Author: Qaint PM
After the battle with Ophiuchus Queen, Harp Note finds a strange item with a link to Subaru and everything takes a turn for the unknown. An alternative literary spin on later parts of the Ryuusei no Rockman series.Rated: Fiction T - English - Adventure - Geo Stelar & Sonia Strumm - Chapters: 10 - Words: 48,338 - Reviews: 36 - Favs: 35 - Follows: 45 - Updated: 03-18-13 - Published: 07-16-11 - id: 7186485
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Trick or Treat pt. 2
Actions can still make me the victor today. Even if they aren't mine." Cygnus Wing spread his wings for, if Subaru had to wonder, dramatic effect. He would later admit it was pretty impressive. Though not as impressive as what happened next.
"Enough talk! Shock Note!"
Before Cygnus could even respond he was peppered with notes from above.
Harp Note had appeared.
She landed right beside Rockman. Hands on her hips, she pouted at him. "You know, it's easier to find you when you don't move around so much. I've been looking all over for you guys."
Subaru held up his hands in apology. "Sorry sorry! It was a bit hectic."
"How are you holding up?" Misora asked appraising his condition. War-rock decided to answer for him.
"We're doing fine." he said.
"Ok!" Misora chirped. She sprung towards Cygnus Wing, who involuntarily started at her quick movement, but a hand held her back by the scarf.
"Wait," Subaru said. "We can't attack him. He's too closely connected to Utagai. Erm... his host."
She quirked an eyebrow.
"If we attack him now then his host might die instead of forcing the rejection of the EM lifeform." War-rock elaborated. Harp nodded sagely in affirmation from her guitar display.
"Oh, so I can't attack him?" Misora inquired.
"No, we can't attack him as long as we don't know if Utagai will be alright." Subaru said.
"Can't we just incapacitate him? Beat him till he can't fight back?" Misora ventured. Even against earlier foes they hadn't been even close to seriously hurting them even without holding anything back. Why would things be different now?
Would this become a regular occurrence? Had they been lucky so far that nobody died? Probably. Misora was loath to admit that they might have. She didn't really believe in luck. But neither had the thought of them hurting or possibly killing someone on the other side been present. But what would they do? Just keep defeating them at ever greater odds? What could they do if they used humans as shields against them?
If it came down to it and someone died then at least these people were not someone she knew, but she knew that Subaru knew most of those who had been affected. She couldn't imagine how hard that would be. Though she had other things to worry about. Everyone knew her face. People would know it was her that had killed innocent people kidnapped by aliens. She would lose everything she had left in the world.
War-rock shook his head in the negative.
"Normally yes. But in this case it is risky as well. The normal way to cancel the transformation is to render the host unconscious for a time or shock their system with either mental or physical trauma so that they reject their partner." War-rock supplied.
"But both options are still out for us. I'll explain why. From what I've learned so far the human system is actually much more durable than you humans think. That is well and good but in this case it works against us. It is practically impossible to render someone unconscious for more than a few seconds. It's so hard that I'm actually baffled that you stayed out so long that time when Ophiuchus knocked you out, Subaru. In fact that you even got knocked unconscious without at least a broken jaw is strange." War-rock coughed, while glancing askew at Subaru.
Subaru grimaced. How could he defend himself from that? He was out cold!
"Anyways," War-rock continued, waving his hand dismissingly. "We could knock him out for possibly a few seconds. But their connection is too strong for that to work and anything harsher will put him in the first category of risk any way."
The pop idol nodded slowly. "So what you're saying is...?"
"There's no alternative! Kick his ass and hope for the best!" War-rock yelled for effect. Cygnus Wing looked unamused.
"Is that the best you could come up with, War-rock?" he asked. "Attack me and hope my host won't die? You don't care about him. He's just an unfortunate casualty for you."
Harp Note struck with a Pulse Song. Cygnus Wing evaded deftly by jumping upwards. Midway he met with Harp Note again who intercepted him and smashed him back.
Landing and skidding backwards Cygnus straightened out again. "Yes, come at me as if you intend to kill me."
Misora flinched. Cygnus struck back, sending her flying. "If you won't then I'll kill you!"
Subaru sprang up and caught her.
Cygnus Wing stared at them in contempt. "So much power and yet you're so weak. It seems that among you only War-rock has the necessary resolve, isn't that right, War-rock?"
"Don't listen to him, you two." War-rock advised. "Just stay calm and focus on the fight."
"The fight? But we can't attack him!" Subaru began.
"You're talking on deaf ears, Subaru. After all, War-rock doesn't care about humans. He's every bit as cold and ruthless as I am. Perhaps more so." Cygnus said "After all I would never deceive my host and betrayal can never be forgiven."
"That's not true. You are merely using Utagai!" Subaru said back.
"Using him?" Cygnus scoffed indignantly. "I am protecting him from a cruel world that stabbed him in the back whereas you are simply harboring a fugitive."
"Focus, Subaru. He's trying to push us off balance." War-rock intoned again. It had no effect. They were arguing and War-rock didn't like where it was going.
"Do you even know of the crimes he has committed?" Cygnus said intensely. "He's a thief, a traitor and a scoundrel!"
"He's my friend!" Subaru defended. "You keep saying he's such a bad person but he has done nothing but help me. If it weren't for him I would never have gotten over the loss of my father."
Misora gasped. War-rock had stared at him, wideeyed.
Subaru considered what he had just said. It surprised him too but he had meant it and he felt a little lighter after saying that. And the momentary shock on Cygnus's face made it worth it.
Though Cygnus Wing wanted to disagree.
"Funny that you would mention him." A deadly smirk was back on his face.
War-rock panicked. "Subaru, don't listen to him."
"On the space station it was- Ugh!" Cygnus was hit by a pinkish rock buster shot. War-rock had fired it off himself. He felt like cursing. What was he hoping to achieve? It was impossible to avoid. He mustn't know. He must not know how I failed that day.
Cygnus Wing recovered immediately as everyone's attention fell on him and War-rock. "You cannot hide the truth forever, War-rock. He will know that it was you who lead the attack on the space station that fateful day."
"It was War-rock, your dear friend, who killed your father!" he hollered with victory. It was said with all the finesse of a sledgehammer. What better to way to break a boy's spirit?
Misora covered her mouth with her hands, shocked disbelief and concern etched into her features as she looked for Subaru's response. Harp just looked sorrowful from within her display.
Subaru had stiffened. "Is that true, War-rock?" he ground out. He suddenly found it hard to breathe and move. The armor which had been like a second layer of skin felt suddenly so constricting. Yet he sought out War-rocks eyes.
War-rock breathed out a sigh and slowly met his stare. "I was the one to lead the attack squad that day."
"That's not what I'm asking, War-rock. Did you kill my father?" Subaru struggled out.
For just a single moment War-rock hesitated and broke their eye contact. He opened his mouth to deny it but as he looked back at Subaru his words died in his mouth. The boy... His friend! had just broke down in sadness in front of him. The feeling of shame at his failure welled up in him again and he wanted to look away again.
Instead he gathered his resolve, pushing aside his shame. He hadn't killed his father and Subaru needed to know that. The chances were slim but he could be alive. If Subaru's father was dead, it was not by his hand. That was the important thing right now. The rest came later.
However something came loose. War-rock realized he was too late in his reply. Silence only spoke of terrible things in matters such as these. The transformation unraveled and the blue armor of Rockman phased away to reveal the wide eyed boy who had just lost his anchor in the world. Then surprise registered on the boy as gravity took hold and he fell through the waveroad and down towards the paved road below. In a panic War-rock reached for Subaru's hand, only for it to pass through him. He glanced up at Harp Note who was shocked for only a second before diving after him. Then they were blindsided by a whirlwind of force brought on by Cygnus Wing and were blown back.
War-rock instantly charged back at Cygnus Wing as Harp Note once again went after Subaru. Cygnus Wing took the full weight of his charge and met met his hands in a deadlock without skidding an inch. With careless ease he was thrown over his shoulder and into the air. Cygnus spared only a moment to give him a barrage of explosive feathers which sent him reeling before he went after Harp Note again. With his wings he was much faster. He caught up to her in seconds.
Misora had almost reached Subaru, who was still falling faster and faster, before she felt a sharp tug pull her upwards. She turned midair and saw Cygnus Wing holding onto her scarf with a fist cocked back and a triumphant smirk on his face. She ducked his fist, to his disbelief, and decked him with all her strength in the stomach, doubling him over. Yet he refused to let go of the scarf as he stopped them in midair and out of Misora's reach. Misora grimaced. There was only a handful precious seconds left.
Then War-rock showed up behind Cygnus Wing, in his arms a big pulsing ball of EM energy easily the size of himself. He slammed it into the back of Cygnus where it exploded sending the swan falling back to Misora who was instantly ready. She would worry about War-rock later. There was no time for anything else. And Cygnus saw Harp Note cock back her fist, in repeat of earlier events. He tried and failed to avoid the blow and was sent crashing through a wall of a nearby building.
Misora changed frequency and pushed off from a waveroad that materialized above her, quickly catching up to the falling Subaru. Changing back to realspace as she caught him clumsily while still holding her guitar she realized that she had no plan for the next step with about a dozen meters left. She would easily survive the physical trauma but she was loath to test out Subaru's durability. Thinking quickly she strummed her guitar firing her guitar strings at a wall at an angle. They stuck and as she hoped, they gradually slowed their descent as they began to swing around. She released the strings and they flew upwards and lost momentum. Manipulating her frequency partially, she managed to jump onto a waveroad and get him down safely.
He was a mess. Scared to death, torn between sadness and confusion and most likely in shock too, though she couldn't really blame him. She was shocked too. But she couldn't leave him like this. She hugged him close. "It'll be okay. I'm right here." she whispered in his ear. He seemed to relax just a bit.
Then Cygnus Wing landed on the ground some dozen meters down the street, cracking the pavement. He gingerly struggled to his feet. Misora held Subaru protectively away from him.
He glared at them hatefully. "I may be unable to continue this fight, but this is not the end of this. Soon your world will burn and you with it." Then he disappeared.
She let go of Subaru, as she struggled with something to say. Anything really. This had turned so horribly wrong.
To her rescue came War-rock, who was looking visibly sick as he floated down to their level. "What happened to you, War-rock!?" Harp exclaimed at his state.
Subaru stiffened at the name.
"I'm okay, just spent a bit too much energy." he gruffed out.
"No, you're not! Your energy is fluctuating like crazy! You'll disperse!" Harp said in concern.
"I'm fine!" War-rock growled out, silencing her. "This is more important."
He turned to Subaru. "Subaru." The boy in question was looking anywhere that was not in the alien's direction.
"Subaru, please look at me." he pleaded and slowly their gaze met. "I did not kill your father. You've got to listen to me. I was there that day and I am ashamed of being a part of it. That's why I never told you about it. But I did not kill your father..."
He paused, unsure how to continue "And he could still be alive..."
At this everyone, including Subaru, gasped. Then he glared angrily.
"What do you mean not dead? The station exploded! Nobody could have survived that. Why didn't you tell me? I thought he was dead!" Subaru lashed out.
"Please calm down Subaru and I'll explain everything." War-rock said. He had been foolish. When he had first arrived on the planet, he hadn't cared much for the boy and was in fact just using him as a shield and a safe place to hide. Subaru had believed his father was somehow alive and War-rock had been fine with that as it fit what he knew, so he saw no reason to affirm him of it. Then over the last few days he had suddenly gone from that belief to thinking him dead before War-rock knew what was going on. By that time he had come to value to boy and the friendship they shared. He had considered telling him then, but fear and shame had held him back. Fear of being rejected by Subaru and the shame of admitting his failure aboard the Peace.
Foolish as he was, he thought as long as the boy would have faith in him and follow his instructions then they could stay clear of the danger. Instead it had been him who hadn't had faith in Subaru and that lack of trust had come back to bite him. So he did the thing he should have done, if not from the start, then a long time ago. Explain everything.
"It started when we received a strange signal. It was from the space station, Peace." he started. Then he proceeded to tell everyone of what happened at the space station. How he met Daigo and changed and in turn saved the crew by turning them into em waves. Silence met him but he wasn't done. "When we returned, we found a quite different planet than we'd left." He then shook violently. "I need to rest. Harp, can you take over?"
Harp just nodded and cancelled her transformation showing Misora in jeans and a short red t-shirt instead of her usual pink sweater. And strangely enough a cap and sunglasses which hid her features. A mix of clothes for a hot day and an amateur attempt at concealing one's identity. It worked about as well as one would think. Her hair stood out.
A dribble of rain began to pelt the streets as it dusk set in. War-rock entered Subaru's transer but before he left Subaru called him out. "War-rock, I... I'm sorry I believed you had killed my father." Subaru had gotten a bit colour back.
"I know, kid. You shouldn't apologize. This is all my fault. We'll talk this out when I get back, I promise." Then the screen winked out.
"Start walking, we don't want to stay here." Harp urged. "I'll explain along the way."
They walked to a nearby river that flowed through the town and went along its path. In the distance behind them they heard the sirens of the satella police. They would find nothing of the duo this night but readings of .
"When we got home to planet FM everything was in chaos." Harp stated dramatically. "You see when the signal first was received, there had been much uproar. People began speaking out against the FM King who ruled through power and fear. The supreme power of the King, Cepheus and his deadly weapon, Andromeda, had kept people in line for innumerable years but it was suddenly no longer working. The first few dissenters were quickly silenced but when we got back it was akin to civil war. There was fighting everywhere between loyalists and rebels who wanted the FM King off the throne. The rebels wanted a planet where it was not mere power that decided your rank. They wanted something like what that message spoke of."
Misora raised her hand, much like a student would to garner the attention of a teacher. "What is the Andromeda? The other FM-ians kept talking about it.
"It's a terrible weapon summoned forth by the small Andromeda Key." Harp answered darkly. "I have never seen it but I know it is capable of destroying planets and is indestructible as far as I know. There was once a sister planet to FM. It was called AM and housed the less violent AM-ians. Back then FM was a battlefield between countless warlords striving for power, until Cepheus appeared along with Andromeda. It is unknown where he got it from, but some say that he trapped the energies of FM-ians he killed and created Andromeda from them. Most gruesome, might I add. He soon conquered all of planet FM and after some time, war was declared on AM out of envy of the sister planet. When the AM-ians proved hard to conquer and harder still to dominate there was no choice in the king's mind. The planet itself was destroyed by Andromeda."
It began to flat out rain.
"Since then he has ruled. When the rebels appeared, he initially did nothing, letting his minions suppress them. But soon it grew out of hand. I suppose War-rock knew what would happen next. Cepheus would resort to using Andromeda again. So he stole it. As part of the personal guard of the king, he was closer than most to the Andromeda Key. Now without his prized weapon, it has become a full-blown revolt. He is unable to chase after the key himself because of the uprising and had to send the few of us. We tracked him here and the rest is history." She finished with a smile.
The kids were beyond spooked. They had stopped walking some time ago, not even sensing the rain anymore, just listening and trying to make sense of what they had been told. They hadn't really considered that they would be part of something so huge.
Misora shivered. A weapon that could destroy planets. Now that was a scary thought. Would they use that upon Earth if they got it back? She dismissed the thought.
They stood like this for a few seconds, nobody saying anything. Again Misora sought for something to say but the day had left her quite stunned. Then she sneezed.
Subaru looked at her in concern. "Are you cold?"
She was just about to say she was fine when she sneezed again. She was drenched and cold.
"We should get out of this rain." he said. He took off his red jacket, revealing a black t-shirt underneath, and put it over her shoulders. "Here, take my jacket. You don't want to catch a cold."
"You're still on the run right?" Subaru asked before she could argue. She nodded, gratefully slipping into the warm jacket.
"We can't go to Amaken. They're closed at this hour." he mused. Subaru already knew a place he could take her that was technically free, which only made it harder to look for alternatives when there was a glaringly obvious one.
"You can come with me home, I suppose" he said.
She nodded quickly. "That'll be nice."
"My mom is home but I don't think she'll tell on you." Subaru said. He was certain that she wouldn't. But on the other hand he would likely never hear the end of it.
"It's okay." Misora said. While she couldn't go back to her more lavish quarters because she was technically on the run from the police who wanted to 'question' her, it wasn't as if she didn't have anywhere to go herself. She had been on her own for some time, only sneaking back for some clothes or supplies. She still had options. Of course none of them beat seeing the home of Rockman. She had wondered about how he lived.
They found a busstop nearby and not long after a bus rolled around.
Entering, they swiped their transers over a flat surface which interacted with the transer. It ensured payment in a world without physical cash. Though in Misora's case it would normally mean that she could be tracked. But again in Misora's case; having an alien friend with a specialty in manipulating electronics helped avoid that.
They rode in silence with Subaru looking up at the first twinkling stars on the sky between some clouds.
Noticing this, Misora decided to break the ice. "Are you looking for something?"
"Not really, just looking at the stars." he answered.
Sensing a subject she asked again. "Do you look at the stars a lot?"
Tearing his gaze from the window he smiled at her. "Yes, I do. We have this great place for star gazing close to where I live and I usually go there. It's also where I met with War-rock for the first time."
"Oh! So you want to be like an astronomer when you're older?" she asked.
"Close, but I was thinking more like an astronaut that actually goes into space and then invents new cool stuff. Like my dad." he said wistfully.
"You know, I'm happy for you, Subaru." she said.
"Huh?" Subaru said in confusion.
"Your father might still be alive out there." she said softly.
He looked up at the sky again. "Yeah... I was thinking that just before too. When I went to that stargazing spot I usually had my dads' visualizer with me, hoping to see something nobody else did. Sometimes I was looking for my dad up there."
"All this time you believed he was somehow alive and then I came along and convinced you otherwise." she said, sniffing. "What a mess I've caused."
She was the one who had pushed Subaru to believe his father was dead. She had done it because believing someone had survived an exploding space station in vacuum without returning in less than three months was to put it blunt, crazy and a bad crutch to shoulder the pain. But in hindsight, she had been wrong. So awfully wrong.
A finger lifted her to eye-level with Subaru who was staring at her in concern.
"Hey, don't be like that." Subaru said. "You couldn't have known that he was alive. Nobody could have."
"So you're not mad about what I did?" she asked.
"Not at all. You went put in a lot of effort just to help me. And even after everything I'm glad you did it so we would meet." he said earnestly.
Embarrassed, she glanced away with a light smile. "Thanks."
"Besides, you saved my life. You're allowed a few mistakes here and there." he continued playfully. He poked her in the between her ribs. She yelped in surprise.
Misora puffed her cheeks. "Mr. Hoshikawa, you're walking into dangerous territory" she returned as sternly as possible, though she couldn't hold back a smile. He just smiled along. They were finally letting off some of the stress from the day.
They talked a bit more about his fascination of space before they reached their destination. They ran through the downpour with Subaru in the lead before coming to a stop in front of a normal looking house.
"Here we are." Subaru announced before opening the door and entering. Misora followed closely behind.
"Subaru, is that you?" A voice called out from inside.
"Yes, Mom, I'm home." he answered before discarding his shoes.
Walking straight into the living room, they met with Akane who sat in the couch craning her neck to see them. The wavescreen in front of her was alight with some evening drama movie. As she saw Misora she looked surprised for a moment before she smiled like a cougar.
"My, my, it seems my little boy is quite the sweet talker, impressing a girl like Hibiki Misora." she said. Then she rested her head on her hands. "You even gave her your jacket. I didn't know you were so romantic." Subaru's cheeks lit up in embarrassment.
I've still got it, She thought with a smirk.
"Mom!" Subaru said in embarrassment as if the single word could articulate his displeasure at being picked on by his mother in front of his friend.
However better than any chastisement her son could possibly whip up, Akane noticed their drenched profiles and any further antics were kicked to the curb by her mother instinct. Rising and ushering them in she found a few blankets and some hot cocoa after a quick introduction. Soon they were nestled warmly at the couch with her sipping the warm beverage. With her duty fulfilled she decided to satisfy her curiosity.
"So how did you two end up here?" she asked.
They glanced conspicuously at each other before stammering out a long and convoluted story. Akane just smiled and let them talk. Young people and their secrets, she thought. I guess you and I weren't any different when we were young, ne, Daigo?
Till then it would be a mystery what the infamous Harp Note and idol Hibiki Misora had going with her son. But she seemed like such a sweet kid so she'd let it be. Besides she'd likely find out soon enough.
A/N: I'm ending it here. For the record, I know that in the anime, there's real cash, as illustrated by Gori Monjiro with his absurd attempts at bribing in tribe. If some of you have been nervous about all the other stories I've posted, with one in particular making quite some waves, don't be. They actually inspired me to finish this quicker. I will not stop updating this. My current goal is the 100k mark. Though it might take me a while. :)
With this I cross the 40k threshold I dedicate this chapter to the God-Emperor of Mankind! When it comes to Warhammer40k I'm a lost cause :3
As always, I hope you enjoyed it and I hope to cya soon.
Last but not least; If you noticed anything you thought weird or have a great suggestion (perhaps about a picture or something), feel free to send me a PM or write a review. I love the attention. ^^