Alright, here we go.
Another story from the dark and twisted place that is my mind! This one is probably going to be a big a pain in the ass as my Kämpfer of Pain story is. The world of Infinite Stratos is a confusing place. For the security of this story and later content, this shall be dubbed with an "M" rating due to the admin taking down stories because some little bitch complained.
Because honestly, that's how all of these things start out.
So… anyway, I own nothing except this story.
It was quiet, too quiet. As cliché as that sounds, the streets of the New York's slums were utterly devoid of occupation. Not a single person roamed the streets, not a single car weaved through them. It was eerie. Not even the occasional stray cat or dog was visible.
The only sound that pierced the silence was the low rumble of a US Marine Corps M2A3 'Bradley' Assault Personnel Carrier's engine as it slowly rolled through the silent streets and the quiet hum of the streetlights that lined the road. The M242 turret mounted atop the machine seemed to constantly be in motion, as if its operator was looking for something.
Inside the APC was a squad of five marines sitting dejectedly in the rear bay, a driver, and a turret operator.
"Shit, this really fuckin' weird, where the hell is everybody?" the drive commented warily.
"I know, last I heard, these places are usually jumpin, even at this hour," the turret operator replied, "Hey, you know that feeling you get when somethin' really bad's gonna happen?"
"Yeah? What about it?"
"I don't know man, 'cause right now, I get the feeling that we'll be in deep shit at some point,"
The driver snorted, "Man, we're already in deep shit. Just look what we're doin', we've become fuckin' delivery boys!"
"Ninja-3-3, this is Shogun, how copy?" a voice suddenly called form the APC's comm-radio.
"This is Ninja-3-3, we'll be at base Delta in 5 mikes, over," the APC's driver replied back.
"Roger that, Ninja-3-3, maintain present course," 'Shogun' responded.
While the driver and the gunner were chatting away in the front, the five soldiers in the back were having their own. Only theirs was a little bit more outspoken.
"Man, why're we here anyway? We're supposed to be the best soldiers around, handlin' all sorts of heavy-duty shit, not escortin' a fuckin' box across town! Give this shit to the fuckin' bitches and their fuckin' bitch-suits," one of the soldiers growled lowly.
Another soldier looked up at the speaker, "Shit, you wanna give the pussy-lickers somethin' else to sing praises about? Bad enough the shit they're saying already, we don't need another spiel about this whole 'women-strong-men-weak' bullshit again!"
"Yeah, yeah, I heard that, man," agreed another.
"BEEP BEEEP CAUTION CAUTION. IMPACT IMMINENT," the alarm klaxon wailed as it detected a white tanker truck sailing through the air, headed straight for them.
"SHIT! BRACE!" Was the last thing anyone heard in the APC before it was hit with what seemed to be a flying, oversized missile.
The truck collided with the APC and exploded, the sheer force of the impact and the detonation being enough to send the 28 ton war machine sailing through the air. The APC rolled violently down the street, tossing the soldiers inside around, before colliding with a building and exploding.
The only surviving soldier gagged on a glob of blood as he came to moments after the explosion flung him into a car. He could hear his heartbeat in his ears as he fought away another wave of blackness. He felt weak and pain flashed through his bruised and battered body almost constantly. He looked up at the buildings above him and winced before rolling over onto his hands and knees.
He slowly stood up and beheld the bloody body of one of his comrades lying next to a huge piece of building that had fallen due to the explosion. He turned his head and felt bile rise in his throat as he saw two more in their own pools of blackened blood. Fire blazed all around him, and the smoldering ruin of the APC stood out like the skeleton of some great beast.
Through his shell shock, the soldier heard a radio blaring loudly from the pocket of his commanding officer's body.
"Ninja-3-3, what is the status of your squad?"
The soldier panted and limped over to the body that held the radio. He gasped as pain rocketed through his body and leaned against a burned out car, praying that the agony would stop.
"Ninja-3-3, this is Shogun. Radio check."
He struggled to make his way over to the body, but made it and began to shakily undo the Velcro to the radio pouch on the corspe's tactical vest.
"Ninja-3-3, do you need cas-evac?"
Eventually freeing the radio, the soldier brought it to his lips, "Shogun, this is Ninja-3-3."
'Shogun' sounded relieved, "Copy, Three-Three. What's your status? Do you have the package?"
"Verifying…," he whispered hoarsely.
The soldier limped around the concrete slab and stared at the wreckage of the APC, only to backpedal as another explosion showered him with gravel. He peeked back around and heard a low 'whooshing' sound. His head snapped to the right to behold a humanoid figure diving toward the street from the sky with eerie trails of green energy streaming behind him. The figure twisted in midair and landed harshly on his feet, the sheer force of impact being enough to create a shockwave that knocked him off his feet.
The figure, obviously a human male in shape, slowly stood up. His upper body was clad in three layers of clothing. He wore a white button-up shirt with the top two buttons undone, a hooded black and orange jacket, and an unzipped black leather jacket with two white bands around the upper arms and a set of odd green tribal wings stitched across his back. He also wore a pair of dark blue jeans and simple black sneakers. His face was covered by the shadows of his hood.
The soldier's eyes widened in terror, "Holy shit…," he breathed. The hooded figure was unmistakable. It was…
The radio operator responded almost instantly, "Uzumaki Naru-? Oh shit! Blue Valkyrie, we've got Uzumaki Naruto in SD Grid 3-4. Prority One Ordinance on mark! Repeat: Uzumaki Naruto in the AO! SD Grid 3-4 is hot, we are awaiting your command!"
Said figure, now identified as Uzumaki Naruto, casually walked over to the downed APC and carelessly backhanded the remains of the 28 ton machine out of his path like they weighed nothing. The burned-out shell flew through the air and landed nearly a half block away with a mighty crash.
Naruto walked over to the body of one of the troopers and leaned down, gripping the corpse by its tactical vest and examining it before roughly throwing it back down with a shake of his head and continuing on to another body.
"Ninja-3-3, this is Blue Valkyrie. We are sending reinforcements to your position. Do not engage Uzumaki. Repeat: Do not engage Uzumaki," an unfamiliar woman's voice droned through the soldier's radio.
But the sergeant didn't hear any of that; he was too scared and too shocked by the inhuman power the man in front of him was exhibiting. Uzumaki was supposed to be a terrorist, not some monster with superhuman strength!
Still though, his back was turned. If the soldier could do it quick enough, he could slice Uzumaki's throat and be done with this madness.
"Blue Valkyrie be advised, going in for the kill," he muttered, turning his radio off before 'Blue Valkyrie' could reply.
He shakily unsheathed his combat knife and unholstered his pistol. And with adrenaline rushing through his system and instinct driving him, the soldier dashed forward and quickly sliced the young man's throat causing a fountain of, not blood, but sparks to fly from his throat. Naruto stopped his examination of the corpse, and promptly spun around, lazily backhanding the shocked soldier back into a nearby overturned van.
Naruto stood up and turned around, making a show of cracking the joints in his unmarked neck and leveling the downed soldier with a luminous acid-green eyed stare. He looked at the soldier for a moment before silently shaking his head with an amused smile and walking away.
Primal anger suddenly surged through the soldier's veins, this… this freak had killed his friends and humiliated him! He wasn't going to let the bastard get away with this! He stumbled to his feet and rushed at Naruto, who still had his back turned towards him.
"Die, Uzumaki!" he roared as he stabbed at the hooded man, completely disregarding the results of the first attempt.
The knife did not even nick the outside of Naruto's jacket, instead bouncing off like it collided with a wall of steel. Naruto stopped, spun around, and grabbed the offending irritation by his neck in a vice-grip.
Naruto's glowing eyes remained impassive as they gazed at the struggling soldier in his grasp.
"You know," he began calmly, "most people would've run away after failing to hurt me once… but then again, people would've run away after simply SEEING me. Something tells me you're not the brightest bulb in the bunch."
"Y-you monster," the soldier wheezed, struggling to breathe in Naruto's unrelenting grip.
Naruto chuckled lightly, "Monster? I suppose you could call me that, among other things… terrorist, murderer… I've heard it all before, nothing new. Now, let's get down to business, where's that package you were escorting?"
The soldier spat in his face, "Fuck you…"
Naruto flicked the spit off his face and frowned in irritation.
He was about to start ripping off his captive's fingers when he spotted something silver in his peripherals. He glanced to the side and gave a sinister little grin as he saw the silver case leaning innocently against a nearby building.
He turned back to his captive, "Well, what do you know? That's convenient."
With a single gesture, Naruto snapped the soldier's neck and tossed the body to the side carelessly. He strode across the street and scooped the case up. He gave a light squeeze and ripped the bulletproof container apart, revealing the contents inside.
Inside the case's remains was a foam enclosure containing a single heavy-duty flash drive. The blond plucked it from its protective covering and held it up to his eyes. He shrugged and popped the flash drive into his mouth like a piece of candy and swallowed. His eyes glazed over as images flashed across his mind, images of important documents, pictures, and audio files.
"You know your orders right?" a male voice echoed.
"Yes sir, I'm to bring this to the I.S. academy and hand the package off to them," another voice, probably a soldier's, responded.
"What is it lieutenant?" the first voice sounded slightly irritated.
"Why are we transferring the package to Japan?"
"None of your damn business, now back to your post!"
Naruto reviewed what he just heard and gave a small smile, "Well, I guess I'm going to Japan…"
He was cut off from his thoughts by the furious whirl of helicopter blades as a Blackhawk armed to the teeth swung over his positions and leveled its weapons on him.
"This is Ballista-1-2; I have Uzumaki in my sights, engaging."
"Ah, I don't think so," Naruto rolled his neck and smiled benignly up at the aircraft, a sinister gleam in his eyes.
"Sir, we just lost Ballista-1-2!" a soldier shouted out from his computer aboard the aircraft carrier U.S.S Ronald Reagan.
"Goddamn that Uzumaki!" General Bradford "Brad" Swanson snarled angrily, slamming his fist onto the table.
He took a deep breath and counted to ten. Once he was calm, he walked over to a holographic map of the New York AO (Area of Operations). The glowing map was pockmarked with several small red dots at various points. Each dot marked the location where Uzumaki had personally fucked up their operations. Beside the map was a blurry photograph of a hooded figure, Uzumaki Naruto. It was the only known photo of the terrorist, most of the information pertaining to his appearance and capabilities was mere speculation.
He was one elusive motherfucker, of that General Swanson was certain.
"Perkins!" He barked suddenly.
Within seconds, a young man in BDU was at his side.
"You called, sir?" he said with rigid salute.
"Yes, get me in contact with those bitches at the ISC and ask them why the FUCK are we doing this without any I.S. cover! Tell them that my men are dying out there and they can't spare one fucking machine!"
"Right away, sir!" Perkins replied and quickly went about his orders.
The general sighed loudly and walked over to his office, collapsing bonelessly in his chair and resting his forehead on his steepled fingers.
"Fuckin' bitch. Things have gone to hell since she built those things…" he muttered.
The "bitch" in question was arguably the most well-known scientist in the world, a young woman by the name of Tabane Shinanono. Years ago, Tabane herself developed a sort of powersuit for use in the exploration of space. Unfortunately, it unsuited for the task it was designed for, but WAY more suited for use as a weapon. Naturally this caused a panic when the UN realized that if this new weapon wasn't controlled, then it would mean a global war. So the UN passed the Alaska Treaty, which divided up the 467 I.S. cores, the component that allowed them to function, equally among the countries. The I.S. was forbidden for use in military operations unless sanctioned by the UN or the Infinite Stratos Commission (ISC) and was reduced to competition and sport. The I.S. naturally made all weapons obsolete, but there was a catch to use this massive power.
The I.S. could only be piloted by women.
This little condition flipped the whole world upside down. Quickly, the mentality of "Women=Strong, Men=Weak" took root and the fairer sex became the dominant gender. Men weren't as respected as they were before and were often viewed as little more than slaves. Hell' it wasn't uncommon, especially in Japan, to see random women beating up men they didn't know in the streets without consequences.
It was sickening.
"Sir, the Chairwoman for the ISC is on line 4," Perkins's voice chimed from Swanson's desk phone, breaking him out of his thoughts.
The general steeled himself and pressed a button, raising the phone to his ear. He mentally chanted a mantra to keep his considerable temper in check.
"Ah, General Swanson, what a pleasure it is to speak to you again," a nasally female voice said on the other end.
Almost instantly, just from the way she was talking DOWN at him, the general felt a surge of anger pulse across his brain.
"Chairwoman Tatsuki, you know why I'm calling, don't you?" he said, fighting to keep the venom out of his voice.
"Hmm, no, I can't say that I do. Why don't you explain it to me?"
Swanson ground his teeth, "Don't give me that bullshit! You know damn well why! I just lost twelve men toady, twelve of the finest soldiers I have! And guess what, because we didn't have the proper backup, a wanted terrorist is walking away with a fuckload of classified intelligence! If your I.S. is so goddamned powerful, why aren't they doing the missions!"
"General Swanson! I will not be spoken to in that manner! Know your place, filthy male! Next time you raise your voice to me, I'll have your job!" the chairwoman of the ISC shrieked in his ear.
"Understood," he growled, knowing full well the kind of influence that the woman had in the UN.
"That's understood, madam," she corrected as if she was talking to a five year old.
"Understood, madam," he sneered.
"Very good. Now, if you're done wasting my time, I have a pedicure scheduled. Goodbye General Swanson. Oh, and General Swanson, the I.S. is far too important to spare on your trivial little missions, make sure you remember that. Ja Ne, General," she hung up.
"Motherfucking bitch!" he snarled, slamming the phone down on the cradle.
He clenched his jaw and took a huge swig of the coffee sitting at his desk. He slammed the mug back down and growled.
"I hope she enjoys dealing with fuckups, because if she doesn't, she's definitely not going to like it when Uzumaki comes knocking."
He gave a savage little grin at the thought. If Uzumaki was a pain in the ass for him, then the terrorist was going to raise all hell when he made landfall in Japan. He raised his mug to no one in particular and took a long drink.
The general pressed a button on his phone, "Perkins."
"The ISC said that they're too good for petty matter such as terrorists, so I see no reason to bother them with trifling intelligence on Uzumaki," he said with a small, conspiratorial grin.
"Yes sir," Perkins hung up.
"Give 'em hell, Uzumaki," he muttered with a vengeful chuckle.
Meanwhile, in the land of the rising sun, the whole nation was shocked to discover that a MALE was capable of piloting an Infinite Stratos. The boy's name was Orimura Ichika, the younger brother of Mondo Grosso champion, Chifuyu Orimura. He was apparently going to be admitted to the I.S. academy as the first and only male student.
Currently, Ichika was in his room in the house he shared with his sister, repeatedly thumping his head on the wall with a despondent look on his face. He was relatively tall for a Japanese boy and had messy black hair and odd, wine-colored eyes.
"My life is over…," he moaned.
"Quit your moaning, it's not the end of the world," a female voice quipped as a shadow appeared in the doorway. It was a tall woman with long, waist-length black hair arranged in a similar fashion to Ichika and sharp red eyes with an orange tint. Her model-like figure was clad in a loose black tank top that was a bit too short and a pair of jean shorts. She possessed an almost deadly sense of beauty.
"But Chifuyu-nee…," Ichika whined.
The woman, Chifuyu, merely shook her head and tossed a bundle of clothes at him. He caught them and stared at them confusedly. The bundle contained a white blazer trimmed in red and black with white pants.
"What are these?"
Chifuyu rolled her eyes at her younger brother's ignorance.
"That," she pointed at the clothes, "is your I.S. academy uniform."
She lazily pushed a box into the room and took a sip of her beer, "These are your textbooks and reference materials. Go over them."
Ichika cautiously opened the box and balked at the thickness of the books within. They must've been at LEAST 5 inches thick! He opened one and paled at the huge wall of text accompanied by a lack of diagrams or pictures. He turned back to Chifuyu with a horrified look on his face.
"Don't give me that look, It isn't as bad as you thi-," she trailed off suddenly, her head snapping to look out the window at the glimmering skyline in the distance.
"Chifuyu-nee, what is it?"
She let her gaze linger for moment before shaking her head, "It's nothing, now go to bed, you have a lot to do tomorrow."
She flicked the light off and disappeared into the hallway. Ichika cast one last worried look at the door before climbing into bed and falling asleep.
In her own bed, Chifuyu lay awake, her eyes staring warily at the sky through the skylight that loomed over her. She didn't know how to describe it, but she could feel something in the air.
"Something's coming, I can feel it…" she breathed, her eyes closing.
And as she slept, she dreamed of fire.
The receptionist at Tokyo airport blushed heavily as a certain hooded man took his bags and verified his passports. He was incredibly handsome with sharp, regal features with a slight wild charm added by the three ragged scars crossing each cheek. Locks of spiky blond hair hung over his forehead and framed his face perfectly. He was deathly pale and looked like he had some gray tinting surrounding his eyes.
"Did you enjoy your flight?" she asked with smile.
Luminous acid-green eyes with eerily slit pupils glanced up at her, "Yes, ma'am."
She did one last check over of the blond's papers and gave another smile, handing his documents back.
"Alright, you're all set, sir. Enjoy your stay in Japan!" she said cheerily.
Naruto Uzumaki only grinned savagely, "Oh, don't worry, I will."
So, what do you think?
Love it? Hate it? Whatever you feel about it, leave a review, it really helps me out. Don't worry about the shortness of this chapter, its only the prologue. The next ones will be longer.
Also, feel free to suggest things not pertaining to the pairing. I have that in mind already.
Oh, and a big thank you to my BETA ShadowAce117.