BCRS goes to post the second chapter of the story and casually takes a look at when the original was posted...
****! Over a year since I posted the first chapter! o_O
Uh... I was too busy being lazy? :O
Meh, not like anyone complained anyway, but still I feel the need to apologize to the 3 or so people who have actually read this story in the year it's been up. So... sorry for the delay everyone.
Anyway, to the one person who added my story to their alert list (you know who you are, you actually are the only person to do so!), I give a warm thank you. I hope this little story can work its way out of the alert list and into your favorite stories list.
And as for everyone else, please do your best to enjoy chapter 2.
Also, I would like to give a warm and sincere (and if you like it, please do so as well) thank you to SubZeroChimera for the absolutely lovely image that has become this story's cover. Thank you SubZeroChimera, you are truly the best.
Running at top speed down the light–less side street, Yuto ventured deeper and deeper into gang–controlled territory. Driven by a crazed lust for blood and revenge and aided by his body's now apparent immunity to fatigue, along with senses pushed into overdrive, Yuto gave chase to the two rogues that got away. Running faster than anything on two legs, he used his now almost supernatural sense of smell to track down the two.
However Yuto was not doing any of this of his own accord. The extent of the changes the Vivienne doublesaber had done to his body was so ample and its effects so traumatic that his mind had literally shut down. Yuto, was no more in control of his actions than a sleepwalker out on a midnight stroll. And Yuto's midnight stroll was about to take a bloody turn for the worst.
After having ran for what seemed like hours, the two remaining rogues had finally stopped for a break when they saw some of their friends in the light of one of the street's few working lights. Confident in not only their escape but also their chances of taking on the punk who would dare take them on, now that they outnumbered him to such a ridiculous degree, the two even briefly considered going back for a rematch. Briefly, however, not because they gave up on the idea, but because no sooner had they decided what to do when out of the darkness, spinning like a shuriken, came Yuto's Vivienne. Whizzing past the two exhausted rogues, the weapon hit its mark slicing cleanly through the ribs on the left side of a third rogue's chest before continuing into the darkness behind him as the others recoiled in surprise and shock, their comrade managing only a meek cry for help as he fell.
With the blood of their "brother" now soaking the ground, one of the rogues scrambled to administer first aid while the others rushed to ready their weapons and shields before any other surprises befell them. Surprises like say… a newman kid they should normally have no trouble pummeling into pulp, and yet was somehow managing to not only survive but also give them a run for their money, out on a rip-roaring rampage of revenge.
With a mix of equal parts fear and anger, one of the rogues, a CAST, opened fire on Yuto with a pair of Mechguns, hoping one of the shots would silence the pest once and for all. But, just as his fellow rogues found out before, the Vivienne's broadside may just as well have been made for blocking, since that's how Yuto used it, and that's how well it performed.
Growing desperate as hit after hit impacted the doublesaber, the CAST watched as Yuto moved his weapon to block each shot, with speed and precision not thought possible for a "fleshie".
In one final act of despair, he threw one of his guns to one side while turning the other around, grabbing it by the barrel and hilt, and started running towards the newman fully intent on bludgeoning him to death.
Seeing this gesture of despair, Yuto grinned then lowered his weapon, sticking one end of it into the ground so it would stand on its own, and simply let the CAST do as he intended.
Running at full speed the CAST quickly closed in, took a running jump, and punched Yuto right in the left side of his face with the butt of his gun, causing blood to be forcefully ejected from the right side of Yuto's mouth.
Once, twice, thrice, the CAST kept hitting Yuto in the face, sending ever larger amounts of blood out of his mouth and onto the surrounding pavement, showing no mercy or regret for the kid in front of him.
Yet not once did Yuto flinch or stop grinning. Instead, he just stood there, taking blow after blow, until finally he decided that the CAST had had his fun. The CAST swung back his gun for another hit but, this time instead of the newman's face, the butt of his gun came to a complete halt in the palm of Yuto's hand, and barelly a second later, a gun shot rang out into the darkness of alley, followed moments later by the "thump" of the CAST's body hitting the ground.
In the blink of an eye, Yuto had caught the CAST's weapon mid–swing with his left hand and pulled its trigger with his right, completely obliterating the CAST's head with the damage amplifying Photon Art (PA), the CAST had so thoughtfully bound to his gun a few nights before.
With one disintegrating rogue eviscerated in a pool of blood and a second lying headless in the alley dirt, the remaining rogues all looked to each other frozen in indecision as to what they should do next.
Some switched to their most powerful ranged weapons, others readied high level techs, while a remaining few decided to get while the getting's good and ran like rats on a sinking ship.
Finally deciding that they might just as well open fire and hope for strength in numbers, the four remaining rogues did just that and opened up full auto on Yuto, who just barely had enough time to again raise his Vivienne in self–defense.
With his Vivienne in place, Yuto was easily able to fend off the barrage of gunfire he came under. And while the gunfire was blocked easily enough, Yuto was, for the first time since the fight began, given a reminder of one simple fact about blocking with your weapon and not a shield that everyone and their grandmother knew like the backs of their hands. Unlike a shield, which protects its user in a 180–degree arc, a weapon can only defend its wielder from attack if it is placed directly between the attacker and the attacked. A weapon facing forward cannot defend its user from attack from above, something Yuto was instantly reminded of the second he was reduced to a spasming mess on the cold alley dirt by a high level Razonde.
Fallen, twitching on the ground, the sight of the seizing newman took the rogues so completely by surprise that for a few seconds they had completely forgotten the fear that had up until then taken such a complete hold of them.
He was not immortal. He was not invincible. He was just a kid. A kid that could be hit. A kid that could be hurt. A kid that could be killed.
With morale bolstered by the sight of the fallen newman, many of them would up until then have been more than willing to call a monster, the rogues had now just found an effective way to take on the newman brat.
Staggering to his feet again, Yuto loosely grabbed his Vivienne as he got up, eyeing the four rogues, trying to ready himself for their next move.
Invincible he was not, and coupled to the shock he had just received, his prior injuries were now starting to take their toll on his fighting form. With his legs still somewhat unsure from the lightning bolt, his right hand sprained from having blocked the CAST's gun, and the left side of his face still a bloody mess from being repeatedly hit earlier, Yuto did his best to ready himself for his foes' next attack.
And then it hit him. The mother of all headaches hit in the worst possible time, forcing Yuto to once more drop his Vivienne to the ground and grab his head with both hands in a desperate attempt to ease his suffering.
Looking on from afar the rogues weren't about to let their guard down again, so instead, they chose to open fire with everything they had. Technics fell from above while ranged attacks came from all sides, leaving a still defenseless Yuto with nothing for it but to get hit. Again, and again, and again.
And when everything was said and done, when the rogues lowered their now depleted weapons and when the Vivienne's regenerative abilities had drained from the strain of keeping Yuto alive through a barrage that should have killed him many times over, Yuto's eyes flung open.
He, had just gained a new ability.
Before the rogues had any time to deploy weapon recharging Photon Charges, Yuto reached with his right arm in the direction of his Vivienne, causing it to immediately respond by telekinetically hovering to neck level before shooting off towards the rogues as they hastily readied shields to try and block the incoming projectile.
But as powerful as their S rank shields were, the rogues soon discovered that they might as well have been made out of papier-mâché when, unfazed by photon or line shields alike, the Vivienne began tearing through their flesh and gear with all the ease of a razor blade through paper.
With all his concentration drawn to controlling the Vivienne however, Yuto was now no longer able to keep track of the environment around him. Something that was about to come back and bite him, since this now meant that the original two rogues that started everything had just been given free rein to do as they pleased. And while the human rogue wanted nothing more than to get out of Dodge, the beast still wanted a little payback for the earlier death of their newman "brother".
Too focused on his weapon to defend himself, Yuto gave the rogue just the chance he needed.
Wasting little time, the rogue grabbed Yuto by his outstretched right arm, tackling him onto the ground in the process, and in one swift motion twisted it behind the newman's back with such force and at such a wierd angle that, with one sickening crack from its joint and one deafening scream from its owner, his elbow came clean out of its socket.
Revenge now somewhat satiated, the beast rejoined his brother in a healthy bout of 100 meter dash and 5 kilometer marathon hoping to, this time, lose the kid for good.
If a few minutes, they had cleared the block and Yuto was nowhere to be seen because, as it would turn out, the beast's little stunt paid off for the two more than they could have ever hoped for.
Clutching his now badly injured arm, Yuto tried to lift his doublesaber off the ground... and let out another deafening shout as his mangled right arm violently protested from the attempt. Still though, Yuto had managed to lift his weapon with his left hand and immediately proceeded to plant it into the mound of corpses that had once been a gang of rogues.
With its primary job done, the Vivienne immediately began performing its secondary function of healing Yuto by disintegrating both flesh and bone alike, finally offering Yuto some much needed relief. Some, of course, being the operative word here since, in what must have been the picture definition of dumb luck, the beast's surprise attack had just nudged Yuto's injuries over the threshold of what the Vivienne could heal with the material on hand.
That one final injury required more "material" to heal than what the Vivienne had to work with and as a result, the doublesaber was forced to prioritize the healing of all otherwise fatal injuries in detriment to anything else. And last anyone checked, one dislocated shoulder was not generally considered to be anything resembling a fatal injury...
Walking down the city's main boulevard without a care in the world, a blonde haired human girl, wearing a reddish pink jacket, light black miniskirt and knee high boots the same color as her jacket, fiddled with her new pair of white wing styled headphones as she tried to bring them in a comfortable position over her ears. Oblivious to the world around her, she continued to adjust her headphones with her left hand while browsing her music player's playlist with her right, failing to notice until it was too late that the bus she was hoping to catch, was just pulling out of the station a few short meters away.
"Hey, wait!" She shouted after the bus as she started running after it, only to quickly give up as it entered traffic. "Aaannd… the next bus is at…midnight." She said with a sigh, throwing a glance and the nearby information panel, pondering whether to stay and wait or hoof it half way across the city through some of Rozenom's less glamorous districts.
Not one to take the higher effort option when it came to doing stuff however, the girl quickly concluded that an hour standing in a bus stop was a whole lot easier on the legs than an hour walking. And so, she settled in for what she thought would be a short wait… before realizing that she REALLY wasn't the patient type that could stand around doing nothing for any length of time.
"Four minutes…five minutes… oh look, seven minutes… seven and a half minutes?"
Safe to say that by this point, after checking how much time had passed on an almost minute by minute basis, she was bored out of her mind, so bored in fact that she was by now ready to reconsider her earlier decision to stay put.
Rather absentmindedly, she started walking back in the direction of the mall she had just purchased her headphones from… and was promptly body–slammed onto the ground by a man running as fast as his legs would carry him.
Before she could even register what had happened however, a burly beast dressed in a similar all black attire, running just behind the man, grabbed him by the belt on his pants and in a flash, lifted the man back on his feet, before the two darted off into oncoming traffic, causing several near misses.
"MORON!" She shouted at the retreating figures as she picked herself off the ground and, while dusting herself off, noticed that the man had dropped something on the ground.
"Finders keepers." She said to herself in a low voice as she picked up the device, an older model Nanotranser. And even better, because the user imprint security function was optional on this particular device model, and not mandatory like on Yuto's newer model Nanotranser, it and its contents were now for all intents and purposes, legally hers.
Richer by however much was probably in the Nanotranser, the girl finished dusting herself off, now intent on just getting this day over with even if it meant walking home at half past midnight. She turned around heading for home… and caught herself just in time to avoid walking into one dead calm, red eyed, blood soaked newman kid, otherwise known as Yut Jun Yunkers.
Fate, it would seem, has its ways of bringing the right things to the right people, and the right people to the right places at the right times.
Standing motionless just centimeters away from the girl, with eyes still as blood red as ever, a serious (almost frowning) look on his face, blood soaked clothes and Vivienne doublesaber held loosely in his left hand, Yuto examined the girl from head to toe.
"What happened to you?" She asked him, first startled by the unexpected encounter, then distraught over the sight of so much blood. "Where are you injured? Are you bleeding?"
Her concern however wasn't fazing Yuto in the least bit. His reply… a death glare that unnerved the girl into taking a few steps backwards.
Matching her steps however, Yuto remained just a hair's breath away, and as the girl was about to turn around and run, his right hand darted from his side and into the streetlight next to her, causing her to wince thinking he was about to hit her.
"Run!" His cold, menacing gaze told her as his feet started giving and his balance became unsure. "Run..."
Not one to need a verbal notice to go along with the unspoken warning, the girl turned around and ran as fast as she could, with no destination in mind, other than "as far away as possible".
Now alone, Yuto gritted his teeth to stop himself from crying out in pain. Increasing his grip on the lamp post as much as he could, Yuto mentally prepared himself for the world of hurt he was about to inflict upon himself. Taking one deep breath, he readied himself… and with a quick thrash of his body, he snapped his right shoulder back into its socket as the pain of his action shot out through his entire system.
With his dislocated shoulder now back in its socket, Yuto tightened his grip on the pink doublesaber, which began pulsating with the now familiar red lines. By absorbing all the remaining blood on Yuto's clothes and body, the Vivienne had brought him back to perfect health, all with the added benefit of removing any and all evidence of his earlier rampage.
Fully healed, Yuto's mad grin returned as he dashed after his next target, the blonde haired human girl he had so thoughtfully given a head start.
Running as fast as her legs would carry her, the girl scowered her surroundings, frantically searching for a safe place to stop and catch her breath. Something which, it turned out, midnight Rozenom was notoriously lacking in.
And with everything either closed for the night or closed for good, the girl found herself with no other choice but to keep on running, further and further into unknown territory as the sound of running footsteps closing in on her echoed through the otherwise dead calm night.
But, as had happened so many times throughout the day, either due to dumb luck or some divine providence looking over her that night, the girl found the solution she was looking for in the form of a rusty, partly lit sign which read "Subway Station 12"
Thanking her lucky stars, the girl wasted no time in following the sign's suggested route for safety and, sure enough, she found the subway station buzzing with activity, no doubt people about to enter the graveyard shift.
Finding herself in the first of the station's main halls, the girl made a beeline for the first subway worker she saw, collapsing to her knees from exhaustion as she stopped to ask for help.
She didn't even get to start her sentence however, for no sooner had she opened her mouth to speak when Yuto's telekinetically controlled Vivienne tore through the man's abdomen, cleaving him clean in half before circling around the girl as it returned to its owner.
Horrified, the girl tried and failed to get back on her feet, instead tripping and landing on her rear, facing the grinning newman kid that had by now recovered his weapon. With escape now no longer an option, the girl instinctively crossed her arms in front of herself in self–defense fully realizing that, short of some miraculous save, she was dead.
Slowly walking towards her, Yuto just as slowly, raised his Vivienne over his head, poised to strike down the girl whose only fault was being in the wrong place at the wrong time. The one who got struck down however, ultimately proved to be himself since, in an almost picture perfect reenactment of Yuto's own battle with the newman rogue, his slow, dramatic demeanor left the girl with ample time to rummage through the contents of the Nanotranser she obtained barely half an hour before, in search for a weapon to save herself with.
In what had to have been one of the most ironic role reversals ever, the girl had unexpectedly struck him down just as he was pausing for dramatic effect, exactly how he had struck the rogue as he stopped to gloat. And even better, she used a weapon taken from the Nanotranser that once belonged to the newman rogue whose demeanor Yuto was now so faithfully replicating.
Sitting on the ground, the girl clung to the wand that saved her, a long golden rod with a spiked circle on one end, the highest–ranking force weapon she could handle. As Yuto slowly and ominously swung his Vivienne, she seized the opportunity to summon the wand quickly followed by the deployment of a mid level Razonde.
Staggered by the technique, Yuto backed off a few steps to recover from the surprise, only to be struck again... and again... and again... until finally he managed to lift his Vivienne over his head in defense from the technic onslaught he was now under. Lifting the Vivienne into position, he tried to deflect the incoming barrage back at the girl, and in doing so, was given a second crash course in defense 101, weapons as shields.
By their very nature, shields were built to negate or reduce the damage that could be inflicted upon the user, but shields could also deflect incoming shots back at the attacker if the block could be timed just right.
Weapons such as the Vivienne on the other hand, while capable of negating damage just as fine as any shield, because of their uneven surfaces, could never hope to deflect shots in the same manner as one. And while deflecting was very much a physical possibility, since the direction of deflection could never be properly predicted, Weapons Safety regulations forbade the practice under penalty of heavy jail time. And Yuto found out first hand just why that was so, when the Razonde he had attempted to return, instead ended up short circuiting a nearby power relay.
A power relay he was uncomfortably close to. A power relay carrying several hundred volts and many dozen amps and was the subway's main emergency lighting power conduit. A power relay that instantly went boom causing massive bolts of electricity to fly towards the nearest grounded object, down the path of ionized air the deflected Razonde had just carved out...
Safe to say the girl would not be getting the smell of singed hair that suddenly filled the air out of her clothes, or the sight of freshly fried newman out of her mind, anytime soon.
And as for Yuto, his only saving grace turned out to be the power relay's fuses blowing before he was burnt to a crisp.
Breathing heavily, the girl let the wand fall out of her hands, now that her pursuer was out like a light and she was no longer in any immediate danger… or so she thought.
"Owww..." Yuto finally muttered to himself several minutes later, unaware of the girl's presence, as his regained consciousness allowed him to realize that: a) he was flat on his back probably on some unknown street somewhere, and b) only things not screaming in pain right now were probably his clothes, though he suspected even those would if they could.
Apparently, a full minute on mains power did wonders for his condition since no longer was he the animalistic killing machine bent on blood the Vivienne had made him. Now fully aware of himself, Yuto no longer lusted for blood, vengeance or anything. He was back to his old, couldn't care less about the world, teenage self.
Taking a moment to try and piece together just what had happened to him, Yuto stood there, staring into the lights above, motionless save for a tuff of his hair, gently fluttering in the draft of each subway train speeding down the tracks.
Nothing. His mind drew a complete blank... Nothing since he went to sleep the previous night came to him. A whole... however long it had been, he wasn't sure, was lost to him... probably the result of the mother of all parties. Again, he wasn't sure.
Finally deciding that whatever had happened he would figure out later, Yuto started stirring in a rather lazy attempt to get on his feet.
The seeming shriek of a banshee however, took him by surprise and sent his hurting head spinning before he finally realized just what that ghastly wail was.
"Stay down!" The girl shouted as Yuto raised a hand to his head in a futile attempt at pain management. "Stay down or…"
"Shut up lady, you're giving me a headache!" Yuto sarcastically snapped back as he tried to steady himself with his left hand… and instead ended up sliding his Vivienne a short distance across the floor, cutting his hand against one of its unbelievably sharp edges in the process. And, all the while, the girl was still shouting at him to either stay down or not come any closer.
"%#¥*" He spat out as he instantly sat upright, cradling his now injured arm. "Get lost! Whatever happened, I'm in no mood for you!" He then snapped at the girl, the tone and volume of his voice instantly shutting her up… for all of five seconds.
"So you can kill me, like you did that worker, the moment my back is turned?" She replied to Yuto, while strengthening the hold on her wand… "No… THANKS!" She shouted, raising her wand in the air, summoning another Razonde to come crashing down on top of him.
Although nowhere near as skilled in street fights as most of his "friends", Yuto was himself by no means a slouch. And in the blink of an eye, before the girl could even finish casting her tech, Yuto executed an emergency dodge towards her while calling up the first blade on his action palette, a black edged blood red saber listed as Demonic Laevateinn.
Before she even realized something had gone down, the girl found herself staring into the blood red eyes of one seriously vexed newman kid now holding a very large blade to her very frail neck. Speechless, the girl let her wand fall out of her hand in shock, as the razor sharp edge of Yuto's saber grazed the front of her neck, all the while her terrified gaze remained locked with his, waiting for something to go down…
"Are… you… NUTS!" Yuto shouted at her, scaring her out of her mind. "Hoooly #$%!" he cursed, kicking her wand out of her reach as he did so. "That could have killed me!" he said, nervousness starting to seep through his, up until now, emotionless demeanor. "That WOULD have killed me!" he now said, pulling his saber away slightly while loosening his grip on its hilt… "Holy #$%!"
Safe to say that by this point Yuto was mad. Not mad enough to hurt anyone, but still mad enough to give them an earful of curse words both existing and made up on the spot. Something he was very much ready to do when, he noticed just what it was he was holding in his right hand.
Removing it from the girl's neck, he curiously examined the weird looking saber he was holding, turning it over on both sides while trying to remember just where the heck it was that he got it from... That only managed to reawaken his somewhat dying down headache.
"Gah, is this yours?" He finally asked the girl, while holding his head with his left hand.
"Huh?" She replied, taken by surprise, while looking down at the saber then back at Yuto, trying to determine if he was really serious, messing with her mind, or just flat out crazy.
"Do you at least have any idea where I got this from?" He said, still holding his head, the throbbing pain making it hard for him to form a coherent thought.
Still unsure of what to say, the puzzled girl shook her head from side to side to say no, her mind starting to settle on the idea that this might just be some sanatorium escaped fruit cake.
"Look, whatever happened before, I'm sorry, ok?" Yuto finally told her while getting back on his feet, putting the weapon back in his Nanotranser to be dealt with later.
"I'm going to turn around now, and I'm going to start walking in the other direction. I've got a major hangover, I'm tired, I think I pulled a muscle in my arm..." He then started telling her, while trying to do a full rotation, from the shoulder, with his right arm. "...I've got the mother of all headaches... and I... am... STARVED!" He then said to the tune of several growls coming from his stomach. "I just wanna' get home, get fed, and get to sleep, so DON'T TRY ANYTHING! Got it?" He finished his speech as the girl just gave him a confused nod for yes.
"Good. I'm glad we're on the same page here." He then said as he started backing away from her.
"I'll just take this with me, just to be sure." He said, kneeling to lift the girl's rod off the floor. "I'll leave this on the ground a few meters away, and you can come pick it up after I go. Just so there won't be any surprises." He then said, turning around to leave... then promptly blacking out.
Well look at that, Yuto blacked out again. :O Is he gonna go through half the story unconscious? Probably, but you'll never know unless you stick around to find out. So stick around and find out!
Also, again, this chapter is not as action packed as I would have liked it to be, but it couldn't be helped. However I do promise (in before it turns out I lied again) that the next chapter will involve action since it will introduce our third and final protagonist* as well as our main antagonist*.
So to everyone reading this, thank you and see you next year! :O
*P.S. In what has got to be the textbook example of absentmindedness, I deliberately did not give names for the third protagonist and main baddie of the story out of desire to keep people interested in the story. Took an embarrassingly long amount of time for me to realize those two characters are up front and center in the story's cover, so... yea... ^_^'