Disclaimer: I do not own any rights to IS: Infinite Stratos or any content/references that're used. This Fanfic is made just for entertainment and not for commercial use in anyway.
Author's Note: This chapter has the event dates changed so it'll fit in better with the Canon's timeline.
9:13 AM, June 22, 2021. Ishiyama High, Odaiba, Japan.
Six days had passed since we met with Tezla in Tokyo Tower. I'm following Sideswipe, who's actually in his Thunder Crash armor, in the school hallway when we were supposed to be in class.
"Where are we going?"
"Shimoda, Shizuoka. Tezla called me before homeroom began and he wanted to meet us there."
"What about Ratchet and Scourge?"
"They're already down at the front gates waiting for us."
"How the hell are we going to get to Shimoda? Isn't it about 1-2 hours away from Tokyo, if you're driving?"
"Yeah, it is. How we're heading there, it might take a little longer. We're heading there by a chain of railways. Tezla already got us hooked up; sent me passes for the railway lines we're going to use to get there."
"Heh, that's Tezla for you."
We reached the front gates of the school. Standing by there are Ratchet and Scourge, waiting for us in their school's uniform. Duffle bags in their hands as well. Looks like Ratchet's slightly annoyed at the sudden early leave.
"So you guys got the 'memo' too, huh?"
"Yeah, we did, man."
"Tezla better have a good reason for us to drag our asses to Shimoda."
"Knowing Tezla, he should. Sideswipe, you got the passes?"
"Nah, they're in our dorm room."
"Then let's head back there and get those passes."
After this little talk, we began walking back towards our dorms.
"And while we're there, it's best if we change into our civilian attire. We'll get a lot of unwanted attention if we don't."
We soon reached the dorms and without wasting anytime, we're ready for our little trip to Shimoda.
"Looks like we're here."
"Yeah, but where the hell is the doc? He said that he'll meet us here."
Sideswipe and Ratchet were looking around as we stepped off of the train. It is now late morning, and we're in Shimoda, Shizuoka Prefecture. 1-2 hours away from Odaiba. This area is famous for its hot springs and beaches, but that's not why we're here today.
"There you are. I was beginning to think if you guys weren't going to show up."
Standing at the entrance of the train station was Tezla, dressed up in camping attire.
"Come on. There's something important that needs to be done in regards of the project."
"So that's what this is about?"
"Yeah, but I'll fill you guys in later. Get in."
Tezla lead us out to his mini-van, looks like we still got a bit of ways to go before we fully get why he called us all the way out here.
"Alright, we're going have to go on foot from here."
It's been about a half an hour since we left the train station, and we're now near the coastline on the south eastern part of the Shizuoka Prefecture. Although we're close to the coastline, we're actually going through the forest, leading inland.
All of us continued on in silence, traversing through the brush with Tezla taking point. This is not your typical forest here in Japan; to others it may seem so. But for us, it's something more. This is actually a part of the outskirts of Thunder Crash's base, which is probably why no one is talking.
"Okay, Tezla. How much further is to where we need to go?"
"Just a little bit further, Eric. You feel okay?"
"Yeah, I'm just fine…"
"You don't really have to help out if you don't want to. Last thing I want to do is to force you into this."
"It's okay, Tezla. I have my own reasons."
What exactly Tezla needs help on in regards to 'Project Silverback', I don't know. But that aside for now, it seems that we've arrived at what looks like a campsite.
"We're here. Drop your bags in that tent over there and meet me in mine when you're done."
After Tezla finished speaking, he immediately went over to a large camouflaged schemed tent as we went over to another tent that's slightly smaller on the opposite end of the campsite.
"Ha ha, nothing beats the great outdoors. Right, Ratchet?"
"Sure, if the bugs don't get to you first…"
"I'm guessing this is what happens when you get a little too use to the city life."
"Guys, for us to be in this 'particular' part of Japan, Tezla should have a good reason for it."
Upon entering the tent, there are 4 bed racks; arranged like how you typically see them in military barracks, with the cots on 2 opposite sides of the tent from each other and an aisle going through the center.
"Oh by the way, you guys hungry?"
As we're getting settled in, Tezla came in with some cooking utensils in hand.
"Hell yeah, got any grub here?"
"I got something cooked up from this morning, let me just fire up the grill to warm it all up for you guys. But after you're done eating, meet me in my tent. Then we'll talk."
It seems that Scourge wants to have an early lunch and so do Sideswipe and Ratchet, with them putting their hand over stomach once every now and then.
"Might as well eat now, you can't really talk on an empty stomach."
We exited the tent only to get the swift scent of burning charcoal, smells like we're having a small barbeque for our early lunch.
"Who wants barbeque burgers?"
After hearing that, we all just head straight to the table next to Tezla's tent, and picked up our dishes and burgers.
"Man, it's been a while since we had these kinds of burgers."
"Just make sure the cholesterol doesn't clog your arteries."
"Hey, come on Ratchet. That won't happen unless you'll burn them off."
"Just be glad that we have something to eat out here. Anyway…"
It was somewhat of a mysterious and kind of dark area.
There were multiple holographic screens up on one of the walls, with projectors on the floor below.
*Tatatatatatatatat*, sounded like how normal people normally use a keyboard to have data put in.
There's one person, other than Tabane Shinonono, who has tendencies of working like this. Being able to identify parts that can be extraneous, analyze designs and take them into another form or shape.
This is actually Daniel Tezla's tent.
"Well, that sure is surprising…"
"Whoa, how can they miss that?..."
Tezla had a keen look on his face as he stares at the holographic screen that's in front of him. It was as if he was expecting something to happen on what he's watching.
"So it looks like they're withdrawing some of their forces, that'll help out a bit."
While continuing his watch, the entrance to his tent flapped open with a group of guys walking through it, into the tent.
"Tezla, we better have that talk now."
After our lunch, we're in Tezla's tent to have that talk.
"You better have a good reason for us to drag our asses here."
"Well, after this, you'll be glad that you did."
Tezla tossed a small circular plate in the center of the tent which turns out to be a hologram projector; projecting a region of Japan from a satellite's view.
"You guys know what you are seeing here?"
We looked on at the hologram as it focuses on a certain area. It soon focused on the Shizuoka Prefecture, then Shimoda. Then it focused on what looks like the ruins of a facility near the coastline of the prefecture.
As the images focused more on the facility, Sideswipe's eyes slowly began to widen, because he and I began recognized the layout.
"Tezla, this is…"
"Yes, Eddie. It's the satellite view of Thunder Crash's base."
"What's left of it…"
"This is in real time; what you are seeing here is what's actually going on over there."
"And does this have something to do with 'Project Silverback', Tezla?"
Ratchet had cut in, looking all curious.
"Yes. Truth be told, this is one of the things I need your help. Take a closer look."
We all began to look closer at the holographic image of the base as the image itself was focusing further for a better clarity.
As the image began to focus more, human figures began to emerge.
"Seems that there are some personal there. What the hell are they doing?"
"Those guys are foot soldiers of Phantom Task, Eric."
"The same bastards that attacked us back in November. How long have they've been there?"
"They have been there since the attack."
Ratchet cuts in again.
"Exactly how does this relate to the project?"
"To make one thing clear for sure; Phantom Task attacked mainly because they were looking for the Silverback Combat Armor. And about the Silverback's location, it's in my lab."
"But your lab got destroyed during the attack, Tezla. If the armor was there, then it would've been crushed under the ruins, and they probably could've found it and salvaged the parts months ago."
"That is not my lab, Eric. That was actually the weapons and armor maintenance shop that got destroyed."
Tezla switched the holographic image to Thunder Crash's base on the ground level.
"Look, the maintenance shop is a small part of my lab. The main lab, however…"
The image then began to reveal a facility beneath the base.
"Whoa, wait a second."
Ratchet has a confused look on his face upon seeing the holographic lab.
"Even though this is underground, don't you think that they would've found it by now? They've been there since the attack, just to search for the armor, right?"
"Yes, they have been since the attack, but my lab is undetectable. The outside layer of my lab is made out of a special material that makes it undetectable by practically anyone and anything, especially an IS."
You got to be kidding me, Tezla. Even an IS can't detect it?
After Tezla finished explaining, everyone began to have a tense look on their face.
"Now, for the past few weeks, I've been here doing a little reconnaissance."
The hologram had switch to the satellite view of Thunder Crash's base.
"Apparently, they're going to pull out of the base soon. But it looks like that they're in the final stages of their search."
"What are you planning?"
"I thought of waiting for them to pull out at first. But that could take weeks, maybe months. And there's also that chance of them finding my lab beforehand. So then—"
"Wait a second."
Sideswipe had cut in, looking all concerned.
"You going to try and sneak pass them, aren't you?"
"Yes, I was planning on it. But I need your help to do so, in case if things go haywire. All in all, we need to get to my lab before they find it."
I get why Tezla wanted to get to his lab. Kind of surprising that Phantom Task hasn't found it for all this time. But who knows what Phantom Task might do if they get the Silverback.
"Doc, you said that you completed the Silverback Spark, didn't you?"
"Not just the Spark; Four Silverback Sparks, Brian. I have to get to my lab, and then 'Project Silverback' will be complete… technically."
"Okay, so you have four Sparks, but didn't you make just 1 Silverback?"
"Look Eric, I didn't say that I made only 1 Silverback, but I'll explain things later. For now, we need a plan to get to my lab."
"And when do you plan to carry this out?"
The whole tent had filled with silenced after I asked, waiting on Tezla to respond.
"Well, the sooner, the better. In this case, let's wait for a couple of day. We'll go there on the night of the 24th…"
With how important this whole project is to Tezla, I don't blame him if he wants to do this so soon. But then again, we all have our reasons to do this.
"What are we sitting around here for?"
Tezla broke the silence.
"We need to come up with a plan."
The holographic image changed from the satellite's view back to ground level. Upon doing so, all of us sat down around the image.
"Okay, Tezla. What do you have in mind?"
Tezla began to interact with the holographic image of the base, making potential routes we'll be taking in order to get to his underground lab.
11:53 PM, November 17 2020. Thunder Crash Base.
A November night sky has been lit up by the fires of the burning vehicles, buildings, and piles of debris litter the whole place. Inside the ruins of the training facilities, we're making our way through what's left of our former base, with me assisting Sideswipe as we walked.
"How are you holding up, man?"
"I'm holding up just fine, bro." He face then had a sudden change, fixated below my right eye. "Hot Shot, you want to get that checked out?"
I felt the under part of it myself to make sure he wasn't seeing things. Hey, he might've taken some damage to his brain after getting thrown like that from an IS. I felt some moister, aside from the sweat, on my finger tips as I check below my right eye and looked at it.
Blood… Must've been from that firefight back there, judging that there was a little bit of it, it's really nothing to panic over.
"Just needs a patch job. It can wait."
"Shhh. Come on, guys. JSDF are practically all over this place, we have to move quietly."
After Shockwave spoke, we continued our way in silence. Yet at the same time, we're keeping an eye out for any JSDF.
I looked at the others to see if they're okay, but from the looks of their faces; it's as though they don't want to talk at all. They're all just focused on getting out of here. As so am I…
We're now in the gun range… what's left of it. Here we followed Shockwave as he approached the far end of the range that was blown through. Apparently, there's a set of reinforced doors. These doors leads to one of multiple escape tunnels in any case we were to abandon the base. While Shockwave's checking out the damages on the doors, Ratchet was looking at the control consoles that are right next to them.
"Shit, guess things went hairy here as well. These doors are sealed shut."
"Yeah, and the others didn't waste any time on getting out of here."
Electricity was cracking from the control panels with the keypads blown out if their housing.
"They must've done that to prevent any pursuers from going after them. Eric, are you and Eddie okay?"
"Yeah, we're doing okay."
I was setting Sideswipe down to rest a bit.
"Are there any other tunnels we can get to, big bro?"
"I don't think so. This is probably our best shot at getting out of here."
Shockwave was looking around the gun range as if someone might've been following us. Scourge was doing the same thing as well.
"Okay, hold here. Hawkeye, open these doors."
A helmet shaped drone appeared, as though it was invisible, hovering right next to Shockwave before going to the circuit panels that are next control consoles. It had 4 blue florescent eyes on its small box shaped head that's protruding from the top of its helmet shaped body.
As Hawkeye got up to the panels, its shoulders popped out from its side with a small arm dropping down from each shoulder. Its right arm is a blow torch, while the left arm has a small four-pronged shaped 'hand'.
It connected its left arm into the circuit board and began to work.
"We're out of here…"
One of Shockwave's squad mates was leaning against a wall on the left side of the range to get a bit of rest. As soon as he began to check his Saber, a small ruble fell down in front of him, barely missing him.
We all turned towards the guy and he turned around towards the wall to see a small crack slowly expanding downwards.
The wall's been busted through. The sudden outburst knocked the squad mate down face first.
Coming out of the dust that was kicked up from the debris was an IS, but this one is different from the other one earlier. It had and an ominous matching color of yellow and black, and this IS apparently had nothing protruding from its back. Its pilot is a beauty that's deadly upon first glance, with long, flowing brown hair to match it.
Everyone, including the IS, noticed Shockwave's squad mate was at the IS's feet, struggling to get up.
"Aw, did the big boy get a boo-boo?"
The IS picked him up by his left ankle, hanging him upside down in front of her. He tried to reach for his Saber, but it fell out of reach. Then suddenly…
"You want a piece of me!-?"
"You want a piece!-?"
He pulled out his sidearm and fired it at her in an attempt to get the IS to let go. All of us took aim at the IS, but couldn't get a shot at her. Not with how she's holding him.
"Oh, you naughty boy!"
She then grabbed him by his right wrist that.
The sound of flesh and bone being crushed and his agonizing scream echoed in our heads. With his wrist crushed, his sidearm fell out of his hand.
"Now…" The IS pilot changes her grip from his right wrist, to his right shoulder…
"…time for your punishment!"
…and then began to pull her arms apart.
Sideswipe bellowed at the moment the IS ripped Alex's body into two.
The IS tossed the 2 half pieces of Alex's body aside, with a very annoyed look on her face.
"Sheesh, she couldn't even handle a small group of kids…"
A sharp 'claw' appeared behind the IS, giving that full appearance of your typical IS. Only this time it has spider 'legs', comprising the same ominous matching colors of yellow and black, each having a blade like tip.
"Damn it! Ratchet, help Hawkeye out. Scourge, get Sideswipe to safety and then cover him, Ratchet and Hawkeye. Hot Shot, we'll buy them some time."
Shockwave pulled out his Rocket Launcher. While my brothers and I are doing as we're told.
"You must be foolish to think you can take on an IS. Especially like that."
"We'll see about that. And don't people here in Japan introduce themselves upon first meeting?"
"Might as well. The name's Reiko. Reiko Makigami, but you can call me 'Autumn'. And don't even bother introducing yourselves; I know who you guys are…"
I primed my Saber and aimed it at Autumn.
"What is it that you're after?"
"That is none of your concern. Now… take this!"
The 8 legs deployed the tips, revealing cannons and began to aim straight at me.
I made a sudden dodge to avoid the energy blast from the cannons, but not without sliding on the floor.
I got myself up, as I aimed my Saber at her.
I fired my Saber at her, and she began to charge at me.
As I'm firing my Saber at her, she got closer and closer while deflecting each shot with her 8 legs.
*Dadadadada—kic kic kic…*
By the time I was about to reload, she was ready to thrust one of her legs.
I deployed both of my forearm mounted combat blades and deflect Autumn's leg away. Upon noticing this, she made a slight grin on her face.
"Oh, my… This is going to be fun…"
She then began to swing and thrust all 8 of her blade tipped legs at me.
I tried to back away from her to gain some distance, but she just kept on closing in.
*Shew* *Kling* *Klang*
Jumping, dodging, diving, cart wheeling; all I can do at this point is just stay on defense; avoiding and deflecting her legs away.
This'll turn to shit if this keeps up…
She swung one of her legs low and sideways.
I was swept off balanced and fell on the ground. I struggled to get back up but Autumn was already poised to strike her legs down as I tried to regain my balance.
"Time to finish it! Hya-a-a-a-ahh!"
I felt pain from the area of my left eye, blood coming out. I felt how extent of the wound was; it was from the top of my left eye brow, cutting downwards across my left eye, ending right next to my nose.
I tried to cover the wound, but blood kept on flowing out, obscuring my vision. As I tried to regain my bearings, I spotted Shockwave, Rocket Launcher in hand with smoke coming out of the tri-barrels.
Realizing where that attack came from, Autumn then turned towards Shockwave, deployed her arm tips on to cannons and aimed it at him.
But before the two engaged into combat, a sudden flash of light was emitted from Shockwave…
I opened my eyes, looking at a 'ceiling' that's made out of canvas, lightly panting to find myself that I'm back in our tent at Tezla's camp.
"You okay man?"
Sideswipe was at my side as I sat up looking concerned.
"You were tossing and turning in your sleep. You had that dream again, didn't you?"
Come on, man. Now's not the time to dwell on the past. Right now we got, we got a lab to get to.
I looked at the open entrance of the tent, noticing that its dark outside.
"What time is it?"
Sounds like I woke up just at the right time.
"Alright, it's almost time to go. Let's armor up."
I opened up my duffle bag to get my Thunder Crash Armor on. While doing so, I noticed that Ratchet and Scourge are not even in the tent with us.
"Where are Ratchet and Scourge?"
"They're helping Tezla out with the preparations."
"Are they also in their armor?"
"Yeah, they are."
I finished putting my armor on and began to make a bit of adjustments to it for a bit more comfort. The whole armor sports the colors of gunmetal grey with blue linings/accents, and light blue glowing straps along the shoulders. Damn it's been a while since I last wore this and I definitely forgot that it's a bit bulky. Despite that, I can move around fairly well in this.
Even though I have my whole gear on, there's still something that's missing; my doo rag. It was the last thing that I pulled out of my duffle bag. When it came to doo rags, it was found against military regulations. But as long as your hair cut is within the regulations, it's okay, only within Thunder Crash though.
This doo rag in my hand is black. It's a bit tattered and it had small cuts in a few places. I then put it against my forehead and covered my head, tying the ends behind my head, to make a knot so sure that it's on securely.
I looked at Sideswipe standing next to me, making final adjustments to his armor. After doing so, he's putting on a headband around his forehead. His armor sports the color of grey with black lining and accents, while his headband is also grey to match his armor.
Without saying any words, we walked out of our tent to meet up with Ratchet, Scourge and Tezla.
In the center of the campsite were Ratchet, Scourge and Tezla, all armored up and opening some boxes that are stacked next to them.
Ratchet's armor sports the color of dark blue with black lining/accents; on his forehead is a pair of blue workshop grade goggles to match his armor.
Tezla's armor is similar to Ratchet's; being dark blue but the lining/accents are gunmetal grey.
Scourge's armor contrasts from both Ratchet and Tezla's. His armor is silver with black lining/accents. Even though it's silver, it's rather dark for its color because of the combat damage it had, but its superficial damage.
"Okay guys, you ought to be familiar with these pieces of hardware."
"Oh, yeah, I haven't seen one of those in a while."
Tezla opened one of the boxes and pulled out a pistol. It's slightly larger than your average pistol, except that it had a magazine beneath the barrel of the gun, giving it a slanted rectangular shape to it.
This is the Desert Ranger, Thunder Crash's standard issued side arm in the last 20 years of its active service. The shots in this gun can impact its target instantly, making it a formidable weapon at short to mid range combat. And the shots in this sidearm here is as powerful as a .50 cal BMG round.
More boxes were opened, revealing rifles and grenades; both being Smoke and Claymore Frag grenades.
The rifles, they're Bolt Rifles and Sabers Assault Rifles
The Bolt Rifle is a Semi-Automatic assault rifle with high fire power and accuracy to match it. Which makes it ideal for mid to long range combat; firing massive bolts that can knock a person on his ass in a single shot. That's if it doesn't go through the person.
The other rifle is the Saber Assault Rifle, Thunder Crash's signature fire arm; a full automatic assault rifle with a deep clip, and impressive stopping power. Because of it being a full automatic rifle, this is best suited for short to mid range combat. But when it comes to close or short range combat, this is where the Saber becomes fearsome to most, due its chainsaw bayonet. The chainsaw itself can be frightening at a first glance because of the serrated teeth. But all in all, it can get you out of some sticky situations.
"Okay guys, you remember the routine?"
I picked up two Desert Rangers, some smoke grenades and Claymore frags, and both rifles; equipping them onto my armor. Not before testing out the Saber's Chainsaw Bayonet…
"You know it…"
While we were loading up, Ratchet was looking for something in the other boxes. But it looks like he's having a bit of a tough time.
"Doc, do you happen to have any Flak Cannons, or maybe a T-3 Rocket Launcher?
"I'm sorry, Brian. But this is all I can get. The Flak Cannons and T-3 Rocket Launchers self-destructed so they wouldn't fall into Phantom Task's hands."
Shit, that's right. Melee combat isn't really Ratchet's forte. So to compensate for it, he carried a Flak Cannon or any shotgun he can get his hands on. The Flak Cannon is basically a semi-automatic shotgun on steroids, yet it has a low recoil; for its high fire power.
"But I do have these, here..."
Tezla handed Ratchet a pair of MAC-10 SMGs. Those should cover him for a while.
Seeing everyone getting loading up is like being in Thunder Crash all over again. Except that someone is missing…
I felt a hand on my right shoulder to see that it's Tezla's. It seems that he wants to have a private chat. With Sideswipe, Ratchet and Scourge getting on with their final preparations, I figured that it would be okay; just as long as we're out of earshot.
"Eric, I know that this can be a bit 'troublesome' and coming at you all of a sudden, but…"
Tezla has this worried look on his face, like a father who deeply cares about his child.
"You sure you want to do this? I mean, you've had worse before, but going back there? After what happened 7 months ago?"
Yeah, for the first time in a long while, we'll be heading into our former home. A lot of things happened there…
"Is it because it's where Derrick died?"
Derrick's iTags are dangling in my right hand, tightly clenching them.
"I can't let that interfere with things right now. And besides…"
I placed the iTags in my back pocket.
"I have a squad to lead and we need to get to your lab before those Phantom shits find it…"
Tezla nods, showing that he acknowledged that I'm with him. He then began to walk towards his tent.
While he's doing that, it's best to check in on my bros.
"What's the status, guys?"
"We're all ready here. We're just waiting on Tezla."
"The doc sure likes to take his time, for someone who's in a real hurry and all."
"You know that some things just can't be rushed, Brian. Everyone has their own way of being in a hurry."
"You don't have to wait any longer…"
Tezla's walking out of his tent with a small case on his back, which quickly caught Ratchet's attention.
"Uh, Doc. What exactly is in that case on your back?"
"It's the Sparks, Brian. They're all in this case here."
He then pulled out his Saber and revved its chainsaw bayonet to make sure it's functioning.
"So, is there anything else that needs to be done?"
Sideswipe was checking his Desert Ranger. To answer his question, I picked up my Bolt Rifle…
"There's only one thing to do…"
"Let's get that Silverback."
"Hell yeah! Let's do this!"
Everybody's ready to get this done.
"Alpha Squad, move out!"
Author's Note: And that's Chapter 5. Now we know who's responsible for the attack on Thunder Crash, and who the guys of Alpha Squad are after.
If you have any thoughts, or feedbacks, please write them as reviews. Remember, I use them as referances for future chapters.