A/N: Hey everyone. Me and Panther J decided to work on this fanfic till it is finished in order to speed things up. So don't worry if you don't expect updates from our other two stories. We'll get to them once we finished this story. So here is Chapter 2 of MegaMan X IS: Director's Cut!
Chapter 2: Welcome to 21XX, IS Pilots! Getting to Know X!
Not long after discovering the five unknown energy signatures were really five girls in suspended animation, X, Jerry, Sophie and the rest of the research team brought them back to Neo Tokyo to receive treatment and, hopefully, wake them up from their cryogenic slumber. Upon arriving back in Neo Tokyo, X, Jerry and Sophie returned to Dr. Cain's office who has also returned from his meeting with the prime minister of Neo Hong Kong about the Reploid production.
While Houki and her friends were being watched over until they were given the OK to treat them, the trio were explaining to Dr. Cain about their findings of an abandoned IS Academy along with a message from one of the victims of the Phantom Virus just before she finally succumbs to the virus. Dr. Cain was inspecting the capsules with the five girls and can tell that while they're still alive, but are also in a deep like sleep as they're the last survivors of the virus outbreak.
"Hmm… I see…" Dr. Cain murmured as he looked at the capsules again before turning to the trio. "From what I can understand, you found these five girls in suspended animation at the ruins of the IS Academy? And they're the last survivors of the Phantom Virus that Phantom Task released back in 2035?"
"That's correct, Dr. Cain." X nods in response as he continues. "It appears they're immune to the deadly virus from long ago due to their S-type blood, but they've entered into a deep coma and were placed into suspended animation so this timeline's medicine can revive them. And that's not all." He added. "One of them is related to Tabane Shinonono."
"Tabane Shinonono? The original creator of the IS?" Dr. Cain questioned with a surprised calm look.
"That's right, Dr. Cain. From what we've gathered, her name is Houki Shinonono and she's the younger sister of Tabane." Sophie answered him before adding "However, they've been on a strained relationship since the creation of the IS. So much that Houki doesn't really like to talk about her sister or even be associated with her."
"Wait, seriously? Why would she not want to be associated with her own sister?" Jerry asked in confusion.
"I think it's because that Tabane tends to be a little… eccentric at times. And I mean REALLY eccentric." Sophie answered him with a sweat drop.
"Eccentric? What do you mean by that?" X asked as a question mark appeared over his head.
"What I mean is that while Tabane is a genius and is the older sister, she also tends to act like a little kid." Sophie answered him while explaining "She created these robotic rabbit ears that she always wears on her head, her capsule is a giant carrot and she just loves showering her affection to Houki, that Chifuyu woman we saw and the only guy to ever pilot an IS Ichika Orimura. So yeah, she may be a genius and may have invented the IS, but she's also acts like a child."
"I can understand that she can be unorthodox at times, but don't let that deceive you. Sometimes even the most unpredictable people can be also be the smartest." Dr. Cain smiled before frowning seriously "Regardless, there's still another pressing matter that we'll have to consider. If we revive these girls, they'll be confused on the year they were in and perhaps frighten in a world that has change overtime since their century long sleep."
"Maybe, but please Dr. Cain! We have to revive them from their comas!" X pleaded "They've been asleep for so long and have no idea what has happened during their deep slumber. I'll take care of them and help them enjoy their new lives in 21XX! I can choose and think for myself, remember? So, taking care of these five girls would be my top priority. If they do become frighten by the world they've awaken in, I can help them calm down and make them accept that this is their new home. I can even have Jerry and Sophie help me out in showing them around our world and help them get accustom to it."
"Wait, what? You want us to help you with them?" Jerry asked with a surprised gasp.
"We'd be happy to help you with these girls, X." Sophie said with a smile. "We'll teach them how everything works here and they'll get used to their new environment in no time. That is, if you're willing to accept his request, Dr. Cain."
Dr. Cain looked at X's pleading eyes and his assistants willing to help him for about 40 seconds until a smile crept onto his face. "Very well. We do have the technology to revive them and cure them of their coma. So we'll revive them. I'm counting on you three to teach these girls how our world works so that they'll get used to it."
"Thank you, Dr. Cain." X smiled softly as he bowed lightly.
"You can count on us to help them, Dr. Cain." Sophie said with a thumbs up.
"Uh… yeah, what they said." Jerry said hesitantly as he has some doubts about this but kept to himself.
Dr. Cain nods at them before pressing the button on the intercom and said: "Prepare these five girls for reawakening and cure of their comas." X, Sophie and Jerry bowed to Dr. Cain as he nods back as the girls' capsules were taken into the medical center. The trio followed behind as so they can be right there when the five girls awakened from their slumber.
After receiving the go ahead from Dr. Cain, the process for reanimation of the five girls has begun. Both X and Jerry stepped out of the room for a moment as the girls were taken out from their capsules and covered them up as they were naked. Blankets were placed over their breasts as Sophie directs the team to make sure the girls were handled with care as they were still in suspended animation. Once the girls were placed on medical beds and covered up, the boys were let back in to oversee the process in the reanimation room.
The girls were hooked up to machines with rejuvenating waters in a large square tank and wearing oxygen masks to help them breath while they were still asleep. X carefully observed the middle IS girl, Houki, and couldn't help but feel sorry for her for some reason since her family's name was tarnished by the Phantom Virus Tragedy. So, he figured that he must help her overcome her painful past as well as taking care of the other four IS pilots, but he also knows it won't be an easy task. Jerry, on the other hand, was less than stellar about helping the ones he believes were the cause of the tragedy, but decided not to say anything about it. As was Sophie, though not to the extent of her childhood friend as she's more indifferent to the five girls. However, it's more of the incident of the Phantom Virus that seems to have her on edge as Houki and her friends were directly in the middle of it when it was unleashed upon the world.
For what seemed like an eternity, the trio noticed that Houki's eyes were starting to open up in a weary state and her breathing was now normal. Following her were Cecilia, Ling, Charlotte and Laura as they're all starting waking up slowly and all their vitals were normal. The doctors, nurses and medical Reploids started to drain the water from the tank and removed the breathing masks from their mouths and let them rest to regain their strength.
"Okay, they're all now cured from their comas and fully revived." A female medical Reploid said with a smile. "They just need some time to regain their strength in order for them to fully wake up. Give them at least an hour and they'll be back on their feet in no time."
"That's a relief. I'm glad to hear that they're all right." X sighed in relief with a soft smile. "It's good to hear that they'll be awake soon enough and we'll be here to greet them. I was worried that they weren't going to wake up, but now I can put those worries to rest."
"Maybe, but what makes you think that you can help them get used to our world?" Jerry asked with a serious frown. "I know you promised Dr. Cain that you'll help them with how everything works, but how can you be sure that you can teach them? I'm not sure how they're going to react with everything and everyone they knew is gone."
"I have to agree with Jerry, X. We're not sure how they'll react to being in the future." Sophie agrees, sharing Jerry's frown with her own while crossing her arms. "They've been asleep for a century and have no idea that everything and everyone they knew is long gone. The IS, their school, their families, their friends and anyone else they might've known are no longer of this world. So, do you really think that you can help them adapt to their new environment?"
"I know it does seem difficult and it could have some ups and downs, but I'm positive that I can help them." X answered them with determination. "I gave Dr. Cain my word that I'd teach them with how our world works and hopefully get them used to their new home. And of course, I also meant it when I said that you two are going to help me in teaching them how everything works."
"Wait, so you really did mean for us to help you?" Jerry asked in surprise.
"Of course, I may help them with how the technology works, but I also feel like some human interaction can be a big help." X answers him with a smile. "So maybe meeting with you two could really help them as I'm sure that they'll be more at ease with another human. So, I'm hoping that we can all work together to help Houki and her friends adapt to our world and then some." Their conversation continues on as the IS girls were slowly but surely waking up from their century long sleep.
30 Minutes later
Darkness… Nothing but a vast, endless blanket of nothingness. That was all Houki Shinonono could see as she floats in endless void of blackness. Everywhere she looked, it was just the same in every direction; a pitch-black void of nothingness and blackness. That is until she hears a set of three voices coming from a light that breaks through the darkness. Houki turns to where the voices are coming from and follows it towards the light where she then sees a white ceiling with a bright light shining down on her. She recognizes the ceiling as that of a hospital as she turns her head to where the voices are coming from. Her vision is still blurry as she had just woken up, but she can see three silhouettes that were talking to each other.
"Look, I get that they've been asleep for a century, but there's no telling how they'll react to all the changes that has happened over the course of their suspended animation." Jerry protested. "Everything and everyone they knew and loved are now gone and even the IS is no more. I'm just saying you'll need to think this through before you take on a big task like this." As they continued talking, Houki's sight was starting to get better as she now sees two boys and one girl right beside the beds.
"I have to agree with Jerry, X. This does look like a different task for someone who has also just woken up a year ago." Sophie agrees as she crossed her arms "I'm not sure how you're going to help them get used to their new environment since they've been asleep for a long time and have no idea that everything has changed since the time of the virus outbreak. Even with our help in teaching them, it's still gonna be a different task to help them learn about our world." Houki's sights gets even better as she can now see that one of the boys was definitely human as is the girl, but the other boy had blue armor and looked like a human.
"I know, but with the three of us working together, we can help them learn about our world and everything it has to offer." X reasoned "It may seem difficult and it could take some time, but I'm positive that they'll get the hang of their new home soon enough." He then noticed at the corner of his eye that Houki had finally woken up and turned over towards her. "And not a moment too soon, one of them has finally started waking up. Jerry, why don't you go see how she's feeling? She's probably still trying to recuperate from her cryosleep."
"Yeah, Roger that." Jerry nodded reluctantly as he walks over to Houki to check on her as she sits up in her bed.
As Jerry checks Houki's vitals to see if she has fully recovered from her coma, her sight was now clear enough for her to see a complete stranger checking her out and she wasn't wearing anything other than a hospital gown that barely covers anything as her cleavage was exposed. This causes her anger to boil up and couldn't hold back any longer until…
"AHHHHHHHH!" Houki screamed in shock and anger as she kicks him with both her feet and sends him flying into the wall on the other side of the room and left a crack hole right beside X and Sophie. "You pervert! What the heck do you think you were doing to me?!"
"Jerry!" Both X and Sophie shouted in worry as they ran over to him.
"Hey! What's your problem?! He was just making sure your vitals were stable! You didn't have to kick him into the wall!" Sophie shouted at Houki.
"Pervert? Okay, in hindsight, maybe having Jerry to check on her wasn't the best idea…" X muttered as he rubbed the back of his head nervously.
"Gee, ya think? I thought that was your whole idea and getting me kicked against the wall was part of the plan…" Jerry sarcastically remarks as he stands back up on his feet and dusts himself off. "Oy, I'm definitely going to feel that in the morning… I just hope that Dr. Cain doesn't get blamed for this." He sits down on a chair while still clutching his chest from Houki's kick.
"Who are you three, huh?! And where have you taken me and my friends?!" Houki demanded as she was ready to punch Jerry again or X if she has to.
"W-Wait, there's no need to get angry! Please, just listen to me!" X waves his arms up and down in a panic. "We weren't going to do anything perverted to your or your friends! Honest! My name is X and these two are my friends, Jerry and Sophie. And you're Houki Shinonono, right?" He smiled softly at her which catches her by surprise by his kindness. For a brief moment, she saw an image of Ichika in her mind as he reminded her of him.
"How… How do you know my name?" Houki asked quietly before realizing something else was amiss. "And where exactly am I? What are you and who are those other two with you?"
"Oh right, introductions are to be made." X cursed himself for forgetting such a thing. "I am a new generation of robots, a Reploid. And these two are assistants to the scientist who discovered me a year ago. As for where you are, you're in Neo Tokyo Hospital 1."
"Rep…loid?" Houki muttered in confusion as she sees the rest of her friends starting to wake up as well, also in hospital gowns.
"H-Houki…? Is that you…?" Charlotte muttered wearily.
"Yeah, it's me, Char. I'm just glad that you and everyone else was starting to wake up." Houki answered her with a small smile.
"Just barely… I still feel like I had a really bad dream, but it felt so real." Laura groaned as she held her head in pain.
"Ugh… What just happened? And why does my head feel like it was stabbed by needles?" Ling asked with a groan.
"I believe that the better question is, where are we?" Cecilia asked confusedly as she and the others looked around the room. Everything seems alien to them, though it also looked like home, but much more advanced. "And more importantly, who are those three right beside our beds?"
"Perhaps it'd be better if we get you girls dressed. It'd be kinda hard to explain anything while your hospital gowns don't really cover anything." X rubbed the back of his head nervously as the five IS girls all glared at him and Jerry, ready to pound them if they try anything perverted.
"Hang on, I'll get the nurse to bring Jerry a wheelchair and you boys can wait outside in the hallway." Sophie suggested. "I'll help them get dressed so that things won't be so awkward when we explain everything to them." Both X and Jerry nodded as she uses the hospital phone to call the nurse while X helps Jerry stand up.
10 minutes later
After Sophie was able to help Houki and her friends get dressed in the same clothes they wore when visiting Ichika, the boys were let into the locker room as X was pushing Jerry's wheelchair as he was still feeling the pain from Houki's kick and the impact on the wall earlier. Needless to say, he was really annoyed at her and isn't going to let her live it down when he was just trying to help. It was also lucky for Houki and her friends that Dr. Cain was able to save their casual clothes during their suspended animation. However, the girls were still continuing to glare at the boys in case they try anything.
"So then… X, was it? What kind of person gives their child a name like that?" Cecilia questioned in disgust while X smiled nervously when she mentioned his name. "We want answers and you three have better give them to us, now. Who are you three? Where are we? And what happened to all of our friends and families?" Even though she kinda flinched at mentioning her family, but no one noticed. "And more importantly, what are you?"
"Right. I'll try to explain it in a way that makes sense for you." X nods in understanding. "As I said before, I'm what's known as a Reploid. An advance robot with the ability to choose and think for myself. Basically, I'm a robot who can think and act in a similar way to humans." Both Jerry and Sophie nodded in agreement as the IS girls were now even more confused than before.
"S-Sacra-bleu!? Is that really true?!" Charlotte gasped in shock and awe "You're a robot that can feel and act like a human? Is that even possible?"
"Over the last couple decades, it was made possible by Dr. Thomas Light." Sophie answered her with a smile as she explained "He created robots that can think for themselves and can help humans in more dangerous tasks. The first robots that can feel and act like humans are his two assistant robots that he also treats as his own children. X here is like the next step in that, but on a much larger scale."
"Holy cow… this is like something right out of Futurama!" Ling gawked in disbelief.
"Wait, you said last couple decades, right?" Houki asked as Sophie nods "So then what year is this? Are we still in 2035?" She wondered as she sees the trio looking at each other, fearing the horrible revelation that should befall her and her friends.
"Should we tell them?" Jerry asked with a gulp.
"I'm afraid that we'll have to. It may come as a shock to them, but they need to know what happened during their time in suspended animation." Sophie answered him with a serious frown before turning to X "X, you tell them what year they're in. I'm not sure if they'll believe us or not, but they'll have to learn the truth sooner or later."
X let out a sigh and frowned despondently as he knew this was coming… He takes a deep breath and began to speak. "Ok, I'll explain everything to you, but I need you ladies to remain calm. What I'm about tell you might come as a shock, but you need to know the truth." The IS girls all gulped in unison as he begins to explain. "This… is the year 21XX. The IS has been banned for the last 66 years ever since the virus outbreak while you five were in suspended animation." The IS girls all gasped in shock and horror from hearing that they've been asleep for over 60 years and that the IS has been banned during that time. The trio observed their behaviors for about 12 seconds until they've heard a growl from Laura as she faces them with anger in her eye.
"You're lying! There is no way that's even true!" Laura screamed in anger "How do we even know what you're saying just a way to let our guard down? For all we can know, you three could be spies for Phantom Task!"
"Indeed! That is the only possibility that we're here!" Cecilia agrees with an angry frown. "No doubt that this is a trap for the mysterious gas they pulled on us!"
"Hold on, you can't really be serious that we've do that, right?" Jerry asked in shock "Why would we trap you five in a hospital after waking you up? What do we have to gain from this?"
"Isn't it obvious? You guys just want to know how to use the IS for your own selfish gain!" Ling answered him with a snarl. "Well, too bad! We're not telling you anything about the IS! So, you can just forget about forcing us to reveal anything!"
"Wait a minute, you've got it all wrong! We're not here to force you into anything, this is all just a big misunderstanding!" X panicked as he waved his arms up and down in panic again. "I swear to you that we're not spies for Phantom Task. We found you in the ruins of your old school and brought you here to the hospital to be awaken from your suspended animation! So please try to remain calm and give us a chance to explain!"
"You shut up! We're not falling for your lies!" Houki snapped as she and her friends hightailed it out of the locker room. They ran past a male Reploid who was bewildered at what just happened and turned to the trio.
"X, those five girls just flew the coop!" The Male Reploid told him frantically.
"I know, they don't believe us that we're not here to hurt them." X said as he clutched his fist with determination. "I swore that I'd take care of them and help them accept the fact that this is their new home now. It won't be easy, but I know that I can do this. I won't let anything bad happen to them!" He makes a dash past the Reploid and follows the girls down the hall with Sophie trailing behind with Jerry still in wheelchair.
The trio soon reached the parking garage where they see the girls hijacking a minivan as Houki takes the driver's seat and starts up the engine to drive out of the garage just before the trio could stop them.
"Just great, now what are we gonna do?" Sophie asked with a groan. "They've just managed to hijack a van and drive out of the garage and into the city. There's no way we can catch them in that traffic."
"Don't give up just yet, we've still got a chance to catch up before we lose them." X said with a smile. "It's a long shot, but I think that I have an idea where they'll be going. I just have to make it there first and maybe they'll listen to us." He spots a futuristic bike of some kind and hops on. "I'm gonna follow them and, if my hunch is correct, meet them at that place. Are you two coming as well?"
"After what miss samurai girl has done by kicking me into the wall? You can forget it!" Jerry answered him with a growl. "I'm not going anywhere near her within a ten-mile radius after calling me a pervert when I was just trying to help! I say good riddance to bad rubbish!"
"I'm sure she didn't mean to kick you into the wall, it was just a misunderstanding." X reasoned. "I'm sure that once everything is cleared up, we can all be friends with each other. I'm positive that she'll apologize for that and you two can make up." He starts up the bike and rides it out of the garage to give chase, leaving Jerry and Sophie behind.
"So, what do you think, Jerry? Should we follow them?" Sophie asked with a smile. Jerry sighed and nods in agreement reluctantly
"We might as well, as much as I don't really want to help them." Jerry answered him with a small frown "X won't back down from this mission he set for himself, so we'll just have to help him." He reaches into his pockets and takes out a set of keys. "You drive this time. I'm still recovering from that kick and being sent into the wall." Sophie nods as she takes the keys presses a button to activate the car lights as they're about to follow X and the IS girls.
With the IS girls
After escaping from the hospital and entered the city limits, they were shocked and scared at what they were witnessing as this wasn't like the Tokyo they knew at all! From everywhere they looked, they can see robots that resembles X assisting humans wearing futuristic clothes and operating high-tech devices that were far more advanced than what they knew.
Even the buildings were nothing like the buildings they knew from the Tokyo they're from as these seemed more seamless and had holographic advertisings rather than normal signs or a Jumbotron. The girls even drove under a suspended track as a monorail zooms over them until it banks a curve on the track. Everything looked so alien to the IS girls as it was nothing like the Tokyo they knew.
"W-What in the world?! What has happened to Tokyo?!" Houki stuttered in disbelief as she and her friends looked at the strange, alien place. None of the buildings looked familiar to them at all!
"I-I don't know…" Char answered in a worried manner. "It's almost like we've been sent to another world where everything is highly advanced and there are robots that resembles humans like the blue one from before. But why is that we were awaken here than our own home?" The IS girls were looking out of the windows of the van at the futuristic city.
"W-What is this place…?" Laura muttered as she leaned forward and placed her hand on a panel as the screen lights up and displays a holographic map.
"Welcome to ComStar! Please select a destination you wish to go."
"What the?! What is this thingy? Some kind of map?" Cecilia asked while gritting her teeth in fear.
"I don't know… It doesn't look like anything we've seen before…" Houki answered her with a stutter.
"Hold on, it's like OnStar, right? Maybe we can use this to help us find out where we are and I think I know what to ask it." Ling suggested with a smile.
"And what do you have in mind, Ling?" Char asked her, wondering if she has an idea.
"The only place we know that should still be standing even if we're not in our own time. It'll take us to Ichika's house if it remembers it." Ling answered her with a smile as she cleared her throat "Take us to the Orimura Residence, please."
"Destination accepted. Now traveling to the Orimura Residence in Old Tokyo." The computer acknowledged.
"Old Tokyo? What does it mean by Old Tokyo?" Charlotte blinked in confusion.
"It's probably more of that gas those three used to play tricks on us." Laura interjected with a frown "No doubt it's making us think that we're in another time and that Ichika's house is no longer around." Her friends weren't so sure as the van shifts into autopilot and heads for Old Tokyo.
Unknown to the IS girls, the trio were following right behind them just as the van shifts into autopilot and drives off into the distance. X stops his bike as Sophie and Jerry pulls up beside him while they watched the girls disappear into the heavy traffic.
"Looks like they've used the ComStar to head for Old Tokyo. Depending on what their destination is, there's no telling where they'll end up." Jerry said with a frown before turning to X. "X, are you sure that you know where they're going?"
"I'm positive I know where they'll be going, it's the one place that's familiar to them and they know where it is." X answered him with a serious frown. "I'm more worried about what's going to happen once they've arrived at his old house. Do they see that we were telling them the truth or will they break down and deny everything?"
"I guess there's only one way to find out. We'll have to catch up with them at this place you believe that they'll head." Sophie told him with a nod. "I just hope that it won't end badly for us or them." Both X and Jerry nodded in agreement as the futuristic traffic light turns green and they drive off to follow the IS girls to the one place they know.
After driving for about half an hour, the IS girls soon arrived in Old Tokyo and were all shocked at the sight of their old home in ruins. Many buildings had collapsed in with their support structures rotting away, debris scattered across the road and the surrounding areas, the roads were cracked and only a few people were left! It was nothing like the Tokyo they all knew!
"W-What the heck?! W-What on earth happened to Tokyo?!" Houki stuttered in disbelief at the sight of the ruined Tokyo.
"Everything is in ruins! It's like there was a war here!" Ling stammered.
"But how is that even possible?! Why is that the city is in ruins? Wasn't the virus prevented?" Charlotte asked in shock.
"Do you think that Phantom Task had won and have taken over Tokyo?" Cecilia asked with fear in her voice.
"No, there has to be a reason why Tokyo is like this. There's no way that Phantom Task could've won." Laura answered her with a frown "We need to get to Ichika's house to find out for ourselves if they have won or not." Her friends all nodded in agreement, but were still worried about what they were going to find once they've reached their destination.
"I hope that Ichika-kun is okay…" Charlotte whispered to herself in despondently as the van continues on down the road.
Right behind the girls, the trio were still hot on their trail as they drive down the same road while also making sure they're not seen by the girls or risk being caught in another misunderstanding. The van soon arrived at the destination and the IS girls disembarked from the van and looked up at the now abandoned house of Ichika Orimura.
"Hold on, this can't be right. There's no way that this could be Ichika's house." Houki gasped in shock as she took a step back before turning to Ling. "Ling, are you sure that you told that you told that ComStar thing about the right place, right? Are we really at Ichika's house or someone else's house?"
"I'm sure that I got the right place, so this has to be Ichika's house." Ling answered her with a gulp. "There's no way that I could've mistaken someone else's house for Ichika's. This is where the van was taking us, so this has to be the right place."
"If that's the case, then why isn't there anyone else here? Why haven't we've seen Ichika or Chifuyu-sensei yet?" Cecilia asked as she looked at the Orimura residence in worry "One of them would've seen us arriving at the front door, but I haven't seen either of them yet. Do you think that something could've happened to them?"
"There's only one way to find out, we'll have to enter the house and search each and every room to find them." Laura suggested, still frowning but getting more worried "If we could find any sort of clue about what has happened to them, we'll know for sure about their fate." Her friends all nodded in agreement as they started to enter the house through the front door that has come off of its hinges, but not before Charlotte takes one last look at the house.
"Ichika-kun… please be safe…" Charlotte whispered before following her friends into the house.
As soon as the IS girls entered the abandoned house, the trio soon arrived at the same location as the girls and looked up at the abandoned house of Ichika Orimura. X hopped off his bike while Jerry and Sophie exited the car as the former grabs a crutch to help him stand up as, while he has recovered from Houki's kick, he still has some difficulty standing on his own.
"So this is where you believed they were going? The abandoned house of Ichika Orimura?" Jerry asked.
"That's right, this is the one place that they were familiar with and was still around, even after his death." X answered him with a nod. "I know that you're still not up to the idea of helping them, but we need to in order for them to get used to their new environment. Let's just hope that they're more willing to listen to us this time." Both Jerry and Sophie nodded as they entered the house to find the IS girls.
Upon entering the abandoned house of Ichika Orimura, the IS girls splits up in order to find their crush or their teacher. But the moment they stepped in, their worries only got worse as the interior of the house was in even worse condition than the exterior was. Furniture covered up by drapes, windows were shattered and glass on the floor, walls cracked and paint peeling off, wood rotting away and not a sign of either their crush or their teacher.
"Ichika!" Houki called out as she enters the living room. "Ichika? Chifuyu-sensei? Is anyone home?" She enters the living room where she sees the sofa covered up by a drape, the coffee table as rotted away and glass from broken picture frames. "W-What happened here…? Why is no one here..?" She walks over to one of the broken pictures and picks it up to see herself, her friends and Ichika together. "Ichika… Where are you…?"
Cecilia and Ling entered the kitchen where it was just in a disarray as the living room. Cabinet doors hanging from their hinges and were empty, silverware has rusted away, the sink was rusted out and the faucet had snapped from its base, plates shattered and everything else was just broken beyond repair.
"W-What's going on…? Why isn't there any sign of Ichika or Chifuyu-sensei?" Cecilia asked in shock.
"Maybe something happened to them and they had to leave to stay safe." Ling suggested, but getting more worried. "Phantom Task could've found them and they had to leave so that they won't get caught." They looked around at the kitchen. "Or it could've been an ambush and they had to leave in a hurry."
"It's possible, but why wouldn't they return after it was safe again?" Cecilia asked in confusion "It doesn't make sense for them to just abandon their home and never come back. There has to be some reason why they didn't return home." The girls looked around as Ling walks over to the cabinets and looks inside them, only to find them completely empty.
"Hold on, these cabinets weren't empty the last time I was here…" Ling said with a gasp. "They were filled up with food for me to cook for Ichika like I promised him I would. What's going on here…?" Cecilia couldn't answer her as she was just as confused as her, but their worries were about to get even worse.
Laura and Charlotte entered the backyard of the house to find any trace of their beloved Ichika or their teacher, but there were still no signs of either of them. From what they could see, much of the grass as started to reclaim the land as vines were taken over the backside of the house and even the stone wall has even eroded away from the vegetation.
"Where could Ichika be? It's not like him to not be here and see us." Charlotte said in worry "Do you think that something bad happened to him, Laura?" She turns to the silver haired German soldier who was still trying to comprehend what was going on.
"I-I'm not sure… There has to be a reason why we've haven't seen or heard either of them…" Laura answered her with a stutter. "They couldn't have gone too far, maybe we can still find some clues to their whereabouts." Both girls looked around the backyard for any signs of Ichika or their teacher until Laura noticed something at the corner of her eye. "Hmm? What's that?"
"What's what? Did you see something?" Charlotte asked in confusion.
"There seems to be an unknown object near the center of the yard." Laura answered "That could be a clue to finding out what happened to Ichika. We should go investigate." Charlotte nods in agreement as they made their way to the object that Laura has seen. But the moment they're got a closer look, they soon realize what it was and fell to their knees as tears were swelling up from their eyes.
Back inside the house, Houki meets up with Cecilia and Ling with the latter growing frustrated at not seeing either Ichika or their teacher. They still believe that they're still alive, but there was also a looming feeling of dread about what could've happened to them.
"Still nothing. Not even a single clue about what has happened to them." Ling said with a sigh "We've searched through every corner of this house and we couldn't find anything. It's almost like they've just vanished into thin air."
"Don't say that, Ling. There's still a good chance that they're still alive." Houki said as she tried to reassure her. "Maybe we haven't looked hard enough and we've only just scratched the surface. We'll just have to keep on looking and eventually we'll find them."
"I certainly do hope so, we haven't had much luck finding them inside the house." Cecilia said with a worried expression. "We've searched through every nook and cranny, but we still haven't gotten closer to finding their whereabouts. What if something really terrible has happened to them and it could already be too late?"
"Maybe Char and Laura has better luck in finding him than us." Ling answered her. "I think they were heading to the backyard, so maybe they found something that could point us in the right direction. Let's go meet up with them and see what they found." Her friends both nodded in agreement as they headed for the backyard to meet up with Charlotte and Laura.
When Houki, Ling and Cecilia exited the house and into the backyard, they find their friends sobbing at a stone object that was placed in the center of the yard. Wondering what was going on, they walked over to their friends to see why they were crying.
"Char? Laura? What's going on? Why are you two crying all of a sudden?" Houki asked in confusion as she stepped closer to her friends.
Laura turned to face them as her eyes were red from her tears and wasn't like her normal stoic self. "Guys…" Was all she could say with her voice croaking from her crying before turning back to the object that Char was kneeling down at.
The sudden realization of what the object was has shaken the IS girls to their very cores. It was a tombstone, placed in the center of the backyard as a gravesite for the person who has died. Carved into the tombstone was the name Ichika Orimura and underneath his name was a writing that reads:
Here lies Ichika Orimura, a brave IS pilot who died preventing the Phantom Virus from destroying all of Japan… May his heroics be forever remember as the Hero of Japan. He will be missed, but never forgotten.
"N-No… It can't be…" Cecilia gasped as she fell to her knees. Her eyes began to water.
"It's… Ichika-san's tombstone…" Charlotte choked as she sniffed in despair.
"His tombstone…? But that would mean…" Ling lowered her head as tears began to fell from her eyes.
"That you're in the future…" A familiar voice spoke out to them. The IS girls turned around to see X, Jerry and Sophie looking at them and all feeling sorry for them. Even though Jerry was still miffed about being kicked by Houki, he decided to let her off the hook as she and her friends were grieving for the loss of their most important person.
"X… Jerry… Sophie… You guys were telling the truth…" Houki choked as she continued sobbing while closing her eyes, her tears falling down onto the cold hard ground.
"I'm sorry that this was how you found out about the truth, but I guess there was no avoiding this." X said softly. "I had a feeling that you and your friends would be here as this was the one place that you're all familiar with." He walks over to them and takes out a letter. "Here, I got this from your friend's neighbors who protected his house for years. Open it up." Houki takes the letter and slowly opens it as her friends huddled around her and began reading the letter.
"If anyone is reading this now, then that means I am long gone. I'm afraid that the Phantom Virus has entered into my veins and is slowly killing me from the inside. My parents' neighbors have informed me that my parents had died due to the Phantom Virus and the death toll is starting to increase. I don't have much time left in this world, but I'll always remember the days as an IS pilot. It also gives me great joy and happiness that I have made such wonderful friends, two of which were my childhood friends long before the ISes were invented and that I will always cherish them even in death. Houki, you were my very special childhood friend who looked after me like an older sister. Ling, you always make me happy with your punches and kicks, even though they hurt a lot. Cecilia, you were a spoiled rich snob with you first arrived, but you were alright after you soften up to me. Charlotte, I'm sorry that I can no longer protect you from your father when I'm about to die, but I know that you'll be strong for both of us. And Laura, I'm really sorry that I couldn't be your husband due to the virus slowly killing me. All of you made me feel like I fit in a world run by women. And I'm really sorry that I couldn't pick one of you due to my denseness, but know that I will always love all of you, my special friends."
"Ichika-kun…" Houki choked in tears as she and her friends cried for their beloved Ichika's death. X, Jerry and Sophie all couldn't help but look at them sadly that these five girls had just awakened in a world where everyone they knew and loved were dead, the ISes were banned because of the incident and Reploids co-existing with humans.
25 minutes later
(Salite by Kamen Rider Girls plays)
After the IS girls had calmed down, both groups were sitting at the edge of a broken highway as the sun sets over the horizon. Their vehicles were parked right behind them as they watched the sun setting in the distance. However, the IS girls were still trying to recuperate from learning about Ichika's death and about what to do next, so X walks over to talk with them.
"Hey, how are you girls holding up? Are you feeling any better from what happened early?" X asked them in concern.
"We're fine, X… We're just still trying to process that we're really in the future…" Houki answered him before bowing in apology to X. "Listen, X, we're sorry we didn't believe you and your friends. I guess we didn't want to believe that we were really in the future, but after finding out the truth, it became much more clear to us that we were in the future." Her friends all nodded in agreement as they were also sorry for not believing them as well while turning to face the sunset. "And everything you and your friends said was true, this really is our world in the future…"
"It's alright, I understand that it was hard to believe that you were in the future. So, I won't hold it against any of you." X smiled but before frowning softly. "But I'm afraid that my friend Jerry is still a little miffed that you kicked him into the wall back at the hospital. He didn't want to say anything because you were all grieving for Ichika, so I think it's best that apologize to him as well." The IS girls all looked over to Jerry who turned away, showing that he was definitely still ticked off about what happened before.
"You're probably right, X. It's best that I do apologize to him for kicking him when he was trying to help me." Houki said with a soft smile. "I just hope that he can forgive me after that, but this'll definitely have to do for now. It's not much, but it'll be a first step." She stands up and walks over to Jerry who turns around to look up at her with a glare.
"What now? You plan to knock me off this highway since kicking me into the wall wasn't enough for you?" Jerry asked venomously.
"No, I now realize that was a big mistake on my part. I can understand that you're still mad about me kicking you when you were trying to help, but I still hope that we can be friends." Houki answered him with a smile, but wondering why Jerry is holding a grudge against her and her friends other than kicking him into the wall. "I'm really sorry for my misunderstanding of you trying to help me. I was just confused about why you were so close to me and thought that you were trying to take advantage of the situation. Had I realized it sooner that you were just making sure my vitals were working properly, I wouldn't have reacted the way I did and nearly injured you. I hope that you can forgive me for earlier and that we can be friends." Jerry thinks for a moment as he looks over to X who smiled and nodded at him before turning over to Sophie who gestured him to accept the apology. He lets out a sigh and turns back to Houki who was still waiting for his answer.
"I guess I can give you the benefit of the doubt and forgive you for that." Jerry said with a sigh. "I can look past this as just a moment of misunderstanding between us because you and your friends have just woken up from your suspended animation and that you were grieving for someone very important to you." He then looks away as he thought to himself. 'But I'll never forgive you and your friends for those accursed IS and how they nearly destroyed all of Japan.'
"Thank you, Jerry-san. I'm glad that we could come to an understanding and hopefully become friends." Houki said with a smile before frowning in worry "But there's also the matter of what are we going to do next. Since we're not in our own time anymore, where are we going to do about living in the future?" Her friends suddenly realize that she was right.
"Yeah, you're right. Since the ISes has been banned, we really don't have anywhere else to go." Ling agrees with a sigh. "We can't really go back to the IS Academy, it's probably no longer able to be lived in since it's been abandoned for a long time."
"And not only that, but none of our friends and relatives are even alive anyway." Cecilia stepped in with a worried expression "We've got nowhere else to go and we really don't know anyone other than X and his friends." She turns to the orange sky with a worried look, fearing about being homeless in a world populated by both humans and Reploids.
"You ladies don't have anything to worry about. I'll fill in as your guardian." X told her as he stood up with a smile.
"Huh?!" The IS girls all looked at him in confusion.
"A-Are you sure, X-kun? Even after all that happened before?" Charlotte asked in worry, embarrassingly pressing her fingers together.
"Of course, I'm sure. I chose to help you enjoy your new lives here in 21XX." X answered her with a smile which made her blush "I know that these were some harsh tragedies that happened to your friends and family, but I'm positive that they can be overcomed. I don't know if I can be a good guardian or role model for all of you, but I'll do the best I can. I know because that's what my creator, Dr. Light, would do." X smiled at them with confidence.
"And you guys can count on us to help you out as well." Sophie said, smiling as well. "I know we kinda got off the wrong foot before, but I'm willing to look past that. So if you girls want any help that X couldn't do, you can ask us as well."
"Yeah, what she said." Jerry said with a sigh as the IS girls all looked at their new friends.
"X… Jerry… Sophie…" Houki whispered with a small smile.
"You guys…" Ling smiled a bit despondently.
"Thank you… " Laura looked away, rather timid and shy while brushing her hair away.
"Thank you all so much, for everything." Cecilia cried tears of joy.
"Arigato, X-kun… Jerry-san… Sophie-san…" Charlotte smiled softly as tears trailed down from her eyes.
"You're welcome, everyone. I hope we can become the best of friends." X smiled back at them "Now what do you say that we head back to Dr. Cain's lab? He can help us arrange a place for us to live in. And maybe Jerry and Sophie can come visit us every now and then when they're not too busy." Everyone nodded in agreement as they all stood up from the edge of the highway and returned to their vehicles to make the trip back to Dr. Cain's lab. Our view turns to the setting sun as it finally turns into night and the moon shines brightly on our heroes with stars twinkling in the night sky.
To be continued…
Next chapter: First Maverick: Adjusting to Life in the Year 21XX!
A/N: How do you like that? Me and Panther J worked really hard on this chapter, so next chapter will have the IS girls adjusting to life in the year 21XX and our heroes encountered their first Maverick. So stay tuned for more updates.