Chapter two is here. Took longer than I thought, but I'm used to that anymore. Thanks to all the readers and reviewers and I hope you continue to enjoy it.
By the way, to those of you who guessed Ultimate! Hentai Kamen as the crossover, congrats, you got it in one! And for those of you who have never heard of or just haven't read the series before, you can find the entire thing over on onemangadotcom. Reading the entire thing isn't a must, but there will be a couple spoilers for it here in this fic, and it will give you a better idea of what's in store for the Hina gang in the upcoming chapters.
Now, enough of my ramblings, onto the chapter! Please enjoy.
The next few hours passed by in relative silence. The tension was high, and generally everyone was avoiding each other, trying to occupy themselves with things that relaxed them: drinking, cooking, studying, bathing, etc. Once in a while, someone would walk past Su's room, press their ear to the doorway and try to imagine what she might be doing in there.
All the while, Motoko had yet to return, therefore depriving the others of any reasonable explanation, though most of them were already of the opinion that their assumptions were correct as it was.
And so, it was to a shocking amount of relief to everyone when a loud 'EUREKA!' was heard from the jungle of Su's bedroom.
From the thick patch of trees several yards away from the long front stairway, a group of shady characters were plotting dastardly deeds of evil intent.
"Is this really a place that we wanna hit, bro?" one of them asked.
"Don't you worry about it, this'll be the perfect way to restart our old life of crime," another responded.
A third looked quizzical. "Yeah, but bro, this place doesn't look like much. I mean sure, it's big, but isn't it just some old inn that the owner was thinking of closing down some years ago anyway?"
The second man, who apparently was the ringleader, chuckled darkly. "Yeah, that was the case a few years ago. But I recently found out that not long after we were sent to prison that the owner remodeled it into an all-girl's dormitory. Not only that, but the old bag is always taking vacations all over the world. I figure if she can afford things like that, then she's bound to have some extra loot stashed away in there somewhere." His evil, cracked laugh returned. "And even if she doesn't, we'll all at least be able to have a little fun while we're there."
Two more sets of laughter quickly joined the first, then a fourth joined along a few seconds later, apparently having taken a bit longer to catch on than the others. The laughter died down immediately when the ringleader spotted people ascending the base of the overly long stairway.
"Someone's coming! Hide!" he commanded as he and two of his goons dove down into the brush. The fourth looked around in confusion, then held his hands up over his eyes and pretended to be invisible. Somehow, he managed to remain unnoticed by a tall, elegant-looking woman with flowing black hair and a slightly shorter, casually dressed man with short, spiky hair, as they walked right past them and continued to the top of the stairs before disappearing from sight.
The three men popped back up, wiping at their brows in relief. "That was a close one. We'd better hold off a few more hours before making our move. Make sure they aren't leading us into a trap or something."
"Hey bro? Did either of those two look kinda familiar to you?" one of them asked warily.
"I couldn't tell; your butt was in my face."
"Speaking of familiar people, bro," the other speaker whispered. "I know it's, like, less than a one in a million chance that we actually would, and I'm sure I'm just being paranoid after what happened last time and everything, but what happens if we end up running into...well, you know?"
The ringleader snorted. "Don't even worry about something like that. There's no way in Hell we'll actually meet up with him again out here, but on the off chance that we do, we still have our secret weapon!"
The two nodded while the third, who had only just now removed his hands from his eyes, turned to them. "What secret weapon?"
The ringleader stared at him. "You. You're the secret weapon, remember?"
"...Oh. ...Aww, why you tell me? Now it no secret anymore!"
"......Just shut up and wait for your signal."
"Gather around everyone, and be prepared to not believe your eyes!" Su announced a few minutes after exiting her room. Heeding the call, everyone else quickly returned to the living room, eager to see what sort of invention the young mech prodigy had come up with this time. Standing next to her in the middle of the room was an object, about four feet tall, covered by a large blue tarp.
"So what have you got this time, Su?" Kitsune was the first to ask.
"A new Mecha Tama-chan?" Shinobu ventured a guess.
"Close, but no banana, Shinomu," Su told her before quickly donning a white lab coat, a mortarboard and a small pair of spectacles that rested on the edge of her nose. "What I have here will easily put my last Tama-chan model to shame! Behold!" And with an elaborate flourish, she whipped the tarp away.
And everyone stared.
"Ah..." Shinobu uttered, struggling for words.
"It's...um..." Naru added, having the same problem.
"Well...I really can't believe my eyes," Keitaro admitted.
"Shut up, dork."
What they saw was Sarah, noticeable only by the barest visibility of her face as the rest of her body was covered by a golden metallic armor. Like a lot of Su's more dangerous inventions, it was easily seen to be replicated after Tama-chan, with the large shell covering the body and distinctive turtle-head helmet with its removable face visor. And while one arm ended in a flipper, the other ended in a device that was probably a flamethrower, rocket launcher, or something equally lethal. The three eyes of Molmol symbol sat proudly on the thing's forehead and chest plate.
"I give you the latest, greatest form of high-performance hot-springs battle apparel!" Su shouted grandiosely. "Mecha-Tama Combat Armor!"
Everyone continued to stare.
"I look like a Ninja Turtle, don't I?" Sarah finally asked, looking rather disheartened.
"Well...not really," Keitaro answered, slowly circling around her to take the whole thing in. "I mean, if the Ninja Turtles had ever been bosses in a Mega Man game, then maybe..."
"Well that certainly makes it better," she snapped.
Kitsune turned back to Su. "Are you actually expecting all of us to wear these things?"
"You bet!" the younger girl replied, oblivious to the reluctance she was receiving. She moved around behind Sarah, gesturing to the arm that ended in a gun barrel. "Notice the futuristic weaponry, able to switch functions at the press of a button, includes a freeze ray, heat ray, particle ray, X-ray, gamma ray, and a light ray, which some might refer to as a flash light." She pointed to a hinged hatch at the top of the shell. "And of course the rocket launchers if explosions are more your fancy." She bent down, pointing out a small opening at the base of the shell where two cylindrical pieces of metal poked out. "Note also the twin rocket-powered engines, allowing for flight up to speeds of mach one and one quarter." She began pounding her fist against various parts of the suit, causing the others to cringe at the reverberating metallic clangs. "And of course, the armor itself, forged from a combination of Kevlar, mythril, and adamantium with pure diamond-filament threads painstakingly woven throughout and binding the whole thing together perfectly. Not only are these babies nigh indestructible by even the most persistent of deviant perverts, but the release switch is on the inside of the suit, so only the wearer can safely remove it! And, last but not least..." She punched a small orange button on the stomach area of the suit, causing the chest plate to slide open and a flat screen to pop out, positioning itself a foot out in front of the wearer's face. A Window's logo floated across the screen. "It's high-speed Internet accessible," the Molmol girl finished.
"Don't be afraid to show your amazement," she prompted anxiously.
"How did you find mythril and adamantium?" Naru questioned.
"Not the amazement I was hoping for," Su admitted. "but I special mail-ordered it from home. We mine all kinds of precious metals there."
Keitaro scratched his head. "Well, those metals aren't so much 'precious' as they are...'fictional', you know?"
"Details, details," Su responded with a dismissive wave of her hand. "Now then, how about a real demonstration?" She turned to Sarah, who was still in the exact same position she'd been in since the unveiling. "All right, my lovely assistant, would you please show everyone the power of my genius!"
Sarah did nothing.
The ticking of the clock was all there was to break the silence.
"Well?" Su demanded, growing a bit impatient.
"I can't move," Sarah stated flatly.
Even more silence.
"Erm," Shinobu started tentatively. "How heavy did you make these suits, Su?"
Su crossed her arms, rapping her fingers against her elbow. "Given the various materials that it's made up of combined with its wide arrangement of hidden components, I'd put it in the area of about eighty or ninety kilograms."
"And just how are you expecting us to move around when we have ninety kilograms of metal strapped to our bodies?" Kitsune demanded.
"Actually," Su responded, holding a finger up. "Only Sarah's is ninety kilos, since she's the smallest. The suits will be much heavier for you taller folk."
Sensing an impending outburst, she lifted her hand further, until it was stretched high above her head. "Fortunately, Su always has a Plan B!" With an unnecessary amount of flair, she produced a small remote control from behind her back and gave the red dial a twist. "Observe, with but the mere flip of a switch, the suits can alternate from manual power to voice-command! Just speak into the built-in mouth piece and let the suit do all the hard work for you!" She turned back to her assistant. "Give it a command, Shorty."
Su shrugged. "Something simple, like 'Move forward'."
Sarah glanced down, spotting the tip of the mouth piece just barely sticking out from the bottom of the helmet. She deliberated in silence for a few moments longer before hesitantly speaking, "Move forward."
//MOVE FORWARD\\ the suit acknowledged as the jet engines burst to life.
Sarah's scream of terror and surprise abruptly ended half a second after it started as the combat suit embedded itself into the far-end wall, causing everyone else to flinch and the house itself to rock. Slowly, as the wall began to spider-web out with cracks, Sarah fell backward with a second resounding crash.
Everyone turned back to Su, who was busy trying to not look embarrassed.
"Okay, so the suits are still a little bit sensitive to certain vocal pitches. Just a minor setback." To avoid the incredulous looks still being directed at her, she turned back to the prone Sarah. "How you feeling, Shorty?"
"Like I can't be your friend anymore," was the disgruntled reply.
"But what about physically?"
"Peachy, didn't feel a thing."
Su turned back to the rest of the group, flashing a V for Victory sign. "And there you have it. Completely impenetrable, just like I said. Wha' cha think?"
"I think I might actually feel more comfortable taking my chances with the mystery pervert," Kitsune stated as she headed for the stairs. She was already beginning to lose her buzz and just knew that she was going to need it back before the day was done.
"These, um...suits really don't seem that practical, Su," Shinobu commented weakly.
"Sometimes you have to sacrifice petty things like practicality and common sense in order to achieve brilliance, Shinomu," Su informed her.
"I can't get up, guys," Sarah called out.
"Well, for now at least," Naru spoke up after a quick shared look with Keitaro. "We'll keep them in reserve."
Keitaro nodded. Despite being a guy and not in any real danger from any perverted guy (or so he really, really hoped), he knew that if worse came to worse he'd still end up having to climb into one of the things. Right now he was just counting his blessings that Su had used Sarah for her guinea pig this time instead of him. "There's really no sense in resorting to them unless we're really sure we'll need too, after all. I mean, this could still be just a big misunderstanding."
Su shrugged, shucking off her professor's outfit at the same time. "Well, hopefully he gives us a reason to use them. I'd hate to have all that hard work go to waste," she said, causing the others to sweatdrop.
"Don't all rush over to help me at once," Sarah shouted a bit louder.
"In the meantime," Naru went on, oblivious as the others were to Sarah's plight. "Would you happen to have something we could use that was a bit more...subtle?"
"What's subtle?" Su asked. "Some kind of food?"
Naru pinched the bridge of her nose. "Yeah, I figured as much."
"She means, do you have anything that's smaller or less noticeable," Shinobu explained to her tanned friend.
Su held a finger to the side of her mouth, inclining her head back in thought. "Well, I have plenty of older things lying around, but I really hate falling back on inferior models.... I suppose I could whip up something new real quick, although I don't know if I'll have the time to finish before they-"
The doorbell rang.
Keitaro looked over his shoulder toward the front door for a few seconds, shuddering at the impending meeting. "I... guess someone should answer the door, then."
Hearing no responses, he turned back to see that Naru, Shinobu and Su had all vanished.
"I...guess I'll do it, then," he said to himself. It was probably for the best this way anyway; he wouldn't feel comfortable having one of the girls do it, especially if the guy really was as bad as they all thought he was. Still, he surely couldn't be THAT bad, right? Just because Motoko completely freaked out when she heard he was coming and stole nearly every last bra and panty in the building. There had to be a perfectly reasonable explanation for it. Surely.
So why was he approaching the door as though it were the gallows?
"Oh sure, don't worry about me!" Sarah called out once again from her spot on the floor. "I'll just lie here and check my e-mails or something. And if the guy turns out to be a raging pedophile I'll just hide in my shell or some-"
//HIDE IN SHELL\\
Two seconds later, she found herself stuffed inside the metal shell of the suit, her body twisted in such a way that it probably wouldn't have been too uncomfortable if only she'd had the good fortune of being born a master contortionist.
"...damn you, Su."
Next part will be out when it's written. Hopefully sooner than this one took.
Til then, have a lovely day.