[WORLD OF LIGHT]
**** 1 ****
There is a sense of a soft wind gliding through my locks of hair. Flowing streams brushing against my face. The invisible caresses slipping through the entire length of my body down to the very tips of my nails.
'Where am I?'
Only darkness blankets my vision. The wind was lively as it continued to breeze through my hair, blowing the follicles from my face. But still, I could not see what lay ahead of me, except for this dooming darkness.
'Where is this?'
All I could see and feel was the sense of nothingness…
My eyes… they witness the pitch darkness…
My eyes… they sting at the growing small halos…
My eyes… they shrink from the sudden flashes…
My eyes… their corneas slowly filled with vibrant colors.
My eyes… my eyes were the blind ones.
Glistening droplets flicker away as I blinked and blinked, pushing the cleansing water and dirt out. A world of colors immediately attacks my vision, reaching all the way into my brain. The myriad of colors are very beautiful and so very enchanting.
The world around me was full of light. But in my awe of the vibrant colors, I suddenly remembered that I was looking for something. I can only recall that it was something very close to my heart; something that brought meaningfulness to me.
'Where is he?!'
A thought subconsciously ran through the muddled mess of my mind.
My limbs still trapped in the torrent of high winds, they swirled and swirled around me; keeping me inside its comforting vortex.
"Ai…" A name… a name escapes my tongue…
The wind abruptly stops, gravity pulling my down into freefall. Polygon shapes of green and yellow bits of particles and codes pass me by in flashes of lightning. So rapidly they flew by that I could no longer keep up with my surroundings. Blurs of colors and shapes as far as I could see. But despite the fall at such conscious-breaking speeds, I did not fear it. Actually, it felt more right, like a natural flow in the world going through my entire being.
The white void around me soon began to stretch, waving lines that elongated further and further ahead. I watched those lines in curiosity, looking far into its endless abyss of blurred whites and colors. But even I couldn't see their end. Nor could I tell when they'll ever end.
A flashing glow of golden light suddenly appears; I felt nostalgic for an odd reason, as if the glow were something familiar to me. However, the light soon stretched all around me, an almost threatening gesture. Tendrils of the glow engulfing my entire body, until I could no longer see the white void around me.
'What is happening?!'
I futilely struggled against the golden light, but since it did not have a physical form, I could do nothing against it. The glowing light simply continued to slip through my fingertips. It was like I could never reach it despite being so near.
A wave of tiredness swept through my body; my eyes beginning to feel heavier and heavier. The golden light offered me a feeling of comfort, lulling me into a peaceful surrender. My fate was now captive to its willful hands as it slowly ate away at my consciousness.
My eyes further blinking slower and slower, spending more time closed than opened. I felt that wonderful breeze once again, but this time it pulled me into its violent vortex of spirals.
And I am not sure where this one will bring me...
". . . . . . !"
". . . Hey!"
"There's one more over here!"
"Over here! Over here!"
"Get this rubble off him!"
"Shit! Those damn . . . . . . . !"
"Hurry! They'll be here soon!"
'Who are you. . . ?'
Gradually, I blinked my eyes open, the sight of falling earth and rocks welcoming me. The chaotic ground rumbled with debris, dust and cracked stone. And interrupting the debris waterfall were several blurry figures that lit up my vision. Straining my eyesight as much as I could, I wanted to know who these people were. Droplets cleansing my clear windows in order to gain a better image of the approaching shadows. A blur of a world of light blinding my eyes.
"Might be badly hurt!" One of the voices yell. It was a deep and frantic bass tone.
"Let's go! Let's go! Move it!" Another voice bellows, but this one was slightly higher than the one prior.
I was finally getting a better picture of the shadow people now. Dark-gray camouflage hooded material present on their builds, almost soldier-like. Bulky brown sacks secured on their backs, maybe carrying provisions or something more. But that was all I could see for now, as my head was still in a daze and my vision limited by dust.
The sudden movements of rock and stone filled my ears.
Hardened walls scraped against one another as more and more light entered my vision. The oppressive weight lingering over my body soon began to feel lighter and lighter. The largest of the weights holding me captive was also eliminated.
"Alright, we got him!"
Strong appendages grabbed onto my frame, and then they began to pull. Their combined strength easily slid me through the enclosing and rugged cavern. Once the last tip of my footwear escaped the earth prison, it immediately collapsed in on itself. The violent release of smoke and dust from broken sediment began filling my lungs.
"Yes!" The unknown voices cheer in unison.
I then felt my weight get lighter, as if I were tossed into the air. My arms were stretched over a pair of broad shoulders. My eyes glancing in wonder at the strange figures who seem to be carrying me. Since my visuals were still adjusting, their faces remained an unknown factor.
Sudden cries of echoing voices vibrate throughout the collapsing stone and heat of flames. The rush of wind blowing onto my face increased. The distance covered by those who lifted me up, rapidly quickening as if something was chasing after them.
The large broad frames continued to face forward. The grip in their hands slightly grasping tighter onto my upper appendages. Their emotions seemingly flowed through me.
Those were the emotions that I sensed.
"Get outta there!" Came a screech over a high ledge. But before we could react, heavy fire quickly burrows through the dusty air, completely incinerating the ground before us. Our escape was blockaded with angry flames.
Whirling of cranks and electricity echoes into my ear drums.
'What is happening?!'
Finally blinking the haze away from my brain, I held my gaze straight forward. My eyes now dilated and completely cleansed from the smoke of earth.
Almost immediately, figures from a far distance away began to enter my cleared vision. Large figures donning a shine of silver and dark metal, a glow of neon blue orbs through dark as night visored titanium sallet-like helmets with triangular ends from the back of their uppermost part. They were cloaked in metallic dark steel as if a trench coat, with light-blue lines running down their centers, and dark boots and gloves. The only offset color was the yellow diamond chips at the front of their collarbone.
Their mechanized clanks grew closer and closer. Thump… thump… thump… Then beams of blue light began focusing onto our position.
"Damn it! We're trapped like rats!" A deep voice to my side warily shouts.
"EXECUTING OBJECTIVES: COMMENCING ENGAGEMENT - NEUTRALIZE REBELLION - TERMINATE RESISTANCE."
Mechanized vocals hum in unison.
My eyes widening at the growing intensity of the deep blue glares emitted from the object within metallic limbs.
'Are those plasma guns?'
My body was fiercely pulled along as warm-blooded bodies attempted to find safety. But in this open area, there is nowhere we could possibly run to. The intense blue plasma blasts shooting right for us. But for me, time seemed to have slowed down as the threatening blasts approached.
A sudden surge of energy welled up from my being. It was hot and dense, outlining my figure in a warm and bright green glow. Then I released it, all at once, the energy dispelling into my surrounding vicinity.
The blue blasts of energy from the androids' guns were quickly devoured by the beastly force I released, effectively negating them. The people lifting me up were instantly alarmed, their movements stiff and frantic when jerking away. They just couldn't believe what happened.
"Wh-What is he?!" They say fearfully as I was harshly dropped from their shoulders.
"Ouch…" I yelped as I landed hard onto the cold earth.
I composedly shift my weight back up, standing straight with power and confidence in my stature. I'm not sure what happened either, but I'll be sure to use it to my advantage.
"I'll hold them off." I give a reassuring smile towards the ones who had previously rescued me from the fallen buildings.
The shocked people quickly exchange looks with one another, until finally changing their expressions from outright fear, to a mixture of wary understanding and disbelief.
"Thank you for saving me earlier." I pressed them. "This time I'll return the favor. Now go!" They nodded in slow understanding, and like I asked them to, they bolted towards a safer area far from here.
I turned and jumped forward at a running speed, distracting the sights of the androids from the other humans. Now that they're safe, I then set my gaze back towards the metal figures, who were also frozen in errors of confusion due to their attacks accomplishing nothing.
"Why are you attacking us?" A reckoning force behind my voice.
The wave of electrical beings simultaneously whirred.
"Error… error… no information on the new threat."
The robotic voices synergize with one another.
Beams of thin red light focused on my person. I raised my arm up too late to shield my eyes.
The androids suddenly screeched in unison.
"YUSAKU FUJIKI! YUSAKU FUJIKI!"
Their machinery cried in clamoring waves.
A sea of dark metal overwhelmed my vision.
From a far distance away, electrical currents ravaged the skies. Lying within their torrenting bolts and dragging clouds of shadows, was a dark structure of a large mass. It would be reminiscent of Dracula's lonely fortress.
Clawing towers and jagged protrusions from the earth lined the fortress' edges, grappling towards the sky and piercing it relentlessly in their shadowy overcast. Each individual peak was connected by a wave of long polygonal masses interlocking at their basses. Each new inner tower grew in height. And situated right in the middle of their guards, laid a single wide structure that was far larger and taller than all the others.
The overhanging gray and blackened sky emanates a mournful expression. With tall obsidian scrappers encroaching their reach and toothed tips. All sharp-toothed and jagged lower towers and large polygon structures leading towards the tallest central point. They radiate with a further menacing aura to those who gaze upon them.
The surrounding land was made bare of all natural growth; only the bustling of mechanized thuds and steps were the last signs of life. Within the sea of dark metal stood a tall, shadowed figure, overlooking the dark horizon of its empire. Perched on a several stories tall balcony. It was so close to touching the heavens, but alas it could never truly experience it.
Metal thumps come nearer and nearer. The echoes were so menacing and cold.
The loudest of the thumps stopped short of a black double-doored room. A short pause before a slow creaking sound screeched, allowing light to enter the dark, dark room. And within that room stood the dark and imposing figure, with a dull gaze in its eyes as it observed the outside.
"Pardon my intrusion, my Liege." A low silvery baritone voice whirred. Its shining black and silver figure immediately kneeled onto one of its knees, placing its right arm over its chest once it stepped in.
"What is it?" Deep gold eyes and a sultry voice came from a tall dark being. Turning slowly in casting a steady glance to meet the other presence that just entered the room.
"My Liege, our sensors have picked up a strange irregularity within the VRAINS network." The new presence respectfully replies. "The irregular signal originated near the location of Den City high school."
"Hmm, that place huh... how nostalgic…" A voice so full of emotion. "And so? If it's a threat, eliminate it right away." Came the candid reply soon after.
"My Liege, I understand..." The fidel form kneeling answers quickly. "But I strongly believe that you should take a look at the surveillance footage we managed to acquire." It pressed on.
Golden eyes glare at the figure in annoyance.
"Hah… fine, show me." The dark being relents, turning away from its balcony and shutting it with loud reverberating steel. Then it began to head towards the figure down on a kneeling position.
"Yes my Liege." The mellow figure quickly got up onto its feet, extending a hand to the dark being as it stepped down a series of wide stairs.
The being plainly accepted the hand as it successfully passed down from the last ledge. "Why are you in such a hurry, Einraig?" He swiftly retracts his hand after finding his balance.
"Because my Liege..." The subservient android bows. "This is something that would surely amaze you, as it did me." Amber eyes glowed with a dark but hopeful expression.
". . . How interesting." The being hummed in a tune after a long thought. His golden eyes gleaming with curiosity.
A pair of heavy thuds began to distance themselves further and further away. The slamming of steel doors silenced the air, and the thuds continued on.
The thumping of my heart was so heavy and dense, my ears felt as if they were going to burst from the loud dronings.
My lower appendages began to feel as if they were being lit on fire. The skyrocketing buildup of lactic acid aching my muscles. Heavy stomp after stomp, unyielding and seemingly endless, but I know that I cannot hesitate even a single step. And although it seems like I've bitten off more than I can chew, I don't regret it.
I hurriedly hopped over a series of metal bodies, jumping high into the sky. Their dark cloaked metallic armor gleaming into my bird's eye view.
"YUSAKU FUJIKI! Commence recovery!"
The androids clamored below.
I gathered the energy welling up inside me once more, and released it all at the point of my fingertips. Thin balls of energy beam down several androids, causing them to knock each other down in a daze.
Swiftly landing back onto my feet, I resumed my sprint forward, I evade several of the chasing androids, but I know that I won't be able to keep this up for much longer. I need to think…
'What'll lose their track on me?'
And just then, a large overhang of a crumbling building soon entered my vision. A second building just barely prevented it from fully collapsing over. The space underneath it was just about seven feet high, lower in some areas.
"What's wrong?" I taunted the chasing androids "Can't even catch up to a single human?" The army suddenly released a burst of energy from the boosters on their feet in response to my banter.
"Now that's more like it!" I say as I slide right under the overhanging stacks of stone, glass, and bricks.
My eyes surged with a glow of blazing emerald. I then direct the pumping energy towards the structure right above me. Weakening the key areas that kept it still flimsily supported.
Small bits and larger pieces of concrete blocks began hammering down onto the closely following androids. Like a powerful waterfall, the debris swept the android back. And the energy from their boosters caused further rippling effects; additional outbursts of a sea of flames engulfing the entire underside of the collapsing building.
The line of metal androids should be utterly devastated by the crushing force.
I quickly speed away from underneath the faltering structure, sprinting at full force towards the side. Hopping through debris; swerving through narrow openings; squeezing through car doors, all in order to make sure that I lost sight of any surviving android.
I kept running and running, a small voice inside my brain pushing me onward. Blares of warnings inside my head of the danger should I ever hesitate and look back…
The flash of bright holographic screens flickered onto the flawless face of a rather tall being. Its deep golden eyes glued onto the images of what the white light depicted. Luminous light reflecting off also fair pale skin.
"H-How is… how is this possible…" Golden eyes widening in disbelief. Sammering words with heavy thumps raging within its chest cavity; an aching fire resurfaces, once more. So immense was its flames that any who would stray into its path will be burnt asunder.
"My Liege…" A silver and black android appears from the side, once again. There also seems to be a third presence in the room, but it remains motionless and silent.
"I'm not sure how either, sir." The silver and black android held an arm over its chest. Its downcast expression seemed to almost hint an emotion closest to longing. The metal figure's long silver hair angled forward in deep thought. "I could only deem this as nothing less than a miracle."
In the meantime, the bright image on the large screens display a young man with beautiful emerald-green eyes and blue hair with bright pink highlights. The thin figure swiftly breezes through the wind as his lithe body magnificently evades the onslaught of metallic bodies giving chase.
The dark being was stunned into complete silence and utter bewilderment at the scene unfolding.
"How is he… just how…?"
"My Liege, please give us your commands." The slim but leaned android quickly knelt onto its knee, interrupting his lord's thoughts. "All shall follow thine will. I will make sure of it that the tragedy of the past never repeats itself!" It gazes up at its lord with bright amber eyes. "For that end, we need your commands as soon as possible, my Liege." The fidel servant urges.
"Ah...yes… certainly, I-I just find myself remembering a saying someone once said to me, that 'there are no absolutes in this world.'" The dark being smiled an expression full of calm nostalgia.
"The world really is full of the unexpected." Its smile was suddenly replaced by a ghostly expression. It straightens its stature, refocusing its attention to the pressing matter at hand.
"Priority objective!" The dark voice echoed with utter dominance. "Urgent Mission: Recover the target!" An arc of its lengthy limb with the command.
"Yes, my Liege!" The kneeling android thumped its metal chest in obedience. "Your will is our will and it shall be done!" It quickly got up and stepped out of the surveillance room.
"Priority mission!" The android repeated the orders he received from the dark being. Taking great strides through the high ceiling halls; transferring a wave of sparks to all androids.
PRIORITY TARGET 'YUSAKU FUJIKI': SUSPENDING OF ALL OTHER OPERATIONS - PRIORITY MISSION: SEARCH AND RECOVER.
The alert resounded through the electrical waves of all artificial intelligence. Within an instant, the sea of metal outside the dark fortress began to move. They froze all prior actions they were conducting, and instead began to line into rows and organized formations like soldiers preparing to march.
Heavy thud after heavy thud, they began to march in unison. Metal clanks reverberating into the open sky; electricity whirring through metaled fibers. The one signal that continuously played into their CPUs was the name, 'Yusaku Fujiki.'
Each breath stung at my lungs.
'I need to rest… find a place where I could recover my stamina.'
My eyes dart from side to side; the adrenaline still heavily pumping through the veins in my body. The good thing was that my senses were no longer picking up any signs of androids near me. I slowed my pace slightly in search for a covered space to hide out in for a little while.
Before my eyes laid a cavern made of tossed and battered cars. And with a quick jog, I was now underneath the overhanging cars and stone—a small, little space out of the view of any possible androids searching on the high ground.
"This is quite taxing…" I say to myself.
Sounds of metal bodies continued their echoes a fair distance away, so I could afford to rest my aching muscles for a bit. It wouldn't do me any good if I collapsed in an open area, after all.
Curiously, I looked to the sky, but all I saw was an unrecognizable atmosphere of harsh gray clouds and streams black smoke, almost like ghosts haunting a battlefield.
'Everything is familiar to me, and yet so foreign...'
Lost in my thoughts, I failed to realize an unknown presence before me, until it was too late to react.
A large dark appendage suddenly wrapped itself around my wrist, roughly yanking me from under my cover. The strength of the force heaved all the air from my lungs.
"NEW PRIORITY MISSION: RECOVER TARGET. MISSION COMPLETE."
The low robotic voice announced as it lifted my feet completely off the ground, gripping me into a firm hold over its broad metal shoulders. Its dark helmet gleams ominously.
"Let go of me!" My eyes once again, inflamed with a burst of green energy. Harshly smacking my other fist against the android's back armor, unleashing the energy surge through its metal layers.
The android stumbles forward as raging sparks shooting out of its metal body.
Soon after, the android ungracefully fell onto its side with a harsh thud. Its eerie fluorescent blue eyes dulled into a faded pale.
"Hah…" Staggering forward, my fragile hands holding up my weight against the scraping gravel and stone. My body croaked in refusal at any further movement from my downed position, even just moving a simple finger was difficult.
I felt no energy left in me; the fuel that started a fire in me now utterly exhausted.
'This wasn't good.'
The clanks of metal scraping against torn land drew closer. My ears perked and alert, but my body still unwilling to heaved itself off the floor. And in the meantime, the androids still drew ever closer.
My eyes were beginning to grow heavier by the second. Frantic mind willing my body to move, but it refused in indifference. My tired body opposed me in every way. Lying on its knees and palms scraping against the rubbled earth. The glow of green light was gradually fading from my eyes, until finally, a dull normal returned.
'Move! Damn it! Why won't you move!?'
Pounds inching closer and closer, until finally, a pair of dark boots stepped right in front of my eyes. My heart thumping in dread as I slowly turn a defiant gaze upwards to witness the expected army of metal droids rising from the rubble hills. But to my surprise, a white-gloved hand interrupts my vision, carefully extending itself to me.
"You have a lot of explaining to do." A low baritone voice droned into my ears. "But, right now we need to leave quickly, before those Aidroids all converge here on this spot."
My eyes widened—stupefied. Instead of the dark metallic army of androids I was expecting, a man donned in an elegant white trench coat over a collared-black fitted shirt and pants stood straight before me. His sharp platinum-blue eyes burrowing fissures into me. The flickering green dots on a black communication piece fixed into his left ear.
"Ryoken…" A name unconsciously slipped from my lips. The young man's eyes slightly widens in response, but they quickly steeled themselves again.
"We have no time." His gruff voice echoed in alert.
"I… I can't move…" I finally say in dull pain, my pale limb trembling as I try moving it towards the man.
He swiftly grabbed onto my waist; hooks my arm over his shoulders and lugs my frame over his two arms. He began to briskly move us away from the area.
"Alright, I got you." A stern voice coming from the young man.
"Um… Thank you." My face flushed with the embarrassment of having to be carried like this.
"Borreload Dragon!" He called the mighty name. And instantly from the skies came a large winged-beast spanning over the size of a bus. It landed nearby with a thunderous thud.
"Priority Target Sighted! Priority Target Sighted!"
A gathering of robotic voices sounded just over the ledge of tossed cars.
The winged-beast quickly took us both into its palms. The rushing hurricane winds in its preparation to once again take off into the open skies above.
"Recover Target! Recover Target!"
The dark armored androids pooling into the area from behind us began launching their blasters straight at the winged-beast.
Quickly spinning its body around towards the androids' direction, the large being blocks the blasters with its hulking armor; not a single hit is able to scratch us. Stretching out its entire wingspan, now lifted up to their full glory, they flapped and flapped, sending torrents of wind towards the droids.
Knocked over by the fierce presence of the dragon, the androids tumble and fell with harsh clangs and sparks of metal against metal.
"Go!" He commanded the dragon in a boisterous voice.
And with a powerful thrust, the dragon bolted upwards like a missile. Carrying us far away from the crashing sea of metal.
I sent my gaze downward and observed the endless mass of grey, black, and red. Within the masses were the blue glows of metallic bodies moving forward in an army-like fashion. Any obstacles within the metal battalion's path were crushed and burned away
"What is this?" I say with a look of horror. "It's like a war here?!"
"It's not LIKE a war..." His low baritone voice interrupts. "It IS a war." The grip on my frame tightening ever so slightly.
"I'm sure you have many questions for me." He locks his eyes straight onto mine, shining with a beautiful platinum-blue glow. "However, I also have many things to ask you, as well." A rigid expression encroaching onto his face.
"Ah… yes… I'll be happy to answer what can." I say simply as I slowly retreated from his hold.
"Alright…" Icy eyes analyze me as a sigh breathes out. "Let's get back to base first."
With a rush of wind entering a fairly large clearing with small and medium sized white tents surrounding it, the massive figure drops down with a heavy thud. Wings pulling close to its sides, and slowly lowering its clawed hands.
"Revolver-sama is back!"
A gathering of warm bodies soon emerged. Witnessing the entrance of two figures from the hold of the creature.
"Hey, somebody is with him..." A few voices from the crowd vocaled.
"Yeah, who is that?" Even more wondered.
"My, he is so very handsome." A young female voice fanned.
"Hey isn't that…" A familiar deep bass voice sounded out. The small group of uniformed soldiers from further back seemingly nodded in energetic agreement.
"This person here," The man called Revolver suddenly raises his voice. "Is my guest. And should be treated as such." He orders.
"Yes sir!" The surrounding white uniformed people resounded in quick compliance. Then rapidly, the crowd dispersed after sensing that Revolver will not tolerate any interruptions between him and his guest. Returning to their obligations.
Revolver suddenly grabs hold of my hand and harshly tugs me towards a large tent further into the camp. Meanwhile, the massive winged-beast curls around itself like a cat, as it had nothing to do at the moment.
White curtains quickly pulled open as I rushed inside. Next, I was immediately slapped onto a rubber and metal black chair right in the middle. And as I spun my gaze around, paper maps and gun clips entered my vision. Tables covered in markers, balled-up papers, and military plans. A dark green box full of rifles just off to the side.
The young man then seats himself atop a lengthy dark-gray metal table, similar to ones seen in conference meetings.
"So," the platinum-blue eyed man started, "Who EXACTLY are you?" Burrowing into me with a certain fierce look in his eyes. "You're not from here, are you?" More like a statement than a question he directed at me.
I fidget in my seat in response to the heated attention I was given. Information whirling through my head as I tried to figure out where to begin.
"I… I'm not sure where to even start…" I finally let out. "My memories aren't all there, but I'll tell you everything that I do remember, right before I regained consciousness in this place." I steeled my resolve.
"I was in this light," I continued slowly, his ears perked in anticipation. "This endless white void, and… I remembered I was searching for something or someone, I think. I don't recall what or why, but I felt this feeling of desperateness overtaking me." I set back my gaze downward to look at my shaking hands.
"That place felt as if it were a natural world for me, despite there being an abyss of emptiness. Like a stream of nothingness and just wind. But as I waded in it, this blinding golden light suddenly appeared. It was like a creature engulfing me, trapping me into its terrifying mouth." I trembled slightly at the horrid memory. "It twisted me around and yanked me from the solace of the wind; turning the comforting breeze into a nightmarish vortex that clasped onto me so painfully tight. Until finally, I was lulled into slumber by it and brought here. And I woke up and the battlefield, found by your soldiers." I finished.
"Hmm…" The platinum-eyed man hummed. "Alright, despite it seeming so unbelievable of you being here and that story of yours, I believe you." He calmly replies.
"Y-You do?!" I stammered. "Um… Thank you for believing in me despite it not even making sense to me either." Tapping my feet in elation and nervousness. "So your name is Revolver then?" I quickly added. However, the man immediately snapped up at my words.
"Wait, you don't remember?" He suddenly asks, a small sensation of alertness laced in his tone.
"Uh… I heard some of the people out there call you Revo…"
"Not that!" The man interrupts. "You don't remember?" He asks, but his voice was more quiet this time.
"Remember what?" I frantically answered, afraid that I did something wrong, possibly.
"About who I am?" He replies.
"Sorry… I… no I don't…" I pondered quizzically.
'There is… an odd feeling…'
"You…" He says with eyes turning grim. "Then how were you able to call that name earlier?"
"Name?" I looked straight back at him with bright eyes full of confusion.
A single name resurfaced so vividly into my mind as I looked deeply at the man in front of me.
"Ryoken…" I mumbled softly. The man's eyes further glued onto my frame at my utterment. "I don't know why, but that name feels so familiar to me. And when I saw you appear right before me, the name slipped from my mouth before I could even think about it." I clocked my head to the side, slightly in puzzlement.
The man sighed out a heavy breath that he seemed to have been holding.
"That is my true name." The young man reveals. "Ryoken Kogami, though I have not heard anyone call me that in a very long time…" His eyes downcast as if in mourn.
"But moving on, I have a theory of what may have happened to you. Firstly, do you remember your own name?" The blue-eyed man asks in a softer tone.
"I… my name is…" Blanks of nothingness cover my mind, cloudy and irretrievable. "I-I don't remember…" I solemnly realized. I then returned my gaze back at the man named Ryoken. My eyes began to water at the feeling of immense loss flowing through me.
The man looked at me with a sympathetic expression. He then slowly inched forward off the table, stepping slowly towards me. He places his right palm onto my shoulders in a gesture of comfort.
"I know your name… Yusaku Fujiki." His tone but a soft utterance. "He died five years ago, aged 17 at the start of the war with the A.I.s." His tone was now so very low and deep with a hidden sorrow behind it. "The period now dubbed the AIpocalypse."
"Wha?!" I was stunned into utter shock. But then a great feeling of familiarity surged up from within me at the sound of that name. A pounding voice telling me that I am 'Yusaku Fujiki.' Though at the same time, an immense quake shivered through my body.
"That… that is my name… But how can this be?" The words flowed out of my mouth. Fear and uncertainty lacing my voice. "I'm not dead… I'm right here aren't I?!" My tone reached almost yelling levels.
"Calm down Fujiki!" The man called Revolver, kindly warned me. "And let me explain…" His warm tone slowly calmed my erratic nerves.
"I have a theory, it is very possible that you may have slipped through the flow of time." He eases me. "You're younger age also proves that."
He circles around me, a small device now in his hand, which occasionally blinks blue, timing in a heartbeat pattern. His other hand touches my nape unexpectedly. "And you are also not an android disguised as Fujiki either."
My expression quickly turned into one of utter disbelief at his words. And in response, he too exasperates as if he were having a hard time believing what he was saying himself.
"Continuing on," he sets the device down as he seats himself once again. "There were countless theories regarding the network world, like how information seeping from our world to the digital one creates a whole new case of probabilities. Various possibilities, various futures; an infinite number of outcomes, all of which seemed to endlessly stacked upon one another." Revolver was mindful of his tone. "However, in the cases of data and information entering from the network world into our physical realm, now that led to numerous calculations that ended in errors way beyond humanity's capacity of understanding." His eyes shifted directly to mine.
"That endless white void you described…" His voice slowed as he delved into thought. "That may have very well been the occurrence from the rippling effect of data interlocking. A theoried process in which paralleling actions determine various futures. All of which are thoroughly intertwined from a corresponding singularity in time." His tone was a deathly serious pronouncement.
An icy pause hung in the air between the both of us. Finding my will and voice once again, I shattered the silence.
"Various futures? Data interlocking? . . . Are you perhaps, implying that I-that I am from a parallel world?" My eyes wide from shock and wonder.
"In simpler terms, I believe that you are." He smoothly acknowledged.
"Then what does this data interlocking have to do with me being here?" Asking with a perplexed expression on my face.
"Well, data interlocking is the linking of various outcomes' data, but that is a highly dangerous thing to do as it is unpredictable of what the data void is capable of. I would also draw that you were somehow placed in that data void. So I believe that something happened in your original world that led to you being sent to the formation of that space and you being sent there. I just don't know what, reason, or possibly who did it." Revolver answered me straightforwardly.
"This is just so much to take in." I exhaled a large breath.
"I would also like to point out," he quickly added, "that wind vortex you described, is most likely the variable I had discovered was a possibility to create, via your doing."
"What?!" Expressing astonishment at his statement. "Is it due to my Link Sense?..." Following up in a smaller voice.
"Yes." He asserts. "Studying you had led me to theorize that your Link Sense may be the origin of that power." He continued.
"The Yusaku from my timeline…" He grew quiet.
"Furthermore," he immediately went on, "I deduce that your data has most likely been pushed into a collision with some sort of foreign data." He pressed on. "This could explain why your memories seemed to have been scrambled, for lack of a better term. I'd imagined the fact that you even entered a foreign dimension is also causing your body to readjust itself, so it is most likely still in the process of accepting new properties and reconnecting your prior data and memories."
"How is that even possible?" Bewilderment lacing my voice.
"Your Link sense is the main culprit that makes this possible." He answers. "You are a special existence Fujiki. That Link sense of yours is the very proof of how you and the vast network world have a deeper connection that no other being has."
Revolver stretched his arms and sat more relaxed. "Now about the golden light you described, that was most likely the cause that brought you into my world. It is most certainly an irregularity unknown to us, as this is only my speculation." He sits back down onto the metal table, legs crossing in irritation.
"But there is another play at hand here, the fact that our world has been forcibly merged with the network world." He suddenly reveals a surprising fact to me. I stood stunned into silence at this reveal.
"The network world and our world have merged?!" Increasing volume in shock at how such an event is even possible.
"Yes." Simply nodding his head at me. "I'm not sure how that A.I. did it, but it came to fruition. Another uncertain variable I myself, cannot comprehend how it was even possible."
"Now the remaining question is, what reason did that golden light bring you here for?" Quickly changing the subject as he pulls a hand to his chin in deep thought.
I could feel that he was hiding some piece of information, but I didn't press him for it. There was most probably a reason why he didn't reveal it to me.
"I'm afraid I do not have any more information available to share with you regarding your predicament. Trust me, I wish I did…" He drew the same hand to his forehead as if calming a migraine.
"That's alright." The heavy weight in my gut slightly easing up as I spoke up. "That is more than enough information than I could ever thank you for." Gaze softening into a brighter smile.
Revolver's expression also seemed to start retracting that stern look he had been bearing throughout our whole conversation.
"But, what seems to be troubling me more is the apparent loss of my memories." I add in a lower voice.
"Don't worry, they should stabilize with time. The blanking of your memories is most likely because you were suddenly plunged into a foreign world your body isn't used to. So you would have to go through a process of assimilating into it, and naturally it would take some time." He placed a hand under his chin.
"Inform me right away if you remember any bit of information, so that I can help you slowly piece together this puzzle." His eyes darted as if recalling any bits of information he's stored into his own brain. "You are a truly special existence Fujiki, we just simply don't have enough information yet that could help us send you back to your own time."
"Wait… send me back?" I questioned more harshly than I intended to. My hand gripping onto the tails of his coat.
"Well yes, I'm not sure if your existence here could drastically affect the flow of space and, or time. It is certainly an anomaly that can't be ignored." His gaze steeled, once again. "I'm going to have you transported to one of our safest camps, so that we can properly research how to send you back to your own time."
My hair bristled at the implications he hinted.
"You want me to hide away while innocent people are clearly being hunted down by those androids, or Aidroids you call them?" My low voice turning into an almost feral growl.
"Yes, that is exactly what I'm saying to you." Revolver sighed a heated breath. "This isn't your fight." Icily glaring at me. "All you need to focus on is finding a way to get back to your own timeline as quickly as possible." He snaps away from my grip; his broad back stepping towards the entrance of the tent. "And this isn't open for discussion." the lean frame slinking outside my view.
"Revolver!" I angrily called. I hopped onto my feet after snapping my shock away. Exiting from the large tent, my eyes dart side to side, trying to pinpoint where Revolver had gone. But then a young woman suddenly blocks my vision as she sprints right across the clearing. My eyes floating towards the frantic nature of her run.
"Revolver-sama! Revolver-sama!" Her fearful yells can be heard resounding throughout the clearing. I followed her sight to where a tall young man with blue eyes stood before a medium large circle of mingled troops who either donned a hooded dark-gray camouflage or white cloak.
"It's terrible! A massive legion of Aidroids are heading straight for this camp!" The young woman who was also wearing a hooded white cloak, hurriedly informed the man.
"What?!" My eyes trained onto Revolver's grim expression as he spoke.
"They've suddenly changed their targets to this camp?!" His eyes were lost in thought until they gradually met my own. And it seems that the both of us were fearing the same thing.
"New orders!" Revolver instantly commanded an air of confidence. "Get all civilians and refugees out of camp BRAVO, and escort them to shelter camp GAMMA!" He arched his arm, a gesture for all personnel to quickly disperse with their new orders. The remaining number of soldiers donning white coaks with a blue star on their arms remained in place.
"My knights! We shall go forth and defend our countrymen!" Revolver's voice resounded. The waves of human bodies raising their hands in compliance as the speed about, due to the new orders given to them.
My legs sprinting the moment I heard his order; stepping right in front of him. As soon as I entered his field of view, he waved his knights to head out, leaving the two of us to converse.
"I'm guessing that those Aidroids refers to the machines I ran from." I say in simple jest.
"Yeah, the naming sense of the one who created them." He replied slowly.
'Created… who created them then?'
"You know I'm going with you." My voice stern, pushing that previous thought to the back of my mind.
"No." Revolver stares me down. "I'm sending you to Camp GAMMA as one of our refugees." A rigid and commanding dominance.
Puffing my chest to ready myself for a retort, but suddenly interrupted as I felt my arms being firmly grasped by two fairly tall and muscular cloaked individuals with dark camouflage uniforms and a blue star placed at their right shoulders.
"Escort him to the GAMMA Camp." Revolver orders as he turned around from me.
"Wait! Revolver, you know you need more capable fighters! I can help! You can't just send me away like this!" Fiercely calling after him in vain.
"Ok young man." The once again familiar deep bass voice said. "You heard boss man, we gotta get you over to the GAMMA Camp, safe and sound." A man with short swept back brown hair and squared black eyes looks to me with a casual smile.
"You are?" Snapping my eyes to his figure upon recognizing him.
"Yo." His teeth glints with a shine. "You were really cool holding off those machines earlier." He ruffles my scalp with his free right hand.
"I know this may not be what you would like to do, but Revolver-sama has entrusted us your safety." The opposite man holding onto my right arm interjects with a deep baritone. This man was also in that platoon of people who found me buried under the rubble.
Looking at him closely this time, and now able to make out his features. With mid-length smooth black hair that was tied into a ponytail, he had intimidatingly sharpened black eyes. His gaze confident and commanding of awe. This man was most definitely the Captain of that platoon, and the first who spotted and rescued me.
In a polite manner, I say to the man: "I would like to express my gratitude to you for saving me from those rubbled buildings."
"It was nothing, and I could say the same back to you." The sharp-eyed man stares at me with a softer expression. "We were able to rescue many more civilians thanks to your selflessness."
Suddenly the grips of the knights changed once the man finished speaking. The two of them lugging me completely over their shoulders. My feet dangling in the air and my back turned away from the direction they began walking. "However, it is now our duty to keep you safe this time, we will swiftly bring you to the new camp." The commanding man says in a stern tone.
"Yeah kiddo, Revolver-sama said that you're a pretty stubborn one, so we have to be a bit careful around you." The swept-back brown-haired man chuckles in response. "We'll be taking turns carrying you around." He reassigns his attention to the sharp-eyed man. "I'll carry him first, then you." He says.
"Affirmative." The ponytailed man replied in acknowledgement.
"Wait! I can at least walk myself." Pink flushing my entire face. "You don't really need to… wooooh!" The larger goofier man suddenly jogged forward, with the sharp-eyed man following closely behind that my eyes locked with his.
"What's that kiddo?!" The brown-haired man teasingly chuckles.
"DON'T CARRY ME LIKE THIS!"
TO BE CONTINUED. . .
INFORMATIVE NOTES AT CHAPTER END
INSPIRATION: This fic is heavily inspired by the work titled "Nobody's Hero" on AO3 by wizqevelyn. Please check them out if you find the time, they are an incredible writer with creative stories! :)
W/C = Writer's comment & W/N = Writer's note
W/C's are my direct comments/reactions to lines in the story
W/N's are just my ramblings and other nonsense xD (you'll see these the most)
W/N - -
Aibou - Partner in Japanese
Nii (san/sama/chan) - Generally refers to an older brother in Japanese
-sama, -san - (how I will use them) Suffixes that are put at the ends of names to show respect, mostly to someone older or more experienced. Kind of like seniority at a workplace.
-chan - (how I will use it) As a suffix to more casually refer to someone. Its kind of used in pet names or for endearment. Like referring to a childhood friend.
I only know what I heard in the Japanese dubs, so in no way am I an expert. I apologize for any offending mistakes I've made and will make in my future usage of them in my story. :(
Also, "Aidroids" are the generic names of the android types Ai's legion of machines are composed of. This makes all androids a type of "Aidroid," but note that Ai and another little guy, who has yet to appear, are not Aidroids. Aidroids are technology taken from the SOLtis androids (*Hint* Ai their new creator renamed them with a pun), but someone else modified and worked on Ai's new body so it's not technically based on SOLtis, nor was Ai the sole creator of the new body that he inhabits, same with the little guy, who has yet to appear in the story.
Anyways, this is my very FIRST FANFICTION! So I thank you all from the very bottom of my heart for taking the time to read my story!
- Cya Readers, till next appointed time. (^v^)/