Infinite Stratos: Infinite Possibilities
Chapter 1: The Zero Theory
...In a living room...
"Good evening, tonight's live news is about the first male who has ever piloted an IS, Orimura Ichika. He's-"
"Huh? I-Ichika? He's on T.V.!" Houki Shinonono watches the t.v. in the living room after practicing a bit with her usual kendo style, that and many other things that they do in the nearby dojo, they are frequently practicing the method of using a kendo with an IS involved in it, but casting that aside, Houki stood up from the sofa with her eyes glued on the t.v. "Why is Ichika on t.v.!"
"We are to discuss the current situation of Orimura Ichika, it was a big hit to all of us when we found out he can pilot an IS, an extraordinary thing indeed, it was never confirmed by the IS creater, Shinonono Tabane, that IS are only piloted by women and this sudden turn of events is rather a sudden swell of questions for all media and-"
"Nevermind about the IS, show me Ichika!"
"It has been announced recently that Orimura will be attending at the IS academy for study and to learn just how far will he go in manuevering an IS, it was said he was to given a personal IS of his own that was once owned by his older sibling, Orimura Chifuyu."
"Chifuyu... -san." Houki knows her, she gets along well sometime with her due to perhaps Chifuyu Orimura's connection with her older sister, Tabane.
"The IS institution will be opening soon will it? What will this mean for Orimura? And what does-"
...At the Orimura Residence...
"Don't they have other things in mind?" Ichika lays his head at the back of the sofa, staring at the ceiling. "Where did my normal life go? Sigh, oh well, well then, what should I have for dinner?"
"There's no need for that, you'll be having dinner at the academy once we arrived there." A uniform is thrown at his face by the one who came in.
"Huh? C-Chifuyu-nee! You're... You're back so early?"
"This is my house so of course I'll be back." This is Chifuyu Orimura, the former champion of the Mondo Grosso, the IS tournament, and now an instructor at the IS academy that is on an offshore island that is just near the mainland, it's where a lot of girls... given that IS are only operated by women, it's an all-girls school with Ichika being the first to be the male student there and even the staff themselves are... well, majority... no, all of them are women, making it a one-man-army situation for Ichika, from his perspective that is. "Sa, hurry up and get packed up, we'll leave first thing in the morning." It's already just about 7 p.m. in the evening by the way, it will be about... well, given that Chifuyu doesn't wish for some crazy paparazzis to show up and suddenly ask questions for Ichika and her, she's in a hurry to enroll her younger brother to the IS academy, and by early in the morning, she'll be the only one leaving the house since... well, Ichika will be going to the academy as of this moment, while she has some things to pack here.
"Huh? First... thing in..."
"Ah, all of your belongings will be transported there in the morning so just stick to Yamada's instructions."
"She's an assistant homeroom teacher of mine, she'll be the one supervising you while I give you all a lesson about a thing or two about how IS armaments are used."
"Oh, ugh." Ichika is obviously a stranger to all that sort of thing so this will be a new experience for him.
"Sa, hurry up, I'll take you to the station and you can go to the academy all by yourself then right?"
"Ah well, yeah, I can but..." Not wanting himself to a burden to his hardworking sister, he does wish he can do something for her, though Chifuyu herself has no problem of doing all the political work or problems for him given that she's quite... well, devoted, one might put it, to him to the point that she only wants him to do his part, meaning staying safe from political issues and any other things... like...
...In an underground laboratory...
Click, click. The sound of buttons being pushed are echoing in this lab. There is only one person here who is dressed in a maid with a bunny ears, on her head that is. "Hm, this is bad, Chi-chan is better be informed of this." She's checking something through the satalite camera that was invested by some wisemen in the past, the one she's monitoring is...
...In the deep level of the sea, at an underground passage...
"Grooaarr!" A bunch of damaged IS are still functioning, most of which are not being empowered by a core or anything else that is related to how the IS are supposed to work but... They are being empowered by...
Blaast! Blaaze! "Grooaarr!" By a more powerful source and something that is not... well, it's an extraordinary being that can be considered... a devil. "Grooaarr!" Outside the passage and on the sea level, stands a dragon like machine that is also considered an IS, except it doesn't have anything that is empowering it but rather, this being can be considered something that is alive, it hungers, it taints and it brings damaged IS to life with unnatural means, it's sending out nanomachines that can raise the dead and corrupt IS programming into killing machines. That and many other things that is involve in corrupting everything in their path. "Grooaarr! Grooaarr!" Blaaze! Stomp, stomp! With a violent stomp that sent a tremor on the passage, all the IS that are under it's command walk towards the surface with who knows how long are they going to reach the surface. "Grooaarr!" Blaast! Blaaze! The dragon like machine that is known as the Devil IS flew out of the top of the passage with it going through the water in the sea, it's heading towards the tunnel where a military base is located.
...Inside a monorail...
"Sigh, so it's still late at night and I'm the only one who is a passenger here, sigh, Chifuyu-nee sure didn't waste any time enrolling me to IS academy." Ichika could see the sight of IS academy from where he is, it's a huge island shore where it's consists of advanced technology, as expected of today's era, it's more on machines now instead of... well, modern day's machines and technology, basically the same, with this kind of institution, children can learn how to operate an IS and also, they can still learn about the subject of learning that is being taught in normal schools as well, not that IS academy is not a normal school in a way but rather, in here... it's rather lively and at the same time, arrogant and dreamy at the same time, as the power balance of men and women have been broken, it would seem men have been outstripped when it comes to superiority and women have become generally arrogant towards them, that is the way how both genders are treated nowadays as women frankly have taken over most governing militaries around the world, well, that and some political men are the only ones who are supervising the development of IS and how they are operated, as of right now, the media is seeking Tabane endlessly and restlessly but so far, she's very elusive about her whereabouts. That and many other things that are currently in involvement with some things that are sort of threatening the world's economy and politics at the moment. "Come to think of it, there has been some tension at the borders right now, isn't it?" What Ichika is referring to is the unrest that is growing in the country side, something is going on to the lands around, crops are becoming desolate, not even a slight plantation is becoming fertile and the worst of it all, famine may spread to some countries, the worst of it all originated in London as the natural resources have been affected by something that is yet to be confirmed, though some confirmed that the land is decaying for some reason and the origins of something that is like a blight is yet to be confirmed. "Things are becoming serious, I better... Hm? Oh, my stop is here."
"IS academy, IS academy."
Ichika stepped out of the train with some stuff, he's not really much of a tourist and of course, this isn't some tourist visit but the stuff he's carrying are mostly some things like toothbrush, though that is a bit unnecessary as IS academy have their own materials for basic needs and other kind of related stuff. "Sa, according to this map, I should... Hm, let's see..." There are a lot of things that can be regarded as skyscraper here, a lot of things are advanced in technology, not even... well, a slightest seems to be not something what one sees in normal homes, meaning everything here is... are all... beyond one's comprehension if one is new here. "..." Ichika suddenly feels like he has been damned to a place where there is only one entrance and... there is no exit. "Ugh, I didn't know it was this easy to get lost." Even the map that was given to him was not enough, besides, there are only outlines of the layout of this place, it's only... well, all the shapes and ways are all very... vague, if one can put it since all directions are all labelled in the same manner it's like going around in circles if one only relies on the map, so in that case... "Let's see, hm, the registar should be there... there... there... Ugh, where am I going?" A lot of girls have taken notice of his presence.
"Who is that? A boy?"
"Why is he here?"
"Is that a male version of the uniforms?"
"..." Ichika stands amidst the passing people, he's feeling uncomfortable so he left.
"Ah, you're Orimura Ichika yes? The one that Orimura-sensei informed me with, yes that is so, it match your description very clearly." A young looking teacher or instructor, they're the same, came up to him.
"Huh? Oh uh, do I..."
"Oh sorry, I forgot to introduce myself," She bows in apology repeatedly.
"Uh no, you don't have to apologize I mean, were you asked to greet me?"
"H-Hai, w-wata shi Yamada Maya, the homeroom teacher of class One, nice to meet you." She's rather cute from one's perspective but, the fidget in her voice make her sort of vulnerable, meaning she easily broke into nervous speech just like she just did with Ichika.
"Uh yeah, I'm Orimura Ichika and Chifuyu-nee is..."
"Oh you do know her, that means you're her brother! That means it's my job to escort you to the dormitory."
"Eh? The dormitory?"
"Hai, we've been expecting you, there's no need to go to the registrar's office, please follow me."
"H-Hai, I'll be in your care."
The two of them made their way throughout the horde of girls that came passing by, it's an all-girls school so this is to be expected. "Hey, isn't that guy pretty good looking?"
"Where did he came from?"
"Why is there a male here?"
"..." Ichika feels uncomfortable with all the stares that he's receiving, they're like lasers that are piercing through his back and his shirt is being melt in the process, this is sort of like the same as smelting a- Well, nevermind about that, Ichika and Yamada-sensei just passed by the corridor followed by a long hallway that Ichika has thought of the academy to be very large indeed, this is almost like an island academy of sort, where all sort of needs are tended despite how large it is, well, many women out there are able to train and study the basic manuevers of IS and there are those who represent their countries, these are the representatives who have personal IS, Chifuyu has her own as well until she retired and she is now an instructor instead.
"Well, Orimura-kun, as you may have noticed, there are a lot of facilities here that you might find suitable when you attend your first day here."
"H-Hai, I will... uh..." It's not that he minds this tour of sort but rather, it's the girls that has been tailing for some time now, is this supposed to be like a tailing mission where one will gather all sort of information about the target? In the army, assassination missions required a lot of diligence and resourcefullness about gathering info at first then strike next, there are also scouting and sniping missions that requires... ah, nevermind, about the situation.
"Sa te, Orimura-kun, these are the dormitories of our students, there was one room that was assigned to you and- Hm? Wh-What is it?"
"Uh well..." This is no longer a mission without being blown in their cover as... well, all girls behind are visible in plain sight.
"Hm, he's going to the dormitories."
"Hm, you think he's..."
"Eh... E-Everyone, wh-what are you doing here?" Yamada-sensei herself feels more uncomfortable than Ichika in this situation.
"Ah, Yamada-san, we were wondering what's with all these unordinary events and we find you escorting someone."
"Yes, yes, a boy for that matter!"
"..." Ichika is rather eery at this, not only he's in an isolated island that is full of residents that are females with him being the only male, he's also unfamiliar with things around here like... well, this will be his first time dealing with IS, meaning he's all too unfamiliar with all the circuits, formula routine and all that kind of stuff but... the biggest problem is...
"Who are you? Where did you came from?"
"Yeah, are you here for a tour visit?"
"Which country did you-"
"..." All questions are barging into his ears all at once, the girls all gather around him with curious and interest.
"U-Um, everyone, p-please clear out, there's... um... there's nothing to-" Shake, shake!
"Huh?" The ground shakes, signifying of...
"What the...?" Cruulch! Growl! Stomp!
"What in the...?" A black IS unit without anyone operating it appeared out of the ground in the campus, it's quite gigantic in size and it seems to be well equiped. "What's going...?" Ichika asked.
"A-A... An unmanned drone!" Yamada-sensei said.
"E-Everyone, clear out please! It's too dangerous!"
Stomp, stomp. The unmanned IS as Yamada-sensei would put it turn to the lots of crowd, specifically the one where Ichika is located. Its sensor is directed towards him. "Target: Confirmed." It said raising its hand with a cannon on it, it charges forth some particles of energy.
"E-Everyone duck please!"
"G-Guaah!" Ichika is pushed by Yamada-sensei to the ground.
Blaast! Boom! "Gwaah!" The Golem as one can put it, fired at one of the facilities, causing an uproar in the campus.
"We better call forth the emergency force!" Everyone started running about.
"I-I better warn the faculty, O-Orimura-kun, please head for the emergency field immediately."
"Sa, please go ahead without me."
"H-Hey, wait! Where's-! Huh?" Ichika was about to ask where exactly is the specific location he is supposed to go but... Turning to his left, he sees the Golem to be aiming at him. "Wha..."
"Target: Confirmed." Blaast...
"Y-Yabe!" He runs at the stairs that leads to the field below but... Blast! Boom, Boom! "Wh-Whaa! Ahh! Ow!" He stumbled on the ground below where there is sand as the stairs was blown to pieces by the Golem. "Ow, that... hurt. Huh?" Stomp, stomp. The Golem approaches and aims its cannon at him to the ground. Blaast... "Y-Yabe! Ah!" He quickly stood up and ran for it. Blast! Boom! "Geh, better get out of here." He runs through the hallway that seems to lead into a warehouse of sort, this is most likely a storage for personal equipments for IS. Tap, tap! "Huff, huff, what's going on out there? Where did that- Huh? That is?" In the middle of this storage, stands an off-line IS, which means it's not operational at the moment. "IS? What is...? Hm?" There's a handprint configuration on a square screen on the sides, it seems to be for verification of identity. "..." Not really know what it is, Ichika placed his hand on it. Plin. "Eh?" Something emanated from it, presumably it just verified Ichika as... "What is this...?" Piing. "Huh? W-Waah!" Some equipments dragged Ichika onto the IS and is started to scan his face then every part of his body, most likely it's trying to verified whether he is acceptable or not as... "Wh-What is this! Ugh, argh!" Piin.
"Seed Syndrome, confirmed. Activating Zero System."
"Zero... what? Huh?" Ah helmet like apparatus then is equipped on Ichika. All sort of signs and movements are shown, indicating the system's condition and state, all of the preparations are standby and... all systems are green. Golden light emanated in the helmet. "This is..." Sharp... Sharp! Then Ichika could have sworn he saw something like a seed being cut in half and a brilliant of light are scattered. "..." His eyes are somewhat become... well, improved if one can put it, and they are quite dark at the moment. "I will..."
"Zero System: On." Piin. The lights of the helmet became much more brighter.
"Hm," The IS spread forth some wings that are of light and a saber is ignited on the hand. "I can... do this." Ichika said, all source of information gathers all around his head and his mentality at the moment is at its best. "...Hm." Whoosh, blaast! He stormed out of the storage through a take off hallway that is used for take off in this school and then... Whoosh! He soon reached the surface where... "Hm," Turning to his right.
"Target confirmed." The Golem is still there and it aims its particle beam cannon towards Ichika.
"Hm," With Ichika's eyes focused on it...
...In the command center...
"Well? How is it?"
"Our deployment forces are yet to react but... Huh?"
"What is it? Is something- Huh?" Yamada and the rest of the faculty staff see a unique sight, an IS on deployment and the one piloting it is... "Orimura... -kun?"
Blast! The Golem fired... "Zero Mode: On."
"...Understood." Ichika said understanding the system's intent, and that is... Block, Bhrrsh! He managed to deflect the blast with a barrier shield that is activated by Byakushiki's unique system followed by instructions of the Zero System. "Zero... Infinity."
"Wha... How did he...?" Yamada-sensei and the other staff were in awe of this sight. "Orimura-kun, he..."
"Wha...?" The other girls in the campus also saw the sight.
"Target: Confirmed." Blaast... As the Golem charges more energy particles...
"Hm," Whoosh, Blaaze! Ichika took the opportunity to charge forward and... Slice! Boom! The beam cannon is destroyed before it finished charging. "Hiyaa!" Slice! Boom! Then its arm is cut off.
"System off-line, unable to..."
"Hiyaa!" Crunch! Crack! The face of the Golem is smashed, deteriorating it a bit, well, almost it doesn't have a face anymore, not like machines like IS have faces but... well casting that aside... "Hiyaa!" Ichika clenchest his fist that is suited with the IS's claw... then he spread it and aims towards the... "Hiyaa!" Crunch, Crack! Craack! Crash! He went through the Golem's core, damaging it... destroying it.
"Static... Static... Off... line... Over... load..." Boom! Boom! It exploded, leaving particles of its parts all over the ground.
"Wha... S-Sugoi." Yamada-sensei and the rest of the faculty staff saw the entire scenario.
"Th-That boy... is he..."
"Waa..." The girls in campus are in awe.
"...Hm," Ichika, who is still in mid-air, slowly lands on the ground.
"Zero System: Off. Signing Off."
"I... did it." His eyes reverted back to normal color.
End of Chapter 1