Just to make this clear, I do NOT own Infinite Stratos or any of its characters. But I'd love to have my very own IS. Not like I could even pilot one, though. Just sayin'... This is my first ever (published) fan fic, so go easy on me. Anyways...

Prologue: Just Another Day - Part 1 [START]

0831 hours, Jul. 26, 20XX
Somewhere in Middle East Asia
Operation 'Idolino Liberandum'

It was hot.


"Huh? What was that?"I thought to myself.

The heat in this desert, in this God forsaken country, was killing us.


There it goes again. Wait… Sky?

Damn it.

"Captain Ayasaki! This isn't the best time to have one of your famous daydreams!" shouted my commanding officer.

Commander Alex snapped me back into reality.

Those terrorists shooting at us weren't helping, either.

We were almost surrounded. Outgunned. Outnumbered. Out of our minds on what seems to be a suicide mission.

"Get on the minigun and shoot that thing down!" he said, still shouting at me, all the while standing up and shooting at some poor bastard that was out of cover with his M16A4. Though with all the gunfire, I can't blame you for it. Even so, Major… Don't shout, I'm right beside you. No, really. We're both on the same side of a Humvee that we're now using for cover.

I nodded while replying with a "Yessir!"

As I stood up, about to get to the Humvee's mounted gun, something came to mind. And I stopped for a while.

I then made it into the Humvee, and got into the gunner's "seat." I unleashed hell on the SOBs not in cover and easily shredded 2 Technicals. All in 6 seconds' time. The 7th second, I was shot right between the eyes. I was instantly killed. I should've focused my fire where my killer is… was. With suppressing fire and the man behind it gone, the remainder of my team and the Major would soon follow.


Whoa, good thing that never happened. I really have to work hard on differentiating the present from those visions of the near future.

"Sky, why the hell aren't you-" He stopped. The Major must've seen the look on my face. "You saw something… didn't you?"

I nodded.

We both went silent. The sounds of gunfire still persisted. While we both… stopped. I was still wondering though, why the hell aren't we dead yet with that thingon their side.

As I was about to say "It was an honor to serve with you!" to the Commander, I saw something else.

Three of my men die from the explosion of a Humvee. I get closer to them, with the Major covering me, and got their dog tags. The first dog tag had the name of Cpl. Rodriguez, callsign "Chemo." The second one had Sgt. Hughes' name, callsign "Viper." The third and last one had the name "Fate" on it. No... When I checked to see it, the name... 1Lt. Aria La Croix.

"God…" I won't let that happen!

"Aria! Chemo! Viper! Get away from that Humvee!" I yelled at the top of my lungs.

At first, the three didn't move. But as soon as Chemo got the picture, he started running towards our direction. Viper looked over at Aria and motioned his head towards us and made a run for it. While Aria just stood there, her face flushed a crimson red.

What the-? Aria, this isn't the time to be embarrassed about something. "Run for it!" I screamed once again. "That is a goddamn order, Lieutenant!"

She shook her head, her face returning to her usual expression and made a break for it. By the time she had just started running, Viper made it to us. That's when something I already saw in my vision caught my eye. A laser came from above, and struck the Humvee that the three used as cover moments ago. I tried to find the thingthat fired it. I saw it circling above us, like a vulture. Oh, how I'd love to shoot you down. I returned my gaze back to the Earth... Where I found a tragic sight. A body. Not just anyone's body... Aria's. Lying face-down on the desert sand. The sand beneath her head stained with her blood. The explosion must have knocked her forward.

I grew uneasy, was she still alive? No, I can't think that way. There's only one way to find out. "Chemo, Viper! Cover me!" with that I dashed towards Aria, not even waiting for the two to confirm their orders. "ARIA!"

I was surprised, as the distance between her and I closed, I saw that she was trying to sit herself up. When I got to her I helped her lie face up instead. If she could move and try to get up, she might as well lie down. I could've sworn that she was holding back the pain, since she was biting her bottom lip.

"I... can still fight, sir..." Aria said in a slurred voice, while trying to stand up.

"In the current condition you're in? Don't make me worry more than you need to, Aria. Just stay still for a while." I replied in a way that… made her blush? Why do you keep getting like that over nothing? When this is all over, I'm sending you to the infirmary. You may or may not have contracted some sort of sickness here.

She stopped and lied back down again. I had to help her lay down, lest the injuries she may have worsen. "Alright..." she said in a soft voice.

"Viper!" I shouted towards him.

"Sir?" he quickly replied, taking cover.

"In the Humvee, there should be a brown bag behind the driver's seat. Get the canteen in it."

"Understood." he quickly replied, once again. It didn't take long for him to find it.

"Throw it!" I said. He did as he was told.

I barely caught it. I opened it and poured some over her head wound. That should take care of the sand that was left there.

What? We don't have any other form of antiseptic. Close enough...

I took out an emergency first-aid kit from the left pocket of my uniform. I took out a dressing, a sterile non-adherent pad, and applied it directly to the gash on her forehead. Then I secured the dressing with an elastic roller bandage. "… and let me see what's wrong with you."

"What do you mean 'see what's wrong with me'?" Aria replied, her voice still slurry. "You already fixed up my head."

"It is how it is..." was what I said. I think she was about to say something, until I took off her kevlar vest, desert camouflage uniform, and only raised up the t-shirt beneath it.

No, I did not have any perverted intentions at all... Well, not at that moment, at least.

"S-sir... W-what're you d-d-doing?" she said, not only slurring, now she was even stuttering. Her hands were trying to lower down the bottom hem of her t-shirt, but I stopped her.

"How am I supposed to know if you've got broken ribs with all that bulky equipment on you?" I said.

"The t-shirt isn't bulky... sir." she replied, minus the stuttering and plus the attitude.

... True.

Continuing... I found that she indeed had some broken ribs, just peachy. As I was about to clothe her again, I noticed that she crossed her arms and it was blocking her -how do I say this in a modest way?- chest. I noticed a white cloth strip bandaged across her. A chest binding?

"Just where do you think you're looking at?" she said. She glared at me like she was going to kill me. If it weren't for the situation we were in, I would've made any excuse just to get far away from her as possible.

Wait, her eyes!

"Aria, look at me." I said while cupping her chin, "Look into my eyes."

"But... I'm always looking at you..." she - Wha-?

"Huh? What did you just say?" I asked. Maybe the heat is getting to me?

"N-nothing," she replied while blushing again. Seriously, I just bandaged that gash on your head. Don't go blushing like that. Blood will rush to your head. That won't help you. "I just said 'I'm looking at you'... Now what?"

I stared into her eyes.

Those majestic blue eyes of hers… Enough.

Her pupils... They were unequal in size. Her now slurred speech pattern. That could mean a lot of things… According to my limited knowledge in the medical field... she has a concussion. We need to get her back to base immediately. I'm not sure how mild or severe it may be, but it's better to treat this as a worst-case scenario, just to be safe. But, while we were-

Just then, that thing started shooting its lasers at us again. But, none of them hit anyone of us. It's as if it was just randomly shooting. I could even see itshoot and utterly destroy a single Technical and whoever was in it and vaporize many of its allies.

Friendly fire? That thingsure ain't friendly.

How the hell did it get to this?

Earlier today…

0630, Jul. 26, 20XX
A military base somewhere in Middle East Asia

HQ lost contact with our CO ever since his heli was shot down by an unknown air unit. The pilot couldn't even say whatwas about to kill them all, before explosions could be heard followed by that oh so annoying static noise.

We all dreaded that our Commander Alex had also died. But our worry was for naught, because minutes afterwards; a distress beacon was found. It was a voice transmission: "This is Major Alexander Miller of the US Special Forces. My transport was shot down not too long ago; I think I'm the only one who made it out in one piece. I need immediate evac! They'll swarm all over me in no time. *Engines revving, then silence* Oh shi- I've been compromised."

-=In the briefing room=-

"Oh well, that's theWraith for you." I said in a carefree manner. Even though I'm standing right in front of my men, "Just when you think he's dead. Hahaha! I gotta hand it to him, how many times has he cheated Death already?"

"But sir," Fate, my second-in-command, said. "We should still-"

"I know." I hastily replied, "We now have a CSAR* on our hands."

"Find the Commander and get him back on our turf. Are we clear?"

"HOOAH!" was the collective response of the soldiers stationed here.

"I want my Shadow Squadron prepped for recon. Of course, I'll be going with. If Shadow manages to find the Major before the others, I'll call it in. Hammer is to provide extraction. Sword is to attack any hostiles and buy time for Hammer to get in and come out with us. Shield is to defend this base; they may, or may not, attack this base while the majority is out. I highly doubt it, but I'm not risking it."

"We're Oscar Mike** in five, people."


After those five minutes, we left.

Shadow Squadron is my personal unit. The members were handpicked by yours truly, is well-balanced. A 'jack-of-all-trades, master of none' team together, but individually; we all have our specialties.

My second-in-command, First Lieutenant Aria "Fate" La Croix, for example, is our sniper. Her weapon of choice is the Barrett M82A1. She'd rather end the lives of those caught in her scope, not with a whimper, but a bang. Which contrasts a certain poem of T.S. Elliot's.
Our resident medic is Corporal James "Chemo" Rodriguez. Before joining the military he was halfway through his dream of becoming a doctor, like his father… But for a reason that he has kept secret until now, he dropped out of school and joined to serve his fellow countrymen. Even though he never finished, his skills have been an invaluable asset to the wounded. The allied wounded. His weapon is the standard MP5.
Our 'psychopath' of the team, is none other than Sergeant Chris "Viper" Hughes. His attitude is… questionable. But when you get to know him better and fight alongside him, you'll see that his intentions are for the better of the team. He plays dirty, using under-handed, but legal, methods of dealing with the enemy. I don't want to even start on describing it. He likes to blow things up; especially when he can stick a pack of C4 onto a dead body, wait for its allies to see if the guy is still alive, and then detonate it when they're nearest to the explosive's inner blast radius. Poor bastards.
We have "Zero," our 'hijacker.' He utilizes any mode of land transport there is in the battlefield, albeit reckless at maneuvering when enemies are nearby. Most of his kills are from making them roadkill, instead of striking them with hot lead.
Then there's "Snow," she's a full-blooded Japanese, but was born in a country within US territory; making her eligible to join the Army. She's silent and a rather emotionless type. She almost never socializes with the team, besides Fate and, on those rare occasions, myself. But that doesn't affect her chemistry with the team. In fact, in the field, she's the most proactive one. She randomly inserts herself into my plans. But, instead of messing it up for us, she improves it. That's why I pay no mind to her involuntary insertions into any of my plans, since I always get results.
There are 6 others in my team, but it can wait for a later time.

We were riding in Humvees. There were three in total. One is mounted with a M134 Minigun, that's the Humvee in front, the one I was riding in. The second one mounted with a TOW Missile Launcher. The third one's equipped with Raytheon surface-to-air missiles. As to how we got a mobile SAM site, I'll never know.

ETA to the distress beacon was about 12 minutes.

12 minutes later… He was not there.

Multiple searches throughout the desert, we came across some ruins. There, we successfully found the Commander, still very much alive. Of course, we took care of his pursuers.

Our irresponsible leader maintained radio silence a week prior, until now.

He filled us in that he had infiltrated a terrorist cell… as a prisoner. CIA had received intel that this particular cell had experimented with improvised SCUD Launchers and an unknown contingent. So, the Agency sent in someone who could bring them results, and fast. I don't need to tell you who do I? After days of torture-interrogation, he had found the moment to stage a prison break. With the data he was looking for, acquired; he had to find a way out. After blowing up their only means of communications back to the stone age, he stole a ride out. He was to wait for extraction at a pre-designated location at 0550 hours. He was indeed extracted via Chinook filled with combat personnel, if the LZ*** was hot. They were soon compromised and shot down.

After telling us the story of his [recent] life, I wanted to inquire about this so called intel that he had risked his life for. But before he could even start to speak, we encountered that thing... an Infinite Stratos.

Prologue: Just Another Day - Part 1 [END]

* Combat Search And Rescue
** Oscar Mike is another term for 'going/en route'
*** Landing Zone (I wanted to us the term "L Zed," but I forgot they aren't all British.

Please Read, wait if you're reading this part already, that means you already have... So, if you've got time, you might as well Review... right?