Ahhh, it's good to be back to this fic!

This fic ain't dead yet, just so you know.

Anyways, as usual, I don't own Infinite Stratos of Warhammer 40K.

Chapter 4: Old Friends


I sat in the classroom before class actually started, bored out of my skull. Damnit, I am so bored that I'd be willing to let a Slaanesh run rampant in the school for a little bit to give me some fun later.

Wow you are really bored.

Hey, no one wants to spar considering how I absolutely curb stomped those girls in the arena beforehand.

"Ichika-san," Marie, one of the girls that wasn't actively trying to kill me asked, "Did you hear about Class 1-2? They just changed their Class Representative, and apparently she's a Representative Pilot from China… or was it somewhere else?" This perked my attention up and I immediately stopped slouching. New blood, it seems. I'm still gonna win this tournament though, because the winner gets a half year's worth of dessert coupons. And that means HOTPODS!

"Heh, it'll be interesting to face them in combat," I grinned, making Marie laugh a little bit.

"Ichika-san, don't flatter yourself. She came to face me," Did I mention how Cecilia's been a lot nicer to me for some reason? Yeah, I don't understand either. Oh wait, I do. Apparently the Emperor is testing me to see if I will fall to carnal desires when faced with a harem after me, but I will prevail! I will show him my loyalty is his and his alone!

I heard Minato chuckling in the back of my head as the door to the classroom slid open. I turned to see the newest entry into our classroom-

"Rin, is that you?!" I shot straight out of my seat, "It is!"

"Yes, it's me. I'm the representative from China, and I come to your classroom to declare war!" …What's up with the personality change… then again who am I to talk?

Yes, because you ended up getting some triple way personality with you, me, and that IS' personality taking a back seat at the moment.

I don't need your sarcasm this early in the morning Minato.

"Oh by the way you might want to block from above with your right arm… now." Rin hesitated for a second but did as I said, and Chifuyu-nee materialized out of nowhere and nearly whacked Rin upside the head but was blocked. She launched a glare which I dodged… somehow, and sat back down as she left for homeroom.

And unfortunately, no killer sensei. That would've at least spiced up my morning-

I threw my notebook and dived, dodging the first knife and blocking the second thrown one as the book implanted itself onto the wall. Breaking out of my recovery roll I cross countered Yamada-sensei's punch, taking a nasty hit but leaving her open to a kick from the side with my left. She hit the ground first, me still standing, before she coughed into her hand and left for the podium at the front of the classroom.

Ah, early morning sparring. Yamada-sensei can really give me a run for my money as a Space Marine sometimes. Shame that she sided with the IS rather than the Space Marines and the Emperor. She would've made a fine warrior…

Heads up.

Wait what-

BAM!

"Pay attention, baka." Ah, Chifuyu-nee. Sorry for zoning out, I was thinking about Yamada-sensei being a Space Marine. Ugh, how did I not see that one coming?

You were thinking about recruiting for the Space Marines, so you zoned out.

Well, time for more class… yay.


"It's your fault!" two voices, Cecilia and Houki's, chimed at the same time. They tried to hit me on the head but I lazily blocked it, not having the time for this sort of thing. No doubt they were thinking of me and not paying attention in class.

Emperor, why have you found humor in the romantic affairs of those around me?

Because it's funny.

Besides the blatantly obvious, Minato.

Anyways, we all headed off to lunch. Cecilia picked up a Western style lunch, same for me because I feel like having something different, Houki and Rin were with their standard Japanese meals.

Ah, bacon cheeseburgers, you beat field rations anyday.

"You know Rin," I mumbled while chomping through my burger, "If you just let the noodles sit there, they'll lose whatever spring they've got."

"It's not my fault you took so long!" she shot back.

"You could've eaten then, it would free up time that you now use eating," Minato could be heard snickering in the back of my head. Ah, even though Space Marines are quite durable and also very physical, we are not without cunning logic and smarts.

"Hmph!" she huffed, starting to eat her food with a bit of a blush.

"Ichika!"Oh, right… Houki and Cecilia are still here… uh, crap.

We should've seen this coming. Execute back up plan Charlie Delta Fourty-Niner Beta!

…What?

I've always wanted to say that.

Right, anyways, moving on to better and more dangerous things, "Yes?"

"Who is this girl?!" Cecilia, I don't understand why you care so much- I keep forgetting, silly me. Now Houki, I can understand.

"Are… you dating this girl…?" Those few words attracted the attention of every single person in the cafeteria at the moment. The ones who actually liked me, because well, duh, and also the ones who were out for my blood considering that they would try to use her to get to me. However, should they mess with any one of my friends… there will be hell to pay.

"This is my second childhood friend, Huang Lingyin (A/N: I always forget which one is her first and last DX). And no, we aren't dating. Why would you immediately assume that, Houki?" I asked, resuming the eating of my burger, "Oh, and just for the record, I would totally beat you in a battle."

"No you wouldn't!" Yeah, we did have a little bit of an argument before in the lunch line. You just do not question whether or not a Space Marine can beat you. A Space Marine wins every damn time, "I'll show you! I'll be your instructor-"

"No!" Houki and Cecilia growled.

"Eherm," Rin coughed into her hand, "I am speaking with Ichika, would all those who are not involved leave?" Well, short and to the point, that's nice.

"It's my job to teach Ichika!" Cecilia argued back. Warp damnit, these girls are going to be the death of me.

They kept on arguing for a while, Rin brought up how I ate at her place, but then it was revealed it was at her parent's restaurant, Houki and Cecilia were relieved, blah blah blah… I need to fight somebody, I am that bored.

I stealthily left the table, because Space Marines are incredibly stealthy. I mean, one of the rules of the universe is "Just when you think you're safe there is probably a Space Marine ambush. OH SHI-" or whatever that book I was reading said. I believe it was a recovered journal from a Chaos encampment that the Ultramarines stumbled on. The guy really knew his stuff, didn't he?

But I can not wait for the tournament that starts in two days! Time to spill blood and wreck carnage, in the name of the Emperor!


I was lying down in our room, bouncing a stress ball of the wall, ignoring the cries of the next door neighbors to stop whatever I was doing.

"Aren't you going to stop?"

"They can try to make me." I sighed, "Sorry if I am being rude at the moment." Yes, even though I can be a ruthless fighter, I still am polite. It is unbecoming of an honorable Space Marine to use his power to force his own will on others. Such is the way of heresy, using the Emperor's gift to you for your own personal gain.

I caught the ball and didn't throw it again, "Would you like me to stop?"

"Thank you," she sighed, "I didn't know if you'd stop if I asked you to."

"Why? I thought we've always been easy to talk to each other."

"You've… changed."

"…You could say that." I arched the ball into the open drawer, "But remember Houki, as long as you don't do anything to anger me, you'll be in my good books."

"Can I ask you something?"

"Go ahead."

"What made you like this?"

An interesting question… the only questions I have is if she is worthy to know of the God Emperor of Mankind, and if she will betray him to womankind in this world if it means advancement…

She seems very trustworthy. You can seem it in her eyes.

My gaze slowly rolled over onto her eyes, which were full of conviction and determination. She wanted to become stronger, not just physically strong, but also mentally. Something to hold back against. Then again, Houki had never been good at controlling her anger at times and could lash out in a moment's notice.

Tsundere, eh?

…Maybe. But her eyes were full of a desire. A desire to understand me and who I was because we had gotten distant over time, and me striving to become a Space Marine had further driven in that wedge.

We should show her.

"Alright then…" I slowly got up and slid the black box from underneath my bed, working on the very complex lock. After a while, I opened it, and took out precisely one book from the case. It was the original copy I had gotten that first day of Minato's biography. I shakily handed it to Houki, "This… this book is very important to me. Please take good care of it."

She could see that it was… difficult handing the book to her, "I will."

"Thank you."

"Ichika?"

"Yes? What's wrong, Houki?"

"You can let go of the book."

"I don't know what you're talking about."

"Ichika, let go."

"…"

"Ichika!"

Damnit Ichika just let go of the damn book already!

Fine, fine!

Forcing my hands to unclamp with every bit of willpower, I barely let go long enough for Houki to slide it out. I don't know, I just feel… empty.

I heard knocking on the door and went to open it.

"Oh, hello Rin. Er, I don't think this is your room though."

"That's fine," she shoved her way past me, "After all, I'll be living here starting today."

"No you won't. Get out." Ah, Houki's tranquil fury mode, how much I missed it. Hey, does this mean that Houki could be the next Space Marine? "Besides, this is my room."

Heh, we'll see about that.

"It's also Ichika's room, isn't it?"

"Leave me out of this." I growled.

"I won't be switching rooms. Go back to yours."

"Oh, Ichika, do you still remember that promise we made?" I thought I said not to drag me into this.

Women.

Shut up for now, Minato.

"Hey, don't ignore me! That's it-"

"Houki, stop." I calmly said, throwing the butter knife to make her hand recoil back, "Mindless violence gets you nowhere."

"…This coming from you?"

"Yes. Violence that is wasted here will make you fall short when it is needed." Or is it supplies? Meh, not my problem at the moment, "Now, let's at least hear Rin out." Houki reluctantly nodded and I looked at Rin to signal that she could start talking.

"Ahem, yes. Do you remember our promise?"

"Was it… that one that if your cooking skills got better…"

"Yes!"

"…that I'd replace my old crummy rations with your cooking?"

Hit the deck!

I dove to the ground, avoiding a nasty slap that would've really hurt.

"You… you forgot a promise to a girl! You are the most despicable and absolute worst! GET BITTEN BY A DOG AND DIE!" she stormed out, and I sighed as I got up and lay on the bed.

"Well, that could've gone better."

"…That's it?"

"You're not gonna call me out on it?"

"…I feel like I should… but I won't. Good night, Ichika."

"Have a fun read."


"Houki…? What time is it…?"

"They… they…"

"What?" I turned on the lights and saw Houki rocking back and forth on her bed.

"They ate each other?!"

"Oh, right. Uh, better explain that. See, you read about the implants, right?"

"Y-yes…"

"Well, when a Space Marine dies, they eat their fallen comrade as to honor him and carry on his life to the end of the battle. Also it helps you remember your fallen brother that you continue to fight for."

"R-right," I've never seen someone so shaken before, let alone Houki, who is stoic enough to rival Chifuyu-nee, "Er, what time is it?"

I looked at the clock. Oh. Oh shit.

I vaulted over another table that was outside on the way to the classroom, speeding up as I ran, pumping my legs. Ugh, no doubt I'll end up having to run laps again, but it's no problem.

I sprinted at the wall and ran up partially, before grabbing the window frames and yanking out the bottom part that opened and sliding in.

Oh, how convenient, it's break time at the moment. Actually, I should've planned that out.

Well, of course.

Now to totally just slide into my seat like nothing happened-

BAM!

Damnit… Chifuyu saw me… note to self… never assume victory…

You're getting sloppy. It's like someone hasn't been in a Space Marine mindset for a few damn months!

What the hell are you talking about? It's been three days.

I just have this… urge to yell at a guy named Squall Tabuukilla Lione for some reason…

That's an odd name, for sure. Yet I also feel a strange urge to kill him for not paying attention, but never mind that.

"Where have you been?" Chifuyu-nee asked coldly as Houki came in, panting heavily.

"Sorry…late…Ichika…didn't…up…" she breathed out.

"I swear on the Emperor's name this isn't what it looks like." I quickly said, holding my hands up in defense.

"What… were you doing?" Cecilia asked.

"…ing…night…long…"

"I believe she means 'reading all night long'. I lent her a book." I stated calmly, "Unfortunately it seems that the culture shock in the book's topic was… a little high."

You keep messing up about this. First it was Clarissa, and then Houki? Are we going to raise a Space Marine army?

You… you've seriously given it thought, haven't you?

Yes. I will take back the world that has been ripped from the Emperor's hand and restore the rightful ruler!

Then let's crush Rin and get on that dream!


"UL-TRA-MA-RINES!" the crowd chanted, or at least part of the stands. Apparently there had been a massive push to watch me battle, and IS Academy allowed it, so now there was a whole part of the stands, waving blue and gold banners that bore the symbol of the Ultramarines.

"NO FEAR!" I roared to the stands.

"NO PITY!" they screamed back.

"NO REMORSE!" we yelled towards the sky, shaking the heavens with our might chant. Man… man finally united in something.

"JUST WHO THE HELL DO YOU THINK WE ARE?!" one man shouted. The cheering died down for a split second, followed by even more cheering.

Emperor, watch over your new faithful subjects and let them walk the path to glory!

My armor came on and I checked for any new weapons. Storm Bolter, regular Bolter Rifle, Bolt Pistol, Storm Shield, and Chainsword. Nice, I'm ready to go.

"I'm going to kill you, Ichika," Rin glared at me while flying in the air, twirling her two buster swords.

"You're welcome to try." I grinned from behind the helmet, summoning my chainsword and shield, "For the Emperor!"

I sprinted at her as the match started, leaping up into the air when Minato told me to, activating my Jump Pack for a burst of speed.

Chainsword met metal, not really getting along as the chainsword proceeded to rip through the swords Rin had.

"What?!" she flew away, and I had to carefully time my Pack usage as to not hit the ground too hard, "how… there's no way to break through these swords!"

"I didn't break through them, I just cut your swords up!"

Ah, horrible puns make my day.

I read an article yesterday that said that some bad puns can actually hurt people. Rumor has it someone died from a heart attack caused from a bad pun.

Really now? Oh, heads up. I'm reading energy spikes, signature seems to some sort of air compression cannon.

Hm, alright then.

I threw my shield, watching spin like a boomerang, deflecting Rin's shots into the sky, dissipating as they hit the shields. I caught my shield as it whizzed back to me, before blocking another shot with my chainsword.

"Heh, your cannons are powerful, but very slow, aren't they? Let me show you a real balance of power and speed!" I put away my melee combat weapons and pulled out the Bolter. Guessing what the crowd would say, a loud chorus of "MORE DAKKA!" filled the stadium as I unleashed havoc on Rin. Her cannons exploded, causing her to lose focus and drop her swords.

"ShenLong! Activate [Past Forgotten]!" Oh great, here we go. Another super mode? I'm guessing that every battle I have is gonna involve this. Alright, what do we have-

Bring up Storm Shield and block a mass array of shots!

What the hell?!

Initializing scan! Well, I'm detecting at the very least twelve of those Air Compression Impact Cannons!

Okay, that's great. What else?

Duck.

I hit the ground with a roll, barely dodging a thrown quad-blade. It looked like Rin had connected her two blades and then crisscrossed them, making a plus sign with swords.

Oh, they were also on chains, did I mention that?

Well, my best bet is to cut those chains, but Rin's got two of them somehow which means she'll try to take away or trap my chainsword once I use it. The bolts'll probably go right through the holes, meaning that I've got to have some really good shots. At times like this I wish I had a scope on my Bolter, but then again, where's the fun in sniping?

Right, I've got a killer machine on my hands. Yeah, sniper rifle would be great at the moment.

I ran towards Rin's blind spot, hoping to pull something where she couldn't see me. However, she has better targeting this time around, nearly hitting me a few times. I sprinted as fast as I could, stopping meant that I'd take too many hits.

I decided to take out my Storm Shield, running behind it to avoid more possible hits. The only way we're going to win this battle is taking out those Cannons. However, we don't have many weapons and Bolters aren't very accurate. She's using timed shots in order to make it so I can't aim that well because she can't rapid fire… so looks like I'll have to sacrifice a bit.

Firing the Bolter from behind the Shield, I grit my teeth as the vibration shook me a little bit as I used the shield almost as a stabilizer.

BOOM!

Yes! That's one cannon down!

There I stood, making a stand against a powerful enemy head on. More than eleven cannons rained down on me and the blades came a little too close, but always bounced off the shield.

Actually, I have a better plan.

I looked in front of the storm shield and saw that the cannons were more or less placed on four wings. She had eleven, one having already been destroyed. Each wing had three cannons, and weren't very armored. Perfect.

I summoned back my Chainsword and hurled it as Rin launched her two chain blades at me. One bounced my sword back, allowing me to catch it, spin around, and hurl it even faster. The thrown blade cut right through the two chains, causing the two chain blades to fall to the ground. Picking them up, I spun them in my hands and threw them back at their user, making her have to avoid them…

Only to have the Chainsword rip through one of her wings.

The metal wing hit the ground with a loud crash! as it spread sand and dust around the place. While Rin was distracted, gawking at how the Chainsword managed to rip through her wing there, I threw the sharpened Storm Shield at the other two.

See, shields only activate when you take a hit that would've actually hurt you. Those wings were but appendices, meaning they aren't protected.

Rin only had two wings now. Well then, let's get to work!

I leapt up with the Jump Pack in a flying tackle, "Bringing the pain!"

She realized only too late that I was soaring at her, just enough time to gasp before she went sent into the ground by yours truly.

Landing on top of her, the shields took a massive hit, on both ends, but knocked the wind out of Rin pretty well. Good thing for these shields as well, as that probably would've killed her without them. Space Marines stomping on your ribs tend to do that.

She tried getting up after lashing out, making me retreat, but I stomped the ground, yelling, "Want some?!" the shaking set her off balance and allowed me to gain the upper hand with a Storm Bolter to the stomach.

Heh, this should be-

Incoming!

But there's no energy spikes- Oh crap!

"RIN! OUT OF THE WAY!" I took out my Bolter and ran to the walls of the arena, ready to fire as the shields above shattered, black descending from the sky. Minato, scan this bastard!

Odd. I am not finding any sort of heat sources that would indicate a pilot.

Assuming unmanned then.

"FOR THE EMPEROR!" I roared, charging at the metallic beast that showed itself. There was a glowing red circle in its torso, obviously the weak point without any protection… other than the shields. Damnit, I really could've used a Shield Pierce weapon now, huh?

It fired a large laser at me, easily deflected by the shield, and I continued to hack and slash at it with my chainsword.

Wires and fluid began to spill everywhere, soaking the ground while I sliced through it over and over again, its shields not being able to fully take the full force of a Chainsword beating. Turns out the IS Shields aren't entirely perfect. Enough force actually can break through them. I know there'll probably be a convention to arrest me or something later on. Plus, it is a Chainsword, so you're dealing with a bunch of points being sliced in to plus the Storm Shield hitting you at the same time. Not to mention that this is an AI, which may have better processing power, which should allow it to act better, but that means it runs on routines and whatnot. An AI doesn't exactly have 'instinct' or 'feelings', so it doesn't know how exactly to react to a full force beating from a Space Marine, because I doubt it has that sort of thing in its database.

It suddenly charged, pushing me down and beating me with its large fists. I summoned my Storm Bolter in my right hand and pulled the trigger, before punching it in the face then leaving it with a kick. Swapping to the regular Bolter I opened fire, this time with a little help from Rin.

"I have you covered, Ichika! Take him out!"

"With pleasure!" Flying into the air with my Jump Pack, I soared into the air, still shooting at the robot below, "RUMBLE!"

Plunging down, the robot looked up for just one second as it saw me flying toward it, shooting a Bolter and ready to cut its core with a chainsword.

Oh… oh shit.

What?

When we cut through this thing…

Tell me already!

Brace for impact.

Oh sh-


Ugh… man… what happened…?

Ah, you're finally awake.

What happened last night? Last thing I remember was a lot of explosions… and laughter.

That may have been you cackling evilly as the golem exploded underneath you… and even though you weren't really up and awake there was laughter of a disturbing kind. I believe that several hundred therapists were brought in for anyone who needed therapy after hearing that laugh. On the other hand, your popularity with the male side of life has increased. Though there are people pushing for you to be in another branch of the Space Marines.

Really now? Well, that's totally cool by me.

"You're awake!"

"Rin?" I shook my head and looked for the source of my voice, "'sup?"

"You… you baka! You go charge in, get knocked out, wake up, and then just as me that?!" she half-screamed, half-sobbed, "Why did you do something like that?!"

I sighed, "A Space Marine will protect those that need protecting. Your shields were very low and probably couldn't have taken that much. I, on the other hand, was able to take that thing on, so therefore I protected you."

"But-!"

"No." I narrowed my eyes, "And what's done is done. Don't bother trying to change it."

"Ichi~ka-san!" Oh boy, it's Cecilia, "Why don't we… YOU!" Damnit I'm still on the bed, and I just woke up! Can I get any rest from this?! "You promised not to come here early!""Says the one who wanted to 'play nurse' with him." Houki snorted as she entered the room, "Afternoon, Ichika."

"Same to you, Houki." I raised an eyebrow as she handed back a book, "I take it you finished?"

"Where's the next volume?"

"…I'll get it for you later."

"First thing when you're checked out of here." Houki left without another word, her hair seemingly to fly in the wind that should've been nonexistent in here. Heh, so she's interested, huh? Great, that means another person might join the Space Marines! I wonder what chapter she'll be interested in…

After evading the inevitable catfight that would ensure, I slipped out of the room, but not before hearing some talking.

It sounded like they were talking about the thing I had fought earlier. So it was unmanned, I knew it… No idea where it came from, by the sound of things. I'll have to investigate this further. Maybe when I get sent on another mission, I'll find some answers.

For now, I'll leave it be and deal with the threat as it comes, but I'll have to be more careful now. Who knows where the enemy will strike next… or when.

So come at me, whoever the hell you are. Throw everything you've got at me. I'll be waiting for you, and so will the Emperor's new subjects, ready to wrestle the world back into his hands.

You're tempting fate pretty hard right now.

No fate but what we make.

I got back to my room and found Houki sleeping on the floor, briefcase next to her. Hm, she's quite eager to read on. Your story was in fact, very interesting, Minato.

Hm, I suppose so.

I took out the case from her grasp very stealthily, then opened it. I put back the first volume and took out the second before closing it. Then, I picked up Houki and placed her on her bed, putting the book in her hands, then rested those on her stomach. She was still asleep the entire time… Minato… why do I feel so… elated? Like there's a warm feeling in my heart?

I don't know. I may be part of you… but not all of you. I can't comprehend everything.

I see.

"Good night, Houki, my old friend… or perhaps I should say… newest addition to the Space Marines, should you choose to take that position." Emperor, grant this girl… or young woman, your blessing. Let her never stray from the path of goodness and humility that she has always kept on, as not to fall prey to the corruption that has overtaken this world.

"All… hail… Emp… of… Mankind…" Houki said in her sleep.

"Rest now, Houki." I ran a hand through her hair, "I will stand guard for you."

Taking out my Bolter as Houki slept, I started cleaning it and performing maintenance, Bolt Pistol sitting next to me just in case.

It was going to be a long night.


DAAAA'AAAAAAAAAAAAAW!

Kira: You are having too much fun with this fic.

I know. Also, do you guys want Houki to be a Space Marine like Ichika? Tell me in the reviews, and if so, what Chapter should she be in?