"Man, do we ever get a break?" I sighed in exasperation.

My pink-haired partner, Jeena, smirked. "Rallen, this is the first mission we've had in weeks." She looked up from the control panel. "What's the matter? Can't you handle it?"

I glared at her playfully. "Oh, please. I can handle anything Grant can throw at me!" I stood up and placed my hands on my hips, puffing up my chest like a tough guy.

Jeena laughed mockingly. "Yeah, I'm so scared…"

"You should be," I said proudly, not noticing her sarcasm.

She shook her head, still laughing. "We're beginning our descent on Daichi. Ready, Rallen?"

I didn't answer. I was busy taking in her beauty… and she was seriously pretty. Pink hair and blue eyes… I can't say that it worked on most girls.

But then again, Jeena wasn't like most girls. She was tech-savvy… no, she was a genius. But more importantly, she was my best friend. Most girls looked at me and saw an extremely pretty face with a bunch of heroic deeds under his belt, which wasn't far off… but Jeena saw me in a different way.

She saw me the way I truly was: A kind, fun-loving hero that liked to adventure.

Even better, she willingly went along with me on all my hair-brained schemes and missions. She was the one person out of the millions, no, billions, at least, out of the entire Nanairo system that I would trust with my life.

"Rallen?" she asked, snapping her fingers. "Are you listening?"

That snapped me out of my trance. "Hmm? What?"

"I said, 'We're beginning our descent on Daichi. Are you ready?'"

"O-oh, yeah. That," I could feel myself turning red with embarrassment. "Uh, yeah, I'm ready. I-iku ze!"

"Rallen, are you sure you're feeling up to this?" she asked. "You're looking a little red. Do you have a fever?"

I shook my head quickly. "No, I'm fine," I replied.

My partner frowned slightly. "Alright," she said finally. "By the way, it looks like it's raining down there. Watch out for mudslides."

I nodded. "Okay, Jeena."

Honestly, I didn't want to leave her side. I didn't want to go out on this mission. I didn't want to do anything besides be with her.

But duty was calling, and I had no choice.

But at least I had time to be with her on the flight to Daichi.

I wish I had my feelings sorted out then. I had been going through so much, and she was the only person who was there for me.

My mother had just died. She also worked for the NPP, working as a leader in intelligence, and all I got for her memory was a plaque.

Nothing else.

But Jeena was there for me. She was helping me with everything that I needed help with. She was patient, she was kind.

And I knew that she would always be my best friend.

Oops, I got carried away, didn't I?

Anyway, Commander Grant of the Nanairo Planetary Patrol had just dispatched Jeena and I to investigate an unidentified object that crashed into the surface of Daichi.

So, there we were, coming into Daichi's atmosphere. Dark clouds loomed over the surface like big gray water balloons, obscuring our view of the ground.

I had a bad feeling in the pit of my stomach, and for a while I thought that we'd end up crashing. We didn't, though.

We made it to the ground, perfectly safe.

"Hope you've got an umbrella," snickered Jeena. "You'll need it."

The landing bay opened with a hiss, and I smirked. "Yeah, I can see that," I quipped, glancing out at the torrent.

Rain poured down in icy blue sheets. I sighed.

Did I really have to go out in that? I'll admit, I didn't really like the water that much. I hated the rains that so seldom happened back on Kollin, and those were like nearly dried-up waterfalls compared to this… monsoon.

Lucky me, right?

"Well go on, Mr. Hero," Jeena said, smirking. "Unless you're chicken!"

"Oh, shut up," I said jokingly, stepping into the deluge. Most people would have been offended by that, more than likely, but Jeena knew I was kidding.

We always made jokes to each other like that. You know, back when Nanairo wasn't in danger of destruction.

The surface of Daichi looked calm and serene, aside from the pouring rain. The grass glistened with dew, and the exposed ground was extremely muddy.

And of course, I got stuck with the searching part while Jeena got to stay in the spacecraft where it was nice and dry.

Once again, lucky me. Of course, it was my fault for joining the NPP in the first place…

But a hero's work is never done. And, hey, it wasn't all bad. I mean, about ninety-nine percent of the girls went gaga over me whenever I walked by.

I wasn't really much of a ladies man, but I won't lie… I did enjoy the attention.

As I was saying, the monstrous downpour that had engulfed the planet seemed to make time slow down.

Or maybe it was the fact that I was thinking about Jeena and ignoring pretty much everything else. I guess that's why I tripped on a rock.

Yeah, I really needed to get my head in the game. But I wandered into a canyon, and saw a large crater.

Was this where the unidentified object Grant told us about crashed? If so, what was it?

I walked farther into the canyon, the mud sloshing beneath my feet, and then I saw it: a large, golden capsule. Cautiously, I walked over to it. What could it be? Surely this must have been the object that crashed…

Then I saw something glittering in the dark mud.

"What is that…?" I asked quietly, knowing no one would answer. I bent down and picked it up.

It was shaped like a diamond, polished gold with three bright blue lights on it. But what exactly was it? Where did it come from?

Maybe I would find the answer in the capsule…

…But I didn't get the chance. I was suddenly enveloped in a swirling black vortex, and felt a strange tugging sensation.

I saw three dark red… creatures with long arms and no visible face. They were horrifying.

Then, the gold diamond-thingy opened up, and out leapt two creatures: One looked like a huge, hairy lizard with green fur, horns, yellow markings, and a spiked tail. The other looked like a weird mix between a feline and a canine, with bright orange fur and a hunched back, like it was ready to pounce for its next meal.

"Whoa…" I said quietly. "A-amazing!"

The green one glanced at me as the red creatures stalked forward. I was sure I imagined it, but it seemed like there was a voice in my head, aside from my own. It said: "What are your orders?"

"W-was that you?" I asked the creature. I believed I was going insane, especially after what happened next.

The green creature nodded. "I am Spikan, an Aurora Spectrobe." it replied, bowing. "This is Zozane. What are your orders?"

"Wait, what's a Spectrobe-" I shook my head. "Never mind. Uh… Spikan, is it?"

The green Spectrobe nodded.

"Um… attack that creature!" I said, pointing to the nearest red thing.

Spikan swung its mighty tail, slamming it into the red creature. It flew backwards, and melted into shadows.

That was easy.

"Zozane!" I called. "First off, can I call you Zane?"

"Yes!" the creature replied in a ferocious voice.

"Zane, attack!"

Zane sped forward and slashed the red creature with his claws, then on the third swipe, the creature dissolved into shadows.

Again, too easy.

I looked around, believing the battle had ended. The two creatures were dead, right?

And then it hit me. Literally.

There were three creatures, not two. And the third one had just smashed its arm into the back of my head.

"Zane! Spike!" I called out. "Can you do some sort of combination attack?"

"Yes!" Spike replied.

Spike and Zane ascended into the air and flew around in circles, creating a whirlwind. Lightning branched out from the whirlwind, and it struck the creature, destroying it.

The black vortex melted away, and the Spectrobes jumped back into their container.

"Okay, I need to lay off the Hi-C before bed," I said exhaustedly. "Anyway, let's go take a look at that pod…"

I walked over to the capsule and examined it. It was fine gold, with a clear covering on top.

Inside was…

…Holy crap, inside of the capsule laid a man!