Disclaimer: I do not know anything by IS: Infinite Stratos and/or any fore-mentioned materials that belong to Third-Parties. They belong to their respected owners. However, original characters all belong to me, Grayjedi-Productions...

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0050 Hours Japan Time– June 8, 2022 - SeaSide School Beach – Chifuyu's Room


Maya and Chifuyu had continued to track the whereabouts of the rogue STARIS AI and Kenneth. The two had been fighting on and off constantly for past five hours. Each confrontation was a combine mess between ranged and close quarters combat. With STARIS satellites spying on the battle, the two were holding out for a long period without using their Phoenix Overdrives.

"Do you think the Midshipman will die?" Maya said as she assessed the damages on both. Their armor was ripped in all sorts of places, but still had internal pressurization.

"… I don't know. He is still weaker than the Silver Gospel."

Meanwhile

Houki continued her walk on the beach; absent mindedly dragged her feet in the sand as gripped the Akatsubaki's summoner pendant. Looking at the sea, she extended her arm back to throw it away. It… It was my arrogance of getting an IS that… hurt Ichika and… Shaking her head, the memory was still clear. Ichika's Absolute Barrier was pierced by that particle beam, charring up his left side of the torso. Though he would live, that mark would be a memento for the rest of his life.

Ichika… Please don't hate me for…

"Hey, you!" said a voice. Houki looked around and saw Rin, Laura, Cecilia and Charlotte walking towards her.

"I already know what you're thinking. You're gonna put the blame on yourself huh?"

Houki lowered her head as she whispered, "I will never pilot an I…" Her words were cut short as Rin slapped her across the face, knocking her to the sand. Who knew that Rin would be strong enough for that?

"Don't fuck with me, you stubborn ass! Are you a coward? Are you just going to sit down and just wait? Huh? You're a Personal Infinite Stratos Holder, I will not allow you to be like that."

Houki looked back at Rin, her eyes blinking as she consoled on her words. Cecilia walked forward as she took off from where Rin left off.

"We all have a duty to fulfill as Personal IS holders. We represent something that most girls in the Academy wish to become. We are the showcase for them, for what they can accomplish if they head back home. It's about pride yes, but… There is a reason we were chosen right? We need to show it."

Charlotte then stepped up. "We all care about Ichika. What happened in the past happened. There's no way that we can get around that. But the more we try to reclaim the past, we can never have a present or future. Houki, what happened… I know that Ichika is hurt now, but we need to do something about that IS."

Finally, Laura spoke as she crossed her arms. "This is not about revenge. This is about doing our service to the IS community. We were trained by our governments, some more than others. Houki… We also have the location on the Silver Gospel."

Closing her eyes, Houki got back up and when she opened them, her fiery spark returned.

"Alright. Thank you everybody. I want to fight. I must fight. Let's sortie out."

"Kenny has been engaged with the machine for the past five hours. I don't think he'll mind a break." Rin smirked.

As Houki, and Rin started to walk away, Laura looked over at Cecilia and Charlotte as she said. "The Midshipman isn't going to last for long."

Cecilia's face frowned as she said, "What do you mean?"

"I mean that he knew that this was suicide. He never stand a chance again the Silver Gospel alone." Laura said as she thought, And for a lot of other reasons as well.

Charlotte's eyes widened as she balled her hands into a fist. "You mean he knew how dangerous this was?"

"So he walked right into a trap." Cecilia said.

"Negative. I think all he was doing was stalling."


0100 Hours – Middle of the Ocean and Continuing up


Kenneth coughed out some blood in his helmet from the heavy kick that he received from the Silver Gospel as two continued to spiral around each other, firing and slashing at close range. Their shields were completely down and the Absolute Barrier energy was converted for the systems. Materializing a CQB knife, he reversed gripped and stabbed at the mech delivered another gash in the armor.

The HUD system stated that the two of them were breaking into the Mesophere as internal temperature and pressure systems needed to kick in further. Kenneth could feel that his armor was losing power. Movements were getting sluggish. But then again, so was the Silver Gospel to a lesser extent. Materializing his energy rifle again, Kenneth backflip kicked away from the machine and fired as the Gospel spun away from the blast, its wings getting charged.

The two withdrew a beam saber and a katana as they hacked and slashed, only to find the other blocking with their weapon. Forcing their hilts together they forced their heads near each other.

"That katana of yours won't be usable of you keep that up." Albert cackled as the beam saber started to cut into the sword.

Kenneth reacted as the continued back off for a second, their weapons at their sides. Closing his eyes, he thought back to the SeaSide School. This is for the rest of the girls. We can't have a STARIS pilot running amuck.

His armor started to glow a red color, as if it was on fire as the Silver Gospel followed suit.

"We'll finish this off… in one shot." Kenneth said in a monotone voice as his eyes kept an icy grey color.

"Indeed." Albert replied as the two placed their weapons in front of their opponent. The instantly blasted towards each other as Kenneth swung his katana diagonally at the Silver Gospel. It had decided to slash at the same angle as the two weapons collided for a second as the beam saber slashed through the katana and directly at Kenneth's torso. The armor melted as the beam saber cut cleanly stopping just before following through.

Choking up blood from the new wound, Kenneth's armor stopped its fiery glow as he descended towards the ground, his back towards the ground. The wings that the armor had broke off as they fell down with him.

Turning to face its fallen opponent, the Silver Gospel lunged at the falling Kenneth, its armor claws gripping his synthetic arm.

"Now, it seems that I too lost a lot of power. So I will graft yours, ok?" Kenneth's eyes widened as the machine started rapidly stealing energy as an emergency hologram popped up in front of him, warning that the battery needed to be replaced. Albert suddenly growled at him as it let go of Kenneth's head as he continued to fall towards sandy island beach.

"Hm, that Phoenix Overdrive of yours destroyed the battery. I am not taking the emergency power."

Kenneth weakly tapped the synthetic arm as the machine popped up chutes. But it was a bit late as he crashed hard into the sand. His armor had almost shattered from the impact, the metals digging into his flesh at the limbs. He looked at the skies seeing the machine's energy wings erupt from it.

"Hm, you're barely alive. But what ho, what have we hear? My primary objective is coming. Farewell." The man boosted in the direction of the SeaSide Beach School as Kenneth breathed out and fell unconscious.


0130 Hours Japan Time – Middle of the Sea


"The shot hit! I'll keep the heavy bombardment!" Laura yelled as she fired another round from her twin railgun. The Schwarzer Regen had adapted a heavily armored look about it. The armor around the torso and extremities were thickened and carried micro missile launchers. The STARIS form of Schwarzer Regen.

Houki, Charlotte and Rin boosted away as the Silver Gospel read the other two blasts. The rogue machine dodged both as Cecilia aimed and fired with her Starlight rifle from a nearby island as she smirked. "I'm an Ace for a reason!" Taking aim, she fired again as the machine barely dodged.

Charlotte fired five round burst shots at the machine as it raised its hand against the bullet. While Albert had the prime objective to destroy the Akatsubaki, a higher priority was to "Protect the Pilot". Boosting backwards it fired energy bolts at the three girls as they dodged up and down to evade their homing capability.

Seeing the machine occupied, Houki boosted in as she slashed at the machine, created more gashes. It seemed to let out a mechanical growl as it hounded after Houki, boosting directly behind her. Laura lowered her railguns as Cecilia unleashed her BITs at the pursuer, as they fired in a circular array. Constantly dodging in all directions, Charlotte closed in at the mech, her Grey Scale ready as lunged in.

Turning its body slightly, Charlotte missed her hit as the pierced scrapped against the arm gauntlet as the machine quickly kneed Charlotte in the gut and threw her at ocean.

"Charlotte!" Rin yelled as she closed in on the mech, firing smaller shots with her Ryuhou's as the loud concussive blasts made dents on the armor. Diving to the ocean, Rin followed after it as Cecilia's BITs retreated back to be recharged.

The Silver Gospel turned and unleashed a cloud of energy bolts as the girls scrambled around, their shields dropping at every hit. Houki boosted back further as more of the bolts followed her.

The machine boosted into the air as it spun like a top, raining down energy bolts in all directions. Slashing them away, the machine charged in and stabbed at her stomach with its beam saber as her shields dropped and faded. Only her Absolute Barrier protected Houki from the machine took its free hand and grabbed her throat. The other girls could only watch as the Silver Gospel continued to pelt them with energy bolts.

Dematerializing her katanas, Houki defiantly grabbed its arm trying to remove it. It was no use as its squeezing continued. Her vision started to become blurry as black spots appeared in the corners of her eyes.

No, it can't end like this… Houki barely thought as she tried to stay conscious. I just… want to see Ichika… Just one more time.

"GET THE HELL AWAY FROM HER!" yelled a man's voice as the Silver Gospel quickly let go of Houki's neck and boosted away, analyzing a new threat. Breathing again, Houki looked in front of her. A white angel of kinds glowing majestically like a knight. It was…

"Houki, are you alright?" the man asked as he turned around. It was Ichika with a warm smile.

"Ich-Ichika! But what about your?" He pointed at some makeshift wrappings at his torso.

"It will hold out for now." Turning back to the machine, Ichika had a smirk.

"Alright. Now this is payback."

The machine looked as the other IS pilots started to surround it. This will be fun… Two new objectives to eliminate. Albert thought.


0615 Hours Japan Time – Middle of the Sea


In the skies above near a small island with a mountain, two blurs, one red the other one white continuously collided with each other as the sound of metal on metal echoed for meters. The Akatsubaki and the Silver Gospel continued to strafe each other, exchanging blasts at each other as the Gospel one turned around and extended its wings as it fired several smaller blurs. Houki boosted up and right dodging them.

They collided again as they spun into the air. "Ichika! Now!"

Yelling down, Ichika boosted from the seas up as the machine fired point blank energy bolts at Houki, knocking her back. Boosting back the machine dodged the incoming slash as it continued to fly in random pattern, slashing back only if necessary. Backing off, Ichika yelled, "Laura, your go!"

"Locked and firing!" The Schwarzer Regen fired its twin railguns as one of the shots blasted against it, as Ichika charged in again, only to miss. Picking up Laura's location, the Silver Gospel flew towards her and unleashed a hail of bolts as Laura fired her micro-missiles as they intercepted.

BITs flew down at the rogue machine as it shot off part of the wings as it turned and face Cecilia, rifle at the ready. "Don't you dare tell me that you had forgotten about me!"

Blocking concussion blasts, the Silver Gospel found itself surrounded. "Ichika! Just one more go!" Rin yelled.

A torrent of energy bolts flew out of it as Charlotte charged at Rin and boosted towards safety. "Ichika take it down! We can't hold on much longer!"

Charging in, Ichika roared as his right arm gauntlet became an energy claw. "You won't get away from this!" The Silver Gospel ready itself to move at the last second as a high powered energy beam fired at its torso from the beach as it recalculated the trajectory.

"WAIT! Where did that come from?!" Rin yelled as Ichika continued his charge and grabbed the helmet of the Silver Gospel. The energy claw burned past the shield as Albert quickly redirected power to the Absolute Barrier.

Ichika removed his hand as the Silver Gospel armor disappeared leaving the body of a young woman passed out on the beach. The rest of the girls descended towards him with happy cheers.

"We got it!"

"Finally took it down!"

"Mission complete!"

But then Charlotte realized something. "Wait… Where is Kenny?"

The group looked around. There was no sign of him anywhere. They dematerialized their armor as Cecilia felt something in the sand. It was cold metal. IS grade metal.

"Someone is coming." Laura said alerted as they looked to the right.

A young man with semi-long brown hair walked towards them, head down. He was gripping his left arm as it shinned in the sunlight. Littered all over his body were fragments of metal with various coloration of blood. The clothing he had was in pieces, holes all over the place as his entire body was wounded. A cauterized wound across his torso was clear as the charred flesh hung with slack.

Walking towards them, he stopped and looked over at the fallen pilot. He raised his head to the pilots, revealing blood and sand that covered a majority of his face.

"Kenneth."

A small smile. His eyes returning back to its normal brown color, he collapsed on the sand, his heart stopped from using the last bit of power he used from the energy rifle.

He only said one word.

"Gotcha."