Disclaimer : I do not own Bokurano in any way or form.
It was the kind of thing that couldn't be expected. They had been going out on a hike--just like always--in their camp group, Glorious Blaze. There were eleven of them, not including the camp guide, but the older man hadn't been able to keep up with the agile motions of eleven kids, in their mid-teens at best. They had managed to lose him about halfway up the trail, and nobody was quite ready to stop and look for him yet. A boy with dusty brown hair stood at the highest point he could find and took in a deep breath of air, savoring the way that it felt against his flesh and in his lungs. A shout knocked the boy back to reality though.
"Alex, come on! You'll be left behind!" a girl with hair darker than ebony shouted while waving her arms. She was of a healthy complexion and was smaller than the normal girl her age, but that was easily explainable in the way that she excitedly tried to grab one Alexander Jones's attention. He couldn't help but smile at the girl who had become his close friend and he jumped off the rock and hurried to run to her, a ridiculous grin plastered on his face as he approached her. She laughed and slapped him on the back whole heartedly. "Come on, you can find time to enjoy the air when we get to the top."
"Haha, yea, sure Jun," the boy replied while suddenly running ahead. Jun gave a gasp and chased after him, shouting something about him cheating, but Alexander only laughed and sped up. Another shout from his friend, but he didn't catch what the girl had said. Only when he ran into a much larger frame did he realize what Jun had been shouting. "Ow! Damn it Galia, if you're going to stop, warn me!"
"I stopped for a long time, you ass!" Galia shot back with annoyance. The two shared a moment of mutual hatred for a moment before a taller—albeit undoubtedly smaller—dark-haired boy interfered with the fight that was impending, grabbing each by a shoulder as some sort of a restraint.
"C'mon, we don't want you guys falling off the damn mountain, now do we?" the boy questioned with a single eyebrow raised above its usual position. He gave a wolfish grin which made both the potential combatants stop their fussing in an instant. It was a lot like pouring nitroglycerin on the two—which was exactly what a certain girl was thinking. She gave a soft chuckle and shook her head, which attracted the attention of all three boys and the two girls that were standing to either side of her. "What's so funny Effie?"
"No, no, it was nothing dearest Ashton," the girl replied with a giggle and a bit of bite on the word she used to describe the other boy. He flinched, realizing then that women were scary as hell. The topic was dropped like a hot skillet in the hands of a newborn. Neither one party nor the other moved to make an attack, but the two girls on either side of Effie began to talk excitedly to each other in low voices, and Effie couldn't help but eavesdrop on what they were saying.
"So you think Veronique likes him like that?" a girl with bright eyes and dark skin questioned in a hushed voice. She giggled a little and shot her glance back to yet another girl in the group. "I can't even imagine how that would work out, I mean, they don't have the same personality or anything."
"I bet it could, they'd just have to try to work things out," the other responded with a sense of calm that seemed to spread over Effie and into the other girl. The calm one gave a soft laugh that sounded a little too breathy to be healthy before turning her attention to the boy they were gossiping about. She didn't like him, but they were in for the efforts of camp together. Speaking of camp, the girl suddenly slowed her pace and came to a stop. Effie and the other girl she had been walking with both turned back to look at the calm one in confusion. "Go on ahead without me, I'm going to wait for Satoshi!"
"Fine, but don't get lost on the way, Ayano!" Effie waved back with a little bit less compassion than she should have. Effie looked to the girl beside her and gave a small laugh. "Those two sure are close for such a big age difference, eh, Serenata?"
"Yeah, I kind of noticed that too," Serenata replied. Her bright eyes shimmered in the fading sunlight as she stole a glance back at her friend. "But I guess five years isn't that much of a difference. But I guess they'll never get a chance to be in the same school or anything."
"Well they'll be together for a while yet," Effie admitted while kicking a pebble. As she walked, she suddenly felt a presence beside her. Her eyes shifted over and she saw, with no great surprise, a bronze-haired boy, muscular and bespectacled, walking beside her. He was an intelligent person, but he needed someone to follow all the time. He was studying to be a doctor, if Effie remembered from the day that they had all met. "What's up, Degenhard?"
"Nossing, yust sinkhing about mein home," he replied with broken English. The accent was far less pronounced than it had been in the beginning of his visit to camp, but for the average person, it was still relatively difficult to understand. Effie found the accent to be very appealing for reasons unknown. "Zhis ist zhe longist I have been avay."
"Homesick, huh?" Serenata questioned. The German boy looked over at her and she responded with understanding eyes. He gave a little bit of a smile in response. Serenata grinned and put her hands behind her had with a sigh. "Don't worry about it too much. I guess we're all a little homesick. It's been two months since we got here."
"Yakhob ist doing very vell," Degenhard replied with a bit of a sheepish expression. Jacob, as he was known, was one of the younger members of the camp, and he had displayed little to no signs of homesickness since his arrival. He acted as though it was a relief to get away from his home, and seemed to be more concentrated on having fun as opposed to moping around about his family life. Degenhard couldn't help but give a half hearted statement. "Zhis life overseas ist very diffikhult for me."
"It's the last day, don't give up now," Serenata encouraged. He gave a sheepish smile and thanked her in his broken English and moved on ahead to catch up with the other boys. Serenata gave a grin, her bright teeth giving a small contrast with her tanned flesh and dark hair. She was a pretty person, and she seemed to have an absolute understanding about people as a whole. Her eyes went to another girl who was pale in complexion and always dressed in pure colors and modest clothing. "Now if only Godeleine would open up like that…"
Godeleine was another child who didn't speak English as her native language, and judging from the fact that she had not spoken at all since her arrival, there was a spreading belief that she could speak no English at all. She seemed to struggle with understanding it as well, and it wasn't unsurprising when Satoshi had to translate things for her into her native tongue. However, even to Satoshi, Godeleine would just nod along, never uttering a single sound. Once, when Effie had been tossing in her sleep, the girl saw Godeleine praying with a rosary clutched in her hands. Effie never said a word of it, but she felt that Godeleine knew that she had seen.
The camp group had managed to reach the summit just before the sunset, and as Satoshi and Serenata made their way towards the rest of the group, they managed to catch the glory of the sunset. The twelve looked at each other and for some reason a peel of laughter grew between them all, growing until they were all laughing at a almost hysteric level—bar Godeleine, of course—and though nobody had said a word, everyone understood why they were all laughing. It was a bittersweet moment, really. It would probably be the last sunset they would all watch together.
"I…had gut time viz you all," Degenhard claimed with his broken English. Jacob jumped onto the older boy's back and laughed whole-heartedly, though his expression was on the brink of tears. Nobody said a word, but they all understood. Jacob and Degenhard had become about as close as brothers, and being that neither one nor the other had any siblings, it was to be expected that at least one of them would be devastated at the idea of separation for what would probably be eternity. Degenhard smiled and pat the blonde gently on the head. "Zere, zere Yakhob. I vill come backh to visit."
"But I don't want you to leave, Degenhard!" the boy sniffled. Galia pat the smaller boy on the back with a wide grin crossing his face.
"I don't see you crying for me," he teased. Jacob pouted and turned his head away from the Russian boy. His green eyes were looking towards some other area.
"Because you were a jerk!" he replied with all honesty. Galia gave a look of mock hurt while everyone else laughed. Ashton draped his arm over Galia's shoulders, still fending off the last reams of laughter that were trying to escape from his mouth.
"You just got told by a kid!" the dark-haired boy said with a snort of laughter. Galia gave his friend a playful punch to the shoulder, to which Ashton responded with a melodramatic response. Jacob couldn't help but laugh too. Ayano gave a soft laugh and Serenata giggled right along with her while Effie rolled her eyes and shrugged her shoulders in exasperation. Veronique kept her distance, but watched Ashton with a dazed expression which went unnoticed by the others. Satoshi smiled and stayed next to his sister protectively throughout the entire situation, but all of this went uncared for by Jun Wei and Alexander Jones. Both were off in the corner, talking softly to each other in what appeared to be a deep conversation, but the topic was relatively unimportant as a whole.
Satoshi was the first to hear the sound of a bell tinkling as a girl, no older than seventeen, came climbing into view, a staff in her hand. She had hair the color of wood that came down her shoulders in cascading curls. She was a beautiful person, without a doubt, even with her gypsy-like clothing and her mysterious appearance. Satoshi, being a good person at heart, called out to her before the children in his charge took any notice of the stranger.
"Excuse me, are you lost?" he questioned. The girl tilted her head and gave a soft smile while shaking her head and walking towards the group. It felt like she had a purpose for being there, and the sound of the bell jingling in rhythm to her movement soon attracted the attention of all the others. She stopped before Satoshi and gave a pretty little smile, not showing her teeth, but still pretty. It was the kind that made one stop and think the world as a brighter place. "Miss?"
"Would you all like to have your fortunes told?" she questioned. Most of the girls seemed to perk up at the offer while the boys chose to roll their eyes. Satoshi looked as though he was going to respond with something, but was stopped by a single raised hand of the gypsy. "No, I won't ask for any money. Knowledge of the future is payment enough for me," the gypsy claimed while still giving that soft smile. Satoshi looked at the others, and at the prospect of free, the boys seemed to be more or less entertained. To be honest, Satoshi had no idea how the girl had known what he was thinking, but let things be. No need to trouble himself with complaining children on the way back down to the campsite.
"Alright then, guess we could do with some knowledge on the future," Satoshi said with a shrug. And here the gypsy provided a mysterious plate from the folds of her clothing. Everyone looked at it in awe, and Satoshi once again was the only one logical enough to ask a question. "Is this a necessary part?"
"Yes, it's best that I know your names and have you touch this board for the most accurate readings," the gypsy replied without any rush. Satoshi looked over at the rest of the group and gave a little shrug. The gypsy spoke once again, her dark eyes scanning over everyone in the group. "I can do a group reading, if you are more comfortable with that."
"Ooh, let's do that! Maybe we can see if we'll all meet together again!" Serenata exclaimed excitedly. Veronique looked at the girl with a raised eyebrow, but said nothing. The others were quick to agree to the suggestion, and one by one they lined up to touch the plate. The first to go was obviously Serenata.
"Serenata Morales," she said while touching the plate. The others followed suit.
"Guess it can't be avoided," Satoshi said with a slight laugh. Someone had to take care of everyone while they were getting their fortunes told. "Satoshi Nagateru."
"What about her? She doesn't want her fortune told?" the gypsy nodded her glance over towards Godeleine. Satoshi gave a sheepish laugh and scratched the back of his head.
"Oh, she doesn't speak English, lemme ask her…" the boy proceeded to direct his attention to the smaller girl. In almost perfect French, he posed a question. "Est-ce que tu veux voir la fakir? Elle peux predire ton avenire."
Godeleine looked up at Satoshi with her light gray eyes and tilted her head in question. He motioned towards the plate that the gypsy was holding and proceeded to explain that if she wanted her fortune told, she would have to touch the plate. Godeleine nodded almost enthusiastically and moved towards the plate. She extended her fingers, and just before making contact with the plate, she froze, a feeling of dread creeping over her body. She felt as if the moment that she touched the plate, something horrible would happen.
"Oh stop being a wuss," Galia said while pressing her hand onto the plate. Godeleine's eyes widened in surprise and she looked at Galia with a look of almost fear on her face. Veronique was the first to react to the boy's impatient reaction to the smaller girl's moment of hesitation.
"Geeze! Don't make her do something if she doesn't want to!" Veronique snapped. Galia was just as fast to respond.
"She was gonna do it anyways!"
"The contract is sealed," the gypsy said mystically. Everyone looked at her suddenly with looks of confusion on their faces. She looked at the group with her dark eyes shimmering mystically in the fading light. "You will all be reunited only twice more before your deaths, but you will all be granted power to defend the ones you love to become heroes."
Without another word the gypsy turned and left. Alexander was the first to run off to try and chase her down, but just as mysteriously as the girl had arrived, she disappeared too. Nobody could explain what had happened, but they couldn't deny the reality of it either. It certainly couldn't have been a dream that they had all coincidentally shared, after all.
"Oh! We're late for dinner!" Satoshi exclaimed, breaking the tension with the sudden realization. On the way down, everyone forgot the encounter with the mysterious gypsy and her message. They ate and were glad to be sharing their last meal together. Most of the boys fooled around and tried to get the upper hand with the others whereas the girls gossiped and talked amongst each other about the next thing they were going to do with their lives. After the final communion together, the group returned to their campsite and after sharing a few ghost stories, shared a final touching moment around a campfire before crawling into their respective cabins to take a rest.
That night, they awoke to the feeling of the earth quaking hard beneath their feet, and being more curious than sensible at that moment, everyone ran out to see what could possibly be causing such a commotion where earthquakes were said to be mild. That was when they encountered it.
"Okay, what the fuck is that?!" Galia questioned with his brutal words as always. Jacob clung to Degenhard as they stared in horror at the oncoming monster. It was blacker than the night sky and at least 500 meters tall. There was but one light shining from where its eye most definitely should have been. Before anyone could move, there was a voice from behind them.
"Sorry, no time for question and answer session here, we'll do this from the cockpit."
And just like that, the twelve underwent a sensation akin to thousands of needles pricking their skins just enough to cause an irritation, but not enough to cause any pain. When the sensation was gone, they were in a room with fifteen chairs of all kinds floating around. Nobody tried to make sense of it, more focused on the gypsy that was sitting in the center chair—or rather, cushion. Her eyes were gazing out upon the forested area before the massive creature.
"Alright, you twerps can start asking questions now," the voice returned, and all eyes were suddenly glued onto the source. A strange looking creature that resembled a toy—the kind that opened and closed its mouth and resembled a mouse with a body too small for its head. It looked as though someone had designed it to be cute, but ultimately couldn't resist the allure of adding pointed teeth.
"What are you?" the Alexander questioned carefully. The creature didn't seem to take offense.
"Just a guide. You can call me Scarab," it replied. The voice was obviously female, now that the group was paying attention. Effie was the next person to bring up a question.
"We're inside the giant robot, aren't we?" the redhead questioned.
"Yep, you sure are."
"Are we supposed to take on that?!" Veronique pointed out the window, and sure enough, there was another robot falling from the sky. The opposition was a blue-armored creature that somewhat resembled a starfish.
"You aren't going to do it, she is," Scarab replied while turning towards the gypsy on the cushion. "Gotta learn how to take these guys on from her."
"Who ist she?" Degenhard questioned. The gypsy was the one to answer that question oddly enough.
"My name doesn't matter. You can call me XV," she replied without even looking back at the asker. Silence pervaded the air as somebody tried to think of another question to follow the answer to that one. It was Satoshi that eventually screwed his head on tight enough to ask a reasonable question that he was certain everyone wanted an answer to.
"Is this going to be dangerous?" Satoshi asked, knowing that he couldn't put his camp group into danger. They were still children, after all. There was an awkward pause, and suddenly Scarab moved beside the gypsy.
"Question time's over. They're going to attack," Scarab said. Before anyone had a chance to say anything, there was a violent rumbling as a spike smashed into the black-armored creature and exploded. There were screams and the boys instinctively tried to protect the girls as they cringed and flinched. XV sighed and steadied the robot. Everyone shakily got back up.
"Just what the hell is this supposed to be?! Some sort of bad prank?!" Galia questioned angrily.
"Just shut up and watch. After this fight, you guys will be the ones doing all the fighting," XV said with a cold voice. She was still dressed in her gypsy clothes, but her eyes had a tired-yet-piercing look to them. They were no longer bright, like they had been on the summit of the mountain. "After this, my run is over, so I'll leave it to you guys to protect this place."
And then the attack began in earnest.
A/N: Yo, been a while, hasn't it? After reading Bokurano, I decided that I wanted to do a fanfiction of it with another cast of characters, so I thought, hey, why not? I decided not to go with the eleven at the end of manga because they were pretty much all the same ethnicity, and I really wanted to be a little more diverse, so…yeah. Furthermore, I need help with typing the German accent, so if you have any pointers, please tell me!