Hunter x Hunter: Shalnark x Side Story

Introduction x Lust Island

The Phantom Troupe was one of the most notorious criminal gangs to walk the face of the planet.

Their primary interest was the theft of valuable objects. Anyone who had interfered with them directly ended up dead or horribly maimed. Not too long ago, the goods of the underground auction in Yorknew City were stolen by the Troupe. The goods that were actually auctioned off were found to be counterfeits after twenty four hours had passed.

The target of their next theft was a sophisticated machine that had suddenly made an appearance on the island nations of Jappon.

"The Infinite Stratos is a piece of next-generation technology that has the potential to greatly amplify one's Nen, and is surprisingly male, for the most part." Shalnark explained to the other members, bringing up the image through the Hunter's Site. The Hunter's Site had information on practically every item of interest, and even attached a difficulty tag for acquiring said items.

"Oh? A male?" Shizuku asked innocently, "In what way?"

"It's only willing to respond to a female user," Shalnark answered, "and I say 'respond' because all that's required is to touch it."

"So mind telling us what's the difference between this and a hentai simulation?" Machi asked coldly.

"A hentai simulation is a toy that doesn't expand your skills at combat. Conversely, the IS is a toy that doesn't expand your skills at sex." Shalnark explained. How the IS could even remind her of Hisoka was beyond his comprehension. "A hentai simulation isn't capable of destroying several thousands of missiles fired at it (it actually attracts more) unlike the IS, even though it's just a rumor so far. Remember Uvo? His Big Bang Impact carried the force of a missile. If we are able to get our hands on the IS…"

"You're thinking of replacing Uvo with a machine?" Nobunaga interrupted angrily. "Are you nuts? Out of your mind, Shalnark?"

"Look, Nobu," Shalnark continued, "Don't think I, or any of us, don't know about your friendship with Uvo. As tough as it might be for you to digest, it pains me to think about him as well. And the IS isn't here to replace him. But if we get our hands on this machine, and make sure nobody else gets it, we won't need to worry about Kurapika anymore. No more chain guy. No more dead Spiders. Got it?"

For every house the Phantom Troupe walked by in the city of Togyo, Jappon, there was a ninja, samurai, or sushi bar. Nobunaga felt some familiarity with the place, and would have been able to blend in easily had it not been for his comrades. Shalnark also recognized or thought he recognized a few faces; a significant number of people from Jappon took the hunter exam when he did.

"Awww, what a cute little girl!"

"Here, would you like a lollipop? Don't worry, I've got plenty!"

Those people were the innocent bystanders who mistook Kalluto for a girl. Thankfully the youngest son of the Zoldyck family was taught not to murder innocent bystanders.

The Troupe reached the building where virtual systems tycoons were busy discussing the safe distribution of the newest hentai simulation. The simulation was famous, even warranting a discussion on television, though it was typical television in Jappon. Most of the Troupe, however, knew that it was a ruse to cover up the fact that the IS was held somewhere in the building. It drove away females that could pilot and steal it. The question was the location in the building.

Shalnark concentrated Nen to his eyes and activated Gyo. The only aura present was as thin as a thread, but he traced it straight below them. It was underground.

He walked up to one of the security guards, and with a swift stab of his portable antenna to the neck, directed him to open the door to the building. The Phantom Troupe waltzed into the elevator, through the tunnels, and finally past the farthest steel door, after which Phinks took pity on the guard and generously knocked him out, much to Feitan's disappointment.

And there, sitting before them in a dimly lit room behind the thick steel door, though shining with Nen aura, was the Infinite Stratos. Shalnark made to stick his antenna into the cushion in the arm of the machine, which would then allow him to pilot it remotely back to Meteor City.

"Not yet," Kalluto said quickly. "The security seems too lax; it might be booby trapped."

Kalluto was right, though everyone else knew that already. The Troupe had expected to fight at least one Nen user along the way in a building that was used as a place for game tycoons. The machine was probably a fake or a real with a tracking device planted into it to lead interested hunters like Kurapika directly to their hideout.

This time, everyone activated Gyo and searched the machine for a tracking device. Kalluto's suspicions were partially confirmed. Though there wasn't anything resembling a tracking device, the IS was wired to a particularly unappealing Miniature Rose hidden not too far below ground. Simply pulling it up with brute force would cause the localized nuke to explode in their faces.

But it also held an unusual power source that emitted an aura of its own, with a couple of God's Letters inscribed on the surface of its case. Nen was involved here, and the IS could probably activate through Nen. Not to mention that the wire wasn't set to snap or conduct Nen when it was used.

"So who wants to start?" Shizuku asked. Everyone looked at Shalnark, who brought up the idea in the first place and was their technological specialist to begin with. However, Shalnark had no special ideas to dismantle the thing or even to hack it. The God's Letters inscription ensured that he wouldn't be able to do anything but use his Nen on it. He simply started by placing his hands on the machine and activated his Nen.

And then he disappeared.

He was alone in a different tunnel than the others. The other nine members of the Troupe were elsewhere. Instinctively, he picked up his cell phone and dialed Feitan.

The door opened and a few women walked into the room. None of them had visible Nen auras around them, so all he had to do was use touch them with Nen and be away. In fact, he thought he would greet them with the thought: Attack me and you die.

The women noticed immediately and tried to hide their fright. They had no way to force him out. He made it absolutely clear, without words or gestures, that there was no way that they would be able to without heavy weaponry. Yet Shalnark noticed a strange sort of defiant superiority in their eyes, despite their forced submission to his Nen.

In any case, finding the other Spiders came first. He turned back to face the machine. By accident, his hand bumped against it. Within seconds, his consciousness became entwined with digital data and he was equipped with a mechanical suit.

A/N: Finally, I can get this idea out of the way. I'm starting to make this into a bad habit, though, and really should finish my existing stories first. -_-;; Forgive me if the characters seem a little OOC, I will try to fix that in future editions.

Oh, and please R&R. Thanks :)

Hunter X Hunter © Togashi Yoshihiro

IS: Infinite Stratos © Yumizuru Izuru