Where…where am I?
Why is it…dark?
"Welcome. I have summoned you here for a purpose."
Wha-who is that? Nobody summons me!
"You have suffered defeat, death, at the hands of your enemy. I am here to help you."
I don't need help!
"On the contrary. Your forces are gone. You have fallen as well, by your mortal enemy's sword. I'd say you need help. I can give it back to you. The power, your forces…"
"And what? What in exchange?"
"Simple. Revenge."
Revenge? So you will use me as your pawn? Such insolence! Nobody uses me!
"I'd think you'd jump at the opportunity. Either you rot here, wallowing in despair…or I help you gain what you want. You working for me will only be a small price to pay."
Very well. I shall serve you…
for now. Soon I will have you by your neck and you will give me what I want. When do we start?


Blue Island-1 year later

Akane was driving her hoverbike, delivering her newspapers as usual. She was wearing her scarf, a memento from her friend, Rei, who has returned to her own world after the events a year ago. She paused a while, near the sea. Seagulls were flying about. Rei would have loved this view, she thought. A small bird then landed on her bike. It was green, with some yellow. The bird flew again, and landed on the hand of someone else. Akane looked where it landed. "That…. It's Rei!"

Rei looked in Akane's direction. "Rei!" Akane had left her bike and had come running to her. Well, she hasn't changed, after all this time… "Akane! I told you we'd see each other again, right? Well, here I am." Akane came and hugged her. "Rei! You've come back!" Rei smiled, then put her pet bird Piisuke down. "Here, you can have this back," said Akane, removing the scarf and giving it back to Rei. "Thanks."
"We have to tell the others, get on!"
"But I don't think that bike can fit two…"
"Of course it can! Here…"
Akane was too busy to notice Rei staring intently at the horizon.


The Colonel was bored. Sure, it was nice the Alone were gone, and there were no conflicts with other nations…but there was nothing to do. It was all routine patrols, day and night.
The Colonel turned to the officer.
"We got inbound unidentified aircraft, approaching."
"Attention unidentified aircraft, you are approaching restricted military space. Leave now."
No response.
I'll take that back, maybe there's some excitement tonight after all…
"Send Hartmann and Barkhorn, intercept that aircraft."

Barkhorn and Hartmann went out in their F-22 Raptors. "Base, this is Karsland-1. We have visual of the aircraft, it's a Sikorsky Pave-Low Helicopter."
"Try contacting the aircraft again, Karsland-1."
"Roger that. Unidentified aircraft, this is Karsland-1 from the Blue Island base. Please respond."
She waited.
"No response," Hartmann said to her partner.
"Yeah. Base, this is Karsland-1, no response-hey wait, what is it doing?"

The helicopter shifted parts. The fuselage became the legs, the cockpit the arms. The back part split to reveal two arms, and the head appeared on top of the mass of metal, red eyes gleaming. "Whoah! Base this is Karsland-1, you have to check this out. Hartmann, back me up!"

"What in god's name…" the commander muttered.
"Is that…" said a young soldier.
"No, it's not Alone. But…. Contact Dr. Isshiki for me now!"

Well that's it for the first chapter. Thoughts will be most welcome.

Yes, Barkhorn, Hartmann, and their codename Karsland-1 is reference to Strike Witches.