Hello! I'm now bringing the official first chapter of this story as A Certain World Superpower nears it's end (I bet you're all either hyped or tired from/of reading the trailer). I got the idea after seeing how much darker the alternate WW2 (that's right, TWO) story of Festung Europa: The Anglo-American/Nazi War (by Jon Kacer) was in comparison to WW3 in Index. So I decided to place Touma into this environment post war, and consider how he would react to it as time goes by. Now to read just how that happens...
A couple recommended soundtracks with more to come eventually...
"The True Rulers" from Assassin's Creed 3 as the A4 main theme
"Frontier at Arms" from Assassin's Creed 3 as the battle theme
Chapter 1: The Beginning
Touma was a hero. A hero, while always diving head first into trouble, always succeeded.
Touma was alone, facing against the archangel housed in the flying fortress Star of Bethlehem. After defeating Fiamma of the Right, he gave Fiamma a chance to atone, and placed him in the last escape pod on the fortress, while he faced his last enemy alone, with nothing but his right fist.
Touma was severely injured, bleeding by the minute, and the flying fortress accelerated as it descended towards the ocean.
For the hero, the only true conclusion is death.
Touma steers the fortress and crashes it into the Archangel Gabriel, and both fell into the ocean.
The hero does not cower to death.
Touma climbs onto the ice shelf and lied down, no longer having the strength to do anything else.
For that would belittle life.
Touma continued to bleed out as he lay on the ice, with nothing else but the Arctic Ocean in sight.
The hero knows he cannot defeat danger, but for a moment, he can free others from fear.
A helicopter from Academy City became visible to Touma in the snowy air, it's searchlight sweeping through the waters where the fortress crashed. More helicopters joined in as time passed, but none would find him.
Let those left behind find hope in his sacrifice...
As Touma closed his eyes and the snow covered his body, he began to see his life flash before his eyes. Moments with Index, Misaka, his classmates, the British Royal Family, and many others that he met and fought alongside. He cherished these moments, for they would be his last.
Let those who knew him well speak of his undying loyalty, unstoppable persistence and when the time came, his ultimate willingness to give all...
Many people watched on the news as the fortress sank to the bottom, and those who knew Touma would make sure his death wasn't in vain as they fought on to bring World War Three to a close.
Legends live on, only man comes to an end.
As the last of the sun's light faded behind the ice and water, so did Touma's life as he breathed his last.
This is how it ends. This is how the hero dies.
-Touma's Apartment, March 2013-
Touma snapped awake and immediately looked at his surroundings. It was his own room in the apartment complex, and Touma exhaled, believing that everything was just a nightmare, and he was safe and sound in his apartment in Academy City. But aside from the darkness indicating it was evening, he noticed something about the room: it looked different. It was more orderly, albeit still messy enough to prove as evidence of someone who was lazy, but there was something else. The books, furniture, appliances, they all appeared to have poorer quality than he remembered. He could remember clearly that all the belongings were high in the standards of Academy City, but now everything as it was now looked like it should have belonged in a third world country. Moreover, if Index was here, he should have been sleeping in the bath, because Index always took over the bed. Where was she?
As he began looking around, Touma noticed that the TV was on, and like everything else, also seemed to be of poor quality and older design, but at least still a flat screen. But what surprised him was the news report currently shown, specifically about China of all countries having become aggressive towards it's neighboring countries, including Japan, which provoked an alliance to form against China and it's allies. Touma remembered China being an ally in World War 3. It certainly didn't help that the next report was about increasing suspicion of the USSR, when Touma, while somewhat an idiot when it came to education, could clearly recall in history class that the USSR dissolved in 1991. And the US state of West Alaska? Where did that come from?
Touma heard someone at the door, and quickly got up when he felt a slightly painful tug on his left arm. When he looked, Touma found he was connected to an IV. He took hold of the mobile stand and started to make way to the door when it opened. At first, Touma prepared himself for anything that would barge in and try to kill him, but was relieved when he saw a familiar face. The Heaven Cancellor, or as Touma called him, the Frog-faced Doctor. Heaven Cancellor appeared to be slimmer than Touma remembered.
"Kamijou-kun. You're... awake," Cancellor said.
"Yeah, and I don't really know what's going on. What happened?" Touma said.
"Well, you were in a coma for... just over four months," Cancellor checked his watch to confirm his calculation. "You were one of the victims in a series of terrorist attacks in Japan."
"Yes. A pro-China aggressor threw a grenade at a group of people. You happened to be in that group as you were walking to school; the blast put you in a severe concussion, and you later collapsed into a coma."
"Wait, wait, wait, I don't understand. That's not what I remember doing at the time."
"I was in Russia fighting Fiamma and driving a flying fortress into an archangel. There weren't even any terrorist attacks during World War 3 where I was!"
"... so that was the problem."
"I checked your brainwaves while you were in a coma to determine your rate of recovery. Over time, I noticed that the brainwaves related to memory started changing, until your memories were that of someone else's entirely. It turns out you were living a different reality during your coma, so you don't know anything about the world."
"Okay, I think I get the idea, but what's going on, seriously?" Touma asked.
Heaven Cancellor took a deep breath in, then out.
"Kamijou-kun, what I'm about to tell you is about the reality that is very different from the one you perceived in your coma."
Touma couldn't believe what Heaven Cancellor had told him. He would learn everything in time, but for now the Heaven Cancellor told Kamijou of all the major events that have occurred in Japan. That would be enough to jog his mind as it is.
Japan was instead defeated in 1946 due to the prolonged war in Europe against Germany in World War 2, and due to the threat of Germany learning of the existence of the atomic bomb, America instead opted for firebombing the entirety of Japan until the people's morale broke. At least it was still General Douglas MacArthur who led the occupation. Because America had to devote more resources to defeating the still strong standing Germany, Japan had few devoted relief efforts, eventually becoming a third world country from the damage it had sustained. Even as it became a democracy under MacArthur, it remained in a third world status until it was finally able to earn a position in the United Nations in 2012, where it started receiving much needed economic relief efforts, and is rising out of it's third world status, with Central Tokyo in second world status and believed to enter first world by June.
But because of the poor conditions and unstable economy and government during it's third world status, Academy City never came to be, and its many great innovations were instead developed in America. There was no Kihara Family, no devoted scientists, no experiments, and no Espers, meaning everyone that had an ability in Academy City was just a normal person in this world. One wonders what happened to the Magic Side as a result. Heaven Cancellor's hospital was so crowded extra doctors were hired to go out and take care of people in their homes. As for Aleister Crowley, he instead became the leading Director in the Research and Development department at DARPA, though he's still confined in a medical tank.
Now, the nation is currently under threat from China attempting to keep Japan weakened and vulnerable through supported terrorist attacks in an effort to steal the relief resources being delivered. As such, there has been an increased military presence in Japan and school has been cancelled until further notice from the government. That pretty much sums up what's happened so far.
"I..." Touma was speechless.
"Take your time. Let your mind jog through the information."
"This is... definitely a lot to take in."
"You said the same thing when you suffered short term amnesia in a previous accident."
"The one involving a light pole?"
"Then a piece of debris, a trash can, and finally a brick wall."
"Huh, such misfortune..." The Heaven Cancellor finished disconnecting the IV and bandaging Touma's arm.
"Well, I'll leave you alone now. You should be able to leave tomorrow. Be careful out there."
As soon as the doctor left, Touma collapsed back on his bed. He stared at the ceiling, unsure of what to do. He checked his phone, which was thankfully within reach on a nearby nightstand.
"Several messages from... Shokuhou Misaki?"
A couple images of a girl with golden hair and starry eyes snapped in his mind. Upon opening a message to see what it showed, he noticed the text was written in a way that indicated an intimate relationship.
"I can barely remember anything though... I guess I'll figure it out tomorrow."
With this thought in mind, he drifted into sleep. Unnoticed, a figure peeking through a window went away to give a report.
In another place, Aleister Crowley watched from a viewpoint as America's latest project neared completion, and would soon vastly improve the Prompt Global Strike System.
-The next day-
Touma woke up drowsy, and late in the morning. Upon looking on the clock he shot up to get dressed for school, but quickly remembered from the doctor that the government cancelled school until further notice, due to the terrorist attacks. So instead, he dressed up in casual clothing, and went outdoors.
The first thing that he noticed were tanks. Heavy duty, semi autonomous, 5th generation modded Abrams tanks capable of wiping out whole armored battalions. There was a pair every 500 feet or so patrolling the streets, with four smaller, light drone tanks and several soldiers in full body armor extending to the limbs as escort. The body armor is based off the TALOS concept, developed to protect the entire body, with built in motors for a degree of enhancement and ease of movement, as well as nanotechnology for exceptional precise healing of minor injuries. It can be further modified with a powered exoskeleton for multiplied strength and additional protection. And the fighters flying above? They looked like they were taken right out of the movie Stealth. Increased military presence? They looked like they were expecting a full-on invasion.
Nevertheless, Touma considered being careful and made his way through the city, in which instead of being Academy City, was rather just another district within West Tokyo, which Touma confirmed for himself after looking at a city map. Throughout the city, many of the structures resembled a third world economy, with disorderly wires, older cars, fewer skyscrapers, and people casually crossing any part of the street and being completely ignored by police, with some people carrying a load of goods on their backs and selling said goods to drivers during a red light. But he also noticed some things were the same as back in Academy City, such as certain stores, schools, and commercial companies.
Deciding to explore, he found A Certain High School, still built in the same spot on the hills, though it's infrastructure was of an older, but still modern design. But be it as it may, the government said school was closed, so he decided wisely and didn't explore any further. He made his way back, passing by a plastic model resembling a flying wing aircraft. He eventually reached a peculiar Victorian-era building, with a notable symbol that he immediately recognized. The symbol of Tokiwadai Middle School. Of course, misfortune would have it that he bumped into someone as he wasn't looking. But was it really misfortune that he bumped into a certain golden haired girl?
"Ah sorry, I wasn't looking where I was going," Touma said while reaching out to help the girl up.
"..." The girl was silent. Touma was about to ask again he saw the girls face. She had tears in her eyes.
"... Prince?" She finally said.
By a chance of fate, Shokuhou Misaki found her prince awake and well after his four month coma, immediately hugging him for what seemed like an eternity. For some reason, Touma felt that this would be the only happy moment he would have for a long time. After settling down, the two sat down on a bench and Misaki asked about his well being, which led to her explaining their relationship with each other, having dated for around half a year.
-Somewhere in the United States-
The US was vast in power, living up to it's name as the sole superpower of the world. With 65 percent of the world's total military force, advanced technology and unilateral control of space, it was the leading nation of the alliance that formed post-World War 2.
Currently, their experimental test-bed airborne fortress Spirit Blade flew over the weapons test site in the middle of a desert.
"Deactivating meta-material cloaking device," the pilot said.
The invisible airborne fortress shimmered and revealed itself from nose to tail. It had a 500 meter wingspan, 4 massive turbojet engines at the rear end of the wings (2 on each side), and the wings had the overall resemblance of the B-2 stealth bomber, except for the outer wing which extended further like a B-1. It also had a prototype fusion reactor to power the craft as well as a secondary reactor to power the weapons. The weapons consisted of 8 triple railgun arrays (4 arranged top and bottom near the central body), 20 pulse laser batteries, a small arsenal of air-to-air and air-to-ground missiles (top and bottom respectively), several CIWS guarding critical areas and weakpoints on the prototype airborne fortress (such as engines, the cockpit and weapon bays), 80 MQ-47A interceptor drones docked on the underside of the wings, 30 cruise missile bays in two rows of 15, and 10 nuclear missile bays arranged 2x5 between the two cruise missile rows. To an extent, the electromagnetic shield could also tear any fighters apart that came to close. These were all added as the prototype tested more and more experimental weapons.
As the airborne fortress continued to fly over the desert, anti-air fire of tracers and missiles alike rose from the ground and struck the fortress, but because of the active electromagnetic shielding, bullets only bounced off the craft and missiles only caused damage comparable to a pebble being thrown at a brick wall. A small area just behind the nose of the fortress began to glow, then suddenly a beam as bright as the sun shot down towards the ground, engulfing everything in plasma and flame as the very air was ignited and became a natural incinerator. As the smoke cleared, everything beneath the fortress was reduced to vapor and molten sand, which hardened into glass.
"That is the biggest barbecue I have ever seen," the captain said as he viewed a screen, as the cockpit didn't actually have windows, but cameras embedded within several ports in the armor. Down below, a small bunker contained several people viewing from a safe distance.
"That concludes our test," a scientist said.
"This is going to make a fine addition to the development of Project Guardian," General William Richardson said. "Seriously, how does Director Crowley make all this impressive stuff?"
"I honestly have no clue myself, sir. He's a genius who just seems to know what's needed to make that little sci-fi addition a reality, along with his various PhD's in the STEM topics."
"Well, this is the last addition we can make to Project Guardian. Anything more, and CIS will start getting suspicious. I'll inform the government."
And that concludes the first chapter. Be sure to tell me what you think of the story! Also, feel free to ask questions.