FAMILY

CHAPTER ONE: PROLOGUE PART 1

Disclaimer: I don't own IS: Infinite Stratos but I own this fiction and any other OC's in this story

ITALIC: THOUGHTS

BOLD: MOVEMENTS

[Calling]: Communication through communication link or phone.


"Fufufufuufu..."

GYAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHH!

"GUEEEEH! HOUKI, STOP IT! MY NECK'S ABOUT TO BREAK!...GUUEE!"

Carrying the completely drunk Houki, I walked all the way back to IS Academy.

I'll return the dress next time. I told the restaurant staff, and came out. However, it's still a heavy journey.

'Besides, I'm in a tuxedo. And Houki's in a dress...'

It can't be helped if someone asks us which party we came back from.

And Houki continued to smile as she slept, and the surrounding eyes would look at us.

"Haa...a lot of things sure happened today. I'm so tired..."

But never mind. It's not like I felt any worse.

'Houki looks beautiful in a dress.'

Considering that she's leaning on my back and sleeping, Houki let out stable breathing.

My childhood friend, who gave a completely refreshing charm after changing clothes, really looks cute to my somewhat biased eyes.

"...Ichika..."

"Hm? Are you awake?"

"Uu."

Nope. She's still drunk. Speaking of which, maybe she's all dizzy now.

"Anyonya."

"I don't understand what you're trying to say."

"Funi."

"Do you want some water?"

"...Syuki."

Hn? What do I need to take note of?

"Houki."

"...Suu..."

Ahh, she fell asleep again.

Really, you.

...

...

...

"Then, Takatsuki-san. I'll leave her to you."

Finally making my way to the first year dorm of IS Academy; I brought Houki to her room and left her with her roommate.

Most likely, there'll be gossip of me carrying Houki back. I tried my best to avoid a few people, but some girls caught me.

Thinking about this, as I walked out, I met Chifuyu-nee.

"What's the matter, Orimura? Why are you dressed like this?"

"Erm, I went to watch a musical."

*PAK!* My brain got smashed by the karate chop.

"Oww!"

"Who are you trying to fool?"

How does she know?

'Huh, more than that. Isn't there something I need to ask?'

Luckily, there's no one else on the corridor.

I walked to Chifuyu-nee and asked sternly.

"Chifuyu-nee."

"Call me Orimura-sensei."

"Erm...it's about family..."

It's hard to say it out.

Having been abandoned by our parents, we siblings have always treated family matters as taboo.

But even so, I had to ask.

"Well, is there anyone else...in the family...other than us...?"

"..."

Chifuyu-nee's expression changed.

I got overwhelmed by the suffocating tension.

"Like, an imouto, or something..."

"Nope."

"No? But..."

-Someone who looked just like Chifuyu-nee existed.

"You are my only family."

"Bu—"

Seeing that I intended to inquire until the end, Chifuyu-nee walked away with large strides.

That back figure of hers indicated that this is the end of the conversation.

"..."

I'm unable to understand at all, and I remained rooted to the spot even after Chifuyu-nee escaped my vision.

I know Chifuyu-nee better than anyone. I know her as much as she knew me.

But, sometimes, I don't understand her.

I don't understand why she avoids speaking about our family. And, in rare occasions, when our family is brought up, she spoke with unspeakable venom. It's like, just mentioning them, made her unspeakably angry. Which isn't good news to those around her.

I do not hold any sort of love or attachment to my parents who had abandoned us. I hate them in fact but, deep down, I want to know who they are and the reason why they left us.

I mean, it is hard to believe that any sane parents would abandon a person like Chifuyu-nee. She's the most amazing sister in the world, regardless of her unique brand of love.

As the image of Chifuyu-nee flash before my eyes, my thoughts drifted to the girl that resembles her, Madoka Orimura. Physically speaking, she's identical to Chifuyu-nee but, in our short meeting, I could tell that she is different from her, like night and day. That smile on Madoka's face, that sadistic smile that she wore with Chifuyu-nee's face, send shivers down my spine.

And those words that she told me! What did it mean?

"In order for me to be myself...I'll take your life."

Those words that came out of her mouth in our first official meeting, those words were enough to stun me, to baffle me, to ignite my curiosity.

Who is she? I want to know,

I want to know if Madoka, a person that looks exactly like Chifuyu-nee, is related to us, in any way, shape or form.

I want to know the reason why they left us; I want to know why our parents abandoned me and Chifuyu-nee.

But more importantly, deep down, I want to know the family that Chifuyu-nee loathed so much.

I clench my fist as the questions that haunted me for weeks since I met Madoka came rushing to me. I want answers; I desperately want answers but….

I sigh in defeat as I started walking to my room to rest.

Chifuyu-nee will not give me the answers that I so crave. And I know the reason why.

Chifuyu-nee will protect me from anything that would end up harming me, be it the enemy or from myself, she will protect me with all her might. To her, the mere knowledge of the family that abandoned us, that alone will harm me. Thus, she will not answer me for my own good, which is her opinion, not mine.

I am eternally grateful of her. I owe her my life, no; I owe her more than that. I will follow her to hell and back, if necessary. I will not question her, she knows best.

But still, I cannot help but be curious. I want to satisfy my curiosity.

I groaned loudly as I loosen my tuxedo in frustration, I have so many questions and I have no answers.

And I know, for me to get those answer, I need to do the one thing that I swore to myself I would never do.

I have to go against Chifuyu-nee.

*Shudder*

That thought alone scared the crap out of me. Disobeying my sister is as good as signing my own death sentence.

"Maybe, there is another way." I told myself. I just remembered that she is a member of Phantom Task, and Tatenashi and Laura seems to know a lot about them. Maybe if I ask them, they may know something about her. A little information about her is enough to satisfy my curiosity.

If they won't tell me, maybe Kanzashi...

*ZING*

I suddenly froze from where I was standing as electricity course through my spine. My eyes widen as I felt a presence, it was sinister but it was familiar, very familiar.

I turned around and run towards the direction where I felt the presence was coming from. I run along the corridors and jump off stairs as I felt the sense of fear and, strangely enough, joy coursing through my body as I felt that presence getting stronger.

For some reason, I felt like whoever has this presence, is important to me. This presence was drawing towards it and I instinctively follow.

I burst through the doors of the first year dorm and I was shocked when I saw the girl who has occupied my mind ever since the day I saw her.

Madoka Orimura was standing across me, five meters away from me, wearing the standard I.S Academy uniform and, I cannot believe I'm admitting this, she looks good in it.

"You came," She started as she smirked sadistically at me.

"Of course," I answered calmly yet I know that I could die in any given moment. My I.S, Byakushiki, is not with me right now and is currently being repaired because of the damage it took when those unmanned I.S attacked us during the tournament.

I was standing across a person who has proven, time and time again, that she has no problem killing her enemies. I am across somebody who had shown that she could hold her own against four I.S Representative Candidates with ease.

She's a better pilot than me and I know that she has no problem killing me. Heck, she could kill me right now; it would be so easy for her to do so.

Yet…

For some reason, deep down, I felt safe with her, like, I knew her.

*BANG*

I spoke too soon as I tiled my head to avoid a bullet that she fired at me.

"You made this too easy." Her voiced echoed in my ears as I saw her holding a handgun, with a silencer attach to it, aiming at me.

Again, for some reason, I know that she won't kill me, not now anyway.

"Who are you?" I asked her as I walk slowly towards her.

Madoka raised an eyebrow at my question. "Weren't you listening to me when we first met face to face, I am you." Madoka answered snidely.

"And in order for you to be yourself, you have to kill me." I said out suddenly and she merely nodded.

"Well, at least you remembered something." She mumbled loud enough for me to hear before pressing the barrel of her gun on my forehead.

I trusted her, it must be because I'm an idiot, but I trusted her, I trusted her to not kill me. "You have no idea how tempting this is." She whispered to me in a hoarse tone.

"You won't kill me, not like this." I said with confidence.

"You don't know me."

"But I've seen you fight, and that is enough for me to know that you won't kill me, not without playing with me first." I earned a cruel laughed from her as that statement came out of my mouth.

"True, I prefer my enemies to die while I drain the hope out of their eyes."

Somebody needs therapy, a very extensive therapy.

I could hear her finger twitching on the trigger of the gun. "If you continue thinking rude things about me, I will blow your brains out of your cranium, if you even have one."

Wait a minute…Did she just…I mean, come on…It can't be…..

I sighed at that, I won't even ask how she knew what I was thinking.

"Why did you come here?" After that incident in the Cannonball Fast, and after she tried to kill me during my birthday, I would have thought that she would keep a low profile, and not waltz in to a place where the strongest I.S pilot in the world is currently residing.

By the way, the strongest I.S pilot is my sister.

"I came here to kill you." I am not surprise by that answer. "But seeing that you won't amuse me tonight, I will allow you to live for a little while longer." With that said she put her gun back and walked away, her eyes not leaving for an instance.

As I watch her retreat, a sudden idea formed in my mind. It was stupid and suicidal, but, I can get my answer from her, by hook or by crook.

"Madoka, wait," I called her name and for some reason, her name felt right coming out of my mouth. "I want some answers and I have the feeling that you have those answers."

"The dead should not talk."

Last I check, I am still part of the living.

"You said, you want to kill me. Fine, let's do this." She stop walked and gave me a curious look, her sadistic smirk suddenly disappearing. "The damage on my I.S, it would be repaired in three days time. I will see you in three days."

Madoka visibly froze at that before grinning at me like a predator. "Are you challenging me to a duel?" She asked me in a gleeful tone.

Against my better judgment, I nodded. "You said that you are me, then that makes me you." I am confused of what I just said. "You know me, I don't know you. I want some answer to some of my questions, you want to kill me. I want something from you; you want to end my life." I then walked towards her before stopping three feet from her.

"In three days, let's have a duel, you against me in an I.S fight. I win, you answer some of my questions, I lose, well, I think I know that losing to you means forfeiting my life." I offered as extended my hand towards her.

She looks amused by my challenge and I don't blame her. I witness her fight once and that alone tells me that she is way better than me. If she could fight all my friends and win, then I have no chance of actually beating her. Hell, the probability of me actually beating her is so small that it is actually pitiful.

"You want to die swinging, fine, I accept." Madoka answered with a sadistic laugh before leaning towards my ear. I shiver a little as I felt her breath on my ear. "There is an island, not far from here; we fight there, come alone." She whispered to me.

"Of course, but promise, swear to me that you will also come alone." I whispered sullenly to her.

"I don't need backup to get rid of you." She told me as she took a couple of step backward. "You die in seven days, I suggest you say goodbye to your whores."

I ignore her insult to my friends. "If I am going to die, then tell me one thing, are we related." I asked passively. "Are you my cousin, or are you my sister?"

Madoka gave me a glare before smiling sweetly at me. That smile terrified me but I held my grown. "Don't worry, Onii-chan, I'll make your death as fast and as painless as possible." With that said, she shook my hand with a firm grip.

Well, that answered one of my questions.

(Scene Change) (Normal POV)

"What a surprise, my estrange granddaughter, visiting her grandmother in the depths of hell, what a heart wrenching honor." A woman in her late sixties commented snidely. The woman was covered with rugs yet her presence spells royalty and regality.

"I see being thrown into prison did not cure you of your high and mighty attitude." A woman in her early twenties muttered with a sharp tone. "Tell me, what I should do to you for you to tone down that blasted attitude of yours."

"A blade through the throat would be a start. But you had already proven that you don't have the guts to do that." The old woman answered with a hoarse tone. "A pity really, you were such a fine specimen, a master piece among master piece with only one fault." The woman commented snidely.

"And you are nothing but an old, senile woman, whom is living in borrowed time." The woman retorted much to her grandmother's amusement.

"It seems that I did not discipline you enough when you were but a child, Chifuyu, talking to your grandmother with that kind of tone, such disrespect." The old woman muttered distastefully but smiled regardless when the bullet proof mirror that separated the two shattered, courtesy of the punch thrown by Chifuyu.

"You are no family of mine." Chifuyu snarled as the guards behind her stiffen at the venom in her voice. "I'm just here to tell you that your worthless daughter is at large, again."

The old woman looked visibly please by that information. "Really now," The old woman said in delight before grinning. "By the way child, how is my grandson? I trust that you are treating him well."

Chifuyu narrowed her eyes at that question as she tried to resist the urged to throttle the old woman in front of her.

Taking Chifuyu's silence as an answer, the old woman chuckled menacingly, enough to make the guards behind her granddaughter shiver in fright. "I will take that answer as a yes." The woman said with a menacing tone. "I was truly disappointed of you when you run off with him when he was two years old. He had such potential, more so than you and miles a head compare to that useless waste of space, yet, you ruined that potential by taking him away from his home…" The old woman shifted her head to avoid a black sword the Chifuyu deployed.

"You should really control your temper, child, I thought I taught you better than this." The old woman muttered as she tapped the black sword with her index finger. "Still, I do understand your reason why you run off with him, I truly do. Still, it is quite pitiful of you; falling in love with your own brother even when he was a baby." The old woman chuckled goodheartedly.

"You should know, after all, grandfather was your older brother." Chifuyu muttered as she dematerialize the black sword that she use to threaten her grandmother.

"So you admit that you fell in love with him at first sight." The old woman joked snidely.

"Are you that desperate to die?"

The two very prideful women glared at each other and the tension between them was so thick that the guards that were supposed to guard the prisoner were in the brink of collapsing.

After a minute, the old woman let out a sigh. "What do you want?" The old woman conceded in defeat.

"I want my old master's opinion."

"Shoot,"

"What are the odds of me beating that woman?" Chifuyu asked with a grim tone which was very unlike her.

There was a moment of silence as Chifuyu's grandmother looked at her like she was an imbecile. "You intend to challenge my daughter, your mother." Chifuyu's silence was all the answer the old woman needed.

(Scene Change) (Ichika POV)

Three days, in three days, I am going to duel the person who looks like Chifuyu-nee, and, according to her, my sister.

I did not get any sleep last night as I busied myself watching the fight that we, my friends and I, had with Madoka in the Cannonball fast. As I watch her dismantle Cecilia, for the tenth time, I could not help but feel terrified.

She danced circles around us, no, scratch that, she played with us, she played us like fools.

She took down Laura first, considering that she is the only one who has any experience facing enemies like her.

That force Char to stand back to protect Laura. That alone was significant because, even though Char only pilots a Second Generation I.S, she is the best overall pilot among us.

With those two out of the way, Madoka dismantled our group. Two Third Generation and two Fourth Generation ISes, four ISes in total were no match against her.

As I watch this battle again and again, I could finally determine her I.S's, Silent Zephyrs, total armaments. Silent Zephyrs is just like Blue Tears, only with better weaponry. A high-energy rifle with a bayonet attachment and a short blade but those two are merely secondary weaponry. What made that I.S and its pilot extremely dangerous is those bits.

Unlike Blue Tears, who only has four bits, Silent Zephyrs has ten bits, four for attacking and six for defending. The four bits for attacking has a higher output compare to the bits of the Blue Tears and those six shield bits, individually, were sturdy enough to stop Rin's impact cannons. Individually, even one of those six bits were strong enough to defend her from a strong attack, if she use those six simultaneously, then attacking her in any direction would be complicated, if not impossible.

"She has no blind spot." I muttered to myself as I watch her avoid every attack Cecilia and her Blue Tears threw at her. Even without her shield bits, she was able to dodge at least four hundred long-to-mid range attacks that Cecilia threw at her. I knew the number of attack Cecilia threw at her because I've counted each time a beam passed through Madoka.

I watch the same footage ten times, I've notice many things, but, I still cannot see any holes in Madoka's fighting style.

Offense and defense, attacking, defending, and dodging, she balances everything perfectly. The only person who can balance all of those with no effort at all is Chifuyu-nee.

Madoka looks like Chifuyu-nee and she has the skills to back up her beauty.

I groaned loudly as I press the replay button for the eleventh time. I need to study her. I need to study her movements, her attack patterns, everything. For me to have a small chance of beating her, I need to have a strategy that revolves around her fighting style.

"Ichika, what are you watching." I was so occupied with the footage that I was watching that I jumped to my feet in surprise at the sound of a familiar voice.

"K-K-Kanzashi, what are you doing in my room." I asked in surprise as I look at her. I was a bit embarrassed when she let out a small chuckle at my reaction.

"Sorry for scaring you," She said before looking down at her feet shyly. "About last night…..." She trailed off awkwardly.

I looked at her, confused for a moment, before my eyes widen. She must come here for that. "If you're here for your DVDs, I place them on my bed." I pointed her towards my bed.

"That's not it." I was startled as she almost shouted those words. "Did you… I mean did you hear… What I'm getting at is…What are you watching?" She asked me as her eyes drifted to my T.V screen.

At the reminder of that, my eyes drifted on the T.V that is showing Madoka running circles around us. "I'm watching the footage when Phantom Task attacked us during the Cannonball Fast." I answered as I sat down on the couch. Kanzashi followed suit as the two of us watch the footage in silence.

This is the eleventh time I watch this footage and after twelve minutes, the skirmish only lasted twelve minutes, total, and I still could not see any holes in her fighting style. I'm actually at awe; I'm at awe at how amazing she is.

"She is good." Kanzashi commented as I press the reply button for the twelfth time.

"Don't remind me." I grumbled a bit. "She has no openings, no weaknesses, no nothing!" I mumbled in frustration.

"She has one, actually." Kanzashi corrected me as she fast forward the footage, stopping at a particular clip. "Here," She pointed when the bits flew horizontally towards her. "Five of those bits returned to her for recharging after ten minutes of their deployment. Considering the I.S has ten bits instead of four like the Blue Tears of the England Representative Cadet, it's only natural that the bits would manually return to the I.S to recover some energy."

OK, I did not notice that.

I fast forward footage again, and truth be told, during the ten minute mark, at least half of her bits returned to her. I back the footage again to the clip where she launches the bits and I notice that there is at least three minutes interval in deploying the bits.

"You see there," Kanzashi pointed when the bits returned to her. "She is immobile for at least two seconds when those bits are recharging and deploying them will take another four seconds, all in all, she is immobile for at least six seconds every time those bits need recharging."

Kanzashi, I could kiss you.

In my joy of finally finding a weakness in Madoka's fighting style, I gave a Kanzashi an embrace, shaking her wildly in glee. "Thank you, thank you so much, Kanzashi." I exclaimed happily. I now know how to approach her; the only problem now is how to reach her.

In my time in I.S Academy, I've realize two things; first, long range have the advantage over close range ISes; second, the only way for a close range I.S to beat a long range I.S is to close the distance between them to neutralize any long range attack.

'I have a small chance to get close to her with Double Ignition Boost but, those bits would make it hard for me to actually land a hit. She's better controlling those things than Cecilia.' Ichika thought with a small frown. 'I either destroy all of those bits or just charge in and hope for the best.'

"I-Ich-Ichi-Ichika," I heard Kanzashi stammered suddenly.

"Yes,"

"Let go of me, please." She requested and I suddenly notice me holding her close to my chest. I panic as I jumped to my feet and started apologizing to her.

Luckily for me, she just waved it off, though, the blush on her cheeks made her look absolutely cute.

"No worries, Ichika." She said as the red tint on her cheeks slowly subsides. "But why are you watching this. Knowing Phantom Task, they won't attack this academy, not unless they know for sure they could win." Her voice darkened a bit as she said those words.

Taking note of her voice, I answered her with my most convincing lying voice, which isn't saying much. "Well, considering my school year, I figured that I should prepare for the next person to attack me." Well, looking back, I think that was the best lie I ever told in my whole life.

In this semester, I have been assaulted by an unmanned I.S (twice now), the Valkyrie Trace System Incident (I have a large scar on my arm to remember that incident), the Silver Gospel Incident (whatever those things that hit me, they hurt like hell), my first meeting with a Phantom Task Operative (I will never look at a spider the same way ever again), and my first fight with Madoka (My friends and I were lucky to be alive).

Yes, considering the school year that I have, preparing for the next machine to attack is a wise decision in my part.

Well, it would be if I survive Madoka in three days time.

Kanzashi looked at me curiously, a thoughtful look adorning her face. "Well, you were involved in a lot of crazy incidents this semester." Tell me something I don't know. "You mind if I help." Kanzashi asked and I was taken aback.

"Wait, what?"

"I want to help you." She whispered as she fidgeted a little, a small blush plastered on her face.

Again, she is very cute in her own way. The innocent look works on her.

"Y-Y-Yeah, I mean, I really need to make up for that slap I gave you in our second meeting." She told me and I cannot help but pat her on the head.

"Don't worry about that, I had worst." Having Chifuyu-nee as my sister, a slap is like ice cream. Chifuyu-nee, her kendo is way beyond master level, hand to hand, she knows over one hundred martial arts, her jujitsu is a bit low level, for her, which doesn't say much considering she's a black belter in every martial art she knew. Considering my childhood, a slap on the face is better than being punch on the gut or being thrown fifteen feet off the ground.

"But I want to help." She told me in a determine tone.

"You did help; you showed me a weakness in her I.S." That helps my odds of winning against her a bit. "That's already a big help."

Kanzashi looked down for a bit before giving me another determine look. "Give me the footage; I can make you a computer simulation, a simulation of you fighting the pilot of that I.S." She assured me in a calm tone and I was taken back at this.

Okay, I know what a simulation is; it's an imitation of the operation of a real-world process or system over time. I have been through so many simulations ever since I entered I.S Academy and picked up several things from all of them. One of which, is that a simulation can only be made with the use of a lot of real word data.

A single footage is not enough to capture Madoka's fighting style in a simulation.

"I know that." I am sick and tired of girls reading my mind. "But I can at least give you a clear overview of what she's capable off, better than watching this tape over and over again."

She has a point. I watched this video twelve times and I didn't even notice that weakness if Madoka's I.S. With a simulation, I could prepare my mind and, if Byakushi's repairs would be finish earlier than scheduled, body.

I sigh in defeat as I retrieve the disc from the DVD and gave it to Kanzashi. "Thank you," I told her with a small smile.

"We're friends, it's the least I can do considering your ability to attract trouble." Don't remind me, will you. "But, can you tell me something?"

"Sure,"

"Why are you interested in her?"

"It's complicated."

(Scene Change) (Ichika POV)

Holiday Break started right after the tag team tournament, so I.S Academy is almost devoid of students. Some decided to stay, my friends included. This is a very pleasant surprise.

I don't have to worry about multiple girls trampling me.

""ICHIKA, DIE!"" Rin shouted loudly as Char and Laura tried to restrain her from attacking me.

I just have to worry about my friends throttling me for some reason.

"If this is about last night, I will tell you right now that I did not get Houki drunk." I told her calmly as I drank my fifth coffee of the morning.

As expected, the news of me carrying a completely drunk Houki spread like wildfire and it quickly reach the ears of my friends. Thus, while Houki is suffering from a very nasty hang-over, my friends cornered me and are currently in the process of interrogating me.

"Oh yeah, I need to return that dress." I grumbled under my breath.

"Return WHAT, Ichika-san..." Cecilia asked with a smile that reminded me of a rattle snake, a venomous rattle snake.

"Nothing, absolutely nothing." I exclaimed immediately, wanting to avoid any physical abuse if any misunderstanding arises.

"So, you and Houki…" Char asked calmly and I suddenly shiver in dread at the sight of her force smile. For a girl that has the most beautiful smile, she sure can scare a guy.

"Well…you see… the waiter messed up our order and serve us wine." I explained slowly.

*BOINK*

For my trouble, I was hit over the head by Rin.

"How do you expect to believe samurai girl got drunk by just drinking wine?" Rin demanded while shaking her fist.

"It's not my fault that she can't take her liquor." I answered quickly.

*SWOOSH*

I felt the familiar feeling of wood hitting my head with such force that I was pushed face first on the table; luckily, I only took a light breakfast.

"Don't talk about people behind their back." Houki glared at me while holding a bokken. One of her hands was holding her head and her eyes were dark red. "My head," She moaned loudly as she stumbled to the chair beside Laura.

"I suggest you take aspirin, helps with the hang-over." Laura said with a voice that shouts experience with these kinds of things.

Houki opened her mouth only to groan sullenly as she dropped her head on the table. "Somebody, get me aspirin."

Laura stared at Houki for a moment before shaking her head. "Wow, you really are a lightweight, just like what my bride said."

"SHUT UP!" Houki shouted, her voice was echoing in pain.

We chuckled at Houki's misfortune before I handed a bottle of water to her before going to the counter to ask for an aspirin.

Five minutes later, the aspirin is taking its affect slowly but it was enough for Houki to sit upright. Still, the look on her face told us that she still have a major headache.

Note to self, don't give Houki any sort of alcoholic beverage.

"So, how's your dinner with Ichika-san?" Cecilia asked with a snicker.

Houki only answered her with a glare before groaning again. "I will never understand why tousan like to drink those stuffs."

I shook my head in amusement before something came to my mind. "Hey guys, what do you guys intend to do this holiday break?" I asked them suddenly. "We have at least two weeks before we have to take our Final Exam."

The girls look thoughtful for a moment before they all sigh in unison.

What teamwork.

"I was called by my commanders to report to Germany when the repairs of Schwarzer Regen are completed." Laura grumbled loudly. "They want a full report of what happened during the tag tournament."

"Same here," The other Representative Cadets answered with the same annoyed tone.

"My Okāsan wants me home for some reason." Houki mumbled under her breath.

Among the five of them, Houki is the only who seems glad to go back home, strange.

"What about you, Ichika?" Rin asked, bringing the attention to the group to me.

"I'm staying here." It would be so boring staying in my house without Chifuyu-nee. "Considering Tatenashi-san is still in the hospital, as student council vice president, I have to pick up some of her work." Yeah, not looking forwards to that.

Breakfast ended after that and all of us, surprisingly, parted ways.

Good, I need to check on Byakushiki.

(Scene Change) (Ichika POV)

"Orimura-kun,"

"Good morning, Sakakibara-sensei," I greeted politely with a curt bow. Sakakibara-sensei, is a 29 year old instructor, gentle to students, has great morals, and has good looks, and the adviser of the Conditioning and Maintenance Club. She is the instructor in charge of the repairs of damage I.S. "I'm here to check on Byakushiki's repairs." If possible, I also need someone to help me change Byakushiki's settings.

Sakakibara-sensei's eyes widen a bit before handing me Byakushiki's close form. "Here you go, Orimura-kun, everything is all ready for you."

I raised an eyebrow as I looked at the gauntlet that was Byakushiki's close form. "Wait a minute; I thought the repairs would be finish in three days."

"Initially, yes, but Byakushiki really surprise us. It's Battle Damage and Self-repair is unnatural fast." Sakakibara-sensei informed me and I was intrigued by this news.

As I.S gains experience during any situation while it is active, (be it normal training or combat, or even a simple checkup) it records data about its every components and proceeds with optimization process. When IS receive damage, it automatically tries to repair the damage during its Closed Form period. The resulting data collected would be implemented throughout its component to improve their efficiency, but the damaged component would be left out of equation.

Still, I'm not that good with all that jargon so I decided to ask Kanzashi after she is finish making that simulation. Kanzashi is probably the smartest student when it comes to the technical aspect of I.S.

I instantly wore the close form of Byakushiki and because I want to see if the repairs were actually done right, I quickly deploy my I.S.

In my time with Byakushiki, I started feeling the I.S as a part of my body, as an extension of my soul to be exact. It may sound cliché but, every time I deploy Byakushiki, I could literally feel a warm feeling surrounding my body, the same feeling I had whenever Chifuyu-nee sang me a lullaby when I was a kid.

Contrary to popular belief, Chifuyu-nee have other talents aside from figthing. For example, singing.

As I deploy Byakushi, a spiral of light surrounded me and I suddenly found myself staring at a beautiful white beach. Over the horizon, a silver sun was slowly rising from the pure white sea. The sight was a perfect harmony.

The beautiful scenery was breathtaking.

Creepy, but breathtaking.

"You like?"

I whipped my head to the source of the voice and I found myself looking at a girl that was very familiar to me. I saw a girl, a very pretty girl, standing in the middle of the ocean. The waves surrounded her protectively as she stood there with a smile. Her shiny bright white hair danced around her. The white one-piece dress fluttered under the sea breeze, occasionally flipping up. She's very familiar but for some reason, I cannot remember where and when the last time I saw her.

She smiled at me and before I could open my mouth, I suddenly found myself impale by a sword.

Funny thing about this is…. It didn't hurt…. In fact, it felt nice….

Strange…

"Be quick, I want to be whole soon." She whispered to me melodically.

I looked at her with a bewildered expression and I was about to open my mouth when strips of silver light suddenly enveloped me.

I suddenly found myself back in the maintenance room, Byakushiki already deploy while Sakakibara-sensei was looking at me with a worried look.

"Orimura-kun, are you okay, you spaced out a bit?" She said with a worried tone.

I smiled at her to assure her that nothing is wrong with me. "I'm fine sensei, I just didn't get much sleep last night, you know, being interviewed by the government and all."

"Yes, I heard about that. Those agents held you and the Personal I.S users for two hours."

"Yeah," I mumbled, not wanting to remember their annoying and irritating questions. "Sensei, is it okay for me to take Byakushiki off for a flight?"

"Of course, Orimura-kun. All the Arenas are empty but I suggest you use Arena 3." Sakakibara-sensei advised me and I nodded as I dematerialized Byakushiki and headed to Arena 3. Strange as it may seem, Byakushiki did not disappear like usual, being converted into particles of light; instead, it disappeared by being reduced into strips of light.

Strange, just strange, still, I need Kanzashi or Char. Those two could help me adjust Byakushiki's settings, special the energy contribution.

One thing I learned from my numerous sparing sessions with my friends is that I really need to learn how to conserve energy in a fight.

Still, those words that white haired girl said is echoing in my mind.

(Scene Change)

Squall Meusel is currently walking along a dark and long corridor, her expression was passive yet her hands were shaking with barely concealed fear. She hated being in the main headquarters of Phantom Task. It is not because the entire facility gives off a haunted aura, no, she hated being in the main headquarters because the leader, the leader of Phantom Task never leaves the place. The main base was devoid of any life, there were no guards in sight, which is strange considering that the leader of their organization was residing in the oversize fortress that she called home.

Squall stop in front of a large door and with a deep breath, she opened the door and entered the room. The sight of the familiar throne room made of marble and filled with stolen arts from World War Two made Squall a little bit nervous. The leader of Phantom Task was an avid art collector.

"Squall-chan, you should have knocked." Squall at the feeling of cold steel pressing onto the back of her neck. "It's impolite to enter my room without my permission." The melodic yet demonic voice of their leader made Squall nervous.

Squall is one of the most fearsome commanders of Phantom Task, yet, in front of the leader, she was nothing but a coward. "My apologies, milady." Squall muttered calmly.

The leader chuckled silently before retracting the knife. "Very well then, considering you are my favorite commander, I'll forgive you; just these once, so don't let it happen again. Do we have an understanding?"

"Yes," Squall muttered with a small shudder of fear.

"Very good then," Squall then know how but their leader, adorned with a robe the covered her entire body, appeared in front of her. She didn't know how but their leader was so fast, so quick, so agile, so silent that she could move like a shadow without anyone noticing her. "Seeing that you are here, do you have something to report about my failure?" The woman asked playfully as she skipped towards her throne.

Squall took a calming breath as she watches her leader sit down to her throne. "Her progress is acceptable, her compatibility has now reach S-level, her…." Squall was silence when a small beam grazed her cheek. The scary thing about this is that she did not see her deploy any parts of her I.S or even move her arm.

"That technique is called the Invincible Bullet, you like?" Squall did not give an answer as she took a step back. "No, my dear, I don't care about her progress as an I.S pilot, considering my first failure is already a scary-good pilot in her own right and I will not delude myself into thinking that my second failure would match her, no, I do not care about her progress." The leader said in a dismissing fashion. "Did she show any signs of having my bloodline?"

Squall took another step back. Unlike the other commanders, she was aware of their leader's bloodline, the bloodline that is to set the standard for the next generation.

"I apologies milady, but she has yet to materialize any signs of having your bloodline." Squall answered truthfully while eyeing the nearest exit. If she angered the leader, then at least she would have chance to run before the next beam is fired.

Instead of her head being blasted, she was met by a rare sight, the sight and sound of their leader laughing hysterically. "As expected, considering the person I use to bear her, it is expected that she will also be a failure like her father." Their leader exclaimed with a rather gleeful tone. "The first one is also a failure but she compensate that by training her already impressive skill set through her rigorous training, my second failure, well, the less said about her, the better." The leader then let a long *hmmm* sound, making her sound thoughtful.

"Yes, it seems that my third child is the only one who had inherited my bloodline." The leader of the Phantom Task muttered gleefully. "He has not yet awakened it but it's only a matter of time, after all, I awaken the bloodline at age 16." The leader muttered with a soft laugh.

"Milady, are you sure that he has your bloodline." Squall asked carefully. "I mean, if the other two did not have it, what makes you think he possesses it. In the skills department alone, he is nothing compare to his two elder sister." Squall pointed out and she was met by a glare enough to make her flinch.

In a split of a second, Squall suddenly found herself pinned to the wall, lifted a couple of inches from the ground while a hand was tightly wrapped around her neck as the leader of the Phantom Task choke the life out of her. "My daughters are a failure and their fathers are worthless. My son, on the other hand, grew up in an undesirable environment; thus, his potential has been shunned, and that is the fault of my first failure. His father, he is the only one who is acceptable among those two trashes that I was force to use." Squall gasped for air as she tried to remove the hand from her neck but their leader's hand was firmly grasping her neck. Squall was about to lose consciousness when she was thrown half way across the room to the large door connecting the throne room to the rest of the facility.

"You can insult those two failures of mine all you want, I don't care, what you cannot do is insult my son and his father. If you insult even one of them, I will personally rip your throat out." The woman hissed and Squall instantly cowers as she tried to catch her breath.

"My….my….my apologies, milady." Squall muttered as she kneels down in front of the woman that could have easily killed her by just flicking her fingers.

There was a moment of silence before Squall was lifted to her feet via her hair. "I have a job for you and for your squad, consider this as your punishment for insulting my son."

"Milady!"

"It's time to see if he truly inherited my blood."


THIS IS MY NEW BRAIN CHILD…

I wrote this fic because my BETA have yet to return chapter five of White Knight…Finals is hell in both our schedules….

I actually four plots that I want to write.


First, Ichika having an ex-girlfriend that suddenly came back to his life (I really want to write that fic).

Second, Ichika secretly dating Tabane (I could not write another secret base fic, I already have a Pokemon and Negima fic with that kind of theme)

Third, Infinite Stratos that is based on the manga SEIKOKU NO RYUU KISHI (Read that manga on Mangahere, it very good and the art is kick ass)

The fourth one is this….


Please enjoy….and Review…and enjoy