Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto or Toaru Kagaku no Railgun/Toaru Majutsu no Index
The Trinity of Tokiwadai
Chapter One: Three Ojou-samas Have An Enthusiastic Walk
A thriving urban area with a population of 2.3 million, 80% of which are students. A place where these students who call it home, along with its other residents enjoy technology roughly 20 to 30 years more advanced than you'll find anywhere else in the world.
Armed with the most advanced technology known to man, this place serves as the world's leading educational institution for special students who display feats of supernatural power, where the greatest minds of the world have come together to study and help these students to harness these abilities.
These students, or Espers as they are called, come from all parts of the world to take part in the Power Curriculum Program for a chance to harness these abilities.
It was in this miraculous city on a mid-summer day punctuated by the song of the cicadas with the sun's rays shining down brightly on all of the city's denizens that this story begins.
In particular it begins in Tokiwadai Middle School, an all girls' Middle School. One of the top 5 schools of Academy City and possibly the most renowned girl's school in the world. A school so prestigious that it had once sparked an international incident for refusing to admit a girl from a royal family because she wasn't good enough. Something that was a result of its truly exacting entry requirement that required its students to possess an Esper ability of Level 3 or higher.
A fact that had resulted in the school currently having less than 200 students, of which there were currently 47 Level 4 Espers, and the rest being Level 3 Espers and most impressively 4 Level 5 Espers. Considering that at this point there were only 9 Level 5s in the entire world, that Tokiwadai counted almost half that number as its students was amazing.
Currently, one of these treasures of the school was tidying up her things to head home as her last class of the day ended.
The girl in question was Namikaze Naru.
She had long silky blonde hair tied in a pair of pigtails with black ribbons, and sharp cerulean eyes that were currently busy counting her things in a quick sweep of her desk, a small smile coming to her slightly rounded face as she finished. Standing up to her rather diminutive 4 foot 7 inch height, she stretched a little to loosen her muscles after a long day at her seat.
She was dressed like all her classmates around her, a short-sleeved white dress shirt worn under a light brown vest with her school emblem on the left breast and the dark tan pocketed skirt that reached halfway down her thighs that made up her school's uniform, which she complemented with a pair of white sock leggings and brown shoes.
All in all, the young first year middle school girl looked the very picture of childish innocence.
"Namikaze-san." A monotonous, almost robotic voice called out to the blonde. Turning to the source of the call, Naru was surprised to see that it was her classmate and fellow Level 5, Saten Ruiko.
The other girl was much taller than Naru being 5 feet 3 inches, she had dark blue eyes and long black hair with a hair clip in the shape of a small, white flower on the left side of her hair. She was generally regarded as pretty, but that was ruined by the frigid, almost inhuman aura that she radiated. She carried herself as if she was a machine, going about her tasks flawlessly but with no enthusiasm. She never socialized and when talked to often kept her answers short.
So much so that she'd earned herself the moniker of [The Robot].
"You needed something from me, Saten-san?" Naru asked curiously. Saten rarely approached anyone for anything, so the shorter Level 5 was curious to find out what was behind her classmate's odd behavior.
An odd quiet settled over the class of usually giggling and excitedly talking girls, as all eyes shifted towards the two Level 5s.
Are they hoping for a fight? A trade of insults? Naru scoffed to herself. Geez, people always want drama for this type of stuff.
"I would like to invite you to a get together after the System Scan tomorrow." Saten explained, seemingly oblivious to the attention from the rest of the class.
System Scan, the regular city-wide testing event in Academy City to determine the Levels of their students. It was conducted differently for different types of Espers and the difficulty rises for each Level.
In a city devoted to the Power Curriculum Program, the System Scan was necessary for compiling the data of the 1.8 million students that made up 80% of the residents in Academy City.
It was this Scan that determined that 60% of said students were Espers and capable of displaying at least some power. While it decreed that the remaining 40% were either Level 0s or part of the small handful of non-Espers who were pursuing intellectual courses that only Academy City could provide.
It was the backbone of the city's society that served to identify the haves and the have nots in the fantastical city of superhumans.
That being said, the System Scan wasn't without its flaws.
"Eh?" Naru was unconcerned with these details however, even if the mere mention of the upcoming Scan brought them involuntarily to mind, instead she fluttered her eyelashes prettily as she blinked. "Really? Last I checked, we weren't exactly besties. So why ask me of all people?"
The blonde's tone held a teasing edge as her lips formed a sly smirk.
"I am aware that we are not any more than acquaintances." Saten replied without missing a beat. "I am merely inviting you because my friend, whom I am meeting tomorrow, has a not-so-secret desire to meet other Level 5s. I would like you to accompany me so as to help her fulfill that desire."
The smaller girl let out a whistle of surprise. "Wow, you have friends...this I have to see. Who could be friends with [The Robot]?"
"So you will accompany me tomorrow?"
"Yeah, sure." Naru shrugged her shoulders. Her eyes twinkled with amusement. "Might be fun."
"I'll see you outside the school's gate tomorrow then, [Maniforce]." Saten-san said as she inclined her head and departed from the classroom, which exploded with murmurs and gossip in her wake.
Naru rolled her eyes and left as well, she didn't even want to think of what crazy rumors were going to spread as a result of this interaction.
Ruiko continued her trip home, well outside the School Garden, which housed the primary Tokiwadai dorms. She was not however handed to the school's Exterior Dormitory located in the City. It was a rare exception for a Tokiwadai student to live outside of the school's dedicated dorms, but Saten was exactly that. The Level 5 lived off campus with her mother. A researcher that worked in the City and who was the head of the team in charge of her personalized Power Development Curriculum, a fact that justified the leeway the school offered her.
Well, part of it anyways. Ruiko's situation was complicated, very much so. To start things off she was adopted. But that was only the tip of the iceberg.
She had a story to her, just like everyone in this city.
A story that started on a day that she remembered most vividly for blood. Ruiko was young then, just seven years old.
When she had heard about Academy City, she had -Like nearly every kid she knew- wanted to be an Esper. Even more so when she got the prestigious and hard to acquire invite to study in the city.
Her parents on the other hand held some reservations about the idea and insisted on taking a tour of the famed city along with her little brother before they made a decision on whether they would allow her to attend.
Unfortunately, that fateful decision to take a family trip ended up turning into a tragedy.
Ruiko still didn't remember much of what happened that day.
To say that all she truly remembered was explosions, screams, blood, and death was an apt description. All the level 5 recalled after that was looking on in horror at her family's dead bodies all around her, even as she feebly choked on her own blood.
If it wasn't for that frog faced doctor, she probably wouldn't be here today.
Still, it didn't end there. With no immediate family to return to, and the paperwork to be part of the Power Curriculum Program -A surprise from her late parents- already filed. Ruiko was frankly stuck in Academy City and was thus labeled a Child Error - the City's term for orphans - within the system.
The [Shinobi Invasion Incident] - named after the attackers, who claimed they were ninja -thus left her completely alone and stranded in an alien city.
After that, she bounced around for a while, adrift and numb to the world as she was shuffled from one orphanage to another until she became part of a group slated for participation in an experiment.
The experiment that made her a Level 5.
The mere thought of the experiment awakened the horrible memory of that day once more and Ruiko fought desperately to suppress it. So much so that her brows furrowed, breaking the air of inhuman detachment that she wore like a cloak. Her efforts however were to no avail.
~ Flashback ~
"Sensei, you sure this is safe?" A young Saten asked uncertainly as she sat in a high tech pod as she and the other Child Errors in her group were prepared for the experiment that they had been assigned to.
"Of course, Ruiko." Came the reply from a pretty woman with short brown hair and seemingly permanent bags under her eyes. She was dressed in a white long-sleeved shirt and a brown pencil skirt which she had topped off with a long white coat as befitting her role as a researcher. Though that was not what Ruiko and the orphans in her group knew her as.
To them she was the beloved teacher that had been taking care of them for the better part of the year. She had come into their lives and singlehandedly made it fun in a way they had never expected with her love and care, and her lack of common sense.
Ruiko, and all her fellows trusted her.
It was why at her confident assurances and encouragement, they lay down in the pods, their fears forgotten.
Unfortunately, things did not turn out as Sensei had intended.
Pain! Complete and utter pain engulfed Ruiko as the machine started. Her vision blurred and her thoughts began to become fuzzy and voices both hers and not filled her mind.
~ Flashback ends ~
Memory suppression complete. A utterly monotonous voice echoed within her mind.
She didn't need to recall the utter agony that left her brothers and sisters, the other Child Errors, comatose and her completely changed. It had awakened the powers she had sought for so long, but which she now considered nothing more than a curse.
Pushing these thoughts out of her mind, she pulled out her cellphone, tapping her quick call list and held it up to her ear. After a ring or two, a voice picked up that made a smile form on the usually stoic girl's face.
"Saten-san! It's great to hear from you, are we still on for tomorrow after the System Scan?"
"Yeah, of course!" Ruiko let out a giggle. "I've even got a surprise for you if you do well!"
"Wah?! Bu-But-! I don't have something to give back, geez! You can't just drop this on me now Saten-san! It's not fair!"
The Level 5 bit her cheek, she could imagine Uiharu panicking at her desk in the 177th Judgement office. For a moment, she was tempted to use a power or two to see if her expression was like she imagined but held back. Her friend wouldn't appreciate it.
"Well, I'll call again tomorrow before the meet up, ok? Bye, Uiharu~!"
Ruiko flipped her phone shut, guffawing to herself as she walked towards home, gaining her a number of looks from the people around her, but she ignored them. She didn't care what other people thought.
Okay, maybe hanging up on her friend like that was a bit mean, but she just loved to tease Uiharu.
Gently stroking her flower hairclip - a treasured gift from her friend -, a serene smile spread on her face as she recalled how she first met her only friend. Yeah, the Level 5 wouldn't be who she was today without that stubborn little girl she met on that day.
It had been a few months before she got into Tokiwadai and she had been wandering around the City while her adoptive mother had been at work and/or busy trying to figure out how to get her into a school. She remembered well how much of a robot she was then, much worse than she was now, and how that had made Uiharu come to investigate the, in her friend's words, "sad girl".
After that for months, every morning before school, Uiharu would come to find Saten in the same park. And through sheer perseverance, she did what Ruiko had thought was impossible, opened her up.
Ruiko couldn't have hoped for a better friend. And she was willing to do almost anything for her. It was why she had decided on joining Tokiwadai over the many other options available to her. All to satisfy her friends' obsession with knowing a ojou-sama which was what the school was credited with producing.
Arriving at her home, a modest two storey house. She headed over to the front door which she opened quickly with her key, only to grimace as a wave of heat hit her the moment that she pushed the door open.
"The air conditioning is broken again?" She asked while taking her shoes off.
"I'm a scientist with multiple degrees...but that blasted thing just won't work. It's officially mocking me, Ruiko." A voice replied from inside the home.
"Ah, I see." The Level 5 said even as she called on her cryokinesis to cool the air around her to a more tolerable level. Entering the living room she spotted her mother, Kiyama Harumi, lazing on the couch. The same researcher that had served as her beloved teacher and been in charge of the experiment that had awakened her powers. The woman who was now dressed in only her undergarments, probably as a result of the heat.
With a quick scan of the air conditioning unit with her Clairvoyance, the Level 5 determined the problem in no time flat.
"It's the run capacitor." The girl said with a hand on her hip, offering a tiny smile.
"Ugh, I'll buy a replacement tomorrow." The older woman said, rolling on the couch.
"Or you could have called someone to service it when it first broke." Ruiko accused with a sigh, knowing that that would never even have occurred to her mother. She had changed in many ways over the years, but her lack of common sense was something that had remained the same.
Her mother peeked over her shoulder, a frown directed towards the girl. "Oh yeah, I could have done that. I'll do that tomorrow."
"Or I could fix it." Ruiko mused absently as she picked up her mother's clothes. Clothes that the woman had carelessly discarded throughout the living room.
"If I let you do that, you'll make me wash the dishes. For a week."
"Well, a quick fix usually comes with its consequences." Ruiko said with a finger held up in the air.
"When did you become such a tyrant?"
Ruiko offered the older woman a dry look. "When I started taking care of you."
"Ah. That's a fair assessment."
"Put some clothes on, the shades are open…"
Kiyama looked down, taking in how she was wearing nothing but a bra and panties. They were not even the flattering kind.
"I don't see the problem, it's just like wearing a bathing suit…"
"That's not the point!" Ruiko said in exasperation even as she dropped the collected pile of clothes on her mother's face. "Just get dressed, please."
And this was her guardian, who she loved with all her heart.
Why did Ruiko feel like she was doing the mothering most of the time?
Some time earlier
Shortly after Saten had left, Naru followed suit. However, as soon as she exited the building, she was swarmed by her personal gaggle of groupies.
Within the walls of Tokiwadai there were factions, both big and small, of girls who would join together to pursue common interests. These Tokiwadai version of cliques, generally operated like the social clubs in other schools but with the difference in that unlike those clubs they tended more easily to gel around various noteworthy individuals.
It was thus no surprise that the three biggest factions were each tied to the Level 5s.
There was the Railgun Faction who were naturally made up of all the fans of the [Railgun], Misaka Mikoto, the Number 5 Level 5, the strongest Electromaster. Misaka didn't lead it though, and she in fact found it quite the annoyance. Instead it was simply a big fan club that made up its own faction.
Next was [The Queen]'s Faction, directly led by the Number 7 Level 5 Shokuhou Misaki, also known as [Mental Out]. Being the most powerful telepath in Academy City, it wasn't hard to figure out how she got a lot of her followers, but still, she had a knack for rallying girls to her ever expanding web of control that was above and beyond her powers. It was certainly the biggest faction in the school.
And finally, the Rabbit Faction (A name that had been decided under heavy protest!), led offhandedly by the Number 2 Level 5, Namikaze Naru, the [Maniforce]. The name of her faction had come about because one, she was considered highly cute amongst her peers, and two, because the pigtails she usually styled her hair into made her look like a lop rabbit. Or kitten -A baby rabbit- because of her size.
In layman's terms, her faction's name come about because girls her age were way too focused on all things cute!
Now, don't get Naru wrong, she loved her devoted 'followers' but they could be a bit of a pain at times.
Don't even get her started on how well her and the [Queen]'s faction got along just because the two blonde Level 5s were very good acquaintances.
That was a migraine for another day.
There should logically have been a fourth major faction centred around the school's fourth Level 5, Saten Ruiko, [Multi-Skill]. But between her inhuman mannerisms, more robotic than anything else, and her lack of interest in her peers. It never got off the ground.
Naru's musings on the state of affairs in her school were interrupted when her 'followers' began speaking to her.
"Naru-sama! Are you really going out with the super boring girl tomorrow?!"
"It's a waste of your time! We could go shopping instead?"
"I like that! I know a good accessory place!"
Naru mentally rolled her eyes, but smiled at her personal entourage. "Girls, quiet down. I'm just helping another Level 5 out is all, nothing more than that. Please tell everyone that."
Seriously, Ruiko was so broken due to the Dark Side, she honestly needed all the help she could get. Plus, Naru would be lying if she said she wasn't curious about [The Robot]'s mysterious friend.
"Kyaa! Naru-sama is so generous!"
"As expected of the Number 2, leading the other Level 5s down proper paths!"
"So amazing, oh, I wish Naru-sama would teach me too!"
"You're only a Level 3, what could Naru-sama help you with?"
"Don't be rude. Just because someone is a lower Level doesn't mean they are less important." Naru lectured chidingly.
"That's not what I meant…"
Naru gave the girls a mock salute and a wink that earned a squeal from a few, "Gotta go, homework to do. Bye!"
The Level 5 disappeared in a blink.
Reappearing in midair ahead of her cluster of groupies, she let the air currents coil around her petite body as she manipulated them to soar into the skies. After a few minutes of flight, she spotted a tall building and decided it was the perfect spot for a break. Landing, she took a seat on the roof and dangled her legs over on the edge.
"Man, those girls are total weirdos." She wrinkled her nose and laid back to stare at the clouds as they floated by.
Heh, generous they say. I wonder what they would say if they saw the real you.
Well, look whose fuzzy tailed booty woke up. Nice nap?
It was nice, until the high pitched pains in the ass that are your cult woke me up with their screeching.
It's not a cult!
That's not what their base instincts are telling them…
Thank you for that image, I needed that. Really. Naru replied sarcastically, as she rubbed her temples in frustration.
I'm nothing but perfectly honest with you, Naru.
And yet it causes me pain in the process. You are just the best...not. Don't make me call [The Queen] to arrange for some Cuddle Time.
...You are a monster. I respect that and I'm going to shut up now.
Naru felt smug after that little verbal spar with her own personal demon that sat within her gut.
Yeah, how that happened was a long story.
~ Flashback ~
Fire, blood, and death was the only way to describe the scene a young Naru was witnessing through the eyes of the demon fox, Kurama. A name she forced out of the fox by torturing it by using her powers to twist its chakra, its very being, against itself. Having finally broken the monster sealed inside her, at least to a sufficient extent that she trusted the creature not to lie to her, she had decided it was time for it to show her her past from before her time in Academy City. Something the creature was one of the, perhaps the only, being that was capable of doing.
"Pretty brutal huh?" The titanic beast's muzzle rumbled within the large metallic room that was the girl's 'soul'. Or at least that was what the demon claimed it to be. She would have to do some studying on that, before she accepted it for fact.
"Hm, looks like some of the war videos I've seen with Testament." The child said, reaching for the image to only have her hand go through it.
"And all that because you were born." The fox snidely commented as it gestured with one of its tails towards the projection that it was broadcasting for the girl on one of the walls of its cage.
The Level 5 looked annoyed. "So? It's not all my fault. If anyone is to blame it's you. You look so pleased to be free that you're hardly in control of yourself. Just mindlessly destroying everything. If you only could be mindless all the time. You're too opinionated for someone shackled to my will."
A growl came from the demon at the mild jab, clearly holding its tongue to avoid further punishment.
Good. He's learned his place.
She watched as the demon in the memory before her was crushed by a large toad of all things and then the fox was teleported away in a flash of yellow.
"That's interesting." She muttered at seeing the unusual teleportation. To use it on something so massive? That had to be taxing to the user, who must have been at least a top tier Level 4 Teleporter. Possibly even a Level 5 considering the fox's mass and the distance involved.
"If you somehow learn to do that type of teleporting, I will never talk to you again."
That made the power all the more interesting. The demon's threat was hollow anyway, if she wanted something from him, she could easily use her power to twist it out of him.
It was then that golden chains erupted from the ground within the memory and formed into a dome that tethered around the beast, pinning him down like the people in one of those weird internet videos that she wasn't supposed to watch.
The demon let loose a shiver even as he grunted in annoyance.
Interesting. The young girl mused as she read its mind to see what had the demon all riled up. It seems upset by its impersonation of a sub in an S&M video.
Fuck. Well, at least she didn't get that broken chain power.
"I can hear your thoughts. You know that right?" Naru reminded him with a disapproving pout. "Swear again and you'll be punished, got it?"
"Understood." Kurama acknowledged in a low growl.
Naru continued to watch, frowning as her parents were skewered by the demon's large claw to protect her baby self. A pang of sadness came from within her heart as her parents offered their last words that she probably wouldn't have ever remembered.
The feeling honestly surprised her. She'd never known her parents and was more than satisfied with her life. It was all she'd ever known and she'd never been truly unhappy with her lot, not even with all the training she had undergone as a Level 5 and agent for the City's General Superintendent. As such, that she would feel any attachment to her birth parents, that she'd never known, was unexpected.
Her mother started rambling then.
"Naru… Don't be picky. Eat lots and grow strong. Make sure that you bathe every day and stay warm… Also, don't stay up late. You need lots of sleep…" The Level 5 shook her head in annoyance as her mother's last words turned out to be inane rubbish.
"And make friends.. You don't need a lot of friends. Just a few. Ones you can really, really trust." The woman in the memory continued, Naru just looked disinterested at that one.
Friends? Like someone on the Dark Side can afford that.
"I wasn't very good at it, but keep up with your studies and practice your ninjutsu hard."
"I'm not a ninja…" Naru mumbled as she begun to completely tune the woman out.
"Oh, there's so much more that I want to pass on to you…" The woman in the memory forced out as she very obviously, to Naru's trained eyes, neared her limits. A fact that caused the girl to return her attention to the memory. "I wish I could stay with you longer… I love you."
Naru blinked at that. Love me? Someone you don't even know? How?
She could feel a burst of emotion from the fox, it seemed almost like pity. The blonde shot the creature a withering glare. "Know your place. I don't need your pity."
The fox just looked away.
"Naruto…" The image of her father in the memory said, catching Naru's attention once more and causing her to redirect her focus. "This is your father… well my words to you are the same, just listen to your motor mouth mother. And stay away from boys."
Naru totally agreed, her mother was a motor mouth. But staying away from boys? She couldn't agree more, they're icky.
Don't tell me what to do, it's not like you raised me.
The man's hands started rapidly performing some kind of handsigns and then there was a great flash of light. As the light faded, a spectral creature had suddenly manifested itself hovering over Naru's body.
"What is that?" Naru asked curiously.
"The Shinigami." Was all Kurama said on the matter, shivering at the sight of the god.
"So they can summon gods? Huh, so they've tied their esper powers with magic." Naru's blue eyes glimmered. "Merging the two? Fascinating."
It was a strict rule in her world that Science and Magic didn't mix. So to see that the people in her birth world had done so was truly interesting.
Maybe some day the two could merge. This very notion proved that it was possible, they just had to find how to make it possible.
While she was musing on the likelihood of this long held dream, the god in the memory had split Kurama's essence into two halves before sealing one half into her infant body and the other into her father's dying body.
The memory grew choppy then, the fox was obviously disoriented by what had happened.
What followed was just a series of images barely clear enough to be discernible: her father performing a series of handsigns only to stumble midway, a yellow flash, a lab, being presented to a man floating upside down in a tube filled with a strange liquid...
~ Flashback End ~
A ringtone chimed from her pocket, breaking Naru from the memory as she sat up. Reaching into her skirt pocket, she produced a small device similar in appearance to a Bluetooth headset. This was not just a headset though, rather it was a full fledged smartphone. One of the many advanced gadgets that was available exclusively within Academy City. Unlike a conventional phone it exploited the City's advanced electronics and materials technology to create a retractable touch screen hidden in the frame, allowing it to have full functionality despite its small size.
Pulling the screen out to see who was calling, she smirked as she noted who the caller was. Putting it to her ear, she answered the call. "Superintendent? How's it floating?"
"I have an assignment for you." A androgynous voice replied.
"I see. So, who did what?"
"A group stole a prototype helm for a portable Testament."
Naru hummed at that. "You want this down as fast and quietly as possible. Even from our own side. That's why you're calling me, right? So, targets?"
"As usual, keen to get to the point." The Superintendent of the City said in clear amusement. "A rogue scientist. It seems he was offered a king's ransom by a Government that shan't be named."
"It was the CIA again, wasn't it?" The Level 5 teased.
"Yes." The leader of Academy City replied in a cold, disapproving tone.
"Do we want to send them a reply after I sweep this up?"
"Leave their heads intact and I'll have someone else handle the rest."
"Well, you're the boss, Superintendent. I'll get right on it!" Naru chirped, offering a salute. He no doubt saw it through UNDER_LINE, or at least she hoped so. With that done, she started to float in the air.
"I'll send their location to your phone. Do not dawdle, [Maniforce]."
"Don't worry, I'll only mess with them a little bit."
Her smile turned toothy.
Crossing her arms, Naru stared down at the group hastily moving through the maze of warehouses that made up the majority of the School District 11.
Hm. From the military precision of their formation, these guys are definitely Pros. Naru mused as she silently stalked them from the rooftops. She counted about ten men who were about to die.
Time to thin the herd.
She pointed a finger towards one of the men in the rear and he vanished in a blink, only to appear stuck halfway in a wall right by the formation. His now headless body thudded to the ground, blood spurting from the severed arteries in his neck.
Withholding a giggle, Naru moved back to the edge of the rooftop and watched the panic ensue.
"What was that?!" The lone unarmed man in the group screamed. She noted the large case in his grasp and figured that her objective was likely inside. From the way he carried himself, he was obviously not a professional like the others. Probably the scientist they convinced to help them steal the prototype in exchange for protection after he defected with it.
So nine agents. One scientist. Naru counted to herself. That's nine more to go.
"Group up!" The clear commander ordered as they entered a circle formation.
Naru just pointed at two more of her targets, who promptly disappeared. A moment later all that remained of the two men were their upper bodies sticking out of the ground where they had stood. Both men screamed in agony until one of their compatriots finished them off with a couple of headshots, leaving the scientist aghast.
Mercy kills? Or summarily executing the liabilities? Naru mused as she teleported herself to new cover, just in case. Either way their screams will draw a crowd soon. Alright, time to sweep this up fast.
Calling on her chakra, she slashed her arm in the direction of the men. She teleported away immediately afterwards, as they unleashed a hail of bullets on where she'd been. Some of the bullets however were cut clean in half mid-flight as the wind blade that Naru had conjured cut through them like the deadly weapon it was. One of which struck down three of the men by decapitating them.
The esper didn't stop to admire her bloody handiwork however as she promptly unleashed a beam of plasma from her hand that shot through the body of another of the Americans, burning a massive hole in his body.
The two remaining armed men spun to face the general direction where her attack had originated from and opened fire. But they were too slow, she'd teleported to safety already.
From her latest position, she eyed her next target. Taking a deep breathe, she filled her lungs to full capacity before she quickly exhaled, allowing her chakra to do its job and transform the air she released into a high pressure stream of water. Cutting off the flow of chakra, she teleported away even as the water sailed through the air like a javelin and impaled another of the agents through the heart.
The scientist had started panicking by this point and was making a hell of a racket as he screamed, clearly terrified by the carnage. It was getting on Naru's nerves so she decided to make his death particularly gruesome. With a demented smile, Naru teleported him so that he had only the front half of his body, including his arms clutching the case with her objective tightly, remained while the rest had been shoved into the upper dimensions as her teleport partially failed from deliberately trying to move him into a lying position half-submerged into the ground.
"Whoever you cowards are, show yourselves." The last man standing, the commander, said as he scanned the rooftops with his fancy looking weapon.
The others had been armed with more standard hardware. But the survivor, Naru idly noted, seemed to be equipped with one of the Americans' top secret railgun rifles.
Hm, she'd have to bring it back. Maybe it had some worth. If nothing else, the City's scientists could compare it to their own designs and see if they could improve their version somehow.
For now though it was quite the threat, honestly speaking. If he hit her with it, even once, she'd be dead.
But that wasn't going to happen.
Fearlessly, the Level 5 leaped from her perch and landed in a patch of shadows. They were still obscuring her features but the man spotted her nonetheless and leveled his rifle at her.
"What? Just one of you?!" The now terrified man said in shock. Perhaps he'd recognized what that meant. There were only two espers who could have pulled off what she'd done alone after all, both of them Level 5s.
"You don't recognize me even after all that?" Naru said, the bloodthirsty smile still on her face as she stepped out of the shadows. "And you call yourself a secret agent?"
"[Maniforce]!" The agent hissed in alarm as he recoiled, shuffling back.
"Yup. Who else could it be? [Multi-Skill]? Sorry, but I mainly work inside Academy City. She used to handle things outside our walls. Geez, get your facts right." Naru said wagging her finger at the man, not even fazed as she was forced to teleport as he fired off a shot.
"You've been naughty~!" The blonde sang out, as she reappeared a few feet in front of him, still wagging her finger. "I think you need punishment."
A blue fiery aura enshrouded her as she giggled manically.
"You're going right to the block!"
The next day, Naru hummed and walked with a skip her step as she headed towards the main gate of Tokiwadai. As she approached, she quickly spotted [The Robot] waiting there, standing like a statue.
Man, all she had to do was paint herself and she'd pass for someone doing a living statue performance.
"Hi Saten-san, wait long?" Naru asked politely as she reached the taller girl.
Said girl merely nodded to acknowledge Naru's presence before turning to begin the walk to the light rail station, replying as she did so.
"Greetings, Namikaze-san. I waited precisely 11 minutes 23 seconds."
"Sorry, my team wanted to test some new theories on my pyrokinesis." The blonde said.
"There is no need for an apology." The other Level 5 replied in her usual monotone. "I merely arrived early due to an unexpectedly speedy bus ride from my testing facility."
"Oh right." Naru said with a nod. "You do your System Scan at a specialized facility off campus. I'd forgotten about that."
The brunette nodded.
"So what are we doing? Some shopping? Arcade? Mani-pedis?"
"You shall see." Saten replied with an enigmatic smile that stunned Naru. She hadn't thought the other Level 5 was still capable of something like that.
"Oh come on!" Naru whined, hoping that whatever strange mood that had gripped her classmate would continue. The other girl deserved the chance to feel some emotion sometimes. "Can't you tell me? Just a little? A smidge?"
[Multi-Skill] remained mute however, and continued to do so for the rest of the way to the train station and even on the ride over. The only sign that she hadn't completely forgotten she was even there was when the other girl directed her towards the train line they needed to take and signaled when they had reached their stop. Though if the barely there gleam of mischief in the taller girl's usually emotionless eyes were any indication, this was completely deliberate.
Thank goodness. Naru thought to herself as the duo worked their way through the tide of humanity that the after school rush hour had spawned to exit the station. So Saten-san isn't completely lost. She's not a robot, just a cyborg. There's a human under all that damage after all.
So what? Why do you even care if that's the case or not? Kurama scoffed from the depths of its seal.
After all the garbage she's been put through, she deserves some happiness. We may have crazy powers, but we all have a human side to us, Kurama.
Why the sudden sympathy? The fox asked suspiciously. You're not going soft on me are you?
Puh-lease! You saw what I did last night. Is that me going soft?
It could have been more bloody.
...What are you? My critic?
Someone's gotta be. The chakra being said while broadcasting its smirk to its host.
Any reply that Naru might have made to her quite literal inner demon was preempted by the shock of seeing what Saten proceeded to do.
"Uiharu!" The normally stoic Level 5 said happily as she rushed forward and grabbed a girl that had been loitering at the station's entrance in a fierce hug, surprising the girl who had been distractedly looking at her phone in the process.
She was just a little taller than Naru, her black tresses cropped short and strangely wore a flower crown of all things on her head. Her eyes were a pretty golden-brown framed by thick eyebrows.
"Uwa! Saten-san! Don't sneak up on me!"
"Hehe, sorry~!" Saten stuck out her tongue and bonked her head. She paused, gaining a sly look. "Hm, so what's today's color?"
"Wha?" Uiharu and Naru asked.
And then Saten flipped Uiharu's skirt up.
Uiharu had a strange look on her face at this, a mix of resigned and stunned. Meanwhile Naru's jaw dropped.
Who are you and where's [The Robot]?!
Huh, weird. The fox muttered as he too reeled at the surprising turn of events.
"I see, pink polka dots. Innocent as always, Uiharu."
"Saten-san!" The flower wearing girl squeaked with a red face, desperately holding her skirt down.
"Uh, I'm lost. What just happened?" Naru asked, as she barely managed to contain the urge to ask Saten if she'd been somehow replaced by a pod person.
"I'm checking if Uiharu remembered to wear her panties."
"Of course I'd remember something like that! I only forgot once!" The girl with the flower crown in her hair declared indignantly, glaring at her friend as she did so.
"And I am making sure it never happens again." Saten replied evenly, even as her eyes veritably glowed with mischief.
"Saten, just...just tell me what we are doing before I have a heart attack. I can only take so much today." Naru declared with wide eyes, holding a hand to her chest.
"Wha- Why ask me?"
"I set this whole thing up for you, of course you get to decide what we do." Saten explained with a smile. "Besides you did say you wanted to meet up with your Judgement partner later."
Uiharu flushed, even as she glared at Saten. "That's sweet, Saten-san. I really appreciate it."
She crossed her arms and her glare intensified though as she continued. "But did you have to embarrass me in front of an Ojou-sama? So cruel, Saten-san."
Saten just waved the protest away. "Forget about Namikaze-san. She's not much of an ojou-sama. She's more like me."
Naru noticed the girl's eyes grow wide in surprise at that, almost as if there was some hidden meaning in Saten's words that only her friend could decipher.
"My fans state otherwise." Naru snorted in rebuttal, shaking off her suspicions about whatever secret Saten had passed on. She could think on it later. She adjusted her bag in her hand and put a hand on her hip. "So let's get this over with."
"Let's." Saten affirmed, her voice dripping with mischief. "But before we do anything, shouldn't we exchange introductions?"
Naru looked at Uiharu's skirt. "I think I got introduced real well with your friend, [Multi-Skill]."
Uiharu blushed, but ignored the comment and offered the blonde Level 5 a bow. "My name is Uiharu Kazari, Level 1, a first year student at Sakugawa Middle School and member of Judgement. It's a pleasure to meet you."
Bowing her head in kind, the blonde said. "Namikaze Naru, Level 5, a first year at Tokiwadai Middle School. A pleasure as well."
The new girl inhaled sharply, stars in her eyes. "[The Rabbit]? I'd thought I'd misheard when Saten-san said your name earlier. But you're really her?"
Naru's eye twitched. That damnable name! Nonetheless, she nodded.
"You're as pretty as they say!" Uiharu gushed, her hands on her cheeks. "You look so adorably huggable!"
"What?" The blonde asked in confusion.
"Great." Saten said impatiently. "Now that we're introduced and Uiharu has had her daily dose of being starstruck, let's go. Where to Uiharu?"
"Panties in a twist?" Naru teased with a smirk.
Saten seemed to have ignored her, but Naru would keep pushing her buttons. She wanted to see how human [The Robot] could be.
Looks like this little outing just got a whole lot more interesting.
Whatever you say. The ancient demon replied disinterestedly.
Naru ignored Kurama and instead paid attention to the way Saten was behaving around her friend.
Friend. Damn. I never thought [The Robot] would ever have something like that. Naru mused as she observed the two other girls banter back and forth a little. The Level 1 berating the Level 5 for being hasty and rude. Much less one who can work such miracles with her personality just by being around.
Uiharu apparently deciding that scolding Saten was getting nowhere turned to consult the clock on her phone. "We have about an hour till we need to meet Shirai-san. Maybe we can go grab lunch first?"
"Sounds like a plan." Naru said, while Saten nodded.
With all parties agreed, the trio of girls set off for lunch.
"One of my fans?"
The girl who asked this question was dressed in a Tokiwadai uniform with white sock leggings and shorts underneath her skirt. Her chestnut brown hair was straight and brushed her shoulders as her matching eyes looked at her companion skeptically. This was Misaka Mikoto, the City's Number 5 Level 5.
"More a fan of Level 5s in general. She's a girl I know from Judgement." A shorter girl who was similarly dressed in a Tokiwadai uniform with tawny hair tied into two curly pigtails tied in place by red bows while the rest of her hair was left to hang as two rows of fringes divided in the middle. "She serves as my backup at the 177th Branch. She's really devoted to Level 5s, always asking to meet you even if it's only for a few minutes."
"Still a fan, Kuroko." Mikoto said as her friend cringed, though she tilted her head in confusion for a moment. "Though of Level 5s? Not of one specifically?"
"Now, Onee-sama, that may be rare but not unheard of, right?" Shirai Kuroko, the girl from Judgment said with a shake of her head. "Besides, isn't it better this way? I know that lately your fans have been becoming more and more annoying and you have little enough patience for meeting them. But I think you'll find that Uiharu is different and not just because she's a Level 5 fan and not yours exclusively. She's a reasonable, polite girl."
The older girl didn't look convinced, so Kuroko continued trying to persuade her.
"Besides which, she's one of the few people I actually consider my friend." Kuroko said in a heartfelt tone, which drew Mikoto's attention. She didn't think Kuroko could sound so sincere. "So, really, I'm asking you to do it for me. And since I know how busy you are, I've taken the liberty of arranging an orderly schedule for the day."
She pulled out a small black book and began to look through the pages. "I'm pretty sure you'll find it to your liking. Hey!"
The Judgement member cried out as the [Railgun] snatched the book right out of her hands.
Mikoto stared at the pages as she read their contents slowly and intently.
"Let's see what we have here. Date plan with Onee-sama using Uiharu as a ruse.
[Part 1: Foster friendship at a family restaurant.
Part 2: Lingerie shopping (purchase big sexy underwear)
Part 3: Shopping at a perfume store (purchase aphrodisiac)
Ditch Uiharu, and go to an upscale but discreet hotel with Onee-sama.]"
Mikoto snapped the book closed, making Kuroko gulp nervously.
"In other words, you're just using this reasonable, polite girl you call your friend, in order to fulfill your own perverted desires, is that right?" Misaka accused, sparks dancing across her forehead as she leveled a glare at her friend.
The shorter esper wilted into her seat. "Well, you see, not really."
"I thought you were trying to make my life less stressful!" Mikoto snarled, reaching over to pinch Kuroko's cheeks violently.
"You've got it all wrong, Onee-sama!" Kuroko pleaded with tears prickling her eyes. "I swear! It wasn't like that!"
Mikoto relented and let go, sitting back in her seat, while crossing her arms and looking to the side. "Even so, you say she's a friend of yours, Kuroko, so what choice is there."
At her words, Kuroko's eyes widened and she smiled broadly. She teleported right into the Level 5's lap, encircling her arms around her neck. "Oh, my... Onee-sama! Onee-sama, sweet Onee-sama! At last you reveal how deeply you care about my happiness! I could die! I could die right now from hearing that!"
She moved in for a kiss, but Mikoto held a hand to her forehead, keeping her back.
A cough caught their attention and they both turned to see an embarrassed waitress shifting nervously at their table. And also most of the restaurant was staring at them. "Excuse me, Miss. I'm terribly sorry but you're beginning to frighten the other customers."
Embarrassed by the scene she'd caused, Mikoto turned to hide her blush, only to catch a glimpse outside the window and two people that she really did not want to see right now.
[Maniforce] and [The Robot]?!
Mikoto could only do what came naturally to her at times like this and socked Kuroko on the head.
It might not have helped the situation, but it certainly made the Level 5 feel better.
"Honestly [Railgun]," Namikaze tittered, hiding her smile with her hand. The blue orbs that were her eyes, shimmering with mischief. "Doing that in public? How risque."
The group were standing outside the restaurant since they didn't want to cause more of a scene.
They hadn't been kicked out, Mikoto swore. Just kindly asked to leave.
Sadly, the hot tempered brunette's stress levels were going through the roof right now as she forced herself to grit her teeth and bear with the other Level 5's insinuating comments.
It's her game, Mikoto. Don't let her draw you in!
"I even took a picture to commemorate the moment." Namikaze said, fiddling with her phone. Smiling at the picture and doing who knows what else with it.
...Murder her! The brunette's rage demanded, and in that moment Mikoto was sorely tempted to do as it asked.
"Can I get a copy?" Kuroko asked excitedly.
Correction, murder them both. Now, where to hide the bodies?
"Are they always like this, Saten-san?" Uiharu, apparently Kuroko's Judgement friend, asked the remaining Level 5.
Saten nodded, and replied in a shockingly lively voice. "Most times I've observed them, yes."
Well, at least she's still overly formal in the way she talks. The oldest girl in the group noted, reassured by this sign that not everything in her world was going crazy. It was still strange though.
Namikaze caught her attention, and Mikoto glanced at her only to receive a look that said: I know it's weird, right?
Well, she was glad she wasn't the only one who thought so.
"So, introduction time." Kuroko said sounding just as confused as everyone else by Saten's uncharacteristic behavior.
"Misaka-san's right hand gal, right?" Namikaze said with a smile directed towards Kuroko.
The Teleporter just puffed her small chest up. "But of course!"
Mikoto had an annoyed look. She just knew that Usagi-chibi was insulting her somehow.
"This is Uiharu Kazari, my best friend." Saten said suddenly stepping almost defensively in front of the short haired brunette.
Wait, since when did Saten ever have friends?!
Unaware of Mikoto's thoughts, Saten continued with the introductions. "Uiharu, these are Misaka Mikoto, the [Railgun], she's your partner Shirai Kuroko's roommate."
"I'm pretty sure someone like Shirai-san should be the one boasting about that, Saten-san." Namikaze pointed out airily.
Saten actually looked irked for a flash of a second, but quickly returned to her eerily happy facade. "I am merely introducing Misaka-san to my friend."
Kuroko just looked at everyone in confusion.
Mikoto snorted. Leave it to Namikaze to push [The Robot]'s buttons somehow. She honestly wouldn't expect anything less from someone associated with [The Queen].
Banishing the thought of the fake fat boobed blonde from her mind, Mikoto bowed to Uiharu. "It's nice to meet you, Uiharu-san. I'm Misaka Mikoto."
The oddly sad looking girl nodded in greeting, looking away from Saten and letting a smile spread across her face as she bowed in return.
"It's nice to meet you, Misaka-san."
"So now that we're all introduced." Namikaze cut in, sounding impatient. "What are we going to do? Been in the dark for a while now."
"The time table has been thrown off somewhat but I've made a schedule for today that I think should work for every-" Kuroko began, only for Mikoto to cut her off.
"No, you weren't."
"Uiharu?" Saten asked, sounding unbelievably warm. "Any ideas?"
"Not really, sorry." She said apologetically before she shot her friend a hopeful glance. "Any suggestions, Saten-san?"
[Multi-Skill] tilted her head slightly and Mikoto detected a build up of electromagnetic waves around the other Level 5.
Seems she's still doing her hacking. And she's checking her friend's phone? I guess she forgot what 'Privacy' means.
The [Railgun] was idly tempted to counter-hack, but held herself back. She was trying to be friendly today. So it was best to not go picking a fight over something so minor.
"There's a crepe shop nearby offering a special discount today."
Namikaze beamed. "Now that's what I'm talking about, I'm starved."
The little glutton tended to be.
"I dunno. I'm not really in the mood for dessert." Mikoto said shooting a wary eye at Kuroko who she knew would exploit her going for dessert to score an indirect kiss by requesting they share. At the very least, and likely much more. Then again she'd likely do that whatever they did.
Sure enough, the teleporter was all for the idea. "Onee-sama~! Come on, it'll be fun."
"The shop is giving out limited edition Gekota merchandise as part of the offer." Saten chimed in, with a mischievous look in her eyes.
"The hook is out, [Railgun]~!" Namikaze sang out as she skipped ahead of them and tilted her head as she looked back. "You gonna take it?"
Mikoto felt her legs go rigid at the mention of her favorite mascot character.
"Hook? I don't know what you're talking about." The Electromaster said anyway, trying to deny the fact that she liked something that even she found childish. Childish or not, she couldn't fight her love for the cute green frog.
"I beg to differ." Saten said with an annoying smile that shone with mischief. Since when did she get so much expressive, huh?! "Do you not have a Gekota plushie, a Gekota keychain, a Gekota PVC figure, a Gekota-"
"I think she even has Gekota undies too." Namikaze giggled.
"How do you know that?!" Mikoto snapped, eyes wide.
"I didn't...you just confirmed it."
The Number 5 felt like a stooge. These two, they were totally throwing her off balance and right into their nefarious pace!
"Fine!" Mikoto said, glaring at the other girls. "Let's just head off to that crepe place and be done with it."
"Now now, Onee-sama. Don't cry." Kuroko said in a soothing tone.
0 break line 0
The group of five walked towards the crepe stand to find it swamped by a throng of tourists and other students.
As they approached Saten and Uiharu ended up leading the way, the remaining three girls hanging back. Which was fitting as the three exchanged shocked looks at each other, shooting glances at the other two girls as they did. It was obvious they were all surprised by the surprisingly warm way that Saten was behaving.
"Why are there so many people here?" Uiharu wondered aloud.
"We're taking a break for an hour! Don't wander too far away!" A nearby tour guide announced to all the tourists.
"Summer's started, we always get swamped by tourists and prospective students this time of year." Namikaze stated with a sigh.
Saten however seemed to have literally froze up for a moment.
"Saten-san?" Uiharu asked.
[Multi-Skill]'s eyes fluttered. "Ah, sorry, just...remembering something."
Her sheepish laugh didn't seem to help Uiharu's worry at all.
"If you say so." The Level 1 simply said when it became clear the Number 3 wouldn't elaborate and looked around. "I guess we came at a bad time."
"I'll go secure a bench for us." Kuroko said.
"I'll go with you too!" Uiharu volunteered and looked to Saten. "Can you wait in line for us, Saten-san? We promise to pay you back! Just get us a strawberry and chocolate each."
"No problem, Uiharu," Turning to Kuroko, her tone grew notably cooler. "Shirai-san."
"Help me too." Namikaze asked with big watery blue eyes. "I want a vanilla, strawberry, and blueberry please."
Tch, such an actor. Why wasn't she in the drama club or something? Mikoto did feel a touch annoyed as she looked towards the blonde's slim petite figure. Seriously, with how much she eats, she should be a ball!
What was it that [Maniforce] once said? Her power gave her a stupid fast metabolism or something? Mikoto still called foul on that.
"Misaka-san?" Saten turned to her, "You want me to queue for you as well?"
"Eh? Oh! Chocolate please."
Saten nodded, and walked off to join the queue.
"And don't worry about the Gekota merchandise. I'll make sure to get it for you." Saten said sounding almost teasing.
"Psh, like I care." Mikoto scoffed, her cheeks pink.
Mikoto just sent a death glare the grinning blonde's way.
She's really asking to die today!
"Eh? You're going to queue for everyone?" Uiharu asked worriedly. "You sure that's ok?"
"Agreed." Kuroko said, "That doesn't seem fair. At least let Onee-sama go with you, she wanted to so desperately come here."
"I did not!"
Saten waved the concern away, as she walked out of earshot. "It is perfectly fine with me."
The other girls looked at each other in resignation for a moment but shrugged and just retreated to a shaded area with a couple benches at a nearby park. With all of them seated, Uiharu looked at Mikoto and Namikaze with serious eyes.
"So, what's it like? Being Level 5s? It it any different than being a normal girl?"
Mikoto offered a strained smile. She wondered what the flower wearing girl was looking for. "Not really. You study, you train, and you live a regular life."
Namikaze just quirked her brow at that, smiling a bit as if she knew some big secret. She looked at Uiharu, who had shifted her attention to the small blonde, and said. "She's right, sure we have fans and stuff, but that's it. Nothing fancy."
Nothing fancy? Mikoto withheld a sardonic snort. Says the girl who goes to high class tea parties and signs fan posters and other ridiculous items.
Did you know the Level 5s have figurines made in their likeness with iconic poses? Mikoto didn't! She wasn't even told about it until one of her annoying fans told her and asked her to sign the box. And was she getting any of the marketing money? Apparently not.
Her mom and dad was though, but that wasn't the point darn it! How was she supposed to rack up high scores at the arcade with so little pocket change?
"Oh." Uiharu looked downtrodden, like her dreams were shattered or something. Clearly disappointed with that reply, she shot a sad look towards Saten.
"You weren't really a fan of Level 5s were you?" Kuroko asked knowingly, that sly smile on her face. "You were just interested in them to find out if all of them were the same as Saten-san, correct?"
Uiharu nodded, looking embarrassed at being called out on it.
Namikaze frowned. "Sorry, but we all aren't like that."
The blonde looked a touch offended by this while Mikoto understood where Uiharu was coming from. The girl's concern for a friend, one as strange and so clearly hurt in some way like Saten in fact, warmed her inside. At least someone was looking out for her kohai.
"It's just I'm very worried about Saten-san." Uiharu admitted. "She never seems like a normal girl. Not when I'm not around. I mean they even call her [The Robot] all over the internet."
Everyone at school calls her that too.
"From what I've seen, she just needs more social interaction. Not glued to one person. Maybe get her into a club or something." [Maniforce] offered in a genuinely kind tone.
Mikoto wished she could formulate some kind of suggestion too, but she was too slow as the focus on the conversation walked toward them with their ordered crepes floating behind her. As she neared, the specific flavors flew towards the people who had ordered them.
"Uiharu, you don't have to worry. I'm perfectly fine." She smiled as she sat down with her dessert, even as sent the Gekota freebie floating over to Mikoto.
The older girl blushed, but nevertheless snatched the keychain out of the air and slipped it into her pocket.
That didn't distract her from noticing Saten's smile though. One that the [Railgun] couldn't help but feel made the Number 3 look far prettier. It looked alien on her face, but felt so natural all at once.
With that, the girls started to eat their crepes. Mikoto stayed quiet, observing as Namikaze literally inhaled her crepes, while still looking like a proper Ojou-sama. All while, the blonde teased everyone, smiling like an imp and actually getting a raise or two out of Saten.
"You know, a third of the Level 5s are here in one spot." Namikaze pointed out. "I mean, besides school, we're hardly ever all in one place like this. We're like the Trinity of Tokiwadai or something here!"
Saten looked at her strangely. "You are forgetting about [Mental Out], Namikaze-san."
Naru's impish smile returned. "Well, she's not here~! Plus, Misaki-sempai prefers private gatherings in comparison to public ones like this anyways."
[Multi-Skill] looked ready to continue the pointless arguement, but Kuroko cut her off.
"Hm hm, Trinity of Tokiwadai? Now that sounds fitting. After all, we have all the Level 5s of our school here. At least the ones that matter."
Mikoto's lip quirked around her chocolate crepe. Well, that gained Kuroko a few good points for today.
Namikaze snorted at this, but everyone shared a small laugh. Even Saten managed a somewhat wooden giggle.
Though, Uiharu seemed to be distracted as she gazed at a nearby bank.
"Isn't that weird?" She asked suddenly.
"Hm?" Kuroko asked, as she tried to sneak a bite from Mikoto's crepe.
Deducting a few points for that.
"Why is it closed in the middle of the day?"
"That's because it's getting robbed." Saten stated as she ate her treat.
"Eh?!" Everyone said in surprise.
"I was curious." Saten said as if that explained everything. "So I used my Clairvoyance to see what was going on inside."
"Oi oi, Saten-san, you need to say things like that a lot sooner." Namikaze lightly chided.
"Why? Are you going to do something?"
"No way." Namikaze waved off as she looked towards Kuroko and Uiharu. "Do I look like Judgement? I don't deal with small fries...or try to avoid it at least. Too boring."
"That's a good attitude." Kuroko said even as she stood and shot Mikoto a warning look.
Hey! I'm not that bad. I know when it's none of my business. Mostly. Stop with the accusing stare already!
"Still, Saten-san if you knew something was going on, you should've said something."
[Multi-Skill] shrugged. "I'm not allowed to interfere with matters like this."
Not allowed? Mikoto's mind boggled. Who are you taking orders from?
Uiharu meanwhile had pulled out her phone and was dialing the number for Anti-Skill, the City's version of the police.
"You could at least call Anti-Skill." Kuroko shot back, exasperated.
"...But they're always late." Saten twiddled with her fingers, her face trying to pout.
Namikaze just giggled at this, like she knew something they didn't.
The argument was interrupted however when the frontage of the bank in question suddenly exploded outwards.
"Stay back Onee-sama!" Kuroko said, stopping the Level 5 in her tracks as she stood to intervene, "Maintaining the security of Academy City is Judgment's job. Please behave yourselves this time." She said calmly as she glared at the bank robbers who were just exiting the hole in the building they'd made.
"Yes, that's right," The teleporter heard Uiharu said loudly over the phone, who definitely could hear her, probably trying to scare the robbers with the knowledge that reinforcements were on the way. "In front of the bank on 7th Street in the Furiai Plaza, a robbery in progress. Requesting mobilization of Anti-Skill."
Hopefully Anti-Skill would get here swiftly. Kuroko was worried about these robbers getting ideas for the crowd. She remembered the last bank robbery she intervened in quite well after all.
The four robbers, having dashed out of the bank in a sprint, were hurrying to get away, when Kuroko blocked their path by teleporting right in front of them.
Barring their way, Kuroko pointed to her Judgment armband for emphasis and ordered. "Stop right there! I'm with Judgment. You four are under arrest for robbery and property damage!"
The robbers stopped with a gasp of fright, before relaxing as they saw that the so-called Judgment member was nothing but a teenage girl.
They exchanged an incredulous look, before breaking into raucous laughter.
"What's up with this brat? Is Judgment shorthanded or something?" One asked while laughing.
Kuroko's eyes narrowed in annoyance as the four laughed at her.
Watch out for the lean guy with spiky hair. He's a Level 3 Pyrokinesis.
Kuroko blinked, Saten-san?
They're coming at you! I'll provide intel support.
I thought you said you don't get involved in these matters?
Uiharu asked me to.
Well, that explained that.
While Kuroko engaged the bank robbers, Mikoto watched the whole scene with amusement. She was confident that her roommate could deal with things, so was mainly just enjoying the spectacle.
Namikaze seemed to agree with the sentiment. She was sitting back and munching on her crepe as she looked on. Saten however was slightly more tense and was hovering next to Uiharu protectively, but otherwise generally looked unconcerned too. No surprise there. To Level 5s like them, this wasn't much of a threat.
Their joy at the scene was shattered though when the tour guide of the group of tourists that was in the park enjoying a break at the crepe shop, ran towards them.
"Have you seen a young boy?" The young woman asked, shooting worried looks towards the confrontation between Kuroko and the bank robbers who were now laughing uproariously at her.
"What happened?" Mikoto asked.
"I can't find a boy." The tour guide said frantically, "Not long ago, he said he was going to get something he forgot on the bus. And now…" She couldn't finish, instead gesturing to the bank.
Mikoto exchanged a look with Uiharu who put her phone away and nodded. Saten looked worriedly at Uiharu but nodded as well, clearly determined to keep her friend safe by helping with the search.
"We'll help." Mikoto replied to the tour guide, before turning to the other girls. "Let's split up and search."
"Hm, nah." Namikaze said as she finished her final crepe and hopped to her feet.
"Namikaze-san, where are you going?!" Uiharu asked in surprise.
"I'm going for a walk. Gotta burn some carbs." Namikaze waved a carefree hand over her shoulder as she strolled towards the bank.
Back with Kuroko, she had set aside the telepathic conversation with Saten and returned her attention to the bank robbers she was facing up against. Leveling a glare at the smart mouthed idiot who had insinuated that she wasn't enough to stop him and his weakling friends, the teleporter shot back with her own scathing reply.
"I'm more than enough to deal with you small fries."
Enraged by this, like the idiot that he was, one of the men charged her. Sighing in exasperation at having to deal with trash like that, Kuroko easily sidestepped him. "An action like that…" She started as she grabbed his arm and kicked out his foot from under him, getting him airborne, which allowed Kuroko to flip him over with ease and disorientating him enough that she easily placed him into a restraining hold, "…is a death flag."
Seeing his friend manhandled, the pyrokinesist that Saten had identified summoned fire to his hand and sent a fireball towards Kuroko. It never reached its target though as before it was even midway there, another larger fireball intercepted it. The greater flame subsumed his weaker one before growing into a blaze that quickly engulfed him.
Kuroko turned towards the source of the second fireball and saw Namikaze strolling towards the 'fight' lazily, a bloodthirsty smirk plastered on her face.
"A blonde pigtailed loli from Tokiwadai?" The man Kuroko was restraining hissed in terror. "That's-"
"Yes, that's right. That person is definitely at the top of Academy City's population of 2.3 million people, the second strongest of the nine level 5s." She said as Namikaze walked over to her victim, put out her flames with a thought and examined her handiwork. "The [Maniforce] – Namikaze Naru-san. One of the prides of Tokiwadai Middle School. The unrivaled [Elemental Empress]!"
"Oi oi, easy with the titles, Shirai-san." Naru said with an annoyed huff as she strolled over, ignoring the two remaining robbers as they fled. Kuroko moved to act, to teleport the pins she carried in the straps on her legs into their clothing and pin them to the ground with them. Though was stopped by Namikaze,
"Let them go." The Level 5 said. "Leave them to the others. They deserve a chance to have a shot."
Kuroko frowned, but wasn't about to argue with a Level 5, not when the more powerful esper was looking at her with that twisted smile on her face. She wasn't going to try her luck with the crazy girl.
Unnerved by the blonde, Kuroko turned to see where the other robbers were going. If she wasn't going to be able to stop them, then she at least wanted to be able to tell Anti-Skill in what direction the criminals had fled.
In the distance, she could see Mikoto Onee-sama and the others were searching frantically for something. Well, Uiharu and Onee-sama were, Saten was searching in a methodical, detached way.
Ironically it was this that allowed Saten to find their target first. She was searching near the railings that bordered the park when she spotted a boy and waved at him to come with her. Unfortunately, she was not the only one who who had seen the boy as one of the fleeing robbers had done the same and reached over to grab him. Saten reacted quickly though and with a application of telekinesis, she sent the would be kidnapper flying. As he landed roughly on the road, the asphalt suddenly transformed into a semi-liquid state and bound him in ropes of black goo. Turning to see her handiwork, Saten's flower shaped hairpin caught the light and the attention of the first thief.
Gasping at the sight, the thug began rambling. "Telekinesis and some kind of viscosity manipulation? From the same person? And that terrifying flower pin! That's-"
"[Multi-Skill]." Kuroko confirmed. "Another pride of Tokiwadai. The third ranked Level 5 in the City, the terrifying [AIM Sovereign]."
"Dammit!" the last robber cursed at the top of his lungs as he raced to his car.
"Misaka-san! The last one is yours." Namikaze shouted at the sight.
"Misaka?" The thug Kuroko was still holding captive breathed in horror.
Misaka turned at the shout and sent the younger Level 5 an incredulous look.
"You wouldn't want to be the only one of us that didn't do anything useful, would you?"
Namikaze sure knows how to push Onee-sama's buttons. The Judgement agent mused, as she saw her Onee-sama get riled up at what Namikaze said. Of course appealing to her competitiveness would get her to do what she wants her to.
"I remember now!" The black haired robber gasped, his eyes wide with fear…and bodily pain from the painful hold Kuroko still held him in, "There's this horrifying Teleporter in Judgment who will tear apart your body and soul if she catches you!"
"Who might you be talking about?" Kuroko asked with a tilt of her head.
She didn't receive a reply though as both her and her prisoner's attention were caught by the last remaining free criminal climbing into the car. In a rush he started it up, and turned it around to face Mikoto, who had stepped onto the road and into his way.
"Like I'll back down like this!" The robber snarled at Mikoto.
"And there's another who rules over even that Teleporter's body and soul-The Strongest Electromaster!" He gasped in terror. "That means there are three Level 5s here today! Oh god, I knew that I should've just stayed home today."
Kuroko's eyes lit up at the prospect of being able to introduce her Onee-sama. "That's right. She is another one at the top of Academy City's population of 2.3 million people…"
Misaka fished a coin out of her pocket, as the robber pumped the gas of his car, ready to run her over. She didn't even flinch at the prospect though, instead choosing to almost casually flip the coin the into the air.
A smile spread across Kuroko's face as she looked on in anticipation of what was to come, even as she covered her ears. Next to her, Naru had taken a seat on the unconscious thug she'd burned and was looking on in amusement while doing the same. Saten meanwhile had guided the boy from earlier back to the tour group and had rejoined Uiharu. The latter looked on in expectant awe as Saten seemed to be offering some kind of commentary about what was about to happen. Both of them covering their ears as well.
"The fifth strongest of the nine Level 5s…" Kuroko continued as her eyes fixed onto the coin.
As the coin descended, everyone watched as Mikoto raised an arm, her thumb outstretched as she discharged an enormous amount of electricity.
A split second before the coin would pass her thumb, she flicked it.
In response to this seemingly innocuous action, a powerful boom roared through the area as the coin broke the sound barrier, and transformed into a bright, orange streak that shot across the space between her and the car with blue lightning forking off the beam.
The robber couldn't do anything. The beam moved too fast for him to evade and was too powerful for him to think of doing anything to defend himself. As the attack connected, he was sent hurtling into the air as the attack destroyed the engine block of his car and tilted the vehicle at least 60 degrees into the air, a process that sent him flying through the windshield. He landed in a broken heap some distance behind Misaka as she flipped her hair.
"The [Railgun] – Misaka Mikoto Onee-sama. Another pride of Tokiwadai Middle School. The unparalleled [Electric Princess]!" Kuroko finished as she uncovered her ears.
Kuroko's gaze wandered away from her Onee-sama for a moment and caught sight of first Namikaze and then Saten. A playful smile spread across her as she added, "Together, the three of them are the [Trinity of Tokiwadai]."
Hello my beautiful and gorgeous people! It's been a while since I touched the Toaru-verse, but man is it good to be back!
My lil blonde is back and better than ever in my opinion! And what's this? There's another Level 5! I'll leave that one for Nameless touch on, it's his brain baby.
Nameless: So here's the latest story from E4E and I. It's a departure from our typical Riordanverse fare, but we really need a break from that. As for something specific to this story, it's really a combination of two separate ideas we each had individually. Hope the end result is interesting and you guys like it.
IMPORTANT: This is a completely separate AU from my other story guys, so no comparisons please! It's not exactly fair or appropriate.
As you can see, Naru doesn't just control fire this time around. Nope! She's all the elements baby~! And for those curious, Naru was using the Teleport power, Move Point. It's sorta like her version of Kawarimi but far more controlled to the point where it can be used to directly kill. Naru's true power is pure chakra manipulation. But she doesn't use it as a ninja, but in a more "scientific" (in the AC sense) way. To ninjas, let's just say Naru would be a total to why her ability is called [Maniforce]? It's a combo of Manipulation of Forces, forces like nature. And there's that trivia!
Nameless: Ok, so we've gotten a fair bit of flak about creating Sue characters lately. And this may seem the case here. Keep in mind though that as Level 5s, our characters are naturally going to be quite OP. Since being Level 5s is a key part of what we want to explore, that is unavoidable. Beyond that another thing to note is that characters in the Toaruverse do tend towards Sueishness at first. Just look at how Mikoto breezes through a lot of her combat situations in the Railgun canon [the major source of inspiration here, sorry Index fans]. It's only once in a while that someone who was truly a threat to her (like Accelerator) showed up. Most of the time, her opponents aren't people she can smash with her powers but rather shady conspiracies/experiments that she has to dismantle piece by piece, agonizingly slowly. In that sense, we are simply emulating the source where main characters will be quite OP but they'll still be challenged by asymmetric opposition.
Now some of you are wondering what Saten's power is. Well, I'll not reveal everything here. But basically she controls AIM fields, allowing her to sense, disrupt and copy AIM fields of others. Hence the title [AIM Sovereign].
E4E: Did anyone else notice that Saten is kinda Uiharu's bitch? XP And Kurama is Naru's? Bitches for days people! XD Plus, I hope someone noticed the title, it's really obvious with what we are going with here as terms of OP.
Nameless: One last thing. This story is going to feature Naruto In Name Only and Saten In Name Only. I know quite a few readers will dislike that, so if you're one of them, this fic is not for you. Both E4E and I like to explore how a canon character would be like under very different circumstances, hence our fascination with this particular concept as seen in our collab work so far. This story is no exception.
Well hope you liked this reboot! Because I certainly enjoyed writing it! Mikoto is so much fun to write, ah, how I missed teasing her.
SPECIAL NOTE: We are currently looking for a beta for this fic series. If you enjoy the Toaru-verse, please send me a PM and our team will see how you are. Hope we get some takers!
Remember to review, no flames, and peace off my peeps!