"Rin's IS is called Shenlong." Celilia said. "It's a flexible one like mine."

"Whatever you do, Tony, don't let your guard down." Houki warned.

"Don't worry, girls." Tony said as he entered his armor. "I'm sure I got a fair chance of winning this."

"Of course, you do," Cecilia said, "But this won't be like last time."

"Thanks." Tony said. That's when the starting bell blew. "Well, tiem to go."

Tony finished getting into his Iron Man armor and blasted out of the hanger right into the middle of an IS battle arena. There, he faced his opponent in the class league match: Rin. She hovered there with her dark-red armor wielding a scimitar-like blade.

"I'll give you this one chance, Tony." She said. "If you're willing to surrender, I'll try not to make this too painful."

"That's a lot of mouth, Rin." Tony said. "Usually, people say I'm the cocky one. You ready?"

"Bring it on!" Rin said.

Tony pointed his palms and fired his blasts which Rin dodged. She found a spot and charged in ready to strike. She swung her sword, but Tony dodged away from it.

Rin placed the two ends of her swords against each other and attached them. Her blades were at opposite ends of each other now.

"Oh, cool. You're going Darth Maul." Tony commented.

As the battle continued, Tony tried to create distance, but Rin always followed him trying to close the distance. She swung her double-sided weapon gracefully like a dancer with her ribbon. In the command center, Chifuyu, Maya, Houki, Cecilia, and Happy observed the match.

Tony was about to fire again, but suddenly, Rin fired as well. A beam of light escaped from one of the red bulbs on her shoulder hitting Tony and making him fall on the ground. He recovered and lifted himself into the air again.

"Consider that a love tap." Rin taunted.

"What was that?" Tony asked.

"That?" Rin asked. "That's just my shock cannon. Impressed yet?"

"I guess I have no choice. Time for Plan B." Tony said. He rocketed to the side avoiding Rin's cannons. He circled around her.

"What's Tony doing?" Cecilia asked.

Chifuyu gave a small smirk. "That shifty little man. It looks like he's going to try the ignition boost."

"Uh, hi." Happy said. "Not really familiar with this IS talk. What's that?"

"It's a technique where an IS pilot can close in on their opponent in an instant by going at top speed." Maya said. "Tony's trying create a moment where Rin won't see it coming."

"He's gotta be careful though." Chifuyu said. "An ignition boost can only be used once."

Tony flew at top speeds around the arena trying to slow down at all. Rin kept turning herself around trying to keep up with where he was. In time, she couldn't anymore, and Tony found his chance. He turned his thrusters and he rocketed towards his opponent ready to deliver one strong punch. Rin didn't even see it coming.

BOOM!

The sound of that made Tony stop in his tracks. He and Rin looked up and saw the smoke from the explosion create a hole in the dome shield above. Something fell out of the smoke big and heavy enough to create another explosion once it hit the ground.

Chifuyu Orimura called for an evacuation and ordered the match to be canceled. The screaming crowd panicked and fled out of the stands. But Tony and Rin hovered over the smoking object.

"What was that?" Tony asked.

"Tony, you gotta leave!" Rin said. "The match as been canceled!"

Suddenly, a text appeared on both of their holographic screens. It read "Unknown IS identified."

"IS?" Tony asked.

The smoke cleared after that revealing a new IS, a fully armored one in black metal. A purple beam escaped from its eyes and almost hit Rin who she managed to dodge out of its way.

"Who's piloting that?" Tony asked.

"I don't know." Rin said. "But right now, you have to leave!"

"Me? What about you?"

"I'll keep her distracted." Rin said. "Just until the authorities get here."

"I'm not leaving you behind!"

"Quit being an idiot! You're supposed to be a genius, right?"

"Yes, and I know that we're both armed in IS armor and we have the numbers advantage. We can better keep this girl here if we work together."

"Argh!" Rin exclaimed. "You're infuriating when you make sense!"

"Right. Let's see if we can confuse her. I turn left, you turn right."

"Got it! Wait. LOOK OUT!"

In an instant, Tony just barely dodged the IS when it tried to punch him. Tony countered it by using the full force of his jets to tackle it. They crashed straight into the ground. The IS gave a purple glare as it smacked Tony away with a backhand. Rin raised her bladed weapon and went to strike down on the IS, but it moved out of the way. She then aimed her shock cannon and to blast the IS. It made impact while at the same time, Tony blasted with his repulsors straight at it. Both attacks hitting at once made a great explosion. Tony and Rin regrouped backwards to further analyze the situation.

"Think we're done?" Tony asked.

"I don't think so." Rin said. "For some reason, I think she's tougher than we think."

"Tougher?" Tony widened his eyes at a sudden thought that entered his head. "Rin, are we sure there's someone in that armor?"

"What are you talking about? An IS unit can't operate without a pilot. You know that."

"But just think back at the fight. Its reflexes were almost perfect. The timing was remarkable. And the movements seemed too mechanical. I'm starting to think that…"

The smoke cleared revealing the IS one more time. Much to their shock, the head of the unit was missing and there was no one inside of it. The unit still stood on its two feet ready to fight again.

"You're right!" Rin admitted. "It's moving on its own! But how is that possible?"

"We'll worry about that later." Tony said. "Look, if it's just a machine, then we don't have to hold back."

"Got an idea in that noggin of yours?"

"I've got this all-new feature in my armor, but it's highly experimental. I've only tested it through virtual simulation. But if I get it right, it should have enough destructive force to take it out online. The plan is, you distract it while I charge up my ignition boost. Once I make impact with it, I'll deliver."

"I always admired your big brain, Tony. All right. Let's do this!"

Rin flew in and attacked the black IS while Tony bean to circle around the arena. The people in the skybox stared at the fight in suspense. In just a minute, Tony was ready.

"NOW, RIN!"

The Chinese representative contender boosted out of the way while Tony charged in. He was about to make full impact… when the IS reached out its hand and grabbed him by his chest stopping him in his tracks.

"Uh… How about two out of three?" Tony asked.

The IS raised its other hand ready to strike down. Tony closed his eyes preparing for the worst. But suddenly, several beams of blue light shot out from the side and went right through the IS' hand holding Tony. It broke to pieces. Tony looked and saw the beams were shot at from Cecilia's sniper rifle.

"Take it down, Tony dear!" Cecilia commanded.

"Thanks, teatime! Activate Unibeam!" Suddenly, the circular piece on his chest began to glow. It didn't begin to dim. "You wanna get nuts? Okay. SAY HELLO TO MY LITTLE FRIEND!"

Suddenly, a large, powerful beam escaped from Tony's chest and shot right through the IS' chest. They both collapsed and Tony passed out.


When Tony woke up, he was in a hospital bed. Rin stood right over him clearly happy to see him.

"Oh, hey, twin-tails. Miss me?"

Rin blushed and tried to shake it off. "Shut up! Don't make me upset when you just woke up! And another thing, next time you got a secret weapon, warn us that it could knock you out!"

"For the record, I didn't know that would happen." Tony said. "You don't have to be so temperamental about it. I swear, you're a lot meaner than you were back when…" Suddenly, a thought flashed in his mind. It was a thought that left him speechless and hard to talk.

"Is something wrong?" Rin asked.

"The promise." Tony said. "I remember now." Rin's eyes lit up. "You promised you'd cook food for me every day… as my wife."

Rin gave a combination of a smile along with a blush. "Oh, now, you remember. Guess that concussion was all you needed. So… what do you think?"

"Oh, no." Tony thought in his head. "That was years ago, and it was supposed to be a tease. I mean, Rin's very good. Despite her temper, she could make a good wife someday. WAIT! WHAT AM I SAYING?! How am I supposed to choose and…"

"Oh, Tony dear!" a familiar English voice called out. Right to the door, Cecilia danced into the room with a smile on her face. "I hope you're feeling much better. I've come to look after y…" She stopped when she noticed Rin sitting right beside Tony's bed. "Hey! What do you think you're doing? We agreed no one would make a move on Tony until he woke up!"

"And what about you?" Houki asked as she came in right after. "'Cause from my view of your fat butt, it sure looks like you were trying to get ahead of me."

And just like that, the three girls began to argue. Even so, it relieved Tony so he wouldn't have had to answer Rin's question. But at the same time, he realized that this was going to be a thing. He knew he'd be the center of attention at a girl's school, but for some reason, this felt very personal. Then, his mind had a different thought.

"Uh, girls," Tony said breaking up the catfight, "What exactly happened with that IS that attacked us?"

"Ms. Orimura recovered its remains and took it to the lab for study." Rin said. "Hopefully, this was just a mere malfunction."


Chifuyu and Maya Yamada connected the IS with the computer. Maya scrolled through and looked through each line of the droid's software.

"This thing really was unmanned." Maya said. "Not only that, but this thing was freshly made that way. There are only 467 known IS cores in the world, and yet, this thing had a completely different power source. It was remotely controlled by some sort of signal."

"Can you trace the signal?" Chifuyu asked.

"No. It disconnected before it was destroyed. Whoever made this tried to cover their tracks."

"Tried?"

"I seem to have found one audio file that remained. But it's a strange one." She clicked on the file icon, and it was strange, all right. It sounded like a generic little boy singing like he was from an old show.

"I got no strings to hold me down

To make me fret or make me frown

I had strings, but now, I'm free

There are no strings on me"

Chifuyu tightened her glare. "This wasn't left behind by accident. They wanted us to find it."

"Why?"

"This thing is some kind of message. But what are they trying to say? And is this really the end of their actions?"


Author's Note: Man, it has been aaaaaaages since I last updated this story. I got really distracted with my other stories and real life stuff. In fact, I've only started writing this new chapter a couple weeks ago. But now, I'm glad I got this done when I did. Hopefully, my next update won't be as long of a wait. Hope you like it. Next time, a certain French kid joins with a certain twist.

Any and all comments are welcome.