must put our intra-species conflicts behind of us and remain united!"

"We hereby announce the Dorssia-ARUS Alliance!" Amadeus added. "We will both mobilize and take action against Module 77! As of right now, our forces are on their way to the moon! This is a war we cannot lose!"

"Furthermore, it has come to my attention that my own ARUS soldiers I had guarding me have been compromised by these lifeforms!" Anderson remarked. "Therefore, any ARUS troop remaining on Module 77 is hereby designated a traitor to humanity! Do not show them any mercy, alongside these Type Seven Monsters!"

With that, the broadcast cut off.


_____


"I must say President Anderson" the leader of Taurus Company said, sitting next to the man in his flagship, "that was quite a display back there."

"Why thank you," Jeffrey said. "In fact, thanks to your willingness to go through with the purge, I am now promoting your group as the new main military force of this new alliance. I look forward to our new partnership."

"You've have the full support of Dorssia as well" added Amadeus, speaking to him through a chat screen. “As a gift, Captain Cain is allowing you to inspect the captured Rukino Saki. Given that you will going up against her fellow pilots, you’ll need all the info you can gleam. We also have those pesky Royalists that we need help dealing with. You are to round up any revolters and bring them back to the Module once your troops are finished with the troublemakers on it right now."

"It is a great honor to be employed under this new banner" the leader said with a bow. "The Council Of 101 sends their dearest regards."


_____


"Well that's just great!" the soldier to the side of Lt. Sheridan cried out. "Now what are we going to do?! We're on our own now!"

"Shut up and let me think" the Lt snapped, though he too was caught off guard by the announcement. He did not think that this night was now ending with him and the others being branded traitors to humanity. All just for following the orders of his commanding officer.

"Maybe this is all a misunderstanding" the private reasoned. "I-I mean, if we just give up the students, they'll let us live right?!"

The green-haired student glared at him. "Don't you even dare think of-"

But panic had set in too much. The frightened private got to his feet, hands raised, starign directly at a squad of three armored troops.

"Look, I'm with ARUS! So I'm human like you! Just let us go, and you can have the lifeforms here with-"

"Target acquired!"

With that, the man's plea was cut short with a rain of gunfire, coating the other hiding students and ARUS forces in his blood.

"Sweep that section!" the head called out.

"Copy!"

A second later, and the door to the classroom was broken into, and the three soldiers headed in. It didn't take them long for them to find where the group was hiding.

Lt. Joseph Sheridan wasn't going to let himself die that easily though. As fast as he could manage, he got to his feet and practically shoved his rifle into the visor of the first soldier. Wasting little time, he pulled the trigger.

This time, it had the desired effect. The visor creacked open, and a mix of blood and ocular fluid came spewing forth from the where the bullets were fired.

"Man down!"

Performing a combat roll, Sheridan then jammed his rifle into the back of the neck of the second troop, opening fire. It took a few shots, but eventually, so too did blood come spurting forth.

Sadly, his rifle soon clicked, indicating it was out of ammo. He closed his eyes as he prepared for the final soldier to end his life then and there. Indeed, he could even feel the cold metal of the trooper's own gun pointed directly at the back of his head.

"HANG ON!"

Just then, gunfire rang out, but none hit Sheridan, instead firing in an arc to his left. Looking back, he soon saw the reason why.

The green-haired student had tackled the trooper just a few seconds before the latter fired, and was now struggling with the latter for control of the rifle. Being a simple teen compared to the full-grown soldier, he was slowly losing the fight, but he was nonetheless performing better than Sheridan had expected.

"Help?!"

Getting back to action, the Lt quickly drew his sidearm. Racing to aid the boy, he pointed the gun directly at the head of the armored trooper and fired off every round in the magazine. It was only on the last bullet that it managed to find its mark, but it was enough.

"Are you alright kid?" he said, glancing back at his unexpected savior. Only for his eyes to widen at the sight.

"Yeah, just give me a second" he answered, wincing at the bullet wound he was received in his side.

As the Lt looked at the blood-soaked area, he was shocked to see the bullet suddenly get popped out, while the skin sealed itself back up in a mere instant. The sight was both amazing and horrifying to see for himself in person.

".......You're like that witch on the broadcast aren't you?" he questioned, with the other occupants in the room also looking at the boy with wide eyes.

The student let out a sigh. "....Yes, I am. My name is Inuzuka Kyuma, and I am the pilot of Valvrave Unit 05 Hiuchiba. All of us Valvrave pilots are indeed as that broadcast showed."

"So why should we even bother to leave you alive!" the other surviving ARUS soldier barked. "You are an inhuman monster after all!"

"Thanks to you, so many of my friends are now dead!" a student added. "Why do we have to die for you?!"

Inuzuka let out a defeated exhale. "You're right. We do share the blame for this. But right now, I'm your best hope of getting out of here alive."

"What do you mean?" Sheridan asked.

"If you can get me to my Valvrave, I can provide cover for the rest of you so you can get to the other hangers. Do you still have any active shuttles?"

"Yes, alongside several Z-Type and G-Type Splicers. But what makes us believe that you won't just feed on us?"

"I can't" Inuzuka admitted. "But right now, it's either let me help you escape, or take your chances with those men out there. And you saw just how difficult it is to take them down with your current weapons."

Sheridan gritted his teeth. Truth be told, he still wasn't all that trusting of this Inuzuka fellow. But given how he had saved his life earlier, and the weight of the situation, he realized that he had pretty much no choice.

"....Alright, we'll help you." He turned to his other surviving comrades.

"Men, we are to escort Inuzuka here to his Valvrave Unit. Check your ammo reserves, and remember to only fire when you have no other choice. You know how strong the enemies' armor is. Keep the students close to you as well."

"So now we're working with monsters?!" one of them protested. "We really are traitors to humanity!"

"Look, I'm not sure what the deal is with these pilots, but we don't have any other choice!. Or would you rather take a chance like our dead private right there" he said, pointing at the body.

With the reality setting in, the others reluctantly complied. After a quick weapon check, the soldiers helped the surviving students to their feet.

"Lead the way Inuzuka" Sheridan said, giving him his hand. "Guess the enemy of my enemy is my friend now."

_____


Still not quite done with this part of the story. Man this is more complicated than I thought. XD

Last edited by LightDragonman; 2024-04-15 at 03:19.
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Old 2024-03-21, 00:19   Link #28
kiak666
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Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Malaysia
An unlikely ally has joined the heroes.

A minor gripe I have about the series is that the prominent characters from the casts are mostly from either JIOR or Dorssia, with ARUS getting the short end of the stick. With that being said, nice to see a character from ARUS not named Anderson playing a role in this story (even though he's an OC created solely for this fic).
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Old 2024-03-21, 01:25   Link #29
LightDragonman
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Join Date: Oct 2013
He’s probably the only named OC I’m gonna put in here (and thanks for the suggestion of creating ARUS forces that join the heroes btw).

Decided to name him after the guy who wrote “Carmilla”, to keep with the whole vampire theme the series has. As for his personality, well given he’s a soldier, consider him someone who’d fit in an FPS. XD
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Old 2024-03-21, 03:44   Link #30
LightDragonman
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Join Date: Oct 2013
Time to continue this part.

_____


"Shit!" Raizo swore as he fended off yet another group of armored soldiers using Unit 03. He, like Akira, had been inside his Valvrave when the massacre took place, remaining behind in the hanger just in case he needed to sortie. Now here he was, trying to prevent these new arrivals from destroying the whole hanger.

Granted, it wasn't so much of a problem, given that, even with their body armor, the still stood no chance against his Valvrave's Hand Rays, easily vaporizing them on direct contact. No, the real problem was the fact that ARUS soldiers were also involved, and despite his distrust of them, Raizo was not too keen on injuring people who weren't firing him, lest they truly see him as a monster.

For their part, the ARUS soldiers in the Valvrave hanger were trying their best to hold their own against the new threats. However, as to be expected, their small arms barely managed to even dent the heavily fortified troopers. As a result, some of them had taken to hiding behind Raizo's Valvrave, seeing as it was the only available cover aside from the main control deck.

On said deck, Yusuke Otamaya and several other students were holed up, alongside a few ARUS soldiers, with a couple being injured. The children were doing their best to patch them up, but being as they were merely kids, they couldn't do much.

"Is there no end to these buttholes?!" Raizo muttered. Indeed, it seemed like no matter how many he took down, more would come in to replace them.

By now, the hanger was filled with the floating corpses of the unfortunate students and ARUS troops that were unable to find cover. It was quite a grisly sight.

Just then, the console in front of his controls lit up. On the screen was the face of Takumi Kibukawa and Rion Nanami.

"Valvrave pilots, do you copy?" the former called out. "This module is done for. The united armies of Dorssia and these new ARUS soldiers will be here soon. Gather as many students as you can and get to the hanger."

"Affirmative!" Raizo responded. He quickly turned to Yusuke.

"Otamaya! Take everyone you can find to the hanger! That includes the ARUS bastards you're with in there!"

"Got it!" Yusuke replied. "But what about Units 01 and 05?"

"I'll stay here to provide cover for when Haruto and Inuzuka arrive!"

"Roger. Don't forget to bring weapons when you join us!"

With that, Yusuke and the other survivors raced to get to the hanger. Leaving Raizo to once again face off against the incoming swarm of soldiers.

"As for you ARUS lackies around my feet!" he called out, "I suggest you stay close to my armor unless you want to get killed! Once the others get here, we'll escort you out!"

"R-Roger that!" replied the rapidly dwindling Arus forces. Not that they themselves liked being in the care of what they still saw as an inhuman monster, but it was that or risk getting blown to pieces.

_____


It was at this point that Satomi's group had just managed to barely make it to the hanger. Several casualties were had, but the exhausted team reached it, gunfire still coming their way.

"Quick, get inside!" Rion instructed.

It was easier said than done, as floating towards them in Zero-G meant they couldn't escape at the speed required for them to exit in time. Indeed, one female student, a friend of Iori and another girl, took a bullet to her back just before she managed to enter.

"There are three ships, board them now!" Rion yelled.

Satomi and Takahi took a third of the group including several ARUS soldiers, to the first ship, much to the consternation of Iori.

"Wait, we're taking them with us too?!"

"Look, we're all on the same side here, like it or not" Satomi answered. "Besides, we may need them if we are to fight back in the future!"

The surviving ARUS soldiers are voiced their agreement. Iori gave out a frustrated protest, but she couldn't say anything more, as her attention was turned to her injured friend.

"Come on, we've got to get to that ship!" she said, trying her hardest to drag the unconcious body to the second ship with the other one. Only for another student to place his hand on her shoulder, shaking his head.

"Forget her, she's already dead." he said glumly, noting how she was no longer breathing.

"But I can't just leave her!" the female student protested. "We've been friends since junior high!"

"If anything, we should leave an ARUS troop behind to make room for her!" Iori added.

"Hey, at least we're still breathing unlike her!" one soldier protested.

The argument seemed to go on for a while, as the second group consisting of Yusuke and his posse finally arrived.

"We can deal with this later!" Yusuke added, now having joined in. "We've got to get to those ships now before-"

"RPG!" an ARUS soldier yelled.

Just then, an rocket came hurtling through the hanger, barely missing any of the students, yet they weren't what the projectile was aiming at, much to the soon-to-be horror of the hanger's occupants.

*KABOOM*

As the light and heat finally faded, the group looked in horror at the end result. The rocket had completely taken out the third ship. Meaning that there was now no way for them to get all of the surviving occupants out.

"No..." Rion said, sinking to her knees in despair.

_____


Raizo at that point had just managed to fend off the latest wave of incoming armored soldiers, with his posse of ARUS defectors still clinging to the back of his Valvrave, as their lives literally depended on it.

"How many more of you bastards do I have to deal with?!" Raizo growled as he saw the shadows of more arrivals just outside the entrance. He raised his weapons, ready to fire once more when..."

"DON'T SHOOT RAIZO! IT'S ME!"

Zooming in on the source of the voice, Raizo heart rose at seeing Inuzuka finally arrive, with more survivors in tow.

"Heh, what took you so long Inuzuka?" he said. "And again, it's Thunder!"

"Sorry, we had to deal with some trouble on the way here."

"See, this is why you should've stayed here rather than go off to do sponsorships all night!" Raizo said, trying his best to stay positive with all the carnage that had happened.

"Oh, like you didn't enjoy them as well!"

Sheridan looked at both Inuzuka and the giant yellow Valvrave whose occupant was currently engaged in a heated conversation with him with worry. "These are the supposed inhuman monsters who pilot these things?"

"Anyways, enough of this" Inuzuka said, getting back on track. "Is Unit 05 still in one piece?"

"Yes it is." Raizo confirmed. "Here, let me give you a hand."

Inuzuka jumped onto the hand of Unit 03, who then tossed him to Unit 05. Wasting no time at all, he entered the Valvrave, equipped his pilot suit that had been stashed inside, and activated it.

"Okay, now to part two" Inuzuka muttered. "Sheridan, you and your soldiers stay close to me. I'll escort you to the hanger where your ships are!"

"Go with him" Raizo said to the forces behind Unit 03. "I take it you'll know how to operate those far better."

"Understood." Sheridan called out. "You know, I'm glad that you at least aren't going to turn on us. I honestly thought you were going to leave us ARUS forces behind as soon as we escorted you here."

"Hey, I may not be human, but at least I'm not a monster" Inuzuka remarked.

"The rest of you students" Raizo said, turning to the other survivors. "Get to the hanger where the other three ships are currently-"

Just then, the console lit up once more, showing the faces of Kibukawa and Rion, this time more desperate, as gunfire could be seen wizzing past them.

"All Valvrave pilots, we need help! One of the ships has just been taken out, and we can't launch with all these bullets coming our way!"

"DAMN IT!" Inuzuka cursed, slamming his fist against his seat. "How are we supposed to get them out now with one ship down?!"

"I swear I'm going to tear these bastards limb from limb!" Raizo growled.

Having overheard the statements from the pilots, Sheridan decided to join in.

"Listen, we still have room on our space cruiser. If you can cover us, we'll get the other survivors to it in order to evacuate!"

A few of the students balked at the idea of heading out with ARUS forces, but Inuzuka, having helped them during this whole ordeal up to know, slowly nodded.

"Understood. Raizo, get to the hanger and deal with the incoming enemies so the remaining two ships can launch. After that, escort the ones left behind to the ARUS hanger!"

"Roger that!"


_______



The situation outside was quickly starting to deteriorate for poor Akira. Unit 06 was simply not equipped to deal with an overwhelming enemy force, and these armored soldiers were throwing everything they could at her.

For their part, the ARUS soldiers stationed outside tried to do their best to assist with their own armored vehicles, but they simply couldn't compete with the more advanced weaponry this new force had brought. By now, they were down to just two armored vehicles left, with the remaining soldiers almost all suffering some kind of injury.

Akira gritted her teeth as she was again brought down by another barrage of Thunderbolt projectiles. These, while not doing any significant damage to Unit 06, had the effect of temporarily disable its motor functions, turning it into a sitting duck. The only reason she hadn't sustained more damage from any other incoming missiles was because she was quick to use her Fan Talons to take out any enemy in front before they could fire.

But she knew she couldn't keep this up. And it was even more frustrating as she had received the message from Kibukawa and Rion that she was needed in the hanger. She couldn't do anything at the moment with all these troops bringing her down time and time again.

"Onii-chan" she thought, fearing for her brother's safety, as he was still in the hanger. "Hold on!"

As another group of armored units pulled up, Akira readied another Fan Talon. Just then however, she was greeted by a most welcome sight.

"Are you alright Akira?!" the voice of Inuzuka rang out, Valvrave Unit 05 bursting onto the scene, with Unit 03 right behind.

"YOSHA!" Raizo roared in triumph. "HERE COMES THE CALVARY."

"Two more Valvraves spotted! Fall back!" the head of the armored unit yelled.

All too late for them though, as the remaining enemies were quickly disposed off as Inuzuka fired his Bolt Phalanxes at them, destroying them instantaneously.

"Man" Sheridan thought, looking at the destruction while signaling the remaining surviving ARUS forces to follow him. "I'm starting to be thankful we didn't follow through on the President's orders"

"We got you covered!" Inuzuka told Akira. "Go with Raizo to the hanger, and escort the remaining ships out!"

"R-right!"

With that Raizo flew back inside towards the hanger, with Akira right behind. Just before she entered though, she messaged Inuzuka one last time.

"Find Shouko and Haruto!"

Inuzuka nodded, himself worried sick for the two mentioned.

"Where are you two? Please still be alive!"


______


"HERE COMES THE CALVARY, ROUND TWO!" Raizo yelled as he and Akira made it to the hanger. With just a few shots from both Valvrave's hand rays, the remaining enemies were dealt with quickly, to the cheers of the survivors still inside.

Satomi, still inside the first ship with Takahi, quickly messaged his sister.

"Akira-chan, are you alright?!"

"Still here onii-chan!" Akira replied, earning a sigh of relief from her brother.

"Listen" Raizo said to the survivors. "The ARUS forces have another ship that they are going to use to evacuate us. All of you who can't make it on the remaining two ships follow Akira to to the hanger!"

"And we're supposed to trust them?!" Iori yelled in response. "They're probably planning to leave us behind!"

"Look, it's either that or risk death when more troops arrive!" Raizo replied. "Besides, if they were going to do that, they would've just killed you already instead."

"He's right" Satomi added. "We don't have time for distrust right now. Iori, you and the others go with Akira."

".....Very well." Iori agreed reluctantly.

With that, the survivors headed on out under the watchful eyes of Unit 06.

"Akira-chan" Satomi added just before she headed back out. "......Stay safe"

Akira didn't respond, but she did give a nod with her Valvrave before setting on out.

"We're clear!" Kibukawa announced. "Ships, take off and head for the Mass Driver! It's our only hope to escape. Raizo, cover us as we embark."

"Roger. And again, it's Thunder!"


_____


Yep, soon we'll finally reunite with Haruto and Shouko, and with it, the bitter truth about the former gets revealed to the latter.
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Old 2024-03-21, 19:57   Link #31
LightDragonman
Senior Member
 
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Here goes another scene that I have tried to modify from the original (as the betrayal infuriated me in the series proper). Also, update on L-Elf.

_____


The ship rumbled as it and its partner, alongside Raizo in Unit 03, left the hanger. With Rion and Kibukawa in the first, and Satomi and Takahi in control of the first, the two began making their steady approach towards the Mass Driver located on the moon.

"Our only hope is the Mass Driver" Kibukawa instructed. "It's our only chance to get out of here."

With that, the ship containing Rion and Kibukawa finally docked with the device. After just a few seconds, it activated, sending the ship and its survivors rocketing out to deep space.

"We'll see you at the rendezvous point. Good luck!" Kibukawa said, just as their ship left the visible range of the other ship.

"Same to you." Takahi replied. Looking over at her co-pilot, she could see that Satomi was still talking to his sister.

"Remember to get to the Mass Driver as quickly as you can Akira-chan!" he said to her. "Escape as soon as it's ready!"

"I know!" Akira confirmed. "Still have survivors to escort!"

"Just make this as fast as you can! You're still in danger the longer you-"

"I know!"

With that, Akira cut the connection to focus on the task, at hand, much to a fretting Satomi's discomfort. Takahi noticed this, and placed her hand on top of his.

"Don't worry Student Council President. Your sister knows what to do."

"It's just hard" Satomi replied, burying his face in his hands. "I've just started to reconnect with her, and now I'm herre while she's risking her life! I can't lose her now!"

"Just have faith in her" she reassured him. "After all, she's a Valvrave pilot."

Nodding, Satomi returned to driving the ship to the Mass Driver. Soon enough, it docked with the launch pad. Unfortunately, it still needed time to recharge for the next launch cycle, which would take around 12 minutes.

"....Oh hell." Raizo muttered, as he looked off in the distance. "We've got company!"

At the alarm, Satomi and the other survivors looked out their viewports. Sure enough, to their horror, a squad of Dorssian fighters, consisting of several Ideal-Class Annihilators, a few Kirshbaums, and multiple Manned and Unmanned Waffe Units were rapidly approaching them.

"Oh no." Satomi muttered.

Raizo for his part simply cracked his knuckles at the sight of all the enemies.

"Alright you Dorssian bastards. Come and get me!"


______


In the cargo hold of the ship, L-Elf sat listlessly, still near catatonic with grief over losing Lieselotte. Truth be told, he would've been more than happy to have been left down on the Module at the mercy of those soldiers. The only reason he was even here was because the Student Council President had forcibly dragged his butt into it while they were escaping.

Now as he hugged his knees, the announcement that multiple ships were incoming didn't come as much of a surprise to him, given that he fully expected such reinforcements to start coming on in. Next thing, he predicted that the survivors would ask him for advice.

"L-Elf!" the voice of Satomi rang through the hold. "Dorssian ships are incoming. What do you suggest we do?!"

There. Just as he thought. The only thing was that he was not in the mood to come up with any sorts of strategies. As far as he was concerned, the situation was pretty much hopeless.

"You're overestimating my skills." the broken Karlstein agent replied. "There's nothing I can do that can help you."

"After all, if I couldn't save Lieselotte, then what use am I?" he thought bitterly.

"Damn it L-Elf!" Satomi yelled in frustration. "This is very much not the time to be moping around! We're about to be overwhelmed here!"

"Good. Let me see her soon again." he thought, further slipping into despair.

"L-ELF!"

"Forget him Student Council President" Raizo said with a disgusted look. "He's not gonna help us out. Don't worry, I'll keep you guys covered, and the others should be here soon. You'll make it out."

With that, he began to engage with the enemy ships. L-Elf didn't hear anything from Satomi again. Which suited him just fine.

"And to think" he muttered. "Normally I'd be chastising Haruto for such behavior I'm exhibiting."


_____



"Do you have a fix on them?”

"Negative. All we know is that they went down this slope."

"Well keep searching. Leader wants all dead, especially the daughter of the former Jior Prime Minister."

"Copy that."

As the soldiers continued to sweep the area, Haruto and Shouko, their clothes dirtied and hair in disarray, were huddled closely together. Having managed to evade capture when the shooting started, the two had quickly found refuge inside a small crevice that was on the edge of the module. It was more or less a small cave that had been artificially created during its construction, but it still seemed like a natural formation.

"Hey Haruto" Shouko said, trying her best to maintain a smile, "this is like when we were kids remember?"

"I do" Haruto replied. "We were taking cover from that storm when it caught us off guard."

"Yeah" Shouko said, trying her hardest not to crack. "Its when we made that promise that we would never leave each other's side and elope to make sure it happened. Funny how history repeats like that huh?"

Haruto nodded, though taking cover from a storm and taking cover from murderous men out to kill you were two entirely different things.

By this point, the stress was too much for poor Shouko, who buried her face in her hands as she started to cry, much to the sorrow of her friend.

"J-just....why is this all happening?!" she wept. ""Why are w-we now being hunted down like animals?! What was going on w-with Rukino-san and that Phantom ship?! E-Everything is being ruined! Is it b-because I was too trusting?!"

Haruto rubbed her back. "That's the thing. You can never be too careful with who you trust."

"Like how I've kept all these secrets from you" he thought bitterly.

She looked to him with tearful eyes. "What do you mean Haruto? Why did you know about that Phantom ship? What have you not told me?!"

Haruto grimaced. He knew that he would eventually have to tell her the truth about his nature, but he didn't want it to happen in such a situation. Having tried to keep it from her for so long in the hopes they could keep their relationship intact, he saw that there was no other path forward. He could only hope that Shouko would be understanding.

"Please don't hate me for what I'm going to tell you."

He took a deep breath. "Alright Shouko. The truth about everything is-"

"We've located PM Shouko Sashinami and Pilot Haruto Tokishima!" the cold voice of a soldier interrupted.

The two looked horrified into the blinding lights of gun-mounted flashlights shining into their hiding spot. The forces had finally found their location. Seeing no other way out, Haruto quickly wrapped Shouko up in his arms, and tried to shield her from the onslaught of bullets that was sure to come.

"Proceeding with termination right- ARGH!"

Just before the first shot could ring out though, the man was instantly vaporized. Inuzuka and Akira had finally arrived on the scene, still piloting their Valvraves, with the remaining surviving students and ARUS soldiers in tow.

"Looks like we got here in the nick of time" the voice of the head ARUS troop said, before he knelt down to meet the two.

"You're PM of New-Jior Shouko Sashinami and Pilot of Valvrave Unit 01 Haruto Tokishima correct?"

The two nodded.

"Don't worry. I may have been with ARUS, but I'm not going to kill you. My name is Lt. Joseph Sheridan, and we are being guided to our hanger by two of your fellow pilots."

"You can listen to him" the voice of Inuzuka called out. "They don't have anywhere else to go after all."

"Still think it's a mistake though" Iori chimed in, not happy about the detour they had to take.

Hesitantly, Haruto and Shouko emerged from the cave, taking sight of the survivors gathered at the base of the two Valvrave Units, hovering over them with vigilance.

"Good to see you again Shouko-san." Akira called out.

"Same to you Akira-chan" Shouko replied, doing her best to regain her postivity.

Just then, the two pilots received a transmission from Raizo on their screens, the pilot engaged in a fierce battle.

"Guys, those Dorssian bastards are trying to take out the second shuttle and the Mass Driver! I'm doing what all I can, but I hate to admit it, I could use some help here!"

"Copy that" Inuzuka responded. "Akira, get back out there and assist Raizo. After all, your brother is in that ship. I'll continue to guide the survivors to the hanger!"

Akira nodded, the notion that her brother was in danger being all the incentive she needed to head back out to assist.

"Haruto. You go with her and get in Valvrave Unit 01!"

However, he shook his head. "No, that'll waste time for her to get back out there. I'll stay with you guys until you make it to the hanger. Then you can take me back to the Valvrave."

"Haruto..." Shouko said silently. He wasn't going to leave her, just like he promised. She couldn't help but feel proud of him.

"...Alright" said Inuzuka, seeing how she reacted. "Akira head on back. Haruto, Shouko, and the rest of you, follow me. I’d let some of you enter my cockpit, but given how much they are firing on me, I need to remain focused without any distractions. For now, just stay close and we'll make it."

With that, Akira jetted back to join Raizo, and the others continued on their journey to the final hanger.

______


As the group made their way to the hanger, which was now only a little ways away now, they were completely oblivious to another presence looking over them. A lone black chopper, similar in design to the ones used by Dorssia, but with the bull and clover logo painted to its side, was watching their every move.

Its side door was open, allowing a lightly armored soldier carrying a sniper rifle to track the group.

"Sir, they’re almost at the hanger, and I've got only one round left. What are your orders?"

"The prime target is New-Jior PM Shouko Sashinami. If you have a clear shot at her, take it. That'll leave these forces in disarray. Wait until she gets out of cover from that Valvrave."

"Roger that."

With that, the sniper continued to keep the group in his scope, looking for the perfect time to pull the trigger.

After just a few more minutes, the group had made it to the hanger, and were being guided inside by the ARUS-defectors and the blue Valvrave. As the final two began to make their way inside, he saw that both her and the boy next to her were finally out in the open, the Valvrave too occupied with helping the others.

Not wanting to waste this chance, the sniper zeroed in on his target, aiming his laser reticle directly at the back of Shouko's exposed head. Less than a second later, he pulled the trigger.

_____


"We made it to the hanger!" Sheridan announced, the other survivors out of breath. "All students, get to the cruiser, and all capable ARUS forces, get to the Splicers! We need to cover the escape!"

"G-Got it!"

With that, the group gathered up all their remaining strength and raced inside, Inuzuka keeping watch. Unfortunately, in a moment of critical weakness, he left the right side unattended, as he was so focused on guarding them from the other angle.

Soon, only Haruto, Shouko, and Iori were the only ones still out in the open, having stayed to assist the ones who were about to collapse. Now only they were left to get inside.

"Hurry you three!" Inuzuka called out. "We don't have any more time!"

"Right!"

With that, the three ran for the safety of the hanger.

As they did though, Haruto's eyes widened. Painted on the back of Shouko's head was a red dot. Looking backwards, he was shocked to see a chopper hovering overhead, with a soldier pointing a rifle at them. Realizing what was about to happen, he leapt towards his childhood friend.

"SHOUKO! LOOK OUT!"

Not a moment too soon, Haruto pushed her out of the way. Immediately after, the sound of a gun crack was heard.

*SPLRRT*

Shouko got back on her feet, confused by what had happened. But when she got up, she was horrified to see her clothes stained with blood and brain matter. The source of whom was lying behind her, a huge hole carved right through his forehead. It was the bleeding corpse of...

"HARUTO! NOOOO!!"

"SHIT!" Inuzuka swore, launching a Bolt Phalanx at the attacking chopper, bringing it down instantly. Looking back down at the sight, he could see Shouko holding Haruto's body close, screaming his name over and over, while Iori was trying her hardest to get her inside.

"Shouko!" Inuzuka yelled, knowing what was to come should she stay. "You're completely exposed out there. Get into the hanger now!"

"Listen to him!" Iori added loudly. "He's gone. We have to leave!"

But Shouko was too consumed with grief to be able to listen.

"This has to be a dream!" she sobbed. "Why?! WHY IS THIS HAPPENING?!"

As she wept loudly into his blood-soaked body, Inuzuka could only look away in shame. Soon, Haruto would recover, and he dared not imagine how she would react.

"Sorry Haruto. Some wingman I turned out to be."

_____


Shouko knew she had to hurry inside for the sake of the students. Yet all she could focus on was the dead body of her childhood friend that lay in her arms.

"How could this happen?! Why did our lives turn out this way?!"

"Haruto! HARUTO!!!"

As she continued to sob, she suddenly felt heard the weirdest faint sound. Looking back at the face of her friend, she saw that his mouth was starting to inhale and exhale. But how could that be if he was dead?

As the moments passed by, the sight turned even more bizarre. Haruto's head began to seal back up, and before long, the only thing remaining was any remaining residue from the initial headshot. His eyes soon began to regain light, and right before her gaze, he groaned as he sat up.

"Urgh, what happened" he said, placing his hand to his forehead. "Ah, that's right, I was..."

Haruto froze at the realization. He had just taken a fatal bullet wound to the head to save Shouko, and she had witnessed it all.

"Of all the ways to reveal the truth to her."

He could see her looking at him as though she had met him for the first time in his life. Besides her, Iori was glaring at him.

"You are a monster after all! We should leave him here before he feeds on us!" Iori yelled in anger.

"No" Inuzuka said harshly. "We will not comply with that!"

"And what about you?" she said, turning her glare towards the blue Valvrave. "You're like him aren't you?! Why should why trust anything he or you say?! Maybe we should just turn you two over! They may cease these activities if we-"

"NO!" the voice of Sheridan called out, himself having borne witness to the whole thing. "You honestly think they'll stop killing us if we surrender them? One of my soldiers found out the hard way that it's useless."

'B-But!"

"Get in there Iori" Inuzuka said harshly. "You're a sitting duck out here."

Reluctantly, and after shooting one more glare at him, she ran into the hanger.

Shouko stared at her childhood friend with unbelieving eyes. Haruto's heart sank as he saw the fear in them.

"S-Shouko" he stammered. "Listen, I was going to tell you-"

"Why?" she interrupted in a soft voice. "Why didn't you tell me? About your body? Did you know about this all along? About Rukino-san? The Phantom?"

"I-I-"

"I was able to do everything because I believed in you" she said, tears beginning to stream down her face. "Why didn't you tell me anything? Did you not trust me enough?"

Haruto couldn't answer her.

"You said that you would always be by my side when we made that promise in the cave. Yet you didn't have enough faith in me to tell me all this?! How could you?!" she said, shaking her head.

"S-Shouko please-"

"Stay away from me!" she yelled, bursting into tears. "How can I trust you after all this? How can I trust someone who killed my own father?!”

"What?!" Haruto was stunned at that revelation. "What do you mean-"

"NO! Don't come any closer!"

And with that, a hysterical Shouko ran into the hanger, leaving a devasted Haruto on his knees, eyes empty as he looked at her departing figure.

"What have I done?"


______


Yeah, while I kept in her breakdown, I took out her betrayal. Even so, this pretty much means what you can expect for the relationship between Haruto and Shouko (honestly, I felt that relationship was doomed the moment he became a Kamitsuki).

Hopefully, the next part will finally see the end of this massacre arc, and we can finally move on to more character-focused sections. Especially ones that involve Saki.

Last edited by LightDragonman; 2024-04-15 at 03:24.
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Old 2024-03-22, 02:08   Link #32
LightDragonman
Senior Member
 
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Well, time to end this massacre arc. Honestly, this arc was getting rather tedious to write.

_____


"Get all the students onto the space cruiser!" Sheridan instructed to his remaining troops. "If you can pilot a Splicer, get in one! We're going to need all the manpower we can get if we are to survive!"

"YES SIR!"

With that, the soldiers quickly began helping the students into the cruiser, while pairs of the troops jumped into the five remaining Splicers. With three Z-Types and two G-Types, it wasn't much, but like it would have to do.

Sheridan, being trained as a pilot himself, was just about ready to jump into the lead Z-Type Splicer, but first had to help the last few survivors. One of which happened to be Iori, who was still glaring at him.

"I can't believe I have to work with you and those monsters!" she grumbled. "Didn't you see what they are doing to my dad?!"

Sheridan let out a frustrated sigh. "Look, we can investigate that later. I myself have questions regarding this whole thing. But save that for after we get out of here, alright?"

"But what about my dad?" she protested. "We have to save him!"

"Girl, we've barely managed to get you and everyone this far." he said impatiently. "You'll have to wait until we can come up with a plan."

"But-"

"No time for arguing!" he snapped, his patience running thin. "Now get on the cruiser or you'll find yourself walking out of here!"

With that, Iori finally complied. Now the Lt just had to get Prime Minister Shouko onboard. Luckily for him, she wasn't too far behind. Though her eyes being all bloodshot and her nose being all runny did give him.

"Ms. Sashinami" he asked. "are you alright."

"No" she said with a sniffle. "Just get me and the others out of here."

Not wanting to waste anymore time, he nodded. Shouko quickly ran onto the cruiser, the door shutting behind her.

"We've got everyone onboard!" Sheridan messaged Inuzuka before jumping into his Splicer. "We're heading on out. Get Haruto to his Valvrave and get back out here as fast as you can! I don't know for how long our Splicers can hold off those ships compared to your units!"

"Copy that!" Inuzuka replied.

With that, the ARUS Space Cruiser and five Splicers headed out towards the Mass Driver.

_____


"Copy that!" Inuzuka looked down at Haruto, who was still on his knees.

"Come on Haruto! I've got to get you to Unit 01."

No response. He simply stared ahead with unblinking eyes.

"Why did it all turn out this way?" he thought, the image of Shouko's grief-stricken face stuck in his mind. "I just wanted her to be happy and not get hurt. And now, both her and Saki are-"

"HARUTO!" Inuzuka yelled.

Finally snapping out of his stupor at the loud voice of his friend. Haruto got to his feet.

"Look, I know what happened wasn't what you planned, but if you don't get out there, you may not even get to make up with Shouko. You still care for her right?!"

Haruto paused for a second. "......Yeah.......Yeah of course I do!"

"Then hop on!" Inuzuka said, lowering his Unit's hand to Haruto's level. "We've gotta get you to your Valvrave."


_____


"You guys are clear to launch!" Raizo yelled, the cooldown on the Mass Driver having finally ended. "We'll see you at the rendezvous!"

"Don't forget to join us as soon as you can Akira-chan!" Satomi said for what seemed like the hundredth time. "If you don't make it on, then you'll be stuck here!"

"I know!" Akira replied, having joined in the battle moments earlier. "Stay safe onii-chan!"

With that, the second ship carrying Satomi, Takahi, Yusuke, and several other students and surviving ARUS soldiers was launched out into deep space.

"Alright!" Raizo said. "Just one more group that needs to be saved! You doing okay Akira?!"

"A-Affirmative" Akira responded. "But heat gauge is at 70!"

"Mine is as well" Raizo said, looking at his console grimly, not helped by the amount of enemy forces still out there. "Come on you two, we need you out here."

As they prepared to do battle with the remaining Dorssian mechs, another transmission came through the consoles of the two pilots.

"This is Lt. Joseph Sheridan! We're coming out in an ARUS Space Cruiser accompanied by five Splicers! We have many students, including your PM Shouko Sashinami on board. Request immediate assistance and evacuation!"

"Copy that Lt." Raizo replied, noticing the aforementioned craft approaching the Mass Driver. "Be careful! Your Splicers may be able to deal with the Waffes, but they don't stand much chance against those Kirshbaums and Ideals."

"I know, I'm in the lead Splicer" Sheridan said. "So keep those heavier units away from us Raizo!"

"No worries! And again, it's THUNDER!"

With that, he and Akira once again leapt back into the fray, the notion that their PM was in this ship giving even more incentive for the latter. Akira was glad to hear that her friend was just a few ships away."

"Shouko-chan!" she said, trying to speak to her. "G-Good to see you're here. I-I hope we can-"

"Don't speak to her you monster!" the shrill voice of Iori rang across her ear. "She's not in the mood to talk to you or the other pilots right now!"

Akira froze. She wasn't expecting such a hostile response.

"What the hell Vice Council President?" Raizo remarked, having been a part of the conversation. "We're not monsters."

"Yeah, well then explain what happened to your friend Haruto! He just survived getting shot in the head!"

".....Ah, so that's why she's upset" Raizo realized internally. "Welp, the truth had to come out eventually"

"Listen Vice Council President" he said with gritted teeth. "We may be stronger and more durable, but there's nothing else in us that separates us from you! So shut up and let me escort you to safety."

"You sure you're not just gonna feed on our brains later, like we saw on that broadcast?!" Iori retorted. "What do you plan to do to my dad?!"

"We had nothing to do with that monstrosity!" Raizo hotly rebutted. "It was found in Dorssian hands! We were going to bring them out after the summit!"

"And I should believe the words of-"

"Children, focus!" Sheridan interrupted, clearly exasperated. "We can argue about who's what later. Right now, we need to get out of here."

With that, the two finally stopped their feud, albeit still highly distrusting of each other. Akira for her part seemed to have clammed up a bit. She feared that she would be again ostracized, now that the truth about her was out.

"If Shouko-chan knows about it, then am I about to lose..."

"Akira, get your head in the game!" the voice of Inuzuka rang out.

Looking up, Raizo and Akira were greeted with the most welcome sight of Unit 01 and Unit 05, now having arrived on the scene. Though she noticed that Unit 01 seemed more sluggish in its movements than before.

"Good to see you two!" Sheridan said. "Remember, keep those larger mechs away from us! Our Splicers will take out the Waffe units."

"Roger that! Let's go you guys!"

With that, Inuzuka set up a defensive position on the top of the cruiser, blasting Bolt Phalanx shots while using his shield to defend against any oncoming shots. Akira also landed on the other side, hacking into the cruiser with her Humming Bird staff.

"Whoa, this thing is going much faster now!" the head pilot of the cruiser remarked. "Something to do with that purple Valvrave unit?"

"Well whatever the cause, that shouldn't be a problem. Faster speed means harder to hit us!" replied his co-pilot. "Guess we should be glad that we didn't make enemies of those Valvrave operators, human or not."

Meanwhile, Raizo was once again in battle, taking on multiple Ideal and Kirshbaum units singlehandedly, so to speak. Any Ideal that got close was crushed by his Armstronger Cannon, and his Chain Saucers were keeping the Kirshbaums from getting in range as well. However, he noted that his heat gauge was rapidly approaching its limit.

"Damn it, I'm gonna have to pull back soon" he said with gritted teeth. "Aniki, I'm going to need you to back me up!"

He looked at Unit 01, which was for some reason floating listlessly behind the space cruiser.

"What is Haruto doing?!"


_____


Despite the intense situation, Haruto was still in a compromised state. To see Shouko look upon him with fear and betrayal was a gut punch, and to top it all off, there was the last thing she said to him.

"How can I trust someone who killed my own father?!"

The notion that he may have done something unspeakable to her had put him in a state of shock and horror. So much that he could barely register the battle going on around him.

Raizo, Inuzuka, and Sheridan all were trying to get him to snap out of it, but his ears remained deaf to them. All he could think about was Shouko. He needed to get the answer.

"Shouko, can you hear me?" he said, contacting the cruiser.

A few moments of silence followed, yet he could hear a soft weeping on the other side. His heart ached at the sound.

"Shouko, please answer me" he pleaded. "Did I really kill your father?"

More silence followed, leaving Haruto on edge. But finally after a few seconds, Shouko responded.

".......Yes" she affirmed. "He was onboard one of the ships as a hostage during your attempt to save him, and you accidently destroyed the one he was on."

And with that, Haruto collapsed into tears, his worst fear realized.

"S-Shouko" he said in a choked voice. "I'm so s-sorry! For everything!"

".....I know you are." Shouko admitted in a small voice. "But I don't want to talk about this right now. Concentrate on getting me out of here."

With that, she hung up, silently weeping into her hands soon after.

Haruto didn't know what to do. He knew that he had to get his head back into the game, but the knowledge that he had killed Shouko's father was just too much for his mind to bear. As if leaving Saki behind to suffer consequences that he now believed he deserved much more wasn't bad enough...

"Haruto!" the voice of Inuzuka suddenly echoed. "Pull yourself together! Raizo needs you to back him up!"

"She was telling the truth" he said in response with watery eyes. "I'm responsible for killing her father. What kind of friend am I?!"

Inuzuka paused at that remark.

"......Haruto, I can't say that I understand what you are feeling" he admitted. "But you and her are still alive, and if you don't get back out there, she may not live to see tomorrow. Do you really want to be responsible for her death as well?"

The statement was like ice down Haruto's back.

"Don't you still care for her? What does she truly mean to you?"

Haruto thought back to all the times he had shared with her. From their childhood, to the forming of New-Jior, to all the smaller moments in between. Yes, he did still care for her after all.

"......You're right Inuzuka. I do still care for her as my closest friend!" he remarked.

"Do you love her?"

"Of course I...." Haruto paused. He would've replied in the affirmative not even a day earlier, but after everything that had happened, and the fact that he had held such secrets from her until it was too late. Especially compared to that other girl who he had no problems when it came to sharing these things, who was he was now starting to think of more frequently.

"...I don't know" he said. "But she is still dear to me."

"Then get back out there and fight!" Inuzuka declared.

"Right!" Haruto replied, confidence once again beginning to surge back. "Sorry about my state."

"Don't worry about it. We can do apologies once we get out of here!"

With that, Haruto finally got into action, and raced Unit 01 to back up Raizo's position.

_____


The next few minutes were non-stop action for the four pilots, with Haruto and Raizo doing their best to draw the attention of the heavier Dorssian mechs away from the cruiser, and Inuzuka and Akira backing up said cruiser. Meanwhile the ARUS Splicer pilots had their hands full dealing with the Waffes.

Before long, the cruiser had made it to the Mass Driver. Unfortunately, it still had four minutes before it was ready to launch again.

"That's just great!" Raizo remarked. "My heat gauge is almost at its limit!"

Indeed, he had been almost non-stop fighting the Dorssian mechs that he was just about to overheat. The addition of Haruto at his side did make things easier, but it still led to this.

"Get back to the cruiser Raizo!" Haruto instructed, switching the Vurutoga from its Volc Arm to the Z-Edge. "I'll deal with the rest of these guys."

"IT'S THUNDER!" Raizo protested. "....But your right. Just be sure to follow soon after Aniki!"

With that, Raizo flew back, leaving Haruto do deal with the final three Kirshbaum units.

"Alright, just gotta wait for the right moment to.....NOW!"

And with that, he flew at top speed at the remaining three mechs, red Hard Afterglow spilling forth from his blade. With just a few cuts, the final three enemy mechs were reduced to floating scrap.

"This is Haruto, all remaining enemy units are down."

"This is Lt. Sheridan. We've dealt with the Waffe units. Docking with the Cruiser, and preparing to launch from the Mass Driver."

The five splicers touched down on the top deck of the Space Cruiser, Units 05 and 06 departing to allow room. With that, the cruiser finally made contact with the driver.

"Thanks for your assistance Pilots." Sheridan said gratefully. "Since we have no where else we can go, as the President Of ARUS has branded us traitors, we hereby swear allegiance to New-Jior. Whatever the next move is, you have our support."

"Understood Lt" Inuzuka said. "Sorry you had to join us under less than favorable circumstances."

"Honestly, if we knew about your true natures before this happened, we never would've followed Anderson in the first place" Sheridan admitted. "We'll see you at the rendezvous. And don't worry. Your Prime Minister and fellow students are all safe here."

With that, the Cruiser and Splicers were launched into deep space.

"Okay team" Inuzuka said to the other three pilots. "Time for us to get out of here. Dock with the Mass Driver and let's join out friends."

"Roger that."

"A-Affirmative."

Akira quickly slammed her Humming Bird staff into the Mass Driver rapidly cooling it. The last platform was raised, and she joined Inuzuka and Raizo on board.

"C'mon Haruto!" Inuzuka said. It's time to go. You still have to clear things up with Shouko after all."

"R-Right!"

Haruto began to steer his Valvrave towards the other three. Yet as he approached the platform, a feeling of unease filled his gut. He wasn't sure why, but the more he drew closer to the platform, it soon became much clearer as to why. Sure he and three other pilots were there, but they were still down by one. One who he had a much stronger connection to, and that, combined with the absense of Unit 04 suddenly made him flash back to said girl.

"Shouko-san won" she said in a broken voice.

"Haruto" she softly cried. ".....Please help me!"

"I've always been alone" she said, eyes empty as she stared at the theater screen. "Family? Friends? No one chose me"

"Haruto, time's a wasting here" Inuzuka reminded.

Yet as Haruto looked at the platform, he couldn't get his mind off of their missing Valvrave pilot. She was still out there, and if her execution was any evidence, he shuddered to think about what was being done to her. He thought back to the theater date, and what she had said afterwards.

"I wanted to be chosen. By just one person. If my loneliness became our loneliness, that would've been enough for me."

Sure she had tried to write it off as just her repeating her movie lines, but Haruto could sense that that was how she really felt; lonely. And he had left her all alone behind enemy lines, and she was now suffering the consequences.

"I said that she wasn't alone back then, in response, and yet....."

He thought back to the look in her eyes after her bodied healed, and his eyes suddenly felt itchy again. He hadn't seen her in such despair until then, and he had just left her there, despite his worry for her. All because he still relied on others to come up with the plans for him.

He had already hurt her once before, and the incident with Shouko recently made him remember all the times he had hurt others in his indecisiveness. Heck, if Saki had made it back with them, would this whole debacle had even happened? He could've been able to remain on good terms with Shouko, and revealed the truth to her in a more ideal situation.

With the image of Saki's despair-filled expression now front and center in his mind, Haruto knew what he had to do. Clenching his fist, he turned away from the Mass Driver.

"Haruto? What are you doing?!" Inuzuka asked, shocked at the sight of his friend flying away.

"Taking some responsibility for once." he replied firmly. "I'm going to go rescue Rukino Saki."

"Haruto, think about this" Inuzuka protested. "Like I said, you don't have some sort of plan for this. At least get L-Elf to-"

"There's no time!" Haruto cut off. "He's emotionally compromised right now. Going to him now is a colossal waste of time! Who knows what Rukino-san could be enduring as we speak!"

"Plus, given how he was willing to let Akira die on that mission, I doubt he'd care that much about her." he noted internally. "Gosh, why did I even think that he'd help me save her in the first place? Forgive me Rukino-san!"

"You were going to make things up with Shouko!"

Haruto paused. True, he still needed to make things right with his childhood friend. But given that Saki was in much more trouble at the moment, combined with the despair in her eyes he kept flashing back to...

"No, I can't let my personal feelings get in the way" he thought, determined. "Right now, the predicament Saki is in is of far more importance than whatever I'm feeling for Shouko."

".....I know. But I can't leave another one of my friends behind. Leaving Saki behind enemy territory is what led to this whole mess in the first place! I won't make that mistake again."

Inuzuka could see that Haruto's mind was made up on this. Even so, he was still skeptical.

"Haruto, you don't even know what ship she's on. How are you going to rescue her if you don't know her location?"

Haruto gritted his teeth, having forgotten about that detail.

"Sending data to you now." Akira piped up.

Just a few moments later, data concerning a Walkit type-cruiser was sent over to Haruto's console.

"This is-"

"Hacked broadcast" Akira said. "Wanted to find Saki's location. She's my friend too."

"Thanks Akira."

"I'll come with you Aniki" Raizo said. "You could use the extra help."

"No" Haruto responded quickly. "You three are to head on to the rendezvous point in case more enemy forces show up. Besides, this is something I have to do on my own. She's suffering because of me after all."

"After all, I was the one who assaulted her that night thanks to this curse." he thought grimly.

".....You're really going to do this?" Inuzuka asked one last time.

"Affirmative. If I don't make it back with Saki, I'm counting on you guys to come after me."

".....Damn you Haruto" Inuzuka sighed. "Well, good luck. I'll see you when you get back."

"You got this Aniki" Raizo added.

"Bring Rukino-san back safe and sound" Akira added. "I don't like thinking of her all alone."

"Same here Akira" Haruto said, tapping a few buttons on his console.

Akira's eye's widened as data was sent to her Valvrave from Unit 01.

"Give these to Shouko and L-Elf." Haruto told her. ".....And tell her that I'm sorry."

"I-I will" Akira said shakily.

With that, the last platform was launched off the Mass Driver, sending the three pilots to the rendezvous point. Haruto looked back one last time.

"Well, here goes nothing. Hold on Rukino-san. I'm coming for you. You won't have to suffer anymore!"

_____


Finally, this arc is over!

I'll be honest, I'm not all that pleased with the quality of this part. I'm not all that good at writing mech combat scenes, and you can obviously tell. But hey, at least now we can finally get to the parts I was most eager to write!

Again, thoughts? I know this part isn't all that well done.

Last edited by LightDragonman; 2024-03-22 at 04:04.
LightDragonman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2024-03-23, 01:57   Link #33
LightDragonman
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Join Date: Oct 2013
Might as well start on the next part. Going to catch up with the others before we get back to Haruto and Saki first btw.

_____

"I repeat, I will NOT let you pilots in!" The voice of Iori echoed in the ears of the three Valvraves.

"Cut that shit out!" Raizo exclaimed. "We saved your asses and got you here. What more do you want us to do?! This is how you repay us?!"

The situation at the rendezvous point was far from welcoming for the pilots. Despite all the ships finally being re-united, the revelation of the pilot's true nature was still earth-shattering to several of the survivors. Iori in particular distrusted them, and was refusing to allow them to dock with the ARUS cruiser.

"Girl, just let them on" the voice of Lt. Sheridan chimed in, his patience at his wits end. "We need all the help we can get right now. And those three pilots are our best defensed right now."

He was currently in the command deck alongside Iori who had the comms, and Shouko, who remained silent at her seat, eyes listlessly staring forward. The other students and fellow ex-ARUS soldiers had taken refuge in the crew quarters, and were also in communication with the two other shuttles.

"C'mon Akira!" Satomi said from his ship. "You can dock with mine! I won't turn you away like before. Come on."

However, Akira shook her head. "Not yet. Need to see Shouko first."

"Well you can wait out there!" Iori replied harshly. "Shouko is our PM, and until she gives the all clear, I'm not letting you monsters onboard!"

"What did you just call my sister?!" Satomi barked.

"Vice Council President, please" Inuzuka pleaded. "We're all tired and traumatized, I get that. But our Valvraves need repairs as well as being re-armed. And with that new alliance between Dorssia and ARUS, I don't know how much time we have left."

"I agree" Sheridan added. "After all, I'd rather not go against their might with nothing but a handful of Splicers. We barely managed to get out of there as is."

Iori remained adamant however, and the argument continued to go back and forth with no progress gained, to everyone's frustration.

Shouko for her part was still lost in her grief. The revelation of what Haruto truly was, what all he had kept from her, and how she had revealed the truth about her father to him had left her completely drained. As much as she hated to admit it, she felt a sense of justice at revealing his part in her father's death, as it meant she could get back at him for what she felt was a betrayal.

"Gosh, I am such a terrible woman" she thought bitterly, her heart still holding affection for him. It was then that she noted that said friend hadn't yet called in.

"W-where is Haruto?" she finally asked in a weak voice.

Inuzuka was silent. He and the others didn't really know what to say to her, lest she have her heart broken even more should the truth about him going to save Saki rather than catch up with her be revealed.

"Don't worry about Aniki!" Raizo said before Inuzuka could come up with an answer. "He's just taking care of any remaining stragglers. He'll be here soon, no doubt about that!"

"Or maybe he's going back to feed on those captured humans" Iori grumbled. "If he does anything to my dad, then I swear that I'll-"

"SHUT UP IORI KITAGAWA!" Shouko yelled, surprising the other listeners. After so much silence, for her to give such an outburst was unexpected.

"PM, are you okay?" Sheridan asked, noting just how bloodshot her eyes were and the dark bags under them.

She took several breaths, trying to not break down for another time. But Iori's callous comment only made her remember just what Haruto had done to her father, and it was all just too much of an avalanche of emotions for her to deal with. That said, it did finally snap her out of her funk, if only because she was too angry at Iori to feel sad now.

"......No, but as PM, I do have a responsibility to do what's best for my citizens" she said, doing her best to hide her grief. "Pilots, you are clear to enter. However, I am restricting each pilot to one ship."

"Are you crazy?!" Iori replied. "You're letting those things onboard?!"

"If there's only one, then that's not a problem." Shouko said. "After all, what good is one man against the rest of us?"

"Even if they aren't human?!"

"Even if."

".....Very well" Iori said begrudgingly. "I still don't trust them one bit."

The three pilots weren't exactly thrilled at this concept. Even still, it was better than being forced to wait out in space with limited ammo and heat-gauges.

".....Understood Shouko" Inuzuka said. "Raizo, dock with Professor Kibukawa's ship, as you need the most repairs. Akira, go see your brother. I'll dock with the ARUS space cruiser here."

"You got it! And remember, it's Thunder!"

However, Akira shook her head again.

"No. Need to see Shouko. Haruto told me to."

".....He did? What did he want you to say to her?"

Akira sent him the files Haruto had sent her. As Inuzuka scrolled through the data, his eyes widened.

"......Alright, I understand! Go see Shouko as fast as you can. Then I'll swap ships with you."

"This may be the only way we can get our two leaders back in the game" he mused. "Dang it Haruto, you should've done this earlier!"


_____


"If any of you ARUS bastards even touch one hair on my sister, I'll kill you!" Satomi yelled over the comms. "And I'll know since she'll be back with me soon!"

Sheridan rolled his eyes. Given how scrawny the Student Council President was compared to him, a Lt. of the ARUS military, the threats sounded like those of an ant trying to take on an elephant.

"Sort of like how the situation is for me going against this new Dorssia-ARUS alliance" he noted. "Just what am I going to tell my troops?"

Unit 06 slowly descended into the hanger of the cruiser, docking alongside the parked Splicers. Immediately, the rest of the occupants of the hanger swarmed the area, all looking expectedly at the Valvrave.

"Okay pilot Akira Renbokuji. You're clear to leave and see Shouko now." informed Sheridan.

Yet the cockpit failed to open, making the Lt raise an eyebrow.

"Pilot Akira Renbokuji. You're good to go. Shouko's waiting."

Again, nothing.

"Pilot Akira Renbokuiji! Is something wrong with your cockpit hatch?"

"My sister's a Hikkikomori you assholes!" Satomi's voice called. "She has no desire to see the likes of you."

".......Seriously?" the Lt asked, his eyebrow raised.

"Just what exactly are the qualifications for becoming one of them aside from being Jiorian?"

"Let me speak to her" the voice of Shouko chimed in, as the PM had just entered the hanger. "She trusts me."

She'd be lying to herself if she didn't want to mimic her friend, and just curl up in a ball and grieve with no interruptions. The absence of Haruto made such an act all the more appealing. But since she remembered that she had to lead her students, Shouko reluctantly swallowed her tears for now, and decided to go to Akira.

Nodding, the group made way for her to float up to the cockpit of Unit 06, where she softly knocked on its top.

"Akira-chan? It's me. You said you wanted to show me something? Don't worry, I won't let you have to see those men out there."

After a few seconds, the hatch finally opened up, allowing Shouko inside to see her red-haired friend.

"What is it that so important?" Sheridan thought. "Surely it has to be something we all should be privy to."


_____


"H-Hi there Akira-chan" Shouko said awkwardly. "You know this is the first time I've actually been in the cockpit of a Valvrave. So you guys actually fight in such a room huh? Very interesting."

She was doing all she could to make the experience less awkward, and to keep her mind away from Haruto. Getting to be close to one of her friends did help ease her mood somewhat.

"So what did you have to show me?" she asked, trying her hardest to look positive. Unfortunately, what Akira had to say next wiped that away.

"Data. Sent by Haruto. Wanted me to show you it."

Shouko felt her lip quiver. "R-Really? That's interesting. W-wonder why he didn't just....oh why did he have to do this to me?!"

Akira frowned at seeing her friend do her best to not break down into tears, though it was clear that she was losing the fight.

"M-Maybe this is why" Akira said, pressing the play button on her console.

"Move!" the voice of Haruto played. "You're a robot! Move dammit!"

"Haruto?"

Shouko looked at the console. Playing on it was a recording of what was Haruto's first time piloting Valvrave Unit 01.

"This is-"

"I owe this to Shouko! Please!"

Her eyes widened. "Haruto...don't tell me..."

The video then showed him answering the question of whether he was willing to resign as a human being with "Yes". Immediately afterwards, the procedure started, and Haruto was a human no longer.

"Haruto....you did it for me?" Shouko asked, horrified at the scene. She remembered being caught in the blast, having been saved only thanks to making it inside the vehicle where Kibukawa was mere seconds before the flames hit her. If he had seen such a sight, then he must have thought she was dead.

"You thought I died, so you did this to avenge me." Shouko realized out loud. "Even though I was fine. Is that why....."

"Stop it. I won't let anyone else touch the Valvraves!"

"Ah, so that's why you were adamant that no one else pilot them. Because if they did, they'd become like you."

Her eyes soon became flooded with tears as she remembered him telling her that her shirt was silly after meeting her again, when it seemed like he was going to confess to her.

"That's because you didn't want me to know the truth, isn't it Haruto" she said quietly. "B-Because you thought that i-if I knew what you w-were, then I would h-have..."

She broke down into wails, burying her face into Akira's shoulder, the latter panicking at seeing her friend cry.


_____



Meanwhile, over at Satomi and Takahi's ship, the two were still trying their hardest to get L-Elf to snap out of his depression. Inuzuka was also joining in, trying to get the Karlstein agent to give them even just a shred of advice.

"Damn it L-Elf! You're our strategist!" Inuzuka yelled. "At any moment, more forces could be on their way. We need you to get a grip!"

Still, no answer, they couldn't even enter the room, as L-Elf had locked it from the inside.

Frustrated, Inuzuka left in a huff, unable to hide his disappointment with what had once been one of their strongest members, and the reason for so many victories. However, as his head began to cool off, he suddenly remembered what he saw while skimming through the files.

A recording of a pink-haired girl speaking to Haruto, with the former mentioning L-Elf by name, and seemed to speak of him lovingly.

A lightbulb going off in his head, he immediately raced back to his Valvrave to call Akira.


_____


Akira was rather flustered at the moment, holding a sobbing Shouko in her arms. She was still rather awkward when it came to physical contact, and now she was in the unenviable position of trying to comfort her friend who was having her own emotional breakdown.

"W-what do I do?" she thought as she wrapped her arm around Shouko. Indeed, she was starting to panic.

Just then however, the console lit up once again, showing the face of Inuzuka, who was taken aback at seeing his PM in such a sad state.

"...Shouko" he said slowly, "did you see what Haruto sent Akira?"

Tearfully, she nodded.

"I understand. Now you know why he wanted to keep it all a secret from you, right? He was afraid of how you'd react."

Shouko sniffed. "H-He was right to. Just look at how I treated him. Yet the fact that he didn't trust me because of it..."

She stopped before she could collapse into tears again, knowing just how terrible she looked in front of two of her pilots.

Inuzuka hesitated. He wasn't sure if now would be a good time to ask her to do what he was about to request, given her mental state. But given the circumstances, he realized that personal feelings had to come second to the bigger picture.

"That's why you went off to save Rukino-san, right Haruto?"

"Shouko, I know this isn't the best of times, but I need you to watch the rest of what Haruto sent Akira."

"Why? Do you want me to feel even more guilty over how things have turned out between me and him?!" she asked harshly.

"No. In fact, this next recording has more to do with L-Elf, whose currently emotionally compromised. I hate to say it, but we need his help more than ever now, and that data might be what'll get him out of his funk."

Shouko was reluctant to see anything more that featured Haruto. However, knowing the state that L-Elf was in, and the fact that she couldn't let herself put her personal feelings ahead of the others, she realized what she had to do. Wiping the tears from her eyes, she turned to Akira.

"Okay, play the rest of the footage."

Akira nodded, and did as she asked. Instantly, the recording of Haruto conversing with a young red-eyed girl with two pink-twintails began to play in front of her eyes.

As the footage went on, Shouko couldn't help but gasp as more info was delivered to her, especially when she got to the end of the conversation the two had.

"So you did this for L-Elf?" Haruto asked.

"He told me he loved me" the girl named Lieselotte replied. "But I'm a Magius. I can't be with humans."

"T-That's not true!" Haruto protested, in a rather desperate tone. "Please! You can't write it off just like that! L-Elf wouldn't want that! I'm sure he could make you happy."

Shouko found herself sadly chuckling at Haruto's words there at the end. Of course he'd say something like that, given his feelings for her and his inhuman nature. And yet now, with the both of them as they were.....no that could wait for later.

"...Akira, get me over to L-Elf, and transfer the data to my phone." Shouko said, her expression now set in stone.

_____


A few minutes later, Inuzuka and Akira had swapped places, with the former now on the ARUS space cruiser and the latter on Satomi's ship. Without waiting a minute later, Shouko departed from Unit 06 and headed straight to the cargo hold were L-Elf was holed up.

Naturally, it was still locked. But that's why she had Akira there.

"Akira-chan, can you unlock the door leading into the cargo hold?"

Only a few seconds passed before the door slid open. Thanking her friend, she entered the room, finding L-Elf at the back of it, crouched and holding his knees to his chest.

"Not unlike how I was earlier" she noted.

"So you managed to enter thanks to the pilot of Unit 06 I see." L-Elf muttered, not even bothering to look at Shouko, even as she sat down next to him. "Well whatever you're going to say, forget about it."

"L-Elf, I know you're in pain, but please" Shouko said, "we can't do this without you. We're down two Valvraves, have injured that need tending to, and soon Dorssia and ARUS will be here again. We need a plan, and you're our best strategist."

L-Elf simply hugged his knees harder. "...I can't help. I'm not the strategist you think I am."

"What are you talking about?" she asked. "You led us to one victory after another."

"Yet I couldn't do the one thing I was doing this whole thing for" he scoffed bitterly. "This whole thing was all so I could create a haven for someone, and now she's dead. What's the point of it all now?"

"L-Elf...what was the name of this person?" she questioned, though she had a feeling she already knew this answer."

A tear fell down his eye as he remembered her face. "........Her name was Lieselotte."

"Is this who you are speaking of?"

With that, Shouko brought up her phone's screen, and hit play.

"Thank you Tokishima Haruto" Lieselotte said gratefully. "The boy who fights the world."

The voice of his dearly beloved caused L-Elf to look up and at the screen Shouko was showing him. At the sight of Lieselotte, his tears started to fall even harder.

"W-why are you showing me this?! Are you trying to torment me?!"

"Just watch."

"Who's that thing?" Pino asked from inside Unit 01's console.

"Thing?" Haruto was baffled. "That can't be the first human you've ever seen, is it?

"Human?" Pino replied. "No, she's the same as me."

"The same?" Haruto looked at Lieselotte.

"She's right" Lieselotte said with a sigh. "I am a Magius, a creature that has taken hold of a human body."

At those words, L-Elf's eyes widened, and he gasped in shock.

"What?! Lieselotte was a Magius?"

Shouko nodded. "You heard her. She was the same as Haruto."

L-Elf began shaking his head in disbelief. "No.....no that can't be true. That's impossible! How could she have been a Magius? A creature at the top of the food chain?! She was imprisoned!"

"If this is all true, then what were all my actions for her worth?!"

Shouko said nothing, but simply played the next part. In it, Lieselotte discussed the Council of 101, their reasons for existing, and their true nature. All throughout, L-Elf watched with unbelieving eyes, unable to accept that the one he tried so hard to save was a member of an alien species.

"Oh this." Lieselotte said, noting Haruto was looking at the green markings on her arms.

"What is that" Haruto asked.

"I got it because I rejected the Council Of 101" she responded. "This is my punishment for trying to reveal the truth and coexist with humanity. My runes are drained at regular intervals."

L-Elf, again, was left flabbergasted. "Lieselotte.....you really were a prisoner? Even as a Magius?"

As the last bit of the data played, revealing Lieselotte's feelings for him, he could only stare down at the floor, his expression unreadable.

"L-Elf" Shouko said ".....No, Mikhail, are you okay?"

A few seconds of silence followed, before L-Elf began to chuckle bitterly.

"Heh, so that's the truth huh? If she really did love me, then why didn't she tell me that to begin with?"

Shouko paused. It was the same question she asked herself after finding what Haruto had kept from her. Why hadn't the two that they planned to spend the rest of their lives with not revealed the truth to them?

"...Did she not trust me enough?" L-Elf asked, his voice rising in intensity. "She said that she'd give me half of her life! She showed me kindness! How can she do that for me, and yet not tell me the truth?!"

Shouko placed a hand on his shoulder. "Perhaps she was afraid. Afraid of how you would react, as she was worried you'd look on her with revulsion if you knew the truth. I know, because I...."

She felt tears forming yet again.

"....B-Because I did just that to H-Haruto." She buried her face in her hands. "How could I h-have been so c-cruel?!"

As she dissolved into sobs again, L-Elf could only think upon his time with Lieselotte, wondering if he would've done the same thing. He thought back to one of the last meetings he had with her, when she came to him with a melancholy look on her face, after he said that they'd run away together.

"Mikhail...you're so young" she said sadly. "There is no safe haven for us."

At first, he had thought she just meant that they couldn't be together as long as she remained in Dorssia. However, with everything that was revealed to him about her now.

"Lieselotte....were you trying to make a haven? For both humans and Magius? Were you trying to subtly tell me to move on until such a dream could become a reality?"

Looking at the crying form of Shouko, he slowly began to realize what Lieselotte truly wanted, and why she ultimately sacrificed herself for him. He wrapped his arms around the former, much to her surprise.

"Shouko, I don't know if I would've reacted the same way if she told me the truth. TO be honest, I now realize why she didn't. Not because she was worried about me rejecting her, but because the circumstances wouldn't have allowed me to even be with her if I wanted."

"L-Elf..."

"There isn't a place we could be together. She was a Magius, and I'm only human. The world simply can't accept such a coupling." He choked back a tear. "And yet, that's what she ultimately dreamed of, and why she resisted the Council of 101. To see a world where both Magius and humanity could live, side-by-side, without lies or secrecy."

His expression becoming firmer and more resolved, L-Elf got to his feet at long last.

"I may never be able to be with someone like her, even in such a world. She would outlive me after all. But at the very least, I can make her dream a reality. A world for all of us, regardless of species, and where secrets are always unveiled."

He clenched his fist. "That's what she wanted, and it's now my dream as well. I swear that I'll do whatever it takes to create that world."

"...Mikhail..." Shouko stared in awe at him, leading to a chuckle from the latter.

"You know, only a few people know that that's my real name."

"I too was influenced too much by the world" Shouko said. "That's why Haruto was right to act the way he did."

Wiping her tears again, Shouko too got to her feet. "I'll help you fulfill that dream Mikhail. These secrets only drove me and Haruto apart after all. At the very least, I want to help you create that world, as a way to let people like him live without being labeled monsters or be forced to hide the truth!"

"I see" L-Elf remarked. "Do you still think you can be with him in this new world? You seem to have accepted his true nature now."

Shouko paused for a second, before a bittersweet expression graced her face.

".....I hate to admit it, but while we made that childhood promise......no, we are two separate species now. He'll outlive me, and I have all these responsibilities on my plate now, given all the work I'll have to do to make this dream happen."

She clenched her fist, determination filling her. "But at the very least, I can create a world where he and others like him don't have to hide any more secrets, and can live without fear!"

"It's my way of making it up to you Haruto. I'm sorry for everything, and I'm sorry I can't be with you. Let me at least give you this."

L-Elf looked at her, and for the first time in what seemed like forever, an actual smile graced his lips.

"Thank you Shouko-san. I can't do this alone after all. Will you work with me to make her dream a reality?"

With that, he offered her his hand, which Shouko eagerly took.

"You don't have to ask me twice!" she said, her cheerful personality finally beginning to resurface. "You know, Haruto always said to share things half-and-half. And that's what I want to do. Share this dream half-and-half, so that we can both contribute fully!"

"Heh, just like Lieselotte back then." L-Elf thought with a smile.

"Very well then Shouko Sashinami. For the sake of her dream, and everyone else, let's revolutionize this world!"

_____


A few minutes later, L-Elf and Shouko finally emerged from the cargo hold. To the shock of everyone, they both had genuine smiles on their faces.

"I'm not even gonna bother asking what happened between you two" Takahi said. "But it looks like you're ready to get back in action."

"You could say that" Shouko said with a smile.

L-Elf for his part, made his way to the front of the ship.

"Listen up everyone. I want all Valvrave's prepped and ready for combat. Until Haruto gets back, it's up to us to keep everyone safe. Me and Shouko will start working on our next move up till then, but it requires all Valvrave pilots. So man your stations!"

And with that, cheers erupted across all three ships.


______


"FINALLY, L-ELF'S IN ACTION AGAIN!" Raizo yelled in triumph.

"Guess Haruto really was looking out for us even now, given that data seemed to do the trick" Inuzuka mused while grinning.

"I'm proud of you Shouko-san" Akira said, a small smile gracing her lips.

"And now I get to see just how much the man lives up to the legend" Joseph Sheridan muttered amongst the roaring cheers of his troops. "Don't let me down L-Elf."

_____

"So what do you have planned in mind Mikhail?" Shouko asked L-Elf, the two now on the command deck of the ship.

He looked out into space. "Well if my faith in Haruto pays off, then I have an idea on how to create our planned haven."

"You're placing faith in him?" she asked. "Maybe our sweetness really is rubbing off on you."

"Maybe."

Shouko laughed in amusement.

______

Again, another really long one, and one that I'm not exactly sure works all that well. But I wanted to get all this drama out of the way first.

Now we can finally get back to Haruto and Saki, which I have been extremely eager to start on.

Thoughts? Again, I know it's not the best.

Last edited by LightDragonman; 2024-03-23 at 02:15.
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Old 2024-03-24, 00:59   Link #34
LightDragonman
Senior Member
 
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Welp, here we go. Dang it, I have to show Saki's torture now.

_____


"Are you sure it was a good idea to send them that data?" Pino asked Haruto, who was in the middle of hiding Unit 01 inside a remote crater on the moon.

"It was either that, head back and speak with them directly, wasting time for Rukino-san, or do nothing at all." he replied, preparing to exit the Unit. Though he did note that he didn't feel quite as strong.

"Your Runes aren't at a recommended level" the fairy girl noted. "Are you going to be okay?"

"Hey, don't worry about it!" Haruto replied reassuringly. "Besides once I get back, I'll be able to feed on L-Elf again, and I'll be right as rain!"

"If he's back to normal that is" he thought. "But I refuse to feed on anyone else, as only he I can trust to be able to handle the pain."

"After all" he said, departing the cockpit. "Rukino-san in much more trouble right now. I said I'd shoulder the burden of everyone else, not the other way around."

"Hold on Rukino-san. Just wait a little while longer" he thought, his heart sinking at the thought of what she could be going through right now.


_____


She was running out of air. All around her, nothing but the cold grasp of water was suffocating her. She couldn't even lift her head, as it was held down by stronger hands, forcing her to stay submerged. If she opened her eyes, the stinging sensation would only intensify. Not that there was anything to look at, as it was all just more darkness.

"You thought you could just turn away from what I planned for you?!" the faint voice of a woman sounded in her submerged ears. "How dare you treat your mother like that you ungrateful bitch!"


_____


Saki gasped for air as the hands holding her down finally let go, allowing her to raise her head. Coughing and sputtering, she knew that if just a few more seconds had passed, she would've drowned. Course, her immortal nature meant she would just revive soon after, but it still wasn't an experience she was eager to have.

"Lung capacity appears to be normal" the man who had been holding her head said clinically. "Should we perform a bit more testing on this front?"

"Negative" responded the researcher at his side, holding a clipboard. "We still don't know just what extent she'd be able to handle such conditions. Perhaps we should move on to the next part."

"I'm not sure why you're so worried about if she'll die from all this. You saw the execution. She will regenerate from her wounds."

"Still, I don't want to take any chances" the torturer said, lifting Saki onto a table, before attaching pads to her arms and legs. "According to the data we scavenged from Dr. Tokishima's reports, it's inconclusive if she will die from extreme circumstances or not."

"Indeed. After all, that footage showed one particular one get up from getting blasted in the head."

Saki's eye's darted towards the speakers in shock.

"What happened? And why is Tokishima's name being mentioned?"

"Well, at least this won't kill her, though it will no doubt be extremely painful." the researcher said, pressing some buttons on a console.

"Please. It's not like she's human. We can do pretty much what we want provided it doesn't kill her" said the second one with a scoff.

"Those are the perks with being assigned to Taurus Company aren't they?" he said, shooting an cruel smile at Saki. "Clear!"

With that, he activated the console, sending waves of electricity coursing into the poor girl's body. Saki screamed in pain, all while her mind kept flashing back to those memories she had tried to suppress.

"You better not raise your hand against me! Else what you are experiencing right now is just a fraction of what I will inflict on you!"


_____


"So this is a Valvrave?" President Anderson asked, staring at the captured Unit 04 now being housed in the Walkit's cargo hanger. "It's my first time seeing one up close."

"It is a thing of beauty isn't it, even though it's an enemy's unit" Amadeus said. "Would you like to pilot it?"

Anderson recoiled, much to Amadeus's amusement.

"Worry not. As long as you keep the Magius a secret and follow the Council's orders, I assure you that this friendship will remain advantageous to both of us."

"Same to you" the President said. "I'll follow my orders, and in return, you just keep me in the loop."

"Don't worry my friend. Plus, right now, I'm having my men examine it's pilot. With any luck, soon your new troops will be able to use it to their advantage."

"Heh, I'll say this. Your Taurus Company soldiers are far more loyal than my former ARUS flatfoots. I should've joined with you from the beginning."


_____


"Can't believe we finally got our hands on a Valvrave" X-Eins said, floating next to Q-vier in the cargo hanger, gazing at Unit 04. "A-Drei deserves so many medals for capturing both it and its pilot."

"Yet we can't use it." Q-Vier said. "How disappointing. The things I could do with that amount of weaponry!"

"Apparently, only the students of New-Jior can use it" X-Eins responded. "Anyone else will just die should they attempt to."

"And you're going to believe that?" Q-Vier asked skeptically. "Colonel Cain piloted one too remember?"

X-Eins narrowed his eyes. "That's true. Not like we can ask Cain right now. He's busy transporting Module 77 to the Dorssian Dyson Sphere with the other Walkit Cruisers."

"Again, that A-Drei is so cool for managing to do all this for Cain!" Q-Vier praised. "Shame he didn't want to join us down here."

"Apparently, he still wants to talk to the pilot. Says he has some questions to ask her."


_____

"Man, it sure is amazing seeing what all these monsters can withstand isn't it?" said a security guard, looking over the footage of her torture on the screen. "Can't believe we managed to capture her."

"Yeah, I owe that Karlstein agent a beer the next time I see him" said his co-worker, before he shook his head in disgust. "Hate that we're leaving her to the hands of those Taurus Company bastards now."

"Amadeus recommended them to us" the former said. "After all, with all the Royalists uprising down there, who knows when we'll be in need of some more firepower. Heck, I just heard that Major Kriemheld has been suspected to be one herself."

The latter paused. "...Yeah, I can't believe it. She's one of Colonel Cain's most trusted allies after all. Can't believe she'd actually be against us. She's so beautiful too."

"Apparently, she was close to that one missing Karlstein agent, H-Neun. No one's seen him for quite a while, and now she's suspected of Royalist conspiracy? Man, things are getting to hectic nowadays. I miss when we were just fighting kids."

"...Yeah, I agree."

With the, the guard got to his feet. "Well, I'll leave this to you now. Gotta go help clean up the main stage. Been a while since we used it for an execution huh?"

As the guard left the post, the other man looked at the torture unfolding with a frown on his face.

"A-Drei, you were a former prince right? So why did you capture her, rather than bring her to us Royalists? Is your loyalty that conflicted?"

_____


"Well, it's time to resume this next experiment."

Saki was breathless as she watched her stomach seal back up. Just a few moments ago, the scientists had vivisected her without any sort of anesthesia, giving both them and her a perfect view at her internal organs. The pain was so great, yet her nature meant that she couldn't even pass out, and the gag in her mouth prevented her from even screaming.

"Good thing we gagged her huh?" commented one of the surgeons. "Apparently, Colonel Cain said that getting bitten by her has disastrous consequences. Some kind of disease perhaps?"

"Well whatever the cause, at least now we can look inside for antibodies."

Saki squirmed as the began to place the tools in their hands, especially as she caught the sight of a pair of scissors in one of them.

"Come out of there this instant!" the woman yelled at Saki through the door, a pair of scissors in her hands.

Saki screamed through her gag as the men prepared to perform their second dissection on her, this time with scissors.

"What is the meaning of this?!"

The three men turned to look at the source of the voice. Now stepping into the lab, a look of shock on his face, was A-Drei.

"Captain A-Drei" the head scientist acknowledged. "This is quite troubling. We're in the middle of a test here, so could you please leave us?"

"Test?!" A-Drei glared at him. "The only thing I see is an act of torture."

"But sir. This thing isn't a human. So it's not as though-"

*BANG*

A gunshot rang out, shattering the nearby computer console's screen.

"Even so, you know the Code of Conduct regarding prisoners! Dorssia is not to engage in these sorts of acts under threat of death!"

The shock on the scientist's face soon gave way to anger.

"Just so you know, these experiments were made under the full approval of your commanding officer Karlstein agent! Besides, Taurus Company is a privately owned unit. Your Dorssian laws don't concern us! Especially when it comes to finding out weaknesses of the enemy!"

A-Drei gritted his teeth, still refusing to lower his gun. The fact that these men weren't Dorssian did explain a lot now. Even so, the fact that his own Colonel authorized it.

"What are you planning Cain? Didn't you tell us to fight with honor? Why are you allowing this barabarism?!

After a few seconds of this standoff, the head Taurus researcher sighed.

"Fine, we'll stop the experiment for now. After all, we owe you a great deal."

A-Drei raised an eyebrow. "What do you mean?"

"You haven't been informed. Thanks to your capture of this subject, we were able to expose the secret of that Module, leading to our very successful purge of it."

Saki's eyes widened in horror as she listened in on this.

"No....my friends. How many are still alive?" Her eyes began to water. "Haruto..."

A-Drei for his part looked like he had been punched in the stomach, a look of shock gracing his face.

"...Purged?!"

"We'll pick up this experiment tomorrow" the scientist said, instructing his coworkers to leave before glaring at A-Drei. "And if you try to interfere with us again, I'll report this to your Colonel. He will be none-too-pleased."


_____



"I apologize for what you went through." A-Drei said to Saki, the two once again back in her cell. "However, I unfortunately can't keep them from doing more to you, as I can't go against my superior's orders, regardless of how much I disagree with them."

Indeed, A-Drei was extremely upset at what he just saw done to her. Dorssia was supposed to be a defense organization designed to counter threats to its people, and did so with honor and discipline. However, it was now no better than, if not worse, than ARUS in terms of greed and oppression, even hiring PMC's, which the country had once sworn to never do.

A-Drei closed his eyes, remembering his original goal that he had kept secret from all except L-Elf.

"Princes really do have a different way of viewing things" L-Elf mused, having been told about what Dorssia used to stand for by A-Drei, themselves taking a break after their recent Karlstein training.

"My complaints do not stem from my royal blood, but rather from my identity as a Dorssian citizen." A-Drei responded. "That's why L-Elf, I intend to bring about a revolution in Dorssia!"

L-Elf began to laugh, much to A-Drei's embarrassment. "I know it's a dream too big for one man, but-"

"That's not it A-Drei" L-Elf said with a smile. "I just so happen to also be planning a revolution."

Indeed, the two of them had planned on starting it right after their mission to Module 77. Yet L-Elf had instead betrayed him and shot out his eye. He couldn't believe someone who he considered a brother would do something like that, and all his attempts at getting him back ended in rejection.

Yet seeing what this girl had done to K-Zwolf made A-Drei question everything once more. He had his suspicions, but he needed a confirmation.

"Listen Rukino Saki" A-Drei said, noting how she turned away from him in contempt. "I refuse to allow such acts to be done any more. Answer my question, and I will free you."

At that, Saki looked at him, hope beginning to shine in her eyes.

"If he's telling the truth, I can finally get back to Haruto!"

"You were there back then too, when L-Elf shot out my eye. Yet I have my suspicions that he didn't do it. The fact that you, a pilot of a Valvrave, hijacked K-Zwolf, only seems to confirm my thoughts."

He gritted his teeth. "I swear, whoever did this to me and ruined the plan L-Elf and I had for our revolution deserves to go through what you are experiencing instead!"

At that statement, Saki's face hardened again.

"He'd put Haruto through this torture? Hasn't he already gone through enough experiments?"

"We don't have much time left before my time here is up, and more Taurus scientists come. So I ask of you Rukino Saki; did L-Elf really betray me, and if not, who was it that hijacked him and shot my eye. Answer me, and I'll let you go."

A-Drei looked at Saki expectantly. Yet, to his surprise, all he get in response from her was silence, and her turning her head away.

"Please." A-Drei asked again. "This way of treating prisoners is not at all what Dorssia should stand for. I know you are still needed by your friends."

He sighed as he thought of all the lives lost. He had intended to start a revolution to save lives, Dorssian or not, yet now countless innocents had been slaughtered. All because he had...

"Just answer the question already" he said quickly. "I know you know the answer, as you were there when he did it. L-Elf is my closest ally, and I refuse to believe he betrayed me so easily, yet I have to be sure."

Again, no response. At this point, there were only a few seconds left before his time with her was up.

A-Drei gritted his teeth in anger. This was getting him nowhere, and the fact that everything was happening here without being able to stop it only made his anger grow.

"DAMN IT!" he suddenly yelled, slamming his fist against the wall. "WHY WON'T YOU JUST ANSWER MY QUESTION?!"

Saki jumped slightly in shock, but still said nothing, much to A-Drei's frustation.

"What do you think your silence is going to accomplish, besides just more torture done to you?!" he yelled, his patience at its end, especially when combined with everything else he had to stand aside for.

"Think Rukino Saki, THINK! Your immortal nature means that you'll be subjected to torture for the rest of your life! All while your allies from New-Jior, if they aren't already dead or about to be murdered, age and eventually die! You'll be left alone to face this hell, while everyone you know and love will be gone!"

The statement caused Saki's lip to quiver, yet again, she didn't respond.

"What do you think your situation should you stay quiet?! Where will you be after 200 years of this?!"

Just then, the doors to the prison cell opened, and in walked more guards, holding yet another body-bag. A-Drei's time was up.

"...Fine then. Guess L-Elf did betray me after all" the latter said bitterly, giving one last glare at Saki. "Enjoy being a lab rat for the next two centuries."

With that, he left Saki to be bound once more.

As she was once again wrapped up in darkness, a single tear fell down her cheek.

"For you Haruto. I'll keep you safe from this. Forgive me for asking you to help me. You don't deserve this."

_____

"This is Colonel Cain to all units. "I and the rest of the Walkits are starting the transport of Module 77 to the Dorssian Dyson Sphere. The rest of you are to head back to the command ship."

"Roger that!"

As the group of Walkits pushed the Module away from the moon and into deep space, the rest of the Waffe's turned back and began their return to base. Some even passing over the dark side of the moon.

They were unaware of a small red patch that suddenly appeared on the back of one of them after they made their pass.

_____

Again, this was hard to write. Why must Saki have to go through this crap?

At any rate though, the infiltration and rescue should be coming up soon.

Again, thoughts?

Last edited by LightDragonman; 2024-03-24 at 22:20. Reason: Added some context to the Royalist spy in the next part.
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Old 2024-03-24, 22:11   Link #35
LightDragonman
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Join Date: Oct 2013
Time to start on the infiltration. Play whatever music from whatever stealth game you like here.

_____

"Stay safe out there Q-Vier!" X-Eins called out to his comrade, who was just then heading out in his Kirschbaum unit.

"You worry too much!" he responded. "Besides, I'll be getting to wipe the floor with more of those Royalist traitors! And I get to lead our new men to boot!"

X-Eins didn't respond to that. He was still trying to get to the bottom of H-Neun's disappearance, and a few Royalist contacts did say that they were also looking for evidence.

"...Well, good luck and good hunting! Blitzendegen!"

"It'll be fun!" the crazed agent responded with a cackle. "Pity that you and A-Drei can't join me! Blitzendegen!"

With that, he headed on out of the hanger, and just in time, as a group of Waffe units were also touching down. With that, X-Eins headed back to his room, still gazing at the communication earpiece left behind by his missing friend.

He was unaware that he was looked at by one of the guards in the security station, himself with a frown on his face.

_____


"All Waffe units are in" the head technician said over the comms. "Prepare them for refueling and rearming."

At that, each of the pilots got out of their cockpits, and began to head to the elevator, all while making small-talk with each other.

"Can't believe that we managed to take the Module from those monsters."

"That's why Cain is our leader after all. This is just another day for such an amazing Colonel."

"And don't forget about agent A-Drei. Thanks to him, we can finally start looking into how those monstrous Valvrave's and their pilots operate!"

"Wonder if we'll be able to pilot that green one soon?"

"At least we now have some more backup as well. Though those Taurus troops are rather unsightly, I admit."

With that they all finally entered the elevator and headed down to the crew quarters, completely unaware of the red spot on the back Waffe unit that was now slipping away.

_____


Haruto took several deep breaths as he finally unlatched his grasp from the Waffe unit. Truth be told, hitching a stealth ride on it was far from the most comfortable way of infiltrating such a massive ship. He had barely any grip on its sides, and that's not to mention how he had to move his body around it's cylindrical frame just to stay out of sight once it finally entered the hanger.

Crouching behind one of the storage containers inside the hanger, he noted just how exhausted he felt. The lack of Rune intake was starting to take its toll. He only hoped that L-Elf would be able to lend him his hand once, and/or if he got back.

"Well, no time to think twice now" he thought, slowly making his way to the back of the hanger. "Now just how am I going to find out where Rukino-san is being held?"

Indeed, he knew just how big Walkit-style cruisers were, given how he had taken out several of them in his Valvrave before, but even still, he was taken aback by just how huge the ship was. Even just the hanger dwarfed the size that contained the Valvrave Units on Module 77. If it weren't for all the containers and pillars in it, he was sure that he'd have been spotted by now.

He didn't exactly have a plan of attack, beyond just finding Saki and then escaping with her in Carmilla. After all, he himself noted that he wasn't L-Elf when it came to strategic thinking or preparation. If the latter was in a more healthy state of mind, he'd have probably prevented him from going on such a risky mission in the first place. Indeed, his brain told him that he was making an extremely foolish errand here.

"I've always been alone. Family, friends? No one chose me."

Saki's words of loneliness echoed in his mind again, making Haruto clench his fist. Sure, it may not have been the smart thing for him to do this, but his heart was telling him it was the right thing, especially with L-Elf being of no use at the moment.

"If all else fails" he thought, "then I'll at least offer myself up in her place. I deserve it more than she does."

Now determined, he snuck his way to the back door of the hanger, leading to a storage room.

_____


Placing himself in between two rows of spare mech parts, Haruto wondered if their was anything inside that he could use to make sneaking around better. After all, he still needed to even find out where Saki was even located in this humongous ship first.

"I could try using that, like Akira sometimes does." he thought, looking at a discarded cardboard box, before shaking his head. "...No, what am I thinking? That's the worst possible disguise I could use."

Just then, the doors opened up again, and in walked one of the Dorssian guards, who floated up to one of the desks, completely oblivious to Haruto's presence. As he stopped to check on the schematics of the unit, the plans of which were on top of said desk, this gave Haruto an idea.

Being as quiet as he could, he floated over behind the guard, removing his helmet as he did so. Before the man could even think twice, Haruto swung his helmet right on top of his cranium, knocking him out cold. Wasting no time later, Haruto bit down on the incapacitated Dorssian's neck.

Now in the guard's body, Haruto now had access to his memories. Digging through them he tried to pinpoint where Saki was being held. Unfortunately, it seemed as though this man had not been down to her cell. At the very least though, he could see that he had come from the main security station at the 3rd floor of the ship, so he could use that to find her location.

With that knowledge now in his brain, he looked back at his own body. He considered just heading out now after hiding his body in a secure location. They wouldn't ever know that he was actually there. However, he thought back to what happened to Saki.

"Us leaving her body behind is what caused her to get caught in the first place." he noted.

Not wanting the same thing to happen to him, bit down on his body, transferring his consciousness back. Still, he couldn't exactly go out sneaking in such a bright red pilot suit, as that would be like painting a target on his forehead.

Seeing no other option, Haruto stripped the unconscious guard of his uniform and put it on himself, before stashing both the former and his own pilot suit in one of the nearby lockers.

Now in disguise, he re-entered the hanger, heading directly for the elevator. Luckily, no one was inside it, so he was free to pick whichever level needed to get to next.

"If I remember what that guy had in his brain, then the security station should be on the second floor."

Not wasting a second to spare, he pressed the panel that said "FLOOR 2".


_____


After just a few seconds, the elevator opened up, allowing Haruto access to the security station. He was startled at seeing just how many Dorssian forces where on this level, and for a second, wondered if he was going to be instantly caught. After all, he was a little short compared to the others there.

"Oh hello there" a guard said to him, his eyes seeming to shine. "Haven't seen you before. New recruit?"

"O-oh, um, yeah." Haruto quickly responded. "First day on the job, heh heh."

"Hell of a time to be here huh? Especially with everything that's happening over on that Module. Man, I'm now glad we have those Karlstein graduates with us. Otherwise, we may never have gotten a hand on that witch and her Valvrave."

Haruto paused. "...Witch?"

"Oh right, that one they call Rukino Saki. If you want, I can show you were she is."

With that, the guard led Haruto over to the head security room, where dozens of screens were showing practically every single hallway and closed off area in the ship. Haruto gulped, as he suddenly realized that this was going to be far more than he had anticipated. Now he'd have to find some way to turn off the camera inside Saki's cell.

As he mulled over this fact, he was knocked out of this thought when the guard tapped on his shoulder.

"There she is. Valvrave pilot Rukino Saki, in Prison #1207" said the guard, jotting something down on his clipcoard. "Course, this is only the latest footage we have of her. That Karlstein agent requested the camera be turned off when he was interrogating her. I had my suspicions about it, but he outranks me. Wouldn't be surprised if he turns out to be a traitor."

Haruto looked at the footage, and his heart sank at seeing Saki laying on the prison mattress, her eyes empty as she stared at the wall.

"Rukino-san..."

Though the fact that the image was flickering did give him pause. Every other image feed was crystal clear, so what was going on with that one.

"Welp, I'd better get back out there. Since you're new here, you probably need to get acquainted with the systems, so I'll let you do whatever you need to here. Learning on the job's the fun part after all!"

With a wave of his hand, he left Haruto inside the security station, but not before placing a note from his clipboard on the desk, even silently pointing at it with his back hand, leaving the boy confused.

"Strange.....what is this guy all about?"

Perplexed, he picked up the note. The more he read of it, the wider his eyes grew in surprise.

Listen, I know you aren't really a recruit, just from the look in your eyes. Don't worry, I won't report you. I'm actually working with Major Kriemheld and the Dorssian Royalists, and the situation down on the mainland is getting worse. If you can rescue Rukino Saki, that'll give us all a fighting chance. The code to her cell is 0451. I've also shut down the camera in her cell, hence why the frame is static, but I don't expect it to stay that way for long. I don't expect to see you again, so destroy this note as soon as you're finished reading it. Good luck.

"Royalists?" Haruto thought. He did hear something about them from L-Elf, but he wasn't expecting them to actually be here, let alone help him. For all he knew, this could all just be an elaborate trap.

Yet as he looked at Saki, her despair-filled gaze reminding him too much of what she suffered through, he put such suspicions to rest. After all, he wasn't going to let her suffer for a minute longer.

With the newfound knowledge, he headed right back to the elevator, barely even paying attention to the silver-haired man that exited the elevator.

Unfortunately, it appeared that the panel that lead the elevator to the prison was malfunctioning, so he'd have to take another route. With no other option, he pressed the one that read FLOOR 4.

_____


And the sneaking begins. I admit, the idea of a Royalist spy being here was something I just now thought of. I'll went back and add in some more foreshadowing to that in the previous part as a result.

Again, thoughts?
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Old 2024-03-25, 02:29   Link #36
LightDragonman
Senior Member
 
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Here we go.

_____


"I need to see the head of the security station!" A-Drei said as he exited the elevator, not noticing the rather short guard entering it behind him.

"I can't let anyone know that I was initially planning on letting Rukino Saki out should she have answered my question." he thought. "Otherwise, Cain will have my head."

"Sir" the head said, walking right up to him. "is this about interrogation you conducted with the prisoner? No need to worry, the cameras were operating normally throughout the whole thing."

"But did the audio remain on?"

"Why of course it did. What else do you think we have security cameras in those cells. Though no one else but me has seen them, so you don't have to worry-"

"Just let me in to the station already!" A-Drei demanded, the knowledge of everything that was happening making him more agitated by the second.

The guard tried a few more times to get him to leave, but eventually, A-Drei simply forced his way past him and entered the station. He let out a sigh as he saw the Karlstein agent enter.

"You'd better hurry up your rescue pilot. I don't know how much longer it will be before you have her captor breathing down your neck."

Indeed, as A-Drei looked at the security feeds, he noted that something seemed a bit off. He was sure that the last he saw of Rukino Saki, she was being forced back into a body bag by the other guards, so why did it look like she was still unbound.

Confused, he began tinkering with the footage. It still seemed to remain static, only finally returning to the actual feed of her in the body bag after messing with it for several minutes. Looking over at the camera recordings for Floor 4 and 5, the same thing was happening.

"What the hell is going on down there?"

All this was just slowing down his progress to actually get what he needed, but even so, it was all just too distracting for him, as the cameras on Walkit cruisers were usually not known for glitching out.

Finally, he managed to get the feeds back on track. He moved to erase the footage of the meeting he had with Saki, when he noticed something weird happening on Floor 4. Zooming in, he saw a guard he hadn't seen before moving into the connecting tunnel between and Floor 5.

"Odd, I don't recall anyone other than me and those two guards being given access to Floor 5, so whats.....wait!"

As the guard entered Floor 5, he was able to get a closer look at the face of the guard. Immediately, the alarm bells went off in his head as he recognized who exactly it was. It was the same boy that was with L-Elf with he had infiltrated Module 77, and now he was about to enter Rukino Saki's cell.

"Just how the hell did he manage to sneak into this ship?!" he thought, before quickly making his way back out to the elevator. He growled in frustration both when it took a while for the elevator to make its way back to his floor, and again when the screen said the button for Floor 5 was malfunctioning.

Grumbling, and ignoring the attempts by the head of security to stall him by literally throwing him to the side, he practically slammed the one for Floor 4.

"Maybe this guy can give me the answers I need" he thought, readying his sidearm.

_____


Floor 4 was the one that had a connecting route to Floor 5, which was the prison section. Haruto wasted very little time in trying to find the entrance to said tunnel, but what he saw while making his way there was disturbing to say the least.

Looking inside one of the lab rooms, he noted that the room was glowing with a green light. As whoever was previously in it forgot to lock the door, his curiosity got the better of him, and he couldn't resist going inside.

Haruto gasped at the sight. Just like on the Phantom ship, there were several humans all hooked up to a strange device, Runes being drained out of their heads and into several large capsules. His shock giving way to disgust, he noted a laptop placed on the desk overlooking the experiments, a drive plugged into it.

He went over to the computer, noting the files that it contained. One of which caught his eye, as it revealed more info about the Phantoms. Hoping to at least find the location of one more, he began scrolling through it.

Sadly, he couldn't find anything relating to the locations of the other ships. However, his eyes widened at another piece of data. One that displayed a recording of the Phantom ship on Module 77 being discussed by Amadeus and Barlet. As the conversation went on, Haruto's eyes narrowed.

"So you were working with Dorssia all this time Barlet? I should've known."

Realizing what this data could do for the other survivors, he quickly took the drive before leaving the room.

Eventually, he made it to the connecting tunnel leading to Floor 5. It took him down a narrow descent, but he finally made it to the prison section. The light was dim in the hallway, and it was eerily quiet.

"Is Rukino-san the only one being kept here?" he thought.

As he rounded the corner, he noted yet another security station. Just to make sure that he was correct about the location of Saki, he entered it and began looking through the previous logs, seeing as another drive was plugged into the computer. Sure enough, she was confirmed to be in Cell #1207.

He was just about to head down to it when another file caught his interest, given that it was titled "Experiment Logs." Clicking on to the file, he was horrified at its contents.

Footage of what Saki had been going through was playing in front of his eyes, and he watched mortified as he witnessed her being waterboarded, electrocuted, and vivisected, all while a very clinical voice talked over her screams of agony. Haruto fell to his knees in despair, especially when the mention of his father's notes came into play.

"Rukino-san..." he thought as tears began to form, "...Please forgive me! I should've done more to save you!"

Realizing what else she could be getting subject to should she remain in captivity any while longer, he grabbed the drive, and raced to her cell, remembering the code for it; 0451.


_____


Once again, Saki found herself bound and constricted in darkness, unable to move or even open her eyes which had been forced shut by the bag that enveloped her. Her mouth was was again gagged, but this time, the only thing being pumped into her mouth was oxygen. The researchers didn't see any need to sedate her this time.

Not that it would've mattered, as she wasn't going anywhere. Tears flowed freely down her eyes, dampening the cloth around her head, and she was at the very least grateful that no one had to see her cry.

"What's going to happen to me now?" she thought. "Module 77 has been purged, and I can't do anything to help. I'm now just a...."

She let out a sob, muffled by the body bag. Indeed, she had been in this sort of situation before, back when she was just a lonely little girl, dealing with an abusive mother and a drunk father. The former would often try to suffocate her under the bedsheets, only stopping after remembering her idol status.

Thinking back to her days as an idol only worsened her grief. She had become one to escape from her parents, and for a while there, she was once again a world-famous star, the rising idol of New-Jior. Yet after her execution, she knew that no one would ever view her as anything but a monster. She could just picture the jeering and insults thrown her way should she ever return.

"Not that anyone would want to come for me. They've all left me to suffer this.......alone."

Alone. The word only brought more despair to Saki's soul. She realized just how alone she truly was now, and she didn't even have the hope of her fans worrying for her now. She truly was used up and discarded by her captors, a plaything to be used by adults, her worst nightmare a reality.

"Why did this all happen to me?" she thought, alone in darkness with nothing but her sadness to accompany her. "Maybe I should just let succumb to all this."

Yet as her tears continued to trickle down her face, she thought back to that one person, that one shining light she still held dear to her.

"My friend is crying right in front of me!" he said, clearly worried about her. "Of course I want to help her!"

"Rukino-san." he said in a soft voice. "You're not alone anymore."

"Haruto..." she thought, remembering the boy who had shown her unconditional kindness for one of the first times in her life, alongside her manager Alice and Aina. The one whom she had fallen for, and the one who she vowed to share his burden with, regardless of his feelings of guilt over what he had done to her thanks to his curse.

Indeed, it was why she didn't answer A-Drei, even with the promise of freedom away from this hell she was trapped in. She had already seen Haruto willingly go through torturous experiments all for the sake of not hurting others like her, and it broke her heart to see him suffer. For him to also go through what she was experiencing...it would be a pain far beyond what she could handle.

"If it means keeping you safe....then I'll endure this for however long it takes.

The image of his boyish face front and center in her mind, she began to drift off into slumber.

Just then however, she heard the muffled sounds of the door to her prison cell opening up, followed soon after by the rapid sound of footsteps approaching.

"Ah, so it must be time for the next experiment" she thought bitterly, trying her hardest to prevent herself from crying again. She swore that she wouldn't show any signs of weakness to her enemies after all.

Strangely, the person seemed to be having a hard time unbinding the straps that held her inside the body bag. Normally, it would only take the guards a few seconds, yet this person was taking double the amount of time. Not that Saki really paid that much attention to it, as she was trying her best to shut it all out.

"....ino...an.......Ru....san....."

She could hear the voice of the man that had come to escort her, yet it seemed far away, given how her head was bound in cloth. Yet as more of her body was freed, the voice become clearer and clearer.

"kino-sa..........Rukin.....san!"

The voice seemed familiar to her, as it was both grief-stricken and worried. Indeed, it sounded so much like him, but how could that be?

"Rukino-san! Rukino-san, are you okay?!"

"That voice" she thought, trying her hardest to not get her hopes up for nothing, yet now that she could hear it clearly with her head now freed... "...Haruto?"

"Rukino-san! Please wake up! Rukino-san!"

As she felt the gag leave her mouth, she slowly opened her eyes. As they adjusted to the light, she could see a face in front of her. Yet the person's features didn't seem to be Dorssian, despite him wearing the uniform.

She blinked a few times, and as the picture came into focus, she was greeted by a most welcome sight. Something that she had only seen in her mind during these past few terrible days. That same boyish face, brown hair, and crystal blue eyes that she had fallen for, now right in front of her.

"...Haruto?" she asked, still not quite believing what she saw, given everything. "....Haruto, is that you?"

Nary a second later, she found herself wrapped up in his arms, his voice shaking as he repeatedly apologized to her.

All she could do at the moment was smile and wrap her arms around his as well, as tears, this time of joy, fell from her amethyst-hued eyes.

"You came for me Haruto....You really came!"


_____


I'll admit, the circumstances around several of these parts were rather contrived. I'll probably have to edit them.

But I gotta say, the reunion between Haruto and Saki was one scene I was eager to get to. I hope it didn't come across as too sappy, but hey, given everything the latter has gone through, I felt it was only appropriate.

Thoughts?

Last edited by LightDragonman; 2024-03-26 at 02:49.
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Old 2024-03-26, 02:03   Link #37
LightDragonman
Senior Member
 
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
The posts probably won't be as long now, but here's the next one.

_____

".....Haruto?" Saki asked softly as her eyes adjusted to the light. ".....Haruto, is that you?"

Immediately afterwards, Haruto embraced her in his arms, tears welling up in his eyes, as the guilt he felt from leaving her behind and seeing everything she went through finally cascaded on him.

".....Thank goodness....." he wept, hugging her tightly. ".....I finally found you..."

He knew his tears were dampening her prison garb, and he probably looked ridiculous given that he was the one that was rescuing her. Yet all he could think of was just how much she had suffered, his self-loathing nature rearing it's ugly head.

"I'm so sorry Rukino-san." he mournfully repeated over and over. "I'm so sorry!"

As he did so, he felt her arms wrap around his body, returning his embrace as she rested her face on his shoulder, tears of her own falling from her violet eyes.

"Haruto.....thank you." she whispered. "Please, you don't have to apologize."

"But....I left you behind!" he said incredulously, not believing her words, his guilt too strong.

"That doesn't matter anymore."

"I saw your execution! You know what this means for-"

"Yes, and like I said, you don't have to apologize."

"But Saki!" he said, pulling back and grasping her shoulders. "You know what this means for your idol career! And the torture you went through! I saw the notes written by my father.....how can I not be responsible for this?!"

It was taking all of his strength to not collapse into a sobbing wreck in front of her, not helped by seeing Saki's eyes also watering. He was fully expecting her to soon slap him and call him out for everything.

"Shouko felt betrayed by me, and she had every right to after all."

He involuntarily flinched as he saw Saki raise her hand, expecting to feel a stinging pain on his cheek. Yet instead, he found himself pulled into yet another embrace, himself enveloped in his arms, her holding him close to her bosom.

"Haruto." she said, placing her hand on his cheek. "Please stop apologizing. You're here with me now, and managed to free me. We can talk about all this later. Just know that I don't blame you for what happened to me."

"But-"

"Shhh" she said comfortingly, smiling at him. "Don't worry about it. Besides, we still need to get out of here, right?"

Realizing the task at hand, Haruto blushed sheepishly and quickly wiped his tears away.

"Oh, right. Yeah, we've gotta get you to Carmilla. It's located in the storage hanger."

"Well, what are we waiting for? Let's go!"

With that, Haruto took a few peeks to the left and right of the cell, before gesturing Saki to follow him, all while unaware of her sympathetic look on her face whe was giving to him.

"Oh Haruto....Why do you have to take things so hard on yourself? Don't you know that you don't have to bear this whole burden alone?"


_____



Seeing that both of the pathways were clear, the two made their way back to Floor 4, as the elevator on Floor 5 was still out. Along the way, Haruto never let go of his grasp on Saki's hand, as if he was worried that she might disappear should he not see her for even a second. The latter for her part, initially blushed at the physical contact, though she couldn't say that she didn't feel some sense of happiness at seeing how much he was trying to protect her.

"Still though Haruto.....you don't have to go to such lengths to protect me. I can handle myself you know."

Finally, the two reached Floor 4. Just a more more hallways to pass and they could make it back to the hanger bays.

"I'm gonna need to retrieve my pilot suit before we can get to Unit 4" Haruto informed Saki, looking back at her. "Don't worry, it wont take long to-"

Just then, he noticed her eyes narrowing. Looking back ahead of him, he saw the reason. A few feet in front of the elevator was the silver haired Karlstein agent, a gun in his left hand, pointed directly at the two.

"So you're the one managed to sneak onto the ship." he muttered. "I have to admit that I'm impressed."

"Haruto, that's the one who captured me, A-Drei" she informed him.

"That's correct" he said, not lowering his grip. "I've tried asking Rukino Saki questions, but she has failed to provide me any answers, even with the promise that I free her."

Haruto was puzzled at that statement, looking over at Saki. "What does he mean by that?"

She tapped her index fingers together while gazing at the ground. "It's a complicated answer, but-"

"So now that I can see more clearly" A-Drei interrupted, "you're the head pilot of Valvrave Unit 01, Haruto Tokishima, and one of L-Elf's right hand men. Something you stole from me. I ask you what I asked her. Was L-Elf really the one who betrayed me, or was he hijacked?"

"If I tell you the answer, will you let Rukino-san go?" Haruto asked, much to Saki's shock.

"Haruto, wait-"

He placed his arm in front of her, before walking up to A-Drei, placing less distance between his head and the gun, before taking a deep breath.

".....It's just as you suspect. L-Elf was not in control of his body when he shot your eye out."

A-Drei's eyes widened in realization. "So that means that L-Elf didn't betray me?"

"That's right. He was indeed hijacked."

"And you know this because?"

"Haruto" Saki pleaded, "Please don't..."

"I know......because I'm the one that did it."

Saki gasped as Haruto admitted the truth, paling even more as A-Drei's expression hardened, and both his hands came to grip the gun.

"....Bastard! It was you?!"

Haruto nodded. "That's right. The one that took out your eye and caused a rift between you and your friend was me."

"Give me one reason why I shouldn't put a bullet between your eyes right now!" A-Drei roared, his hands grasping the gun even tighter.

"Haruto!" Saki shouted in alarm. "Don't let him do this!"

"It's okay Rukino-san" Haruto said calmly. To her horror and A-Drei's shock, he placed his hand on the gun, and pressed it to his forehead.

"Go ahead, you have every right to for how I tore apart your friendship with L-Elf. I deserve everything that you put Rukino-san through, and I can handle whatever torture you have planned for me. Just promise me that you'll let her go."

"No....Haruto" Saki said with tears in her eyes. "Then what did I go through all of this for?"

"Please Rukino-san" Haruto responded, looking back at her. "You've suffered too much for my actions. I should never have left you back there. Had we had you with us, then maybe L-Elf would still have Lieselotte, and the secret wouldn't have gotten out."

"And my relationship with Shouko wouldn't have turned out the way it did" he added internally.

At the mention of Lieselotte's name, A-Drei froze.

"The Dorssian Princess?"

"Yes. We tried to rescue her, but she ended up dying to make sure that we could escape. It hit L-Elf extremely hard, and after that, the purge happened."

"If I was there with Carmilla, then you think you could've saved her?" Saki asked.

"No doubt the odds would've been better. It's all my fault for not making a harder effort to find you." Haruto said, closing his eyes.

"But Haruto...You shouldn't-"

At that, the sound of sad laughter reached their ears.

"Heh, heh, heh. So that's how it is" A-Drei said softly, the gun trembling in his hands. "I shouldn't have doubted you at all L-Elf. Look at what's happened thanks to me. The princess is dead, and the royalists are being hunted down like geese as a result."

He looked over at Saki. "I put you through so much pain, things that Dorssia are never supposed to accept, all because I still had my doubts about my friend's true allegiance, and as a result, so many lives are now lost. I wanted to save innocents through a revolution with L-Elf, and yet the opposite has happened."

A-Drei then looked at Haruto, tears beginning to form. "And now I see the man that caused this rift between us; the one who shot my eye. Yet you're no monster. You're giving up your life to save her. Why? Why are you accepting this punishment? You know exactly what's in store for you?"

Haruto shrugged. "I've caused too much sadness as well. It's only fitting that I get what Rukino-san didn't deserve."

"Please...Haruto..."

At that, a sad smile graced A-Drei's face, as he lowered his gun away from Haruto's forehead.

"Heh, what kind of former prince am I, if this is all that happens thanks to me and my distrust?"

He pointed the gun at his head, eyes forming tears. "Ahhh, what am I even doing still alive? Forgive me L-Elf."

Before he could pull the trigger though, he found his gun knocked out of his hands by Haruto.

"Don't. If anyone deserves to die, it's me, and obviously, that won't happen. If you truly want to atone to L-Elf, then go to him directly and admit the truth about it all to him."

"Are you telling me to betray Dorssia and join New-Jior?"

"Do whatever you want A-Drei" Haruto said firmly. "But if what I'm hearing is true, then you wanted to revolutionize the country with L-Elf at your side, and you aren't happy with the way things are now. He's still planning to change Dorssia, but he could use someone close to his side right about now, especially with Lieselotte gone."

After a few moments, A-Drei finally nodded.

"...Alright, I'll join you, if only for L-Elf. I'll help you two escape, and then follow you to him in my Kirshbaum."

"And how can we tell if you aren't lying?" Saki asked, still not trusting him.

"You can't. But know this; I must make things up to my friend, as well as the rest of you for what I've done. Should you see even the barest sign of betrayal, you have the right to kill me."

"Understood."

"Lead the way A-Drei" Haruto said, helping him up. "We still need to get to Carmilla after all!"


_____


And with that, Haruto and Saki are about to escape, and A-Drei has joined the heroes!

Again, shorter post than before, but I want to have the next part have more dialogue between Haruto and Saki (it's criminal how little they shared in the second half), so yeah.

Thoughts?

Last edited by LightDragonman; 2024-03-26 at 02:54.
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Old 2024-03-27, 23:47   Link #38
LightDragonman
Senior Member
 
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Next update. I may think about posting these onto Spacebattles as well in the future.

_____


The trek back to the hanger wasn't nearly as harrowing thanks to A-Drei now joining both Haruto and Saki. He was able to clear out a straight path for them by telling the forces to move to a different location, so they no longer had to worry about being detected.

Finally, they made it back to the hanger floor. After a quick stop by the storage room so Haruto could retrieve his pilot suit, the three made their way into the more secure storage hanger where Unit 04 was being held.

"You're going to have to bust your way out of the ship." A-Drei told them once they arrived at the Unit. "I'll follow you in my Kirschbaum as soon as you guys get within acceptable distance. That way, they'll think that I'm just tailing you to wipe you out when you reach the rendezvous point."

"Thank you A-Drei" Haruto said sincerely. "I only hope you can help L-Elf out of his slump, if he's still in it."

"I owe him this" A-Drei responded. "After all, it was my distrust in him that led to all of this."

"Just so you know" Saki added with a glare, "I'm only willing to go along with you because Haruto trusts you. If it were up to me, I'd launch you out of the airlock."

A-Drei nodded morosely. He figured she'd still be upset with him after everything she went through thanks to him. Truth be told, he also wasn't even sure if he'd be able to patch things up with anyone at the rendezvous point, let alone L-Elf.

"After all, I am the cause of the massacre."

With that, the two pilots boarded Unit 04, waiting for A-Drei to leave the area. Once he did, Saki immediately activated the Valvrave, and with a quick throw of a Spindle Knuckle, they headed straight out the Walkit cruiser and back to the moon.

_____


As the alarms went off throughout the ship, A-Drei returned to the hanger where his Kirschbaum was parked. Equipping his pilot suit, he was just about to board when he heard the click of a gun being ready behind him.

"...X-Eins" he acknowledged.

"I was tailing you when you allowed those two pilots to escape" he said. "First L-Elf, then H-Neun, and now you. Why exactly are you all betraying us."

A-Drei closed in eyes in resignation. "I'm not betraying you. Rather, this is the punishment I've earned for my actions. So many dead, and so much horror done.....all because of my distrust of L-Elf."

"Is that why brought that pilot up here as prisoner rather than letting her escape with the Royalists on Earth?"

".....Yes. She was a Type Seven Lifeform after all. Everything has been thrown into chaos because of them."

"Including your plan to liberate Dorssia?"

A-Drei's eyes widened. "How did you know?"

"Due to your background as a former Prince and member of the Royalists, I was once asked by Captain Cain to investigate you behind your back. In fact, it was a Royalist who gave that male pilot the location of the prisoner in the first place."

A-Drei hung his head. "So now the truth is out. Are you going to turn me in?"

X-Eins said nothing, instead activating a small communication earpiece he had been holding.

"Rejoice H-Neun. X-Eins body will soon belong to my comrade."

"You bastard!"

"We should sound the gun salute."

*BANG*

A-Drei was shocked at the recording. "Is that...Impossible!"

"But true." X-Eins confirmed. "It was Captain Cain who killed H-Neun"

The former prince's eyes widened as the bespectacled Karlstein agent placed the device on his ear.

"I want to avenge H-Neun" he declared. "I want to avenge my friend. So I won't turn you in, nor the other Royalist here."

"Are you planning on joining me and the two Valvrave pilots then?"

".....Not yet" X-Eins admitted. "I still need to get more tangible evidence to prove what happened to H-Neun. The Royalist says he's waiting on Major Kriemheld. Apparently, she is also looking into his disappearance as well."

"She's with the Royalists?"

"And that's why I'm the strategist, not you" X-Eins said with a small chuckle. "Now go get out of here. I'll join you and the others once she's found and sent me the evidence."

"Understood X-Eins." A-Drei said with a salute. "Blitzendegen!"

With that, he boarded his Kirschbaum and took off to join Haruto and Saki, X-Eins watching with a salute of his own.

"Blitzendegen..."

_____


The trip back to the moon was a rather quiet affair for both Haruto and Saki, aside from the occasional destruction of a Dorssian Waffe that tried to intercept them. Haruto still had an extremely grateful look on his face, now that he knew his friend was finally safe.

"Man, I didn't think I'd be able to return to the others as well" he finally admitted sheepishly. "I was fully expecting to have to wait for you and the others to rescue me."

"Haruto...." Saki said, concerned by what all he was willing to do. "What do you mean?"

"When I came to rescue you, I was fully expecting that I'd have to exchange myself for you, whether that was a hostage swap, or even turning myself in for your safety. That's one reason why I decided to do this whole thing by myself. When A-Drei showed up, I was certain that that was what was going to happen."

"Haruto..."

"But hey, it all worked out in the end!" he said, a smile on his face. "We're both returning, and we even got a new ally in the process! Maybe sweetness is indeed stronger than bitterness when it comes to approaches!"

"...Yeah" Saki responded quietly, trying her best to hide her glum look from him.

".....You weren't planning on making it back with me?" she thought. "Do you honestly think so little of yourself?"

By now, the two had reached the moon, with Haruto guiding Saki to where he had hidden Valvrave Unit 01; in a crater on the dark side of the moon.

As they approached the Unit, Haruto put his hand up to his head. ".....Dang it, looks like the Runes I took from that guard weren't enough to properly resupply me. I only hope L-Elf is of a right mind to allow me to feed from him once we get back."

Saki turned to face him, unzipping her pilot suit a bit. "Here. I'll let you feed on me. I won't mind."

However, he vigorously shook his head at her offer. "No, I made a pact to only feed on L-Elf. I can't put you or anyone else through the harm it causes."

He turned to look back out at the moon, once again oblivious to the hurt expression on Saki's face.

".....Haruto, do you have so little faith in me? This curse is our bond, and I'm willing to share your burden."

She couldn't stand seeing him act like this anymore. "...Haruto, about what you said..."

Just then, the two were hailed by A-Drei, much to the displeasure of Saki.

"Haruto Tokishima and Rukino Saki. This is A-Drei. Don't fire at the Kirschbaum that coming up behind you. That's my craft."

"Understood" Haruto responded. "Just let me board my Valvrave, and then we'll head to the rendezvous point via the Mass Driver."

"I'll follow after you two depart first" A-Drei said. "It would probably be better for all of us if I don't appear alongside any potential enemy forces that they could be facing right now."

"Very well. We'd better make this quick then."

With that, Saki maneuvered Unit 04 to Unit 01's resting spot, and opened the cockpit hatch for Haruto to depart.

"Thanks Rukino-san" Haruto said, before heading on out. "I'll see you at the rendezvous point."

As he floated out of Unit 04 and landed on the moon however, he was surprised to a shadow following him. Looking back, he saw Saki had followed him, an unreadable expression on her face.

"...Rukino-san, what's the matter?"

"We've got to hurry" A-Drei added, watching the two from his Kirschbaum unit. "The others need us."

Saki paid him no attention however, and continued to walk towards Haruto.

"I have to ask him before it's too late." she thought. "He'll be with occupied with Shouko once we return after all.

"Haruto, did you really mean to take my place as prisoner and lab rat in exchange for my safety?"

"Rukino-san?" Haruto was confused. "Now's not really the time to be asking-"

"Please, just answer me." Saki interrupted, her gaze seeming to stare holes through her helmet and into his.

Realizing that she wasn't going to leave unless he gave her his answer, Haruto sighed.

"...Yes, I truly meant to take your place as the one being tortured." he admitted. "In fact, that was the plan from the beginning should we both have been caught."

"Why?" Saki asked, her eyes widening.

"Because I deserved it. Given everything that I've done, such as what I did to you that night, I have to take on this burden alone. Just before I came to save you, Shouko found out who I truly am as well."

".....She learned the truth?" Saki asked.

"Yes. And it just confirmed what I was always suspecting. That she would hate me if she found out the truth."

He looked down at his hands with a grim expression. "Don't you see Rukino-san? That's why I have to bear all this myself. I've only caused you, Shouko, and everyone else so much pain. I really am a monster, and this curse has to end with me, even if it costs me my life."

Saki froze at his response, remembering when she tried to let him feed on her before they left for Earth. "...Is that why you went to L-Elf to feed on instead of accepting my offer?"

Haruto nodded, his gaze growing more dour. "Yes. L-Elf is the only one who I can trust to be able to handle my inhuman urges. I can't let you or anyone else get hurt thanks to me. If I'm being honest, you offering yourself to me felt like a betrayal of my trust in you”

Saki felt her heart crack. ".....Betrayal?"

"You shouldn't be offering yourself up to me like that, given what I did to you." Haruto continued. "It's just a reminder of what I am now. And besides, it would just be a temporary treatment that involves hurting you again. Especially since I was vulnerable to the curse that time. It felt like you drove me into a corner where I would be forced to hurt you. At least L-Elf honored my wish by promising a solution that he'd stop me should I ever go out of control again. I'd rather die than hurt a friend, so all you did was just serve as a memory I'm trying to move past."

At that statement, Saki gritted her teeth, her eyes hidden behind her bangs.

"...Is that all I am to you now then Haruto? A painful reminder of your worst mistakes? Is guilt and horror all you can feel when you look at me?”

Haruto paused. "...N-No, that's not what I meant Rukino-san. Just that kindness and sympathy aren't what I need, but rather to be stopped before I hurt someone else again. I don't deserve the former after all, but rather need someone who can do what needs to be done to stop me.”

Saki was speechless. "If that's what you think, then what do you think of me, given what all I went through for you? How is offering a helping hand in your worst moment cornering you with bad choices?"

"..........Bullshit." Saki muttered, her gaze pointed downwards.

"Rukino-san, what-?"

"I SAID BULLSHIT HARUTO!" Saki suddenly yelled. "Why can't you just accept other's help?! Why?! Why do you have to shoulder this all by yourself?! How is me offering to share your pain a betrayal of your trust in me?!"

Haruto was taken aback by her outburst. "...I already hurt you before! How can you possibly want me to do something so heinous to you again?"

"Didn't I tell you that it was the curse that caused you to do that?" Saki reminded him. "It's something all of us Kamitsuki share now. How is trying to stamp that out with pain and punishment more preferable to being given a shoulder to lean on?!"

“But I would’ve been hurting you again. I don’t want to know that I hurt someone to feel better!” Haruto protested.

“You wouldn’t have been hurting me!” Saki countered. “I was willingly offering myself to you! Why couldn’t you see that and accept my offer?!”

"A-At least I have L-Elf. He's someone I can rely on to carry it half-and-half."

"But why him?" Saki questioned. "Why can you only rely on him to curb your attacks?"

"Like I said, he respected my wish by offering me a solution. He'd stop me before I go out of control again, even if it meant killing me. I'd rather die than-"

"THAT'S NOT A SOLUTION HARUTO!" Saki cried, grasping his shoulders with both her hands.

"...That's not a solution. Do you honestly think that we're all fine with seeing you constantly suffer all this alone? Bad enough that I saw you go through all those experiments just to find out what was causing your attacks! Now you say that you can't rely on your friends to help you through this?!"

She turned her gaze to meet his shocked expression. "Why would you ever wish to be stopped by any means necessary including death?! How is offering to ease your pain 'betraying your trust'? L-Elf's the only one you rely on? Why?! Because his ruthlessness means that you can feel guiltless for feeding on him? Because he’s willing to respect your wish for punishment over kindness?! What about the others who are there for you?!"

Haruto stammered. "B-but I have to do this alone. L-Elf made me realize that when he said he’d get someone else to pilot Valvrave Unit 01 should he kill me. The curse needs to end with me and only-"

"So then allow others to help carry your weight!" Saki countered. "We’re all here for you! You said it yourself. 'Let's be halfsies' right? How can you say that, and then not follow through with that unless you think they can punish you?! Do you really feel as though you don't deserve anything else?!"

By now, tears were beginning to stream down her face. ""Do you know how much it h-hurts to see you say all this about yourself? To see you constantly prefer punishment and flagellation o-over offers of kindness? How do you think S-Shouko and the others feel whenever you're out there alone, i-in constant danger?! You think that by t-taking it all by yourself, you're h-helping us?! That only y-you can handle the burden of this c-curse, and only you d-deserve it?! A-And that we’ll a-all be sunshine and r-rainbows in the e-event that you d-die?! How can you be so s-selfish?!"

"Rukino-san-"

"P-Please Haruto Tokishima!" she sobbed, arms trembling. "PLEASE DON'T THINK SO LITTLE ABOUT YOURSELF!"

With that, Saki finally released her grip on Haruto's shoulders, turning away and falling to her knees, her sobs still audible, much to the shock of the latter. He didn't know what to say in response to her outburst, as he didn't know just how much what he was doing affected her.

"Rukino-san.....why? Why get so upset over this? I'm just trying to keep you from getting hurt. So then why are you sad about that?"

Before he could respond however, the voice of A-Drei came over both pilots helmet comms.

"If you two are done with your little lovers' quarrel, then we really need to get going."

"...That's right" Saki said, getting to her feet. Facing Haruto, a half-smile was surprisingly formed on her face. "Don't worry Haruto. I won't betray your trust again. Should you go out of control, I'll stop you."

"Do you really mean that Rukino-san?"

"Of course!" she said, not dropping her expression. "Now come on. We've wasted enough time. Shouko and the others are waiting for us!"

With that, she returned to Unit 04, with Haruto finally entering Unit 01. However, despite her words, Haruto couldn't shake the sight of her eyes from his mind, despite the grin she wore just then.

"Rukino-san.....why did your eyes seem so hollow then?

_____

Finally closing the cockpit hatch to Unit 04, Saki placed her hand to her chest, trying her hardest to not break down into tears yet again.

"Stupid Haruto!" she thought, her lip quivering. "The curse is our bond remember? How can you not want to share it?"

Wiping her tears away, she slapped her hands against her face. "Get it together Rukino Saki. You promised to always fight for his sake, so help him no matter what!

"Docking with the Mass Driver now." Haruto said over the comms. "Ready to go Rukino-san?"

"...Yes. Joining you now Haruto."

With that, the two Valvraves boarded the platform, and were launched towards the rendezvous point.

_____

I admit, a few things here I also feel were a bit contrived, and I may need to redo the Saki and Haruto conversation. But I just wanted to do the latter, as reading that one Tumblr post about why Saki shouldn't have offered to accept Haruto's burden, and why L-Elf was the only one that Haruto could really rely on was something that infuriated me to an unbelievable amount, and I only pray that it wasn't what the creators intended.

But at any rate, I tried to do my best to have Saki explain to Haruto why he shouldn't shoulder it all by himself, and that'll get expanded on in the future.

Thoughts?

Last edited by LightDragonman; 2024-04-16 at 01:34.
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Old 2024-03-29, 01:38   Link #39
LightDragonman
Senior Member
 
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Okay, time to do one more action scene, before we get to a lot more of simple downtime.

_____


"Damn it!" Raizo swore, having taken down yet another Ideal class Annihilator. "How many of these Dorssian and ARUS bastards do we have to take out?!"

"Keep your head in the game" Inuzuka reminded, blocking another shot with with Unit 05's Clear Fossil IMP Shields. "Just remember that we only have to keep the main ex-ARUS cruiser from taking any damage. L-Elf and Shouko moved all the other shuttles to dock with it so all the survivors could be united."

"I know!" Raizo responded. "At least this only gives us one ship to worry about. Easier to defend one against these assholes than three at the same time!"

"Stay focused" the voice of L-Elf sounded in both pilots' cockpits. "Remember, Inuzuka is to do the defending, while you, Raizo, are the damage. Meanwhile, Renbokuji supports you both."

"It's Thunder! And man, it's great that only now did you snap out of your funk!"

"Concentrate Thunder" L-Elf said exasperated. "Or would you rather be out there with no sort of strategy whatsoever. Already, you've raised your heat gauge too high."

Not able to form a response, Raizo returned to his task of blasting all the incoming enemies with his Armstronger Cannons.

As for Akira, she was zooming back and forth between both of the active Valvrave units, hacking enemy mechs and launching multiple Fan Talons when supporting Raizo, and boosting the shields of the remaining ARUS cruiser when defending it with Inuzuka. All while having to deal with her brother's worried cries whenever she got hit.

_____


"I'm sorry we can't be of much help to you" Sheridan said apologetically to L-Elf, who was observing the fight from the command deck with Shouko.

"Don't worry" L-Elf responded, fists clenched together tightly. "Besides, we're going to need what all we can use once they both return in order for our plan to work."

"You really trust that those two will make it back in time?"

"It's all I can really do at this point." L-Elf responded.

Shouko also nodded. "Even if just one of them makes it back, then that still puts on on better ground."

"I know you can do it Haruto!" she thought.


______


"W-We've got more Dorssian forces coming up behind us!" Akira yelled.

"Damnit!" Raizo swore. "Can't they just spare us a single one?!"

"D-Don't ask for the impossible Yamada!" Akira replied.

"She's right!" Inuzuka added. "You can't underestimate these Dorssian forces!"

The three tried their best to manage dealing with the reinforcements. However, this time they were all hammering fire at the ex-ARUS cruiser, and the sheer amount of firepower was making it hard for even Unit 05 to defend against all the shots. Indeed, it was only thanks to a few quick moves from the cruiser's main crew that it only managed to escape with only a few glancing shots from a Kirschbaums main Lowenglitzen Cannon.

"It's too much for them!" panicked Takahi, still trying to keep the cruiser out of harm's way with Satomi and the others in the command deck.

"We'll be okay, don't give up!" Satomi said to reassure her.

It was starting to look like the odds were turning in the enemy's favor, as several Ideal Blume-Class Annihilators dropped off another swarm of Waffe units behind the cruiser, all the while the Kirschbaums continued hammering away at the Valvrave Units. Even Unit 05's IMP shields were starting to give way, while their Heat Gauges were rapidly approaching their limits.

"Aw shit!" Raizo cursed, as he saw the oncoming fire, while another Annihilator approached the three.

Just then, a green projectile slammed into the Annihlator, destroying it instantly, while a streak of red cut through a section of the Waffes. As the explosions faded, the sight of two more Valvraves, one green and the other red, was made clearer.

".....Carmilla and Hito?!" Akira gasped. That could only mean...

_____

"IT'S UNIT 01 AND 04!" Yusuke whooped in triumph, alongside the other survivors.

"Haruto and Rukino-san are back!" a male teenage student cheered.

"We're going to make it!" another female survivor yelled happily.

"Look's like the calvary finally arrived!" an ex-ARUS soldier remarked.

Behind his joined fists, L-Elf couldn't help but smile at the sight of their arrival.

"Glad I placed my faith in you Haruto" he whispered. "Now take care of these stragglers!"

Shouko for her part also grinned, albeit hers was a bit strained as the arrival of Haruto meant that they'd have to catch up after everything, and with it, reveal her thoughts on their relationship moving forward.

"Haruto.....at least accept the gift that Mikhail and I have been working on."


_____


"Looks like we made it back just in time!" Saki remarked, having joined in the fray alongside Haruto.

"Yeah" the latter added. "And now it looks like we've got to deal with these forces as well!"

"Can you hear me you two?" the voice of L-Elf echoed in both of the cockpits.

"L-Elf!" Haruto said. "Sounds like you're feeling better."

"We can talk about that later. For know, both you and Rukino Saki need to deal with the remaining fighters! The other Units are at their heat limit. I'm pulling them back now. I trust you two can handle the situation?"

"Roger that."

"You can count on us!" Saki added, recatching her Unit's Spindle Knuckles. "This is now our stage after all!"

"Good luck you two!" Inuzuka called out. "It's great to see guys back by the way!"

"Go kick their asses for me!" Raizo said boisterously.

"I-I'm glad you're both alright!" Akira added.

With that, the Units 03, 05, and 06 were recalled back into the hanger, leaving both Unit 01 and 04 to face off against the incoming forces.

Immediately, the two Valvrave's joined each other back-to-back, both pilots sizing up the situation. They still had several Waffe units, Kirschbaums, and Annihilators to deal with, but the pilots were confident in their skills.

"Okay Haruto" Saki called out, "If you can get in close with your Z-Edge Swords, I'll be able to use my Spindle Knuckles to take out any that are circling your position!"

"Understood Rukino-san!" Haruto replied. "If things get too dicey for you, I'll back you up with the Volc Arm!"

With that, the two headed right into combat, with Haruto taking the enemies out from close range, his Z-Edges easily cutting through multiple targets at once. Meanwhile, Saki kept a vigilant distance from her partner, throwing her Spindle Knuckles at any that tried to hone in on Haruto's back, while also zipping back and forth with the Multi-Leg Spine system to act as an effective deterrent.

Soon, the two seemed like a blur of red and green energy, as the Hard Afterglow enveloped both Valvrave's as they went on the offensive. At one point, the even joined hands together, with Unit 04 throwing Unit 01 with added momentum thanks to the former's greater speed, launching the latter through several mechs before zooming back to its side.

It all almost seemed like a choreographed dance routine to several of the onlookers inside the ex-ARUS cruiser, and some even swore that they saw the shape of roses form from the Hard Afterglow that was surrounding them.

Finally, their was only one Kirschbaum left. With a roar of triumph, Haruto and Saki, both Valvrave's enveloped in Afterglow, performed a simultaneous dive kick into the final enemy mech, the force from both impacts causing the latter to explode in a shower of red and green energy, with both Units striking a pose at the end.

Cheering erupted in the ex-ARUS carrier, with many celebrating the two's victory.

"WAY TO GO YOU TOO!"

"Glad to see they haven't lost a beat!"

"Man, have they always worked this well together?"

"They saved us!"

The adrenaline finally wearing off, the two pilots made their way back to the hanger, a look of relief on both of their faces. Though for Saki, it was tinged with a slight bit of melancholy.

"I know that he'll want to catch up with Shouko now" she thought. "He'll no doubt choose to be with her. But I'll still support him no matter what. That's my promise to you Haruto."

Just before they could properly dock however, L-Elf called them both again.

"Hang on you two, there's one more Kirschbaum Unit heading your way!"

Looking outside, the two saw it, highlighted with golden tinges.

"Don't worry L-Elf" Haruto said. "He's on our side."

"What do you mean?"

"This is former Dorssian Special Force Soldier A-Drei to the survivors of the massacre" the Kirschbaum's pilot announced. "I am hereby surrendering myself over to you."


_____


Man, I really need to work on my skills regarding mecha action.

At the very least, the next few posts will be mainly interactions between the characters, and where the main relationships will be solidified.
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Old 2024-03-31, 00:00   Link #40
LightDragonman
Senior Member
 
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Okay, now for the downtime. Expect these to be several shorter posts.

_____


"Glad to see you're back safe!" Inuzuka said to Haruto, who was currently having his head in a pseudo-chokehold by Raizo.

"Seriously Aniki! For you to manage to sneak in to a Dorssian Walkit, bring Saki back, AND save the day?! That's the mark of a true man if I've ever seen one!"

Haruto could only chuckle awkwardly at the praise he was getting from the two. He obviously had more pressing matters at hand, given the data he had scavenged from the Walkit carrier. That, and he had to check up on Shouko.

"...Shouko" he thought, his smile fading as he remembered what they last said to each other, "Do you still hate me?"

Inuzuka saw the look on Haruto's face, and instantly knew what he was thinking. Asking Raizo to let off the head hold, he placed his hand on his friend's shoulder.

"Don't worry Haruto. Remember, I've got your back when it comes to your meeting with her! And let me tell you, Shouko's in a much better mood now than when you last saw her."

".....Thanks Inuzuka." Haruto replied gratefully. "I'm just still so nervous when it comes to her. After everything that I've done to her, will she even still accept me?"

"I can't answer that" Inuzuka admitted. "Just don't say anything you'd regret. Remember, our next battle could be our last."

"Don't sweat it Aniki!" Raizo added. "With all us five pilots back together now, those Dorssian bastards won't know what hit them!"

Haruto smiled. At least the fact that, now with Saki rescued, the five of them could work together as a team again. That alone gave him a boost of confidence in their capabilities, and no longer having to worry about if one of them was alright also helped his mental state.

Just then, Satomi entered the main deck. "Sorry Haruto, but L-Elf wants to see all of you pilots in the command room. He's placing that one-eyed Dorssian turncoat under a trial, and wants you all to be present for it."

Haruto nodded. "Looks like I'll have to wait until after this to catch up with Shouko."


_____


"I-I'm happy to see you're alright" Akira said to Saki, holding the latter's arm in hers, the two meeting with Professor Kibukawa.

"Hey, the star always arrives in the nick of time, right?" Saki replied, giving her a warm smile.

"It's good to see you back Rukino Saki" Kibukawa said. "I hope nothing horrific happened to you while you were in captivity. After all, we all saw you get impaled on live television."

"Oh don't worry about me" she said, waving her hand dismissively. "I've been through far worse."

"Are you sure?" he asked, noting how strained her grin had become once he brought up her capture.

"Again, you don't need to ask me if I'm okay" she quickly replied. "Honestly, I'm more concerned about Haruto."

"About Haruto" Kibukawa responded "Given that he uses up more Runes than the rest of you pilots, as he's the source of the other Valvraves, he'll have to feed again very soon, else he'll end up like Marie."

"Is that so?" Saki asked, her expression immediately shifting into worry.

"When has he last fed?"

"Only when he temporarily hijacked one guard when he was looking for me. I take it that's not enough?"

He shook his head. "Haruto can't rely on just one person's Runes to fulfill his needed quota. Honestly, I'm not even sure if even feeding on L-Elf would be enough. The fact that he's managed to stay functional for so long without a major Rune intake is impressive."

Saki clenched her fist. "Why Haruto? Why can't you just let me help you? Do you want to suffer? That's not selfless at all!"

Before she could dwell on it any longer though, Rion entered the room.

"Sorry for interrupting, but L-Elf just told me to retrieve you Saki. He wants you to stand as witness during the trial for that Dorssian agent who captured you."

"A-Drei?" Truth be told, she could care less about what happened to him, but she had little say in this matter. "Very well, I'll be right there."

"Hopefully, I can catch up with Haruto afterwards" she thought. "He needs to know that he can't keep on doing what he's doing.

Rion looked at the other pilot in the room. "Don't worry about coming to the trial Akira-chan. L-Elf said you aren't needed."

Akira nodded, before heading back to her Valvrave, while Saki made for the head command center where the trial was to take place.

_____


"So what do you have to say for yourself A-Drei?" L-Elf asked his former friend with a steely glare.

A-Drei was currently standing in the middle of the main control deck, with L-Elf, Shouko, the Valvrave pilots, Satomi, Takahi, and Lt. Joseph Sheridan in the front, and all around him, the surviving students and ex-ARUS soldiers bearing witness. With the arguable exception of Haruto and Shouko, every occupant in the room was eyeing him with contempt and veiled fury.

"...Look, I know what I have to say probably means little to you or anyone else in this room" A-Drei began, "but please, I am not here to sell any of you out or to spy on you. My intentions are indeed to defect to your side."

"And why should we trust any word that comes out of your mouth you Dorssian bastard?!" Raizo roared. "Given that it was your initial invasion that cost me the death of my friend!"

"Then what does that say about your allegiance to L-Elf?" A-Drei asked. "He was part of the same squad as I when that happened."

"At least he let me take revenge on the others."

"Indeed, I don't think you have any right to be here with us" Inuzuka added coldly. "Thanks to both you and your colleagues, I too lost someone right in front of my eyes, and said victim was.....someone I loved very much."

"Aina Sakurai" Saki added. "She was the first casualty in this war against Dorssia, and one of the few I called my friend back then."

"I loved her you know" Inuzuka said, trying to hold back his tears. "And you took her away forever."

"I deeply regret your loss" A-Drei replied. "But just know that we were at war. I did what any soldier would've done. Besides, it was my ally Q-Vier that caused her death, not me. That man has never been sane when it comes to war."

"Then you should've known better than to allow him to accompany you." Inuzuka spat. "And how is causing the death of innocents something a soldier does in a war?"

"You think the many soldiers you've taken out don't have friends or family?"

"No, but they were trying to kill us, and weren't a non-combatant!"

"Getting back on topic" L-Elf spoke, "Why is it that you are here? After all, I'm surprised you'd want to be with the man who shot out your eye, regardless if it wasn't me."

A-Drei straightened his posture. "As of now, my beloved homeland is currently being taken over by monsters in secret. And so, I wish to assist you in your mission. You're still planning to revolutionize the country after all."

"Yeah, I was" L-Elf responded "so I could create someplace for Lieselotte to live in peace. And now she's dead."

"I know about her death, and I'm sorry to hear it."

"Of course you are. But you think that's going to cut it?!" L-Elf snapped. "So many plans I went over, and yet all of them failed. You know why? Because I was short one Valvrave pilot!"

"Are you referring to Rukino Saki?" A-Drei asked, shifting his gaze to the girl in question.

"Your capture of her led to Lieselotte having to sacrifice herself just for the rest of us to return safely, as we lacked the support needed. Do you know how painful it was to see her die right in front of my eyes, after so many years of trying to save her?!"

"It was probably as painful as getting stabbed through the back" Saki commented, earning an aghast look from A-Drei.

"Please my friend, I had to ask her questions about you, as I still wasn't sure if you were on my side or not."

"And yet you didn't just ask her right there and then. Instead, you decided to capture her and deliver her to Cain and the rest of Dorssia. How do you defend yourself?"

".....I was just following orders as a soldier" A-Drei defended. "You know we are to bring anyone who may provide us an edge over our opponents. Why shouldn't I capture a pilot of one of my country's biggest threats?"

"So that's your reasoning. You were being a good soldier to the country you said had lost its way. You sure served them well, even at the cost of its princess."

"Is torture a part of your etiquette as well?" Saki growled. "You had to wait until after I went through such horrendous practices before you could ask me anything."

"Pilot Rukino Saki, I told you that the torture of prisoners is against the Dorssian Code Of Conduct! I had no idea that they were going to use you as a lab rat!"

"Yet you should've had some inkling of an idea when you saw me in that body bag, and later as I was impaled by your former captain." she hissed.

"...I was unaware that my commander was going to do that."

"And yet you made no attempts to stop him or my torture."

"Let's not forget what that led to" Lt. Sheridan brought up. "Because of that display, Dorssia and ARUS were given the go-ahead to wipe out every single inhabitant of Module 77, including myself and my men, who refused to go through with the atrocity. We lost a lot of good people, both civilian and soldier."

"None of which would've happened had you not captured Rukino Saki!" Satomi yelled. "So many of my friends dead....all because of YOU!"

"How can you possibly try to defend yourself?!" Takahi added "Their blood is on your hands!"

Indeed, many of the witnesses to the trial, student and Ex-ARUS alike, were beginning to yell and curse the former Karlstein graduate.

"You murderer!"

"Throw him out the airlock!"

"My friends are dead because of you!"

"Some soldier you are!"

"Dorssian scum!"

A-Drei could only close his eyes in resignation and sorrow. Here it was. Absolute proof that all he had done had only brought misery and death to innocents, when all he had wanted to do from the beginning was reform his home country into something where they were protected and served.

Eventually, Shouko and L-Elf managed to calm down the crowd, allowing A-Drei to speak once again.

"....I know what I did." he said, his voice filled with remorse. "Had I known what Cain and Amadeus were about to do, I would've never have captured and delivered Rukino Saki to them. All I can say is that I regret my actions in enabling such an atrocity."

"You think that's going to cut it?!" Raizo roared.

".....No, it won't. I can't take back the lives that were lost, nor can I bring back Lieselotte. Just know that I am truly sorry for everything, and that I can only do my best to make it up to all of you."

"And how do you expect to do that?" L-Elf asked.

"Our missions have realigned once again L-Elf" A-Drei said. "You seek to eliminate Cain and all related parties am I correct?"

L-Elf nodded.

"Then let me at least join you in this undertaking. We both know just how strong and capable our former commander is. You'll need every bit of help you can take."

"L-Elf, if I may," Haruto said, "A-Drei here did ultimately help my and Rukino-san escape from the Walkit when he could've just taken us both prisoner again. He has my support."

"I'm with Haruto as well" Saki added.

L-Elf pondered a bit, wondering what he should sort of judgement he should pass on his former friend. He'd be lying if he said that he didn't still hold him in contempt, given what happened to Lieselotte. Yet he did need support should the plan he and Shouko were working on were to succeed, and A-Drei rivaled him in terms of physical and mental prowess.

Feeling a reassuring grip on his hand, he looked over to see Shouko giving him a reassuring look.

"Don't let past mistakes dictate your decision Mikhail" her eyes seemed to say.

With that, L-Elf came to his decision.

".....Very well A-Drei. You are allowed to live and serve New-Jior. However, you are to be confined to one of the storage sections of this ship until we have further need of you."

"Thank you L-Elf." A-Drei said with a bow. "I'll do my best to serve you and the members of New-Jior with whatever plan you have."

With that, the court was adjourned.


______


Will probably edit this a bit more.

Honestly, I think A-Drei got off way too easily in the show. His capture of Saki is what led to not only her torture and execution, but also the secret getting out, leading to the massacre. And heck, if Saki was still with the others, I bet the rescue of Lieselotte would've gone much smoother. So to see him be easily forgiven and even be welcomed by the other survivors in the epilogue was rather jarring.

So this is me giving him some much needed consequences.

Thoughts?
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