DISCLAIMER: I do not own Infinite Stratos and its original characters/universe. This is simply my fan fiction.
Chifuyu Orimura scowled at her long-time childhood friend Tabane Shinonono, who had that same stupid grin on her face that she usually did. Even in a serious situation like this, leave it to Tabane to be so upbeat and positive. For as long as they have known each other she has always had this hyperactive energy about her, like a child constantly on a sugar high. Sometimes Chifuyu wondered where exactly all this energy came from.
Tabane clapped her hands together, "Everything is ready!" she said enthusiastically, her long purple hair swaying around with her body as she moved quickly to Chifuyu's side. She then hugged Chifuyu, as she normally loved to do. "Are you ready, Chi-chan?"
Chifuyu sighed and half-hugged her back with one arm, patting her on the back. "As ready as I'll ever be. Let's get this over with."
"Alright! Well, it seems there are 2341 Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles currently on their way to our location," she said nonchalantly, as if that was nothing to worry about at all. "According to my calculations, the missiles are traveling at roughly 15,000 miles per hour. So it will take two minutes for the nearest salvo of missiles to get here!"
Chifuyu looked at the metal contraption in the middle of the room. It resembled a half-finished robot, with the parts only covering the legs arms and lower torso, and it was folded up like an accordion. She had used them before, to help Chifuyu with the testing phase of her ambitious and life-changing technological invention: the Infinite Stratos (IS) machines. She had never used it for fighting though, but at least she would be familiar with how to move around in it. She was not too worried about using it though, since she was a quick learner to begin with.
Originally designed for space exploration, these exoskeleton machines changed considerably once they were weaponized, and suddenly the balance of power in the world was thrown into disarray. The IS threatened to destabilize the world as people knew it. Now, some unknown hacker had broken into the missile systems of the most developed countries in the world, excluding Japan, and was targeting the location of the facility where Tabane had created the IS to begin with.
"Go ahead and get in, Chi-chan! I need to do some last-minute calibrations after all, since this is a different variation of the model you used before," Tabane told her, motioning towards the IS unit. "Oh, this is going to be so much fun!"
Chifuyu shook her head and then, with a little struggle, got into the IS, activating it. The systems came online immediately and began a diagnostics check. Numerous wires still connected it to a bank of computers that Tabane had, and she typed away furiously at her terminal. Within thirty seconds, she let out a squeal of excitement and clapped her hands again.
"Okay, Chi-chan! Go! Go! Go!" And as she said the last 'go', a part of the ceiling slid away to reveal an opening for her to fly through. This happened simultaenously with the wires detaching themselves from the IS unit.
Chifuyu concentrated and the IS suddenly lifted off the ground, hovering for a second as she got her bearings, and then blasted out of the facility and into the sky above. The feel of the wind on her hair and skin was invigorating. She loved flying around, though this was not a time for enjoying herself. There was some serious business to take care of.
A voice crackled in her head, becoming clearer. "Hello? Hello? Chi-chan! Can you hear me? It's Tabane the Genius!"
For what seemed like the millionth time that day, Chifuyu sighed and rolled her eyes. "Yes, Tabane. I can hear you loud and clear."
"Ohh! That's so awesome! It actually works!" she said.
"You mean you hadn't tested the radio out beforehand?"
"Well..." There was a slight pause. "I was sure it was going to work, I designed and built it after all. It's just that I've never actually tested it since I didn't have anyone to test it with! It was a new addition to the suit, after you had helped me out with the trial runs of the prototype model."
"Alright, fine. Whatever. I need info on those missiles now Tabane!" Sometimes that girl needed a little help to focus.
"Right! The missiles! Well, the first salvo should be in sight... in twenty-seven seconds! They'll be arriving from the West."
Chifuyu growled out a reply, "Okay. How exactly am I supposed to destroy these things?"
Tabane, in rapid succession, explained the armaments available to the IS. The primary weapon was a giant broadsword, with a particle gun as its secondary weapon. She then explained how to activate the weapons.
"I trust you know how to use them, Chi-chan?" her tone was high-pitched and childlike, as usual, and her question remained unanswered as Chifuyu spotted the first wave of missiles.
She gritted her teeth and called for both the sword and the particle gun, the former materializing in her right hand and the latter in her left. "Okay," she whispered to herself, "Time to go to work."
There were thirty-three missiles in the first wave and she took aim with her particle gun to get used to the feel and the aiming of it. She destroyed half, with the other half falling to her broadsword as she flew across the sky at supersonic speeds. The missiles were easy targets, the only issue was would she be able to get to all of them in time.
"Chi-chan! That was sooo awesome! Ahh! Isn't the IS unit amazing? Oh, only a true super genius would create something so powerful and spectacular!" Tabane chimed through the communication link.
"Shut up and stay focused on letting me know about the missiles, Tabane! Damnit!" yelled Chifuyu as she continued to zigzag her way across the sky, the missiles exploding harmlessy in midair as she destroyed them using either her sword or her gun.
"Right, right! 217 missiles down, Chi-chan! There are 2124 left and they are incoming from all directions now! Gooood luckkk!" Tabane informed her, not sounding in the least bit worried as Chifuyu began to break a sweat from the exertion as well as the pressure of the situation. How she really hated the fact that Tabane seemed to be incapable of worry or stress.
In the end, not a single missile hit its target. All 2341 missiles had been destroyed, all thanks to Chifuyu and the white IS unit she was using.
"Good job, Chi-chan! You got all of them!" Tabane's voice said over the commlink.
Chifuyu let out a sigh of relief. "Well, thanks to this suit of yours we all live to see another day."
"You're welcome, Chi-chan! I knew you'd love it!" replied the energetic girl, "Unfortunately, your work isn't done yet!"
"What do you mean? More missiles?"
"No! This time they are sending in air and sea forces to take you out! It looks like they didn't appreciate the fact that you managed to destroy 2341 ICBMs by yourself, Chi-chan! How rude!"
Chifuyu groaned. "Yeah. Rude. Right." Shaking her head and taking a deep breath, she asked, "So what am I up against?"
Coordinates as well as satellite images were instantly displayed on her helmet's digital Heads Up Display (HUD) on the inside of the helmet mask.
"It looks like the Americans, Russians, and Chinese have mobilized their closest Pacific fleets and airbases! Satellites are picking up several fighter squadrons en route. They will engage you soonest. The fleets will take some time to get close, but you should be done with the fighters by then, Chi-chan. I believe in you!" Tabane said, as enthusiastic as ever.
"Thanks," she muttered in reply to the girl as she decided to head off the fighter squadrons and go to them instead of waiting for them to come to her.
An alert chimed, indicating that hostile forces were near and were trying to get a lock on her. She began to execute evasive maneuvers as she started firing her particle gun. The speed at which she was maneuvering through the air was too fast and too agile for the fighters to keep up. They fired randomly, unable to get a lock on her.
Chifuyu made sure that she damaged the planes without injuring the pilots. Within a minute she had downed three squadrons already, and that was all without even using her sword. This was definitely almost as easy as the missiles. She lost count of the number of planes she took down, but judging from the number of parachutes that dotted the sky there were well over a hundred of them.
"Way to go, Chi-chan! I knew you could do it. Now those pesky fleets are getting within range. The Chinese fleet is incoming from the southwest, and consists of 3 cruisers, one destroyer and two small aircraft carriers. The Russian fleet is incoming from the northeast and is composed of three cruisers, two destroyers and an aircraft carrier. The American fleet has four cruisers and three destroyers and an aircraft carrier as well. Go get em, Chi-chan!"
She thought for a moment. This was going to be trickier to pull off without any casualties, but she was going to do her best to avoid that. She needed to cripple the fleets' offensive capabilities while not endangering the lives of the crews that manned them. As if today was not already complicated, there were three fleets to worry about.
Taking another deep breath, she sped off towards the fleet nearest to her location, which turned out to be the Chinese fleet.
Anti-aircraft fire from the fleet peppered the air as she flew towards it. None of them were any real danger to her, the shielding and armor of the suit was equipped to handle firepower much more powerful than what the fleet was currently equipped with. That is, if their weapons actually hit her at all. She was too fast, and any anti-air missiles were destroyed with a swift swipe of her sword or a shot from her particle gun.
She targeted the engines of each ship first, making sure to get up close and dirty by using her sword to do the work so as to ensure the people who manned the engines would clear out. She tore through their hulls like paper. The aircraft carrier launched several jets as she went about crippling the fleet's mobility, and they formed a squadron by the time she finished.
All ships in the Chinese fleet were dead in the water. She also destroyed all the turrets and guns that she could see, again making sure the crews manning them cleared out. She resorted to buzzing them once by flying really fast by them, which often caused them to run, and then she would swoop back and destroy the weapons.
Twelve planes were already in the air and circling around for a strike run, with more launching so she decided to destroy all the planes on the decks of the aircraft carriers. She then proceeded to pick the planes in the air off one at a time. In truth, what made the operation so complicated was that she was avoiding inflicting casualties. Had she not cared at all, she could have annihilated them all within a matter of minutes and been done with it.
Well aware of this, she continued on to the American fleet, which was the next closest. That ended up taking her the longest since she dealt with the most ships and planes. The Russians took about as long as the Chinese to take down. In the end, the conventional weaponry proved laughably ineffective against the new technological marvel that was the Infinite Stratos.
Satisfied, Chifuyu made to go home and was on the way when Tabane contacted her again.
"Heyyyy Chi-chan! Good work on the fleets!"
"What is it now, Tabane? Are we being invaded?" asked Chifuyu half-jokingly, as it was a possibility though highly unlikely given how she handled the fleets and air units that had been sent.
"No! No! Actually, we are being attacked through technology. While their attempts at trying to hack into my systems are pitiful, they are still proving to be an annoying nuisance. I'm going to need you to take out some satellites, Chi-chan. Eight of them actually," she said simply.
Chifuyu stopped in mid-air. "Hold on. You want me to go into space?"
"Yeahhh! It's perfectly fine. Trust me!"
"And have you tested the units in space?"
"Ahhh... no. Not yet. But now's a good time to do it! Aren't you excited, Chi-chan? You'll be flying into space!" Tabane giggled a little.
Chifuyu sighed. "I suppose I have no choice?"
Tabane tut-tutted. "You always have a choice, Chi-chan! But, please do this for me? Pretty pleaase?"
"Fine. Alright. But if I die, I'm coming back to kill you... understand?"
"Sending you the coordinates now, Chi-chan!"
Chifuyu flew higher, heading for the nearest of the targeted satellites. She opened the commlink as she traveled, "Say, Tabane..."
"Yes? Is something wrong?" came the quick reply, a tinge of concern marred the otherwise still energetic and high voice.
She felt a little uneasy going after satellites. They provided communication and information functions that help to better humanity and bring humanity closer together. "No... it's just... I mean, how easily can these satellites be replaced? These are expensive and important equipment after all and prove useful for humanity in general."
Tabane responded almost immediately, "Don't worry, Chi-chan! Once things have cooled off and the politics and diplomacy goes forward on the IS situation, the IS units themselves can take satellites into orbit at a considerably lower cost than conventional methods. Besides, these are all military satellites! It'll be fine, don't you worry!"
"Well, if they're military then I guess that's alright..." Chifuyu said as she grabbed the targeted satellite and threw it towards the earth, making sure to aim for the ocean.
"Ichika! Do you remember that I joined the National Kendo Tournament earlier this week?" she asked him.
Ichika laughed. "Of course I do, Houki. How is that going?"
"Well I'm competing in the championship match tomorrow!" Houki proclaimed proudly.
"Wow! That's amazing, Houki! You work so hard and you're so talented. I'm sure you'll win," replied the young raven-haired boy confidently.
She blushed a little at that, elated at his words. Her heart was beating loudly, faster even than when she was fighting in the tournament. "Hey... Ichika..."
"I-If I win... promise me something..."
"What's that?" he asked, curious and unsuspecting.
"Promise... promise me that if I win you'll go out with me?" she blurted out all at once.
Ichika looked stunned at the request, but then a slow smile spread across his face. "Okay!"
Houki's heart literally skipped several beats.
Houki Shinonono lay in fetal position, hugging her knees tightly to her chest, on the bed provided for her as she cried. Tears soaked the part of the bed near her head as well as her face and her long black hair. Why did her sister have to pick that day? Why did she have to do it on the day she was supposed to win Ichika's affections by becoming the National Kendo Champion?
Instead of winning both the title and his heart, all Houki did that day was forfeit the match and be whisked away by government officials to some secret location. It was for her 'protection', they had told her. She was still in shock when they took her, but eventually she started to yell and get a little violent. They mistook it for her misunderstanding the situation, but she understood what was going on all too well. She simply did not agree with it.
Now here she was, in some secret government safe house, far away from Ichika Orimura, her first friend and the boy she loved. So she cried her heart out.
And eventually, when her big sister Tabane came by to check up on her she at first ignored the purple-haired cause of her most terrible pain so far in her life.
Tabane was her usual bubbly and energetic self, and Houki was in no mood for it. Her sister was not one to give up so easily, however, and that triggered an episode that Houki would never forget for the rest of her life. A moment in time that she would regret deeply, and that she would look up to her sister to for enduring and continuing to love her even after the fact.
Author's notes: And yet another anime I've fallen in love with... Hope you enjoy the story. It's going to be a lot more... action-packed. At least that's the plan.
PLEASE NOTE: Tabane is the only one who will be using Japanese honorifics, as it is like nicknames for her and I can't see that character saying those names any other way. Otherwise, I will not be writing the honorifics out. Simply my personal preference as an author, so if you don't like it... too bad.