Chapter 21 is a go!

Finally introducing the LAST of the main heroines in the story. Sheesh it's been a LONG time I've been waiting for this and that was worded funny.

Kira: So my harem days are numbered now?!

Yes.

Kira: FREEEEEEEEEEEEDOM!

But you still have to last until that chapter where the romantic ends are tied up.

Kira: DAMNIT!

Anyways, here we go!


Chapter 17: Similarities of a Prototype


"What."

"I want you to pair up with my little sister."

"Again… What."

"Oh come on, Kira-kun. Pweeeease?" Tatenashi stop doing puppy dog eyes. I'm a cold killer at times, it's not going to work. Though I guess she'll stop bothering me so much if I do this… Also, I've been hearing a lot about this mysterious sister of hers. Disappearing in classes at times and usually typing away at her keyboard, and the teacher doesn't seem to mind as well. There's more than meets the eye here and I'm going to find out what exactly.

I finally told Tatenashi that I'd try to partner up with her, which is non-committal, keyword being try, and headed over to her classroom.

Opening the door to her classroom, I swore the room froze when they saw me. I looked through the room and found Tatenashi's younger sibling, Kazanashi Sarashiki. Thank you Identifyer.

I was warned that Kazanashi wouldn't exactly be the friendliest soul in existence, especially to me, since I'm a good friend of Ichika, and turns out because his IS got put on priority Kazanashi's is currently unfinished, which means that by association she might be hostile. A little social engineering and applied psychology should be enough to change that.

E, I'll need a swivel chair.

Remind me why we have this in our IS storage?

Because we had a professional meeting with some country leaders about the Spartans and I wanted to slide in to be awesome, intimidating, and professional all at the same time. Now, swivel chair?

You are so stupid at times.

Point taken.

I sat down and slid my way over to Kazanashi in one smooth push, who was impassive towards my presence.

Holy shit!

What?!

That code… it's on par with our MAC Cannon salvo launchers… she's a real genius whiz then.

Getting past your fangirling…

I quickly scanned her over. Her hair was short and quite in contrast to Tatenashi's, and she had rectangular glasses that gave off an aura of unamusement.

"Hello, I'm Orthun Kira." I introduced myself.

The clacking of her keyboard stopped, "…I know."

She stood up, her right shoulder shaking a bit. I tensed up in case she attacked, even if I had shields. It's just a natural instinct, "I… would punch you… but that would a hassle…"

I like this girl already.

She threatens to punch you, and you like her for that?

I appreciate her guts. Most people would probably not even put up a fight against me.

"Is there anything you need?" she blandly stated, sitting back down.

"I would like to request that you partner with me for the tag tournament."

"No." No hesitation! But I refuse to give up though. That and Tatenashi will annoy me to the depths of the earth itself if I don't do this.

"…I would like to request the same thing again. Would you be my partner in the tag tournament?"

"…I don't want to." Aha! Hesitation! "A-and you should look for other groups."

Damnit, I can't just say 'Tatenashi asked me to' because that would be a bad idea.

"However, my offer still-"

"KIRA!"

"Shit!" I quickly cloaked myself and leapt up into the corner. Don't see me here Madoka… please don't see me…

"He's not here, Madoka-san." Thank you Rei! You've saved me more time than I've saved you! And now I really sound like an anime protagonist…

As they walked out of the room, I decloaked and landed, "Regardless, Sarashiki-san, my offer still stands. If you would like to change your mind, please inform me at your earliest convenience…"


Damnit that girl is really stubborn, isn't she?

This, coming from you.

I know! That's the whole damn point! Anyways- agh the stupid machine ate my bill! Great, now I gotta pay double for my drink… Anyways E, what do you suggest we do?

I would say just keep eroding her defenses.

That sounded really wrong for some reason. Anyways- damnit vending machine gave me two wrong drinks?! I'd blow it to all hell but I'd probably get in trouble for that. Well, I guess- oh hey Kazanashi just came out of the preparation room. But I thought her IS was being made… hm… judging by that quick tool it looks very similar to the training units here. My guess is that it's a custom made one.

"Oi, Sarashiki-san!" I called out, walking towards her, "Stupid vending machine gave me two drinks I don't want both of them. So, red tea or grape juice, which one do you want?"

This is the stupidest way of getting past her defenses.

I'm desperate and out of ideas E.

"…" I noticed she began walking away.

"Kazanashi-san." I called out, wondering if she would respond.

She stopped dead in her tracks, "Don't call me by my name."

"Then, Sarakshiki-san-"

"Don't call me by my family name."

"So-"

"Don't… bother me."

I sighed, shaking my head, before briskly walking to catch up to her, "Look, I don't need two cans. Just pick one."

"…" she was quiet, but stopped walking away at least.

"Which one?"

"The… grape."

"Okay then," I handed over the juice can. Our hands brushed for brief second, but it's just like it mattered.

Oooh yes it does.

What the hell are you talking about E?

Come on Kira, in every anime where a guy and girl's hand touch by accident, one of them ends up falling for the other one eventually. And let's face it; your life now is straight out of an anime.

…Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu- Oh hey she's leaving, "Oi, girl over there!"

"…"

"Or, you, you know."

"W-what do you mean?" she asked, a bit startled.

"You told me not to call you by name." Aaaand she can't argue because she did tell me that. Sometimes I love messing with people.

"…It would be better for you to call me by my name then…"

"Ah, okay. Kazanashi-san." She started walking away again but I caught up, "So then, would you like to partner with me?"

"No." Again, no hesitation.

"Don't say that." I pleaded. Great, I'm begging. I get more pathetic by the second…

"Why do you want to pair up with me?"

I can't say Tatenashi's name… what else…

I looked at her bracer and came up with an idea, "I'd like to see your custom IS-"

Shck!

I noticed she was a bit surprised at my barrier. I… should have expected that, shouldn't I?

Well, there goes that plan… time to think of a different approach. But first I need to relax a bit.


I was lounging in my room, playing some more Planetside 2 to ease my mind while I thought of a way to convince Kazanashi to partner up with me. I know that the Maintenance Branch of the school could probably help me out, plus having Tabane would help as well.

Turning around as the door opened, I quickly went back to my game as I saw it was only Tatenashi.

"I brought cream puffs~" Ever since Cannonball Fast she's been a lot less… forward now, "Would you like some?"

"Playing right now," I mumbled, disabling my mic, "So, what did you need?"

"Hm… judging by the book that's out, you were thinking of having the Maintenance Branch help you out."

"All hail your observational skills," I rolled my eyes, "So, what do you think?"

"That might not be the best plan."

"Explain." I gestured, killing another Terran Republic soldier. New Conglomerate for the win. Then again I just like playing as rebels all the time.

"She would like to assemble her own unit."

"Pride is a terrible thing." I shrugged, biting back a curse as a MAX suit came up from behind and killed me.

"Well then, how did things with Kazanashi-chan go?"

"She tried to hit me, but I had my shields up."

"Mhhm, she wouldn't waste her strength on such a meaningless act…"

"Eh, I wouldn't know. Sometimes I just feel like hitting things." I said while running over three more Vanus.

"So… did you touch her butt?"

"What."

"The breasts?"

"Why the hell do you think I'm some sort of sexual harassment person?"

"It can't be helped, can it? If you'd like, onee-sama will let you touch hers."

"Do I need to remind you to put some clothes on?!" I growled, glaring at her.

"Ufufu," that stupid laugh again, "I'm only kidding."

There are times, Tatenashi, that you are even more terrifying that Madoka. Anyways, I can't exactly ask her tomorrow, I've got this stupid interview thing…


"Remind me why I'm doing this again?"

"Oh come on, you need the publicity. Besides, we have to let more civilians get to know you better." Jason laughed, patting me on the back, "And it's not like you're alone in this."

Stupid interview and stupid PR department convincing me to do this.

"Wait up, Houki!" Oh, Ichika's here as well? And for once we're not actually dressed in our uniforms. We're all in casual clothing. I don't know though, it feels wrong if I described what Houki looked like, like I'm going behind my bro's back or something. However, they were holding hands eventually. So awkward, ha. "Oh, you're here as well Kira?"

"PR Department wants me to be in more civilian based things," I shrugged, "Let me guess, interview and photo shoot?"

"Yeah." He nodded, "Well, you have fun with your interview."

I sat down on the seat in my room, where we'd be doing a camera interview. The seat was rather comfortable, though I would've appreciated a sofa…

"Good morning, Orthun-san-"

"Kira," I interrupted, "Just Kira."

"Ah, okay. So, let's get right with the questions!" My interviewer was Mayuzumi Nagisako, dressed fancily in a suit, "So Kira, what are your thoughts of entering an all-girls school?"

"...Can I ask why this is the first question?"

"I can't help it, it's what a lot of people are wondering."

"Well… to tell the truth… there are remarkably few toliets to be used."

Mayuzumi broke into laughter, "I can't believe it! The harem king who isn't interested in girls!"

…Harem… king. E, plug your ears because I'm going to start mentally screaming.

One… two… WHATTHEHOLYFUCKINGHELLONWHEELSWITHSHITCOVEREDTIRES ISTHISASSHOLEOFAWORLDTHINKING?!

Okay, done.

Coughing, I continued, "It's true. I only make it through the day by drinking all the water I normally do after the school day ends."

"O-okay," Mayuzumi was slowly recovering, "So… are there any permits to enter this kingdom?"

I felt my jaw unhinge at this question.

"Kira, are you alright?"

"Just… surprised at a question. And well, if you can pilot an IS, then sure, there's your ticket in." I shrugged, going for a neutral and noncommittal answer, "Though to be honest, it isn't a guy's paradise like it's all worked up to be. I mean, may the Force be with you if you have one of my teachers and if she's watching this she knows who she is."

That's right Chifuyu, calling you out.

"Okay, okay. Next, who's stronger? You, or Ichika-san?"

"I can say that without a doubt… that we're equal."

"Care to explain?"

"To me, strength is about willing to fight on for your dream. We're both equal there. We both want our dream as much as the other one does, making us equal. I don't think either of us would ever give up on our dreams, so that can't be decided. Though, in a mock battle… I'm pretty sure I could win, but Ichika's a really good fighter as well. If you saw the Cannonball Fast footage, his Shooter Flow move had me on the ropes for a bit."

"Ahh. Though some would ask how you can be a hero if you can't win all of your battles."

"I'm not hero, I'm just a soldier. Besides, even if I was a hero, there are no flawless heroes."

"Oh, that's a good line. You could put it into a movie."

Note to self, watch more movies before interviews.

"So then, Kira, why don't you tell everyone your feelings when you're on the battlefield?"

"…On the battlefield there is no glory, just you, the enemy, and your respective weapons. Nothing else matters." I answered quite solemnly. I've been raised with those ideas of battle. There are no glorious heroes that bravely and brazenly rush into the enemy base, there are just media lies meant to be propaganda. There is not destiny on a battlefield except for the one you make, "I… apologize, to those who think otherwise, if the reality of such was too blunt."

"You sound like you have experience."

"I watched my best friend die in front of me as we fought for our lives. There was no glory that day." I calmly replied, not going to tarnish Luke's name in any way.

"A-anyways, we should move onto the photo shoot."

For the shoot I ended up wearing black jeans, a dark green polo shirt that was tucked in, and a custom belt that had the Legendary symbol from Halo on it. Plus I get to keep the belt. Oh, and the Inverness cape which was supposed to be left open that they gave me wasn't half bad. Apparently they wanted me to pose as a 'rugged hero that had been away from home', as they knew I spent a lot of my time in the US, the place I still considered home. I had no problem with that though, as it did fit me a bit. I'd like to return to the US after this tournament and then also the SlipSpace testing. Get a chance to revisit my roots and all that. Well, I'm done here though, so might as well head back.


This is stupid! Give everyone one week and the rumor mill is cranking out crap about Kazanashi and I. I'm apparently trying to get closer to her or chasing her or all of that. I even checked some of the security logs and the girls that are after me are practicing to kill me. I'm so dead if they all gang up on me, not even Laura is going to help me, let alone Madoka who actually is quite fine but is in her 'pouty' mode and would just turn me away. Rei on the other hand is having a ball with this and just laughing the whole way through. Ugh.

But hey, I'm bored and fueling the rumor mills is going to be something I enjoy because it amuses me at times especially when something completely insane is then turned into something even more insane, and my time is numbered anyways, considering that Cecilia, Charlotte, and Laura are all after me.

Good, the windows are open. And it's about lunch time, people are just too lazy to get out of the classrooms right now.

"Oi, Kazanashi-san." Ignore the screams of how I'm calling her by her first name, "Lunch is my treat today."

She instead curled up like a small rabbit, but hey, I need to get her to say that I'll be her partner, so why not pull out all the stops?

I reached out a bit and tugged her… before throwing her up into a Bride Style carry and leaping out the window. Because I'm that damn awesome.

Cue the Michael Bay explosion!

I ignored all of Kazanashi's protests the entire way, kicking open the door to the cafeteria, "Made it!"

"L-let go…!" she hit me on the head, as I forgot to have my shields up. Anyways- GAH! Holy shit she kicks hard… right in the chin as well… "B-baka, stop fooling around!"

"Stop kicking me, you're letting me see up your skirt." I told her bluntly as if I didn't really care. She stopped flailing around as I set her down, mumbling the word 'Unforgiveable' continuously. Tatenashi, I hope you're happy I have to sacrifice so much for you to stop bothering me, "Now, they've got Tartar Fried Chicken," Though I prefer Kentucky Fried Chicken, "What do you want?"

"…"

"I guess you'll have it then?"

"…no meat." Why does she seem more like Rei Ayanami now?

"Seafood Rice Bowl?"

"U-udon…"

"Eh?" I looked at Kazanashi, who was squirming and unable to look at me before mumbling her order again, "Eggs with that?" she shook her head.

"K-kakiage." She meekly said.

"Okay then." I scanned the area, noting that we had beaten everyone here, "Say, why do you need glasses anyways? You seem to be good enough without them right now."

"Portable display."

"Ah, like my HUD System," I nodded as I grabbed our meals. We took a seat nearby the windows where you could overlook the sea nearby. Huh, I never realized that this place was actually easily defendable.

Eating in silence, I snuck glances out the window, as if waiting for a laser target. Ugh, I'm getting really paranoid… but even so…

"Do you… conquer girls like that?" Kazanashi broke the silence, her ears red as she asked.

"E-excuse me?" Oh… I did pick her up and run her here… "Oh, sorry about that. It's pretty out of character for me but sometimes I need a way to sometimes let go in life. Anyways, do you want a piece? Oh wait, you don't like meat, sorry about that-"

"E-erm, it's alright, if it's chicken." Yes! Another fellow chicken-lover!

"I see. Then, here you go," I held it near her mouth, and she only managed to bite off half of it. She chewed for a bit, savoring the flavor as I shrugged and finished off the piece.

"Deh!" she sounded rather shocked right before she swallowed. Must be the flavor, I suppose. Why is she glaring at me like- ooooooh crap. Okay then, moving on.

"Hey, Kazanashi-san, do you mind sharing some of the Kakiage with me?" I quickly asked, changing the subject.

"N-no way!" …wow she's even lifting up the bowl and moving away. Well, someone likes their food.

Like at the Saint Patrick's Day party you-

You are not mentioning that! "Er, sorry. Didn't know you liked it so much."

"I… I won't give this to you."

"…It's just Kakiage…"I mumbled. Before reaching over to snag a bit-

"WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!" she shrieked before turning away, accidentally spilling a bit of chilli peppers into my rice. Well, whatever. I guess I can still eat it.

Omnomnomnom… oh my.

Kira…

"WHATTHEHELLLLLLLLLLLLLLL?! HOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOTTTTTTTTTTTTT! "

E, administer sedatives, get my tongue back to normal! Oh gosh it's way too hot I can't think straight ahhhhhhh!

"…Such misfortune."

"Serves you right." How cruel…


Before getting back to class, I phoned Tabane and asked her to send me all the tools I'd need to finish building an IS… from scratch, anyways. She offered to help but I said this is something that needs to be done by who I'm helping. Tabane said she understood the feeling as well.

Why… why do I push so hard for Kazanashi anyways? It's not just because Tatenashi will annoy me, I tried fooling myself with that.

Is it because she looked so alone?

Maybe. I kept hearing rumors about how she had 'special privileges' from her sister and all of that, plus that left her alone. Not to mention people constantly tried to get close to her when they really wanted to get close with her sister. How despicable…

Hm, your inner heroics are going again.

I can't help it anymore… I guess this is how Luke felt, huh? Heh, well then, I intend to make him proud of the ideals that he had if I live by them… I don't even know when I took then up, anyways. But enough flashbacking… even if I've done a lot more of it lately.

Anyways, I marched straight into Kazanashi's classroom and went straight for her desk.

"Kazanashi-san, would you please partner up with me?"

"O-okay!" she suddenly turned and looked at me, a look of shock on her face.

"Excellent. Let's GO!" I yanked her hand slightly and ran for it, dragging us all the way to the staff room where I got the papers signed and confirmed. YES! I DID IT! HELL YEAH! Man I feel amazing right now!

I'm on, top of the world, looking-

KIRA STOP MENTALLY SINGING!

Oh come on E, you know I sing amazingly. Anyways, "Great Kazanashi-san. Let's make sure to win this thing!"

"W-well…"

"And I've got a full set of tools ready for IS construction, so met me down by the preparation rooms." I quickly sprinted away, "Just let me grab them beforehand! Oh, wait, uh, go to the second room! Meet you there!"


"Alright then, let's have a looksee, shall see?" I ignored the masses of girls that were practically drooling over the set of tools developed by Tabane herself. She's really outdone herself here, hasn't she?

Kazanashi brought out her machine and dismounted. It was a customized Uchigane, one meant for a lot of far off attack power. Its name was Uchinage Nishiki, a fine name for a machine if I do say so myself. It looked a bit like Byakushiki but that's mainly because it was actually partially created before being shipped here to be finished. And that's exactly what we're going to do.

"So what's left for you do to?"

"Armaments…" Oh that'll be easy, "And operational data…"

"So what does it have?"

"Hi-performance guided missiles that use a complicated lock-on system…"

"E can help you with that one," I nodded, "Anything else?"

"The particle cannon isn't set yet…"

"Oh that's an easy one," I brought up the data of my Beam Rifle. I could us the Spartan Laser as well, "Hold on, does it charge up slowly or…"

"Quick fire with cooldown."

"Beam Rifle it is." I nodded, sitting down next to her as she opened up her coding, "Alright, I actually do know this code front and back… so you can use this one as reference…"

I brought out a chip like the one E usually is in but this time, however it's more just a data drive. I put it in a projector, and it functions like a holoscreen which she can read the data from. She quickly got to work, analyzing the components of both and adding to her code what she had missing. It's amazing, how quickly she processes information, eyes darting back and forth like a well-oiled machine. Breathtaking, I'll tell you.

Kira you're sounding creepy.

I can't admire someone's hard work?

Sooner or later Honne came over as 'Kan-chan's personal maid' that works only four out of seven days a week, swearing she wasn't here because of Tatenashi. E, can you quickly scan over Kazanashi's IS armor? Check for any weak points or vulnerabilities.

Okaaaaay… done. Everything's fine! Alright, now all that's left is the weapon support systems.

And so we worked unto the night, losing all track of time. Data values flooded our eyes as we continued to improve and improve on Kazanashi's machine, turning it from second rate half-done product to an equivalent of a custom made unit of today. Maybe not fourth gen worthy, but definitely up there. Unfortunately we can't rely too much on the IS' self-improvement without actual combat, and a mock fight won't give you that unless you're really fighting for your life, which is why Ichika was able to bring out First Shift against Cecilia.

Soon enough we went out to the flight arena, ready to test out Kazanashi's IS.

"I am the trigger of my gun," I mumbled, leaping up and letting MJOLNIR don itself on me.

All systems green. We are ready for takeoff.

Thank you Ichika, without your (borrowed) data this wouldn't be so successful.

Kira you're making it sound like you got it illegally.

Okay, fine. But then again, it always helps to have compatible data.

"Kazanashi-san, are you ready to take off?" I asked, giving the thrusters a small amount of use just to warm them up, along with the Longsword Wings for some extra speed.

"Y-yes…"

"Then I'll meet you at the tower."

"Aren't you going to-" she asked when I didn't use the speed railing and instead ran down the platform because leaping off and igniting all of my thrusting abilities at the perfect moment- that came out wrong… anyways, E, would you mind keeping track of her machine?

No problem… aw, isn't that cute? She's zooming onto your face!

Say what now-?! Never mind!

Okay… she's putting up her shields… hold on it's causing her machine to mess around… ah, she's fixed it. Good.

"Hey there!" I yelled out as she flew close, "But damn, that was nearly as fast as Blue Tears. Anyways, race you to the bo-" She quickly took off after that, like she was running away from me. Well then, let's pull out all of the stops on this one.

Full thrusters, engage!

I became a burning ball of metal, not really though, but I could if I lit myself on fire, chasing after Kazanashi, catching up with her. Though that's pretty good- hold on are those sparks…

BOOM!

"KAZANASHIIIIIII!" I screamed instinctively, jumping into SlipSpace and warping right next to her and grabbing her before shifting us so that my back would face the wall we were flying towards. Swap to Thruster Packs, maximum cold start initiated, lock down armor to prevent majority of the damage-

"Tch!" I grunted, slamming into the wall, my Energy Shields apparently taking a big hit, but they charged up fairly quickly, "Damnit… ahuh!" I desummoned my helmet before coughing up a little bit of blood, "Bleh…"

"O…Orthun…kun…"

"I'll be alright, don't worry. I've been hit with far worse, though it certainly hurts like hell," I forced a rather awkward smile, "Now… er… could you get me out of this wall? I'm a bit stuck, but if you help pull me out I should be good."

She shyly grabbed my hand before I used my suit's thrusters to help push me out. I also noticed that some channels had popped up, "This is Orthun Kira, Class 1-1. If you're asking about the tower it was an accident, reporting back to Maintenance Base 2." E, if you don't mind, could you look at what her machine was processing? We might be able to find the coding malfunction. I think it might have been an excess amount of power poured into the leg thrusters. If not, we can always look at the hardware afterwards.

No problem. I'll get right on it, and I'll tell you if anything comes up.

I noticed that as we walked back, Kazanashi looked a lot smaller than she usually did, as if she was trying to disappear. Then again her pride just took a major blow, the machine she fine-tuned ended up exploding and all that…

We had to turn in a report afterwards, with it being ten pages and all, but it wasn't much.

"So… I think it's time we call in some help." I offered, waiting for her response.

"…Yes." Hm? Ah, well then, I think we should pull out everything we have.

"I'll… phone a good friend of mine. I believe she'll be of assistance." I nodded before parting ways, "See you later, Kazanashi."

"Don't…!"

"What?"

"Don't just call me… Kazanashi…"

"Sorry, it slipped my mind," I shrugged, "Good night, Kazanashi-san."

We'd need a good night, after all... there was a battle to be done.


So we stood, ready to take on the beast that was fixing up Kazanashi's IS.

"Ki-kun, everyone else!"

"Yes, Tabane/Shinonono-san?" rang out between myself and all of the girls of the conditioning class.

"Let's do this."

"Let's get dangerous," I mumbled.

No, 'Death or glory?'

We'll save that for the last minute stuff. Now, let's get to work.

The mad dash to fix Kazanashi's IS began.

Slowly the room became a mess… a rather organized mess if I do say so myself. LCD players, cables, tools were everywhere yet everyone seemed to know exactly where they were. Meanwhile Kazanashi was working on the software with E who had found most of the errors in the coding that were simply due to compatibility errors which E had already decided to try to fix using a variety of simulators. Did I mention that she's using eight different keyboards at once? That's enough to put even the best video game players to shame… and my inner game was just knocked down a peg. Seriously, she's typing with her toes. That's amazing and creepy at the same time.

"Kira!" E shouted, "I found an issue that I can't really fix! This Multi Lockon System is great, but I can't get the coding right!"

"Tabane!"

"On it!"

We all got passes to skip classes actually, so we could finish this as this was going to be a big event, even bigger than Cannonball Fast. We would not fail. We couldn't. There was no other choice.

"Ki-kun!"

"Yes?"

"I don't know how we could do this either!"

"Let me see!" I dashed over and looked at the coding, "Okay… okay… everything seems to be okay… So I'm assuming you're going for independent control of all of these missiles at once?" Kazanashi nodded, "Okay, so let's see here… E, pull up the coding for our Missile Pods. Okay, now we have individual lock on with this. I know we've got coding for the ASGM-10 missiles, so do you think you could try a synthesis the coding to give lockon abilities to each individual missile if the system is activated? It should give us the Missile Pods part targeting ability for larger targets while adding the ASGM-10 Missile's excellent lock on."

"Why don't you add them to your own missiles, Kira?" one of the girls asked.

"Special IS software system, can't do that too much," I bluntly answered, "Give it a shot. And someone get me a blowtorch, we've got to finish patching up the hole that was made in that armor!" After being handed said blowtorch I put on my armor. Seriously, since I've achieved hundred-percent sync with E already, even if she's out of the armor I can still do this. Should probably remember that for later, or it would've actually been handy before, "Watch out, everyone!"

Sparks flew as I turned on the blowtorch, finally sealing the hole since we had to rewire and reconstruct almost the entire thing from the inside out. Luckily Tabane was here and had a bunch of extra parts that were easily customizable lying around. Let's do this!


"Sheesh…" I sank against the wall, slumping on the ground, "So tired…"

"Here you go Kira," Tabane sat down next to me and passed me a cup of hot chocolate.

"Thanks a bunch," I forced myself up and downed the liquid, "Oh boy that's the stuff."

"So I have to ask Kira," Tabane twiddled her fingers, "What's got you going to help this Kazanashi girl so much?"

"I… I guess because when I saw her in the classroom she just looked so alone."

"Hm?"

"No one was talking to her, or even wanted to." I shrugged, "And because of that I thought I should help her."

"Ehehe, so Ki-kun's heroic instincts took over again?"

"No such thing," I growled, "I'm not a hero. I'm just a guy that tries to do what I see is right."

"Isn't that what most heroes do?"

"Well… I've done too many bad things in life to be considered a hero." I sighed, "Besides, I fit more in the anti-hero territory. But whatever…"

"But Kira, there's no such thing as a flawless hero, right?"

"Yes, but even so… I'm no hero."

"If you say so… now, time's up! Let's get back to work!"

"But I don't wannaaaaaaaaaa…" I whined, sinking lower and watching my man points drop.

"Do you want to help Kazanashi or not?"

"I do… but I need sleep!"

"You'll get it later! Let's go!" Ugh… I wish I had your energy, Tabane. But none the less, there is no gain without pain. All advances must have sacrifice. To complete Kazanashi's partner… we must prevail over our limits-

"WHOOOHOOO!" I heard E shout, "HELL YES!"

"What is it?!" I screamed as everyone ran into the room.

"I've done it!" E proclaimed, dancing happily, "Finally we got the Multi Lockon System working!"

"Brilliant! Now, what's left?" I looked around, "Wait… what day is it?"

"We've got… two days before the…" Tabane yawned in sync with everyone else, "…match…"

And it all went black.


"Ugh…" I groaned, trying to sit up by really couldn't. Why… oh boy Tabane and Kazanashi are sleeping on me. Huh, I can't move my arms- oh no. Nonononono!

"Uwah… Ki-kun…"

"O-orthun…kun…"

I am the trigger of my gun. I am the trigger of my gun. I am the trigger of my gun. I AM THE TRIGGER OF MY GUN! Wait a second, when did Kazanashi… oh hell no, not another one! That's it, after the SlipSpace test we have in a while I'm going to take a vacation, because I really need to chill out.

Ah, hold on… let's see, equip my suit on. What would wake them up…?

Oh, I know! Let's just crank my microphone up high, turn down my external sound inputs… wow I sound like a robot, whatever, let's do this, "ARE YOU READY TO RUMBLEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE?!"

After watching everyone scream in agony as they were woken up quite rudely, I sat, smirking at my handiwork. Well, what's left to do now? We've finished everything there needs to be done aside from some aesthetics which I insisted on, as it's not a personal unit until you have something that denotes that it's yours.

However… Kazanashi's stuck. She doesn't exactly know what she could put… maybe I could go snooping?

Kira, you're not going to stalk her.

Okay, that rules that out of the- hey, is she reading… holy sweet shenanigans she's reading YuGiOh 5Ds… huh, I know exactly what we could put on it.

"Kazanashi-san!"

"U-uwah!" she quickly fumbled to put her book away, "D-don't sneak up on me like that!"

"Sorry about that. Anyways, I just figured out a symbol we could put right on the back of your IS, and I think you'd like it."

"What… what is it?"

I pulled up a picture of the Crimson Dragon symbol, "You like it?"


Holy crap her unit looks amazing now. It's like someone went to a Uchigane training unit and spruced it up, painted it silver, and stuck the Crimson Dragon on the back. Add in about a bajillion missile launchers and you've got yourself a great amount of firepower. I'd say it's ready to go.

Unfortunately we finished last minute so there's no chance to test it out. We've got our match in a day, and I need a lot of rest.

"Oi, Kazanashi-san, I'm going to get some sleep now that we're done." I called out, leaving the room.

"O…okay…"

"You should probably get some sleep as well, wouldn't want you passing out tomorrow, right?"

"Right." She nodded, "I will see you tomorrow then."

"You too," I walked away from her, thinking about the battle. The Spartans are going to be providing some security, since Phantom Task might strike here, but who knows anymore. We haven't been able to find anything else of theirs, which is troubling. It means they're hiding and something bad is brewing.

But we're going to be ready, or at least, as ready as we'll ever be. But for now, there's someone I gotta help. But first….Sleep.


Aaaand done! Next episode we've got the big fight at the end of Volume 7! It's gonna be awesome!

Well, if you liked it please leave a review! Only SEVENTEEN MORE to go to hit one hundred! It'll be my first story to hit the triple digits, so help a guy out! Questions, comments, concerns, it's all accepted. Just please try to make criticism constructive though, should you choose to do so.

Oh, and I also totally forgot to mention why I even designed the society in this story the way I did. Just look at the name: Infinite Stratos

Infinite: That's a given.

Stratos: Can be based from Stratify, which is to arrange into layers/classes. All women's combat suit that trumps all others=female dominant society in the militaristic world of today, leading to a REstratification of the social arrangement of today

Therefore:

Infinite Stratos then leads to Infinite Stratification (of society), and with the way the Infinite Stratos has become… yeah. I wonder if the creator had that in mind when the series was created. Anyways, enough of my insane logic, seeya guys next chapter!