(A/N: I tried to stall as long as I could, also, this fic is way more popular than I thought it'd be… thank you for loving edgy-old me… that being said, prepare for it to skyrocket!)


(Year 6/ Day 100)

"Today is a tragedy… I simply cannot stress how bad this is, this was my only chance, the only one I might ever get in my entire life… and now it's completely botched… I will never forgive him!"

"I'll never get to have a chimichanga made by a monkey, some stupid assassin missed when he shot at me and he killed the monkey that was making a chimichanga! I lost an opportunity of a lifetime, animals cooking our food for us… I made him pay though, I stuffed that sniper rifle right up his rectum, he won't be seeing it for a while… and we won't be seeing any sniper's for a while if they know what's good for their health, oh yeah, apparently someone figured out I was important or something along those lines and set a bounty on my head, maybe they still wanna try to use me against Chifuyu? Or maybe they know of my affiliation with The Sleeping Knight's? It doesn't matter, what matters is that someone is out for my blood."

I changed my look drastically now over the years, I dyed my hair white, I wear welding goggles everywhere I go, and I wear black bandages that cover my whole body head to toe, I also wear a dark crimson cloak, with bits of black all over, I usually wear black combat pants with knee and shoulder pads and elbow pads no matter where I go, I also have black suspenders with some forgotten company name or other, and black combat boots, these are my field fatigues by the way, so I do wear normal stuff when out with the civilized people, but right now I'm in some forgotten desert in egypt so… oh, I also wear a beanie, though that's whenever I'm not wearing a hood, and for the final touches I wear fingerless gloves… again, these are my field fatigues."

(A/N: I hadn't remembered any of this… but lol.)

"What I normally wear is actually an Ebony mechanics jumpsuit that I got for christmas, apparently my Sleeping Knight's all pitched in to make it somehow, so there's that, I still wear the long coat over the jumpsuit but the knee pads and elbow pads stay, not the shoulder pads, I still wear the goggles because people say that when I look at them it's very disarming (Because apparently I have very innocent and beautiful eyes I'm told) they said I have a very innocent look even when I've killed so many people, along with my white beanie hat, everyone says I look suspiciously like a wizard still, so the name Mage has stuck to me like glue ever since I suppose, and I always wear the black bandages to cover my tattoos, but not my face, whenever anyone asks I tell them it's from my tribe… so there's that."

My group is now as well known as Phantom Task, as soon as we started stealing their business they apparently declared war on us, I'm fine with that, Phantom Task aren't friends of mine after all, it's a pity I guess, other organizations seem to also hold a grudge against us as well, no matter I suppose, some of my Sleeping Knight's think we should start planting spies inside other groups for our own safety, I fully agree with this and have had a significant little syndicate war with quite a few countries for a while now, oh by the way, they still don't know that I can pilot an I.S. , oh man, when they find out they really will believe I'm some kind of chosen Demi-god won't they? Ugh."

"Zero, Zulu, Zuko and I are as close as ever, inseparable like me and Madoka used to be… If we were any closer we'd probably have feelings for each other (not that I already don't have feelings for a long time now)… is that how I was with Madoka? Hm, well nothing to worry about on that little list, anywho, today is a very important day, I just received a contract from an anonymous Private Military Company that wants to take an expedition into space for some unspecified reason, they didn't specify at all, just that they wanted IS body guards, the contractor doesn't want the rest of his or her company knowing anything about this project, but apparently they believe to be expecting trouble along the way, our mission is first the Moon, then some other planet and so on and so forth, they really want this for whatever reason… welp, they're paying me to go to space essentially… this'll be good."

"Oh, I've also tasked my people to go back to the island where I met the Tribals, then we're going to form an HQ there, I really miss that place, I wonder how the tribe is? We're going to be doing so much, too bad I won't be there to watch it grow… just like for Chifuyu and Madoka…"

"No way am I missing a chance to go to space though, it'll be fun... when I return I'll probably find a new appreciation for earth like I did when I stayed with the monks… oh yeah, I never wrote about that did I? Well pretty much long story short: I went, I stayed, I found peace with myself, which wasn't very hard, it was almost like a vacation to be honest. Well I gotta pack up, it's gonna be a while so… cya soon I guess…?"


(Year 7)

(Ichika's return to earth.)

"I wonder what changed while we were away… well, no matter, this contract wouldn't have lasted anyway, I'm surprised they didn't figure out I was a guy sooner." narrated Ichika out loud in the captain's room on the ship, at his feet was a puddle of blood from the previous captain of the space vessel, what happened minutes prior was the man found out he was indeed dealing with a male IS user, so he tried to offer Ichika with some bullshit or other about doing research on him like he was a lab rat, Captain deMarco was his name, and he demanded that Ichika submit to him… is the short version anyway, but Ichika outright refused, and since this captain was obvious not going to leave it alone… Ichika had to dispose of him, he'd surely tell the rest of the world if he didn't.

Ichika has had a very hard time hiding his secret, luckily none of his group that found out told anyone else, they were definitely loyal, he had to admit, he couldn't wish for better subordinates. He just returned from his expedition from somewhere, apparently this was all to test out a spaceship similar to the IS technology in a way, they had shared Tabane's original image of space travel, sadly they started getting desperate more and more aggressive in their attempt to get a male IS user, Ichika had no choice but to silence this little expedition, he relayed this info to his group back down on earth and told them to annihilate anyone connected in any way to this group… leaving out innocence but no evidence of course.

He wasn't that bad right?

So here he was, looking down on earth with his very own space battleship, a few rival companies heard about this info and did occasionally try to sabotage this vessel for many obvious reasons. Ichika didn't really care honestly, he just stumbled across this little job and happened to get a ship out of it, instead he really missed home and wanted to return immediately, it was hell up there, the fake air, shitty food, granted it wasn't a pleasure cruise but still, could have brought a bed at least… he slept in storage for the past few months, as did his team of 'rag-tag bodyguards.'

"Alpha, send in Delta squad to deal with the mess, and get a drop pod ready, I'm going back to earth… ASAP." 'Alpha' responded with a snap salute then rushed out to accomplish the great Mages requested tasks. "One more thing." she stopped and awaited his instructions. "Wipe all the data record on the ship, there is no need to leave a trace if we can help it." he smiled, walking passed her towards the crews quarters, When he finished she darted down the hallway to do as she was told.

Ichika looked around at the cold interior of the first battle riddin spacecraft ever built, it was a light silver, with zero colors to give it life, not even a porthole to look into space, he had been stuck in this place for far too long, all that was left to do was pack up and go to Japan for a little problem that's been bugging him for a long time. Over the years it's occurred to Ichika that he never got to finish his childhood, and that if he waited too long he'd never get the opportunity… unless he went to school now, that was the best he would get after all.

His plan was to register into a school, maybe get a few friends, just to experience a normal life, just once… at first his Merc's wanted to accompany him, but he responded that. 'If they wanted to go to school, go anywhere you wish, just don't follow me'… or something like that anyway, they were reluctant but ultimately accepted his decision, he entered the crew's quarters, packed what little of his belongings he had, and went for the hangar bay, when he approached a few people inside stiffened to salutes, most were members of his faction: The Sleeping Knights. "Bravo, radio to rendezvous point, get a few of our members into the pods we return in, they're going to take our place… make sure to assign Pink and Foxtrot." someone gave a salute and started adjusting their comms to follow his words to the letter.

When he entered the pod, many of his people followed, sitting in various places, the same was being done in the pod next to them.

A few seconds after the hatch closed the pods took off out of the hangar and started dropping towards the earth at rapid speeds, around ten miles above the earth, the pods cloaked themselves while coming down, after a full minute drop they slowed down to a stop, sitting on top of a large cargo ship, similar to the one Ichika was kidnapped on all those years ago, though they weren't here for any kidnappings, they were all armed and dangerous, once the pods touched down Ichika immediately burst out and went straight for the helicopter sitting on the helipad at the end of the ship, upon the door bursting open multiple people switched places with the soldiers inside excitedly, seconds later the ship's were in the air, and already three miles up,

Gone before anyone could stop, or even register it's departure.

Ichika entered the small huey alone, as soon as he sat down, he was being transported towards Japan… Ichika was a boy, or rather, a man that valued efficiency, quality over quantity if you will, so no single movement was wasted, every second was precious, it's what made his faction very well respected, when they had a job to do they didn't waste time, they followed their mission to the letter, and to this day there was not a single fuck up.

No known ones at least.

Because that was his job, he was efficient. And it will stay that way, he had no time for mistakes, he vowed to never fuck up if he could help it. His heli touch down on a landing pad at the airport, he gave the pilot an appreciative. "Thank's." with a smile before departing, he walked over to a car, it was a simple car, something unnoticeable, nothing that caught the eye. Once he sat down and the door closed the car immediately roared to life, his driver silently drove into Japan… and before he knew it he was already where he'd take his entrance exam. "Thanks for the ride… be safe." the driver nodded with a small appreciative smile then drove away, leaving Ichika alone, and in the open.

He gave a small sigh and started up the steps into the building wearing his casual Mechanics Jumpsuit, nothing fancy, then immediately got lost in the large building, whoever designed this place must have smoked the good shit while playing some kind of labyrinth game… hell, maybe this place was originally supposed to be a labyrinth.

"How could you possibly get lost this easily? Seriously, the receptionist said take a left then two right's then four doors down… you're hopeless!" yelled Zulu inside his head, silently Ichika let out a breath while taking in his surroundings, he was in a long dark hallway, apparently the building was getting an extention or something, and he wasn't supposed to be there. "I know, but if I'm hopeless, then what does that make you? the I.S. that accepted no other?" for a second he could feel her emotions manifest into anger and embarrassment, he started laughing it off. "Kidding, I was kidding… I'm just nervous is all y'know? What if something goes wrong?" he spoke honestly in a gentle tone that immediately calmed Zulu down.

"How could you be afraid of school when you've gone to so many wars, gone to space even, killed creatures that many people would s-shit their pants over… I-I'm sure you'll be fine." Comforted the usually shy and calm voice of Zero. "Did I just hear you swear?" teased Ichika, she never swore before, not even when he was about to die many times. "S-sorry, Zuko said you liked bad girls so…" that made Ichika do a one-eighty. "Eh?" he was now standing in front of a large metal door. "N-nevermind, forget I said anything!~" she quickly responded, when she finished she stayed silent, while the other two girls started to burst out laughing and teasing the poor girl.

Ichika didn't know how to save the poor A.I. from her siblings except to move their attention away. "Where do you girls think this door leads to?" he wasn't honestly interested, but if they were happy, he was happy, nothing could change that. When they didn't respond he shrugged, taking their silence as curiosity, he pushed into the room and found it filled with a few IS units. "I've never seen this model before… wonder if it's a new one." Ichika stood in front of a first Generation IS… a training IS… with factory settings that weren't even completed.

When he got closer to inspect them, they all started to glow brightly in response to his presence, begging him to pick any of them. "What the…?" that's when the door busted open, followed by three women, one in a white lab coat, another in a pilot's suit, and the last in a mechanics uniform. "I'm telling you that it's been on the fritz, maybe it's mal-...-function-...-ing… what's going on?" asked the woman in the pilots suit, Ichika turned to them and stated simply. "I got lost…" with a sheepish face, while rubbing his neck. "Then when I came in here, these units started glowing… I can feel them each calling out to me." it was intended as a joke when he finished, but the women looked dumbfounded, the woman in the Jumpsuit exploded angrily. "You don't belong here, what did you do to these units huh?" Ichika was about to respond when the Lab coat spoke before him. "Look, don't they seem like their responding to him? This is incredible!~"

"You, what is your name?" asked the woman, staring at him intently, Ichika thought about that for a moment, should he tell them his name? He really didn't want to kill them, but he really didn't wanna lie to them either, he sighed and gave them a simple response. "I'm Ichika, Ichika Orimura." the women looked at him in disbelief. "You don't honestly expect us to believe that do you? Brunhilde's younger brother died years ago, you don't really expect us to believe that do you?" Ichika shook his head, he didn't look anything like he did years ago, what with the Tattoos and White hair, not to mention his trip to space made him quite a bit taller… "Not really, no, but would you rather I lied about my name? If that's the case call me Zamba, it's a very famous… common name among my tribe." was his reply, and indeed, the name Zamba was quite famous to his faction's cult member's, the cult member's originated from that tribe that put the Tattoos on his face and body. Zamba was one of their gods apparently, Ichika didn't intend to keep that name, his cult would probably take it as a sign or something…

Wasn't he supposed to be taking an entrance exam?

Well long story short, they were in a state of disbelief and made him get onto one of the training I.S. units, which Zero, Zuko and Zulu weren't very happy about, when he mounted the IS, he was immediately bombarded with questions, then out of nowhere, a hatch on the other side of the room opened and he was surprise attacked by another unit, saying something along the lines of: 'Let's get this over with, I was getting bored.' the other IS lunged at him, and Ichika flipped his opponent over his shoulder, slamming her into the ground with the limited strength of his training unit, as soon as she hit the deck she passed out…

Apparently that was an entrance exam he just completed by accident, and he just defeated an instructor using reflexes alone, the women from before couldn't deny it now, this was definitely a male pilot, they asked him various questions, to which he answered as honestly and as vaguely as possible, during the questions one of the women slipped away and spread the news about his big secret, when he was about to leave the building he was bombarded by news reporters and government officials, somewhere along the way someone filled out some exam paperwork for him to go to the all girls IS Training academy, he suspected the women in the lab coat wasn't just writing on a clipboard for herself, and ended up forging his papers for him, he wasn't one to complain anyway, he was going to school in the end, that's all that really mattered right? "Except everyone knows your secret now." reminded Zuko in her usual deadpan tone, he wasn't that worried, all he'd have to do in the end is disappear for a few years and everything will be back to normal, he was no stranger to these situations… it has happened before.

There just weren't as many witnesses until now...

A few weeks later he was waking up at an apartment he rented, when he got dressed, went to the bathroom and started eating breakfast he got a quick knock at his door, when he answered there was some kind of uniform stuffed into his arms, the person who gave him the uniform barged their way in and slammed the door shut behind herself. "Put those on, I'm here to escort you to the academy." simple and straight to the point, exactly what he liked, he was quickly dressed and followed her without complaint to a car, then a train station, and finally stood in front of the academy. 'My life sure is quick isn't it?' he quietly mused.

As soon as he was on school grounds there was an immediate crowd of women surrounding him, he simply followed his guide inside towards where the principal was… it was filled with pleasant greetings, small talk here and there… but Ichika knew she was trying to pry as much info out of him as they could, where he was born, how old he was, why he came to Japan, if he really was a male, what was with the tattoos, that question lead to the questioning if he was a delinquent, when he replied he was from a tribe they immediately latched onto the prospect of a whole tribe of men just like him… this annoyed Ichika, he replied with his refusal and insisted he get to class, much to their reluctance.

So his escort escorted him for the last time, he didn't bother remembering her, because as arrogant as it sounded, the truth was that he wasn't going to be here forever after all, his escort took him to his desk, bowed in respect then left… this was the first day of school… the woman that seemed to be the teacher of this class was: Maya Yamada, she was a Green haired teacher with glasses, a sizeable bust… and a very shy woman, definitely shy, if Zero and Yamada-Sensei met, they might become fast friends... Or avoid each other at all costs.

Sitting near the window was a girl Ichika remembered very well, it was Tabane-nee's sister, Houki Shinonono, he remembered training at the Shinonono dojo with her when they were younger, before the I.S. was created, he wasn't sure if it was her, but the way she held herself, and the bow in her hair were definitely traits Houki had, he noticed she was staring at him strangely, he made it known he could see her by faintly waving, she turned her head to the window. 'Definitely Houki…' was Ichika's single though, when he turned his attention to the girl that's kept his attention for quite some time.

The seat that sits closest to the door was a girl with midnight black hair, and brownish/reddish eyes with a pale skin tone, when he walked in she was reading a book, she looked like she was looking through it, as if deep in thought… her face was stuck in a permanent scowl, just like his sister Chifuyu… or…

"Madoka Orimura, do you mind introducing yourself to the class?" called out Yamada's voice, upon hearing her name Ichika was unsure how to feel, he was happy for sure, but he was also full of disappointment, dread and panic… many more emotions collided with him, but he suppressed them for the time being, and listened with a warm poker face as she stood up, upon hearing her name multiple student's started chattering excitedly about her being the younger sister of Brunhilde, and others said she was a prodigy… there were many things said but they were silenced when she spoke. "My name, as called out, is Madoka Orimura, I like to read, eat and sleep, what I do in my free time is train to keep improving myself… I have only one remaining family member left… please take good care of me." she sounded bitter around the end of her introduction when she mentioned family, and obviously didn't seem to care too much about the company.

So there she was, his sister was literally a couple feet from him… she doesn't seem to be happy like he remembered her to be, she was always mostly just cold to Chifuyu… 'I guess my 'death' hit her harder than I thought.' this drew a small sigh from him when he started hearing murmurs of differing tones from the rest of the class, he started to get lost in thought when he heard Yamada say his name. "Umm… Zamba is it?" Ichika stood up, then introduced himself.

"Hello everyone! That is not my name, but everyone seems to insist on calling me Zamba for whatever reason, anyway, I am definitely a guy if you're all still skeptical… I come from an unnamed island after deciding to leave the tribe that housed me, my favourite colors are red and black, I have traveled across the world and met many different people, as well as studied many arts, and before you are mistaken, these tattoos are cultural symbols of my adulthood from within my tribe… not signs of delinquency… please take good care of me." Ichika thumped his chest with his right fist, while his left came up behind his back, this was a sign of respect from the tribe that he turned into the Sleeping Knights salute when on business.

When he finished he smiled disarmingly to everyone in the class, the smile that didn't belong to a murdering warlord like him, but a smile any young innocent child would have, when he smiled the whole class either froze with their faces turning bright red, or they squealed like the background fangirl character's they were, he was about to sit down when a book sailed in his direction, he caught the book with both hands before it could hit, inches from his head, looking startled and sitting down quickly, he looked in the direction the book came from and saw a very annoyed looking Chifuyu, he could tell this was her by the resemblance of Madoka, if not her then from the same scowl permanently stuck to their features.

"Ah, I'm guessing the meeting is over now?" Yamada-sensei questioned innocently, and immediately regretted the question when Chifuyu's glare turned to her instead. When Chifuyu saw Yamada's frightened look her glare softened. "Yes, the meeting ended early, something important came up." answered Chifuyu, shooting a small glare in his direction, when she finished Yamada looked relieved. "Ah, that's good then, I suppose this means class will begin now?" questioned Yamada, at this Chifuyu nodded and proceeded to the front of Ichika's desk, collecting her book from Ichika's hands, as soon as she collected her book she attempted to hit him again, but Ichika just caught the book between his hands once more, only instead of looking surprised this time, grimaced at the thought of Chifuyu actually targeting him as some sort of prey, his own flesh and blood. "I must say Orimura-Sensei, you have quite a strong… arm, if that were to of actually hit me I definitely would have hit the floor, even if I was ready for it."

As he spoke, Chifuyu looked more and more annoyed, when he finished she leaned her head down to his ear. "If you block or dodge the next hit I give you, you will be severely punished." she spoke with a hint of spite in her voice, he responded. "May I ask why your trying to hit me Sensei?" her next words brought a frown to his lips. "I don't take too kindly to anyone claiming to be my little brother, especially you." when she finished she was about to retry beating him again and pulled away, when she suddenly froze at his next set of words.

"It's okay to be afraid, for that's one of the many emotions that make you human… but if you are afraid yet follow through with whatever must be done, then that's what makes you Brave… and you know why heroes are so brave? It's because even if they are afraid, they wont let an emotion as pathetic as fear control their actions… you said something similar to that a very long time ago… and I've never forgotten that, never have, never will." he sat back, eyes scanning her every movement behind his goggles, she stood there for a moment, looking like she saw a ghost. But there was something else behind that shocked expression in her eyes was a small spark of life that caused her face to light up from it's normally pale complection… not a blush per say, but it's the difference between a corpse and a living, breathing being… like a certain glow.

After ten seconds passed he saw that Yamada was about to ask if Chifuyu was okay, but Chifuyu beat her to it by snapping away from her stupor, glaring at Ichika, then went back to the front of the class, behind her desk. 'Well, that solidifies my guess for her job is now, I would have never expected her to be a teacher, I always thought she'd continue being a Mondo Grosso Champion… oh well.' he looked up and watched as she introduced herself in a very Phoenix Wright looking way in his opinion.

"Alright, listen up, I'm Chifuyu Orimura, but you will either address me as Miss Orimura or Orimura Sensei, it's my job to teach you to stand well enough in less than one year, understood?" by the end of it the class burst into fangasm mode and endless declarations of their undying loves and loyalties. At least he knew he wasn't the only Orimura with a cult of followers… Chifuyu shook her head in exasperation, saying something about sending all the nutcases to her class on purpose, which triggered a response from the class masochists once again… what was up with this place?

As class continued on he started mentally shaking his head for ever worrying about her, he always watched the Mondo Grosso whenever he had the chance, hoping she'd pop up out of nowhere one day… he was relieved to see her doing okay without him.

Yamada started to speak: "The IS stands for Infinite Stratos, it's multiformed suit first created in Japan, ten years ago it was originally built for outer space, unfortunately those plans are currently on hold, due to the Alaska treaty, the IS is strictly prohibited to be used by the military and can only be used in tournaments and sporting events allowing governments to settle disputes, and a new fun sport to be formed, thanks to this, war has become-" she continued with her explanation about how war pretty much doesn't exist anymore, which made Ichika wanna laugh, then she continued to explain that for unknown reasons only women can operate IS unit's. Until Ichika stifled a laugh, which Yamada corrected herself by saying 'That is, until a few days ago, thanks to Zamba.' class continued this way the whole period, though since Ichika already knew all of this and more, he ended up ignoring everything they said.


Class was finally over, and Chifuyu quickly made sure her presence was brief before disappearing into the unknown of the halls beyond, Madoka seemed content to just read to herself, Yamada seemed to be talking with a few students's… and Houki was watching him, when she thought he wasn't looking, Ichika was left alone, and to his own devices. He decided to see how miss Shinonono had been all these years, he was well aware that she likely didn't know his identity, but that wasn't going to stop him from greeting a childhood friend. He stood up, and made his way to her desk, once he was in front of her he bowed slightly to come face to face with her. "How's it been miss Shinonono?" she looked surprised at his presence, then asked. "Do I know you?"

"Of course you do… at least I'd like to think so, I was there when you won the National Kendo tournament, I was originally going to enter myself, but I ended up being far too busy, I wasn't initially planning on going at all truthfully… until I heard you made it to the finals, I can't tell you how pleasantly surprised I was to hear your name…" he leaned a little closer, causing those watching to squeal in another fangasm. "It's been a long time, I probably wouldn't have recognised you without that bow you always wore since we were kids…" at this, Houki tensed up… accidentally releasing a breathe in the form of a name. "Ichika…" when he heard his name he smiled quite largely, wrapping his arms around her in a tight hug. "You do remember me after all!~" he cheered happily, laughing in merriment.

As soon as he did that though, multiple girls started yelling out various reactions, the main one having to be jealousy, when he released her she had a wide-eyed and slightly disbelieving expression, when she was about to say something he put a finger to his lips, while winking, still holding his cheeky smile, though his wink wasn't caught, as his goggles still covered his eyes like sunglasses (These are welding Goggles FYI so… just roll with him wearing them for the time being yeah?) he started giggling in amusement at her look of disbelief. "Hey, whaddya say we catch up during lunch? Just like old times, right?" he spoke loudly for everyone to hear while still directing his attention to her, he was about to continue when someone walked into the class looking for him.

"Umm… is there an…" she takes a moment to read a note. "Ichika in this class? I was told to bring her to the hanger… there's a package delivered to her…" when he heard this, he immediately perked up, his stood straight and spoke in a much less playful tone. "That'd be me." he started walking past her when she had a shocked expression, apparently she didn't expect to be fetching the only male in the school. When he stood in the hallway she snapped out of it, leaving two shell shocked women behind, though Houki looked confused, Madoka's confusion turned to anger… 'How dare he, is he trying to pick a fight with me on purpose? That bastard!' Though there is one question that stands out in everyone's mind. 'Why the hangar?'


(Hangar Area)

When he entered the hanger area, he immediately felt a wave of nostalgia hit him when he noticed how messy everything was, internally smiling, being briefly reminded of his own hangar back on an unmarked map in greenland, when he finished the scanning, he noticed the hangar doors wheeling in a particularly large crate, the crate wore a militaristic presence… if the Japanese military insignia commanding authority, sitting on the side of the box was any indication.

He looked upwards to the windows of the observation room that kept watch over the hangar, like a control room of sorts, perhaps even a lookout tower, within the window frame was Chifuyu, standing and chatting with what appeared to be a man in uniform… the uniform was formal, but still commanding, and from what Ichika could see… he was a man of high rank. 'Likely just another government official trying to win me over, perhaps they'll claim this is a gift to try and get me on their good side, too bad I have everything I could ever actually want stuck to me twenty-four-seven… heh.'

"So, what might be inside this mysterious crate… and why use metal to move something so… unimportant… if that sounded weird, I usually only deal with wood where I come from." he clarified casually, whilst waltzing up to the crate as if he already owned it. He looked back discreetly to the observation deck where Chifuyu and the big wig were speaking… and suddenly Ichika felt very, very annoyed. Mr. uniform looked like he was starting to get… 'familiar' with his older sibling, trying to cleverly draw his arms around his sister's back…

And now he was massaging her dammit!~

Ichika's annoyance turned into immediate hatred for this man, this man must immediately be put in his place, he didn't deserve Chifuyu… Ichika watched for Chifuyu's reaction, thankfully she seemed quite displeased herself, visibly trying to hold herself back from this likely, in fact she looked to be a few seconds to completely murdering this very important man… Ichika didn't answer to higher authorities though, he was an international contractor after all. 'The best in the business… now I'm not much of a praying man… but please, if you're hearing any of this I'd really appreciate it if you caused a large sum of trouble to be stuck with that man, hear my prayer... Goddess Zero, Zulu and Zuko.' as soon as he finished that thought, he saw one of his IS cannons manifest and fire at the window closest to the man.

"AHH!~" yelped the man, hiding behind Chifuyu, using her as an obvious meat-shield. "What the hell? ARE WE UNDER ATTACK?!" the official looked around frantically, nearly pissing his pants, Chifuyu's eye twitch as she looked to where it came from, when she looked through the window she only saw Ichika and a couple engineer's looking around confusedly, upon noticing Ichika her body immediately tensed, as she inspected him she noticed the faint smile of satisfaction blooming on his face, he was obviously the one who did it, but how? 'Did he already receive what's inside the…' her thought's trail off as she noticed the box was shut as tight as it had been when it first arrived, no way he would be able to calibrate himself quickly enough to deploy his IS, fire, then disperse it as easily, only someone with years of experience could do such things.

She'll have to check the security footage later, right now she had a package exchange to oversee between a Japanese government and a headache inducing male IS pilot, ever since she first saw him she didn't know what to think, but she felt familiar with him, yet at the same time, complete strangers… it made her uncomfortable, especially when her little brother's the topic of thought, immediately she decided this was an imposter, he was nothing like her weak brother, the brother she abandoned for a stupid title… yet the boy did seem to know things no one else did, like those words of 'bravery'… if this wasn't Ichika, which it obviously couldn't be, he must have had some sort of interaction with him… he might even be one of the kidnappers… then again he was a little young for that… she'll continue later, right now she had to get to work.

Upon her approach Ichika straightened himself up, awaiting the obvious attack coming his way, however he did remember her words from earlier, that if he moved or blocked he was pretty fucked, so when she was a foot away he didn't flinch when she brought her fist down on his head in (well in both Orimuras case) quite a slow hit, as soon as her fist connected she blinked in confusion. "Ow onee-sama, ease up on baby bro would ya?" she was about to retort with quite a few particularly colorful choice of words that surely could have ended in a bloodbath at the jab about her dead brother (Rest his soul.) when the government official seems to have recollected himself and approached the group near the metal crate.

"Ah, you must be the male pilot the whole world is bending over backwards looking for, am I wrong?" Ichika smiled politely. "Yessir, it appears I have finally been found." he discreetly looked at Chifuyu when he said this, then looked back at the man. 'Unfortunately for you, I already don't like you so… ' thought Ichika internally as he shook Mr. fancy uniform's hand, the man tried to show his 'dominance' by crushing Ichika's hand, unfortunately when Ichika was challenged he never let his challenger off easily, so in response to the arrogant man, Ichika squeezed back… five times as hard, causing the man yelp in pain and snatch his hand back.

"So, what brings you here today Mr…?" Ichika kept up his facade, though he had already done thousands of meetings and deals for things he had no interest in, this man would end up just another reject, after all, Ichika was a self-reliant man and all, he had no time for silly games he's won thousands of times before. "Ah, straight to the point, I like that kid." 'As well do I sir, but only with people worth my time.' "Well, to be frank, let's be honest kid, as soon as your done with this… 'I.S. training'… you'll have to eventually pick which government to contract with, as you know many people will play hard ball just to get a glimpse at you, anyway, the local Government is gonna make you a sound offer." 'Here we go…' thought Ichika with an internal yawn, though keeping his persona as ignorant and innocent as ever. "If you join Japan, we'll give you your own personal IS unit, and in exchange all you have to do is give us data." 'yep, just a lab rat… I'm good fella.'

The conversation caught everyone in the hangar's attention immediately, a first year student, a boy, was getting his own personal I.S. unit handed to him, this was really big news to everyone, as you couldn't just 'Get' you own personal I.S. unit, as there wasn't a large amount of cores made in the world at the moment… or maybe ever. Everyone watched with bated breath for the ultimate conclusion, a conclusion that would soon drop their jaws and eyes boggle out of their sockets. "All of this was actually going to happen anyway to be honest, we just couldn't get a solid answer on what your real name is… so what do you say we just sign your name on this contract, and you can officially have your own personal unit…"

"I decline." Ichika's smile was unwavering and voice cheerful as ever, but everyone of the staff member's/student personnel members almost completely lost their shit right then and there, the official continued: "Good just sign her-... eh?" he didn't seem to prepare for a rejection, this man obviously thought Ichika would have said yes hands down, the man was quick to retort in a surprised voice. "A-apologies, I seem to be hard of hearing… mind repeating that 'Zamba'?" Ichika nodded with a sweet smile. "Of course, I would like to reject your offer outright… as I am already contracted with many nations already, not to mention I already have my own personal I.S. ." at this everyone was dead silent, Chifuyu narrowed her eyes, he was definitely guilty now, there was no way any of this happened since he arrived, she's been keeping a close eye on him, and he hadn't been contacted by anyone before he came here, he hasn't even shown any sign of there being a personal IS unit on his form… not at first glance anyway.

"And finally, because you couldn't even be bothered to call me by my name, or even introduce yourself, which was quite rude… nicknames are for acquaintances by the way, in case you haven't noticed… my name is Ichika sir. Ichika Orimura… now, if that is all, I'm going to be late for class." he was about to continue to class when someone behind him shouted. "What could possibly be better than a third generation IS, there's no way your IS is better than our's." when Ichika heard this he turned on his heel.

"Let me tell you something buddy: in my heart sits a hole, a hole you couldn't possibly fill with some third generation unit… for my heart's hole is already filled with a bonded I.S. of my own, and I can promise she refuses to release her clutches on me, so I won't toss her out for some stranger I haven't a clue about that likely doesn't want anything to do with me… her and I are fused, she keeps me alive, she's keeps me happy, she gets anything and everything she wants without question… and right now she wants to continue her day away from the 'hussy' that tried to replace her… her words not mine," the man looked baffled for a moment before pinching his nose. "I'm sorry, 'She?' are you an idiot? It's a machine kid, they can't feel things like you and me, it isn't even sentient." when the man was about to continue, Ichika pointedly smiled at him. "Course she is, all IS's are alive, perhaps the reason why every other man has yet to learn to pilot one is probably because you refuse to acknowledge the poor girls as partner's, instead of as tools, there's nothing special about me that I haven't already looked for my friend… in fact I have already gotten a few companies to try to use my DNA sequence… it was a 100% failure."

"There's really nothing special inside me that allows me to pilot an IS, I just understand them better, this is why I can pilot them, this is why I have such a strong bond with my unit… we're inseparable… so until you understand that, don't even bother trying to contact me." he was about to storm off as some of his anger was starting to slip through, but stopped momentarily to bow respectfully. "I trust I'll see you in class soon Miss Orimura… I'll be going now." he momentarily looked back at the angered government representative, then continued on his way, pulling out a journal and writing furiously through it's pages, disappearing around the corner.

There was an uncomfortable pause for everyone in the hangar, not a word was spoken, not a single twitch. That's when Chifuyu started instructing some staff and students to reload the unnamed officials package onto the cargo truck that originally brought it there in the first place, when he heard her order's he immediately snapped from his shock. "No! It's staying here, and he's signing this contract… I refuse to leave without a signature from…" he trailed off when he noticed the way Brunhilde looked at him, she looked like she was staring at a child throwing a tantrum for not getting what he wants… and seeing as how this little deal ended, that may as well have been the case.

He took a moment to recompose himself, and strained smile at Chifuyu. "Is there, by any chance, a way you might know who he's contracted to? It would be much appreciated, even a single name…" he was already grasping at straws when he didn't even need to yet, the poor fool. "I apologise Lieutenant, but it seems he's made his decision very clear, now, seeing as you have no further business here, I suggest you head back. Speaking of heading back I do need to get back to class… good day." when she finished she handed a clipboard to a passing engineer and made it her mission to catch up to 'Ichika.'

Chifuyu quickly caught up to the male pilot and crossed her arms, tapping her foot, Ichika looked up from his journal, looking around after spotting his sister, then put his book away with a barely concealed frown. "I'm glad to finally have an opportunity to speak to you…" he said in a grave tone, Chifuyu raised a brow. "About what exactly?" Ichika responded by pulling down his goggles to hang around his neck, showing his slightly damp eyes and slightly hurt expression. "Why didn't you come to save me back then?" Chifuyu was caught off-guard at his genuine hurt look and tone, as well as his out of the blue question. "... What?" was her shocked response, he clarified his feelings. "I-I'm not angry that you left me on that ship… in fact I was really happy you ended up winning again… I was happy that you didn't let our capture to hold you back… b-but honestly it still hurts knowing you chose something else over me and M-madoka… I… I only wanted to know why you abandoned us… abandoned me…"

Ichika was holding back as much of the sudden emotional storm that came over him as he could, he never felt like this before, the weight of confronting the reason he wasn't a normal person anymore… he killed so many people in the name of money now, he killed and killed and killed, even laughed as he did so… all because he was never saved… all because he had to save himself. "Before you say something like you didn't know at the time… I saw you… on the screen speaking to that fat bastard… you said some very… h-hurtful… what you said hurt." he struggled to compose, now trying to replace his shameful sadness with some kind of anger, not enough to lash out, just enough to somewhat compose himself. "I ended up having to kill people that night… in the middle of nowhere… I-I… I thought I was gonna die! and that Madoka was gonna die… and no one would even know, or care… not even you… I tried to find a way for us to escape, a way for us to live, and all I could do was toss her off the ship with a vest… after that… I just kept fighting... and killing." his anger started to waver, evident in the shaky tone he had in his voice.

". . ." Chifuyu hadn't said a word during his explanation, this was a stranger, no, her little brother,her dead little brother was standing right here, asking her the question that had haunted her dreams 'Why.' he continued: "I was supposed to die y'know, I had chains on me the entire time… even after I 'escaped.' I was chained for years… I turned the tools of my imprisonment into my weapons… remember that IS I mentioned earlier? It's because of her that I lived this long, it's because of her you still can't recognise me even when I'm standing right in front of you… the Tattoos, the hair… even my eyes… those chains were an abandoned project, it was an IS core that had been chained to me Chifuyu-nee… that's why I'm here… because of my IS capabilities… she chose me and now I'm strong like you wanted me to be... self-reliant even… is… isn't that what you wanted? Is this what you wanted from me?"

Ichika had broken down now, nearly sobbing after a full minute of no response he started to wipe his tears away, hastily putting his goggles back on to reign in his emotions better, especially his evidence of crying just now. Recomposing himself he took a deep breath and gave a respectful nod to his sister… or rather, his teacher. "I'm sorry I have disturbed you Chifu-

Miss Orimura… I-I'm going back to class now… see you there." he made sure to correct himself before he left. "Wait!" he didn't stop, he regretted feeling these emotions, they were unfamiliar to him since he was a child, he only felt positive emotions since his escape from the ship, but now these negative emotions have made him weak, he had to seal them away, lest he risk them dampening his performance… he was not going to feel this horrible feeling any longer. "Zero, I was wrong, you were right… I'm sorry… p-please turn back the emotional dampeners r-right now… I think I'm going to be sick at this rate." he supported his words by cupping his palm to his mouth while walking at a quicker pace. There wasn't any response, but the relief of negative emotions told him she did her part. "T-thank's… do me a favor and tell me a joke or two will ya? It'd really help."

What happened earlier when he left the hangar and started writing in his book, he stumbled upon a page about his unnatural emotions, when he asked Zero if she had any idea why he was emotionally different from everyone else she said it was because of her doing, when he demanded she stopped playing with his emotions she tried to warn him that it would result in a negative ending, when he brushed aside her warnings and demanded to feel real emotion she let it rip, the flood gates of emotions he hadn't felt for a very long time…

It was a very stressful result.

But now Ichika learned a lesson in a door he never bothered to open… or rather, a flood gate, and that lesson was clearly written on a mental note and slapped back onto that flood gate, it stated as follows: 'DON'T FUCKING OPEN'. Nodding in mental satisfaction, he continued at a more even pace, and walked into the classroom, taking his seat silently… as soon as he sat down the bell rang, and everyone started shuffling to their respective rooms, after a few minutes Orimura and Yamada sensei stepped in, the ladder speaking frantically in hushed whispers until she was silenced by the former's universal look of 'enough'. As soon as Yamada got that look she looked around as to why she was being silenced, apparently not noticing the large classroom full of… well... students.

When she spotted Ichika she looked startled, apparently looking at him in a new light, be it from Chifuyu telling her what she's discovered on him, or maybe hearing about the events of the hangar, either way she obviously seemed… uncertain? When she was nudged by Chifuyu to speak to the class, she immediately snapped out of it and entered teacher mode.


It's around the end of class and Yamada has just told them that basically they had to memorize everything he already knew by the end of the week… did I mention he already knew all this? "Does anyone have any questions regarding today?" there were no questions, no hands raised, but Yamada wasn't sure that the 'inferior male' understood the material that most women already knew. "Do you have any questions… I-Ichika?" upon hearing his name a few girls started gossiping, other gossipers looked far too much into the fact that she had stuttered his name and had been acting strangely around the boy, they were probably going to start a rumor of shippage between poor Yamada and Ichika, after a few seconds Ichika spoke up to silence everyone else. "Yes Yamada-sensei… what if I already know all of this?" he asked in a dead serious tone… after a few seconds everyone burst out laughing at the idea of him already knowing all of this material, especially a male who likely never piloted an I.S. for very long.

Ichika held his expression of dead seriousness while Yamada quieted down from her giggling, when she noticed his expression was dead serious she recoiled. "W-well I suppose they wouldn't have to do the work, but they would have to prove they know all of this by taking a test." at first he looked down at the dreaded pile of work he'd of had to do if he were one of these girls, then he smiled. "Ah, I see, would you mind if I took that test Miss Yamada?" before Yamada could speak another student piped up. "You can't be serious, there's no way you know all of this before we would, everything in these sheets-" she was interrupted by Ichika. "Why wouldn't I?" that caused everyone in the room to pause for a moment, then he continued. "What makes you believe I wouldn't know anything about the I.S. ? What makes you think I would fail this test? What gives you the right to judge me when you don't even know anything about me."

Everything he said was so calm, but everyone heard what he was underlining, those words weren't something someone said so… unnervingly calm. "Is it because I'm a male? Perhaps it's because of my misleading appearance?" he waited patiently. "If you believe I might even cheat, would you like to watch over my test personally? Would that make you believe I'm not as inferior as you'd like to believe?" the girl averted her gaze, sitting silently, when everyone else saw her back down they started to fall back as well, albeit reluctantly. Ichika noticed the domino effect, and the morale visibly lower, he hates low morale, even from his enemy… if only people smiled more during fights perhaps there would be less fights? But kind smiles… not psychotic ones that he's oh so used to.

"I believe there is a saying… 'don't judge a book by it's cover'… only it's contents… have you read me yet?" he smiled gently and looked back at Yamada. "On second thought, I'll pass on that test Miss Yamada, it seems to be… a very uncomfortable thought that I may know something my peers don't… excuse my apparent ignorance." he quietly leaned back in his chair, and looked through the paper's stacked on his desk with disinterest, remembering all of this was basic stuff, he was on an expert level… what a bummer.

"W-well then, let's continue class and turn to page twelve in your textbooks…" and just like that, class was back in business, the air from the previous event hung for a minute before finally dissipating into thin air, though everyone was discreetly looking back at Ichika with a multitude of different expressions… but most of it was uncertainty. Ichika thought about what he said earlier. 'Are my tattoos really that off putting to them? It's gonna suck trying to get them off… the sacrifices I take to experience normalcy… oh well.'


It was finally the end of class and Ichika immediately stood up, packed up the useless info he received in a bag, and started making for the door when someone stopped in front of the door. "May I have a moment?" she asked politely, he smiled. "What can I do for you today Miss Alcott?" she smiled smugly and replied, more to herself, in english "It's good to see a commoner tribes monkey like yourself knows who I am at least, I shouldn't be surprised… but a commoner should be honored to speak to someone of high standing as a Representative Contender such as myself, so honored you should be on your knees licking my boots, especially a japanese descended Male such as yourself." Ichika's smile dropped slightly when the previously polite cute blond girl had turned into… that,

His eye twitched.

"Actually Miss Alcott… that was… that was actually quite racist… and sexist as well." he pointed out grimly in english, to which earned a shocked gasp out of her, and a few out of some eavesdroppers. "And I'm sorry if I mislead you somehow, but I know of you because of your family, not because of your reputation, they're an… acquaintance of my company's services from time to time concerning security… now if you'll excuse me, this conversation has left a bad taste in my mouth… good day." he said uncomfortable and shuffled past her gaping maw, being sure not to trip on her lower jaw.

Everyone who was watching… who was pretty much everyone was slack jawed at what they just heard, Ichika had just spoken english… this was going to be a popular new rumor for sure, like how many other languages he may speak. "How many other languages do you think he has?" asked one girl who stated everyone's thoughts in the open. While that was happening Ichika's smile returned full force, not letting any of the negative encounter's eat at him like he always used to. After a minute of walking he noticed a very large group of girls following close behind… "If this is what a normal life is like then I might want to wake the Knight's and escape from this hell soon… I'll just have to hang in there I suppose." when he walked into the dorms building he asked where he'd be staying, when he was told his room he asked of any roommates, when he was answered that, indeed, he had a roommate he sighed heavily, then started walking back out. "Hey, where are you going? Aren't you headed for your room?"

Ichika stopped and simply said. "It is a crime among my people and a custom to share a room with another only if its family or a significant other… neither of which I have here, I'm going to hop a train and get back to my apartment… if that cannot be done I shall sleep in a tree like I used to long ago." he bluffed, just throwing excuses for convenience's sake, he gave a sigh and walked outside, accidentally bumped into someone, when they started falling he caught her. To his surprise he caught his twin, as soon as he recognised her he started smiling like a mad man.

"Well isn't this a surprise… long time no see elder." when Madoka saw who was at fault for her sudden fall, and her current reason of a sour mood she pushed away from him. "The hell you want!" Ichika's smile faltered. "I'm sorry… you seem to be in a bad way… wanna talk about it?" Ichika was never one to leave his family hanging, if they had a problem his problem was to solve it… just like when they were kidnapped. She scowled. "Talk about what? About how you people insist to fuck with me about my dead brother? Constantly telling me it was my fault or that I don't have him to cry to anymore when I'm alone? What is your deal huh? What did I ever do to you?!"

Ichika saw her distress. "You know I didn't tell you to live to be all… negative… know what I mean?" she paused at his words, but shook them away when she was ready to retory, fortunately he interrupted her. "What, you really don't recognize me? Is it the tattoos? Maybe the hair…? Is it..." he pulled up his goggles. "Is it the eyes? My voice? My height?" she finally yelled. "It's because your not my older brother! He's dead, always has been always will be!" Ichika saw her anger visibly but didn't flinch. "What would it take?" she recoiled, not expecting him to continue his charade. "What would it take for you to believe me?" he pressed his question, leaning forward slightly. She didn't step back, still staring defiantly into his own eyes.

"What's my favorite colors?" she asked, he answered: "It's Red and Black, in that order, mine is Black and Red… in that order." he teased, grinning, she looked startled but pressed on.

"Favorite food?" "Crepes, specifically Cherries and Banana flavoured."

She didn't back down. "Favorite pastime?" he responded, looking nostalgic. "It used to be playing video games with me and sparring together, even walks… but I recently heard about your liking to just training in everything and reading, good to know it wasn't hard to replace me." he stated without a hint of smugness to his voice, he just continued to sound pleased.

"Most embarrassing moment?" he rolled his eyes. "Like you were ever embarrassed." he snorted light-heartedly, she thought she finally had him until he paused. "Well, unless we're talking about that one incident we swore to never speak of ever again." she raised a brow questioningly at his thinly veiled hint, she bit her lip. "What Incident?" she snapped, already frustrated that he seemed to be no ordinary bully, but a stalker as well. Ichika motioned his finger in a come hither motion, she leaned in her ear and he whispered. "That time when I didn't know any better and said I'd marry you." he snickered when he saw her face flush bright red, he was sure he had finally convinced her when she shot off hotly.

"Who was my first kiss!?"


(A/N: I edited (cleaned up) just a little… couldn't stall forever, and I figured if I was just gonna hold out I might as well make it clean-ish… also, I'll have even less time to write, as I'm focusing on 'work', the only kind of work I can't trick myself into thinking is fun… so it's going to be slow going more than usual.)

(QoD: Whaddya guys think about the 2A Virginia thing going on? What's your favorite kind of music? Would you rather be Blind or Deaf?)

(Epstein still didn't kill himself.)