Rated M for Heavy Violence, Gore, Course Language and Instances of Deserved Bloody Ass-Kickery.

GEOPOLITCAL BREAKDOWN
2065

Chevalier (CV)

The organization formed to combat the Nova, it was formed in 2018 but gained real traction following the Los Angeles Drone Attacks of 2025 when it became apparent that not even the threat of interdimensional invaders was enough to unite the world against a common threat. Based in the United States under the protection of the Winslow Accord, they are a military and political entity that makes important decisions and scientific discoveries regarding the Pandora project.

Following the dissolution of the United Nations in 2038 following the formation of the Common Defense Pact and its member states sudden withdrawal, they are considered to be their de-facto successor. They have longstanding agreements with the Winslow Accord, the Common Defense Pact and the Nile River Coalition that, despite all differences and conflicts, they will all pledge their support towards the continued survival of humanity – though the CDP has continuously found ways to subvert Chevalier authority when it comes to training and deploying their Pandora.

Winslow Accord (WA)

Originally, the Winslow Accord began as an international agreement between the nations of the world following the Los Angeles Drone Attacks of 2025, which occurred ten years after the Second Nova Clash (2015), when Raul Menendez and Cordis Die took advantage of the chaos left by the Nova invasion of Earth by attempting to destabilize all capitalist governments. Following the dissolution of NATO in 2028, the agreements led to each signatory nation installing ground-based megawatt drone defense batteries that would eventually become known as Directed Energy Air Defense (DEAD) systems; responsible for the protection of international airspace from hostile aircraft and to support the Pandora during the Nova Clashes.

As time progressed and the technological arms race increased as global resources declined and climate change intensified as a result of continued Nova incursions, the Accord would eventually evolve into one of two international political and military collectives locked in an intense struggle for the remainder of the world's natural resources and control of Chevalier's Genetics Academies, with the other faction being the Common Defense Pact.

Member Nations: Australia, Belgium, Canada, China, Denmark, Egypt, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, Kuwait, Morocco, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Oman, Philippines, Portugal, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Tunisia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States of America

Common Defense Pact (CDP)

Active since 2037 the Common Defense Pact had its origins in the disintegrating European Union and the bloody dissolution of the Russian presidency in 2018. By this period of time, Russia had become the primary buyer of Poland's foreign debt. As the United Kingdom, France and Germany left the European Union, the EU chose to fill the void by admitting Russia as a new member state and formed the Common Defense Pact; a mutual economic and military defense alliance between the various European States in an effort to secure their interests in the twenty-first century in the face of interdimensional invasion, the rise of Chevalier and their interest in monopolizing all scientific research in the fields of robotics, cybernetics and genetics.

Described as a technocratic-totalitarian military state, the Pact's relationship with Chevalier is strenuous at best, with CDP leadership openly criticizing Chevalier's policies and their Pandora supplementing the ranks of its armed forces, their use in the suppression of civil strife and suspected mass cybernetic augmentation taking place at Genetics Russia in blatant disregard of Chevalier's charter. Priding themselves in absolute discipline and loyalty to the State and to the current Chairman of the CDP, their Pandora and Limiters are known to take a cold, tactical and often brutal approach to fighting Nova.

Member Nations: Russia, Poland, Czech Republic, Hungary, Finland, Romania, Bulgaria, Greece, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Algeria, Belarus, Cuba, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia, Angola, Nigeria, Pakistan, Austria, Iran, Libya, Syria

Nile River Coalition (NRC)

Currently lead by Ethiopia, the Nile River Coalition is a political-economic, supranational union that seeks to control the flow of the Nile River as water has become a strategic and invaluable resource in a world suffering from the effects of global warming due to the Nova Clashes. Recently they have begun aggressively annexing surrounding territories, what they call 'strategically important in fighting the Nova', which has not gone unnoticed by the Winslow Accord, nor their military and trade alliances with the Common Defense Pact.

Though the NRC has pledged its full support to Chevalier and abide by their restrictions in the use of Pandora to combat only Nova threats, their well-documented human rights abuses extends all the way to the Genetics Academies in their territories. Though Chevalier has received reports of forced recruitment through abduction, blackmail and threats of violence plus conflicting rumors of a decades long forced breeding program under the supervision of the notorious General Abasi Hakim to ensure genetically perfected and loyal Pandora and Limiters they have declined to open any formal investigation.

Member Nations:Ethiopia, Kenya, South Sudan, Sudan, Uganda


KAZUYA TAYLOR: DOG OF WAR

It had just been another day in a war without end.

My memories when I was younger have always been hazy. Doctors say It's some kind of condition caused by the neural interface that was installed and plugged into my brain when I was too young to have the procedure. And they reckon it's may account for my loss of memory. Whatever my life was before I turned five – it's completely gone. As long as I've remembered, it's always just been me, my cybernetic limbs, my neural interface, my adoptive father and growing up within the military-industrial complex of the Winslow Accord. And as long as I've known I've always wanted to be like him – a supersoldier.

A Promethean.

I can still remember that my dad and I used to travel a lot around the world when I was younger – going to whatever post he was stationed at. I remember when he did a bodyguard stint for some Chevalier higher-up we once stayed over at his mansion and I met a woman. She was beautiful, but thin and very sickly; and for some reason I didn't like her. I remember watching her force herself out of her chair, how she had to summon the strength to get down on one knee and put her hands on my shoulders. I was frowning and trying not to look her in the eyes, but she gently directed my bruised face to look at her. I remember I stopped frowning when I saw her eyes and they were filled with so much regret.

She told me, pleaded actually, "Kazuya, you're special. You were built to be special. These arms of yours can do more than I can…more than I'm willing to do." She was crying now. "I know you hate me for being selfish, but I'm begging you…protect my daughter. Never ever leave her side as long as you live."

I was shocked to hear her say that, that I had been built. True enough, I guess. But then she added.

"Promise me."

What she said, I think that's the reason why I kept on punching that blonde kid in the face. He was a year older than me, and I remember straddling him and just hitting him over and over and over, both his eyes blackened and hideous bruises covering his swollen face; tears, snot and blood welling down his face as he stopped trying to push me off him and just took the blows, crying out for his mother and big sister as I pounded on him. That first blow that sounded like my fist making impact with a frying pan broke his nose, third blow he started begging me to stop and the pain receptors built into my arm only started to hurt after the tenth blow, but I turned it off and just kept pounding him like the human garbage he was.

I only stopped after he started screaming when one of my knuckles pierced his left eye, me falling off him when he began convulsing as I put his left eye out and he was clutching his eye desperately to staunch the bleeding. Blood was suddenly in my own eyes; I can't remember why though. When I wiped the blood away I saw some blonde, aristocrat-type looking woman and her eldest daughter screaming and trying to get into the room but were both held back by dad.

He only looked at me like he was mildly annoyed that I wasn't quiet about beating that asshole up.

"Really? Had to be loud about it, Kaz?" he said as he kept the frantic, screaming woman from entering the bedroom.

The last thing I can recall through the blood in my eyes was a blonde-haired, blue-eyed girl, a little bit older than me, huddled in the corner right beside my four-poster bed with a welt on the left side of her cheek. I can't remember what happened after that, but I still have the scars to prove that that memory was real.

That girl's being in my thoughts ever since. And I will never stop looking for her, wherever and whomever she is.

(FB)

(Vladivostok, Russia)
(Common Defense Pact)
(XX/XX/2065)

(Codename Tengu)
(Winslow Accord Black Cyber Ops Division)
(Promethean Kill-Team 4-7)

"Human bioaugmentation has become commonplace throughout the developed world…

"…the sheer scale of this disaster has overwhelmed the authorities…"

"…superstorms continue to hammer the region, hampering relief efforts…."

"It's been one year this day since the 9th Nova Crusade…

"These are uncertain times. Our future depends upon the choices we make…"

"As populations continue to expand, Mega Cities emerge worldwide…"

"…riots in the Common Defense Pact last night were quelled by government troops consisting primarily of Pandora…"

"…ambassador representing the Nile River Coalition while in conference today refused to comment on rumors surrounding human rights violations at the Ethiopian Genetics Academy…"

"Today Chevalier condemned the Pact's cyberization of Pandora and Limiters and their use in its armed forces. Chairwoman Olenka Reznov responded that Chevalier has no business dictating how the Pact should protect its citizens from…"

"…extreme conditions have led to a vast exodus of displaced residents…"

"Fears of unexpected Nova excursions are on the rise…"

"…we have no idea when or where they will strike next…"

"Directed Energy Air Defenses neutralized the attack almost immediately…"

"Make no mistake - this is a new cold war. Threats from another world have not united humanity as well as we had hoped. We may not always see our enemies, but they are out there."

Kazuya sighed and turned off the Radio mod built into his audio receivers. He groaned, somehow feeling encumbered by his Tactical Rig consisting of Promethean-grade combat armor, traversal equipment and Volt Texture as he instinctively traced a steel finger along the scar across his face and bridge of nose that crisscrossed over the other scar running downward across his left eye, right over his eyelid, opening his eyes to stared down at the piece of blue string tied around his ring finger.

"It's a promise, Kaz…"

He shook his head. He looked down at the city streets and revelry down below. Vladivostok had been one of the first cities to go under when the superstorms first hit during the 2nd Nova Clash. It took nearly ten years to clear the rubble and rebuild, and another ten years later it became one of the first European megacities built to withstand the planet's shifting weather patterns and the Nova incursions, owed in parts to the massive walls built around the city, it's anti-aircraft/anti-Nova DEAD system cannons located on the walls and within the city limits.

It was close to midnight and the streets were packed mostly with young adolescent girls and boys – Pandora and Limiters - either in Genetics Academy uniforms or CDP military dress. Traditional Eastern European music, fireworks, drink, everyone was in good spirts and revelry as celebrations rang throughout the city, many waving Russian flags or banners that had the emblem of the Common Defense Pact on it – which was an outstretched eagle with swords crisscrossing behind it.

'Guess the formation of the CDP must mean something,' Kazuya thought as he remembered what the day was to the people below. The formation of the Pact after the dissolution of the corrupt presidency and every single politician that had been a part of that cabinet. The soldiers and the scientists took charge, and decades later came the largest European superpower strong enough to challenge the Chevalier. He took note of one of those Limiters, a serious-looking dirty blonde-haired boy one year his senior wearing a light exo-suit over his Limiter uniform, arm in arm with his Pandora-partner, a green-haired girl who a big smile on her face before leaning over and kissing the Limiter on his cheek, eliciting a look of surprise and a bright red blush on his face whilst their fellow Pandora and Limiters laughed.

Fifteen years of age. Of Japanese ancestry. Partially cyberized – Arms, legs and experimental Neural Interface infused to his brain. His past a complete blank. Promethean Rank 2, titled 'The Heavenly Dog of War'. Lab experiment. Transhuman. Super Soldier…Child Soldier. Proof of how low the United States Military – and the Winslow Accord - has fallen.

That last phrase had been tossed at him ever since he was eleven years old; but those detractors were reminded that the Genetics' Pandora and Limiter programs weren't any different. Only that Kazuya is proficient in the use of several types of unarmed combat and weapons training instead of the freakish Volt Weaponry the Pandoras were armed with to fight the Nova, while the Prometheans – of which Kazuya was proud to be part of – fought to make sure the world was safe from those who would take advantage of the chaos the numerous Nova Clashes had left in their wake.

"Comms check. Hey Kaz, you haven't fallen asleep, have you?"

"Nope," Kazuya replied over his communication system built into his Direct Neural Interface. "I've finished my sweep. Targets not in the immediate vicinity…"

"Confirmed. Hall?"

"Negative."

"Maretti?"

"Not from where I'm perched."

"Diaz?"

"Negative. You sure you can't see em' on your end, Tengu?"

"Negative," Kazuya replied. "I…hold on…" His Head-Up Display entered Tactical Mode he zoomed in on two Pandora in civilian clothing on the ground who were part of the festivities that were passing by down below – one with short orange-hair and the other a tall, dark-skinned young woman whose long hair was done up in a ponytail. "Taylor…stand by…" His HUD brought up profiles on the two women:

++ AIRI COSTELLO
++ KAREN MARSHAL

++ WANTED FOR DESERTION, MURDER, TERRORISM, THEFT, RAPE, ATTEMPTED RAPE. ILLEGAL POSSESSION OF STIGMATA
++ RETRIVE STIGMATA AND TERMINATE ON SIGHT

Aira Costello and Karen Marshall – Rogue Pandora, wanted by the Chevalier and the WA. "Targets confirmed."

"Costello and Marshall usually operate outside of Singapore, the only place left for rogue Pandora is around the rest of the mercenary scum," Taylor explained. "Wonder what's brought them way out here."

"A job, I'd say," Maretti said. "Must be a big one if they're here partying with the CDP."

Kazuya cracked his neck and exhaled, "I'm Oscar Mike. Moving to ground level."

"Affirmative. Keep out of sight," Taylor replied, sternly. "We're moving to your position to intercept targets. Out."

Kazuya walked over the rooftop and looked down at the alleyways below. Making sure that there were no one else in the vicinity he stepped over the edge and plummeted towards the ground. The thrust pack attached to his back and the micro-thrusters in his legs fired up and slowed his descent, where he landed on the alleyway on one knee. The boy gave a sigh of relief, his first time jumping off a high-rise building wearing his rig a success. Looking out of the alleyway onto the street he closed his eyes, his Volt Texture dissolving his armor and revealing the CDP Limiter uniform he had been wearing underneath. Along with gloves and shoes the uniform was long-sleeved enough to hide his cybernetic limbs from sight.

Stepping out of the alley he put on a big smile mingled with the sea of Eastern European Pandora and Limiters almost immediately, his own ethnicity not making him feel out of place. Objective markers appeared above both Airi and Karen as he kept them in sight, taking care not to look directly at them in case he drew suspicion. Spotting a ramen noodle stand he took a seat. "Uh…pozhaluysta, odno blyudo," he ordered a bowl, speaking perfect Russian.

"Hey there, cutie." Kazuya jumped when suddenly the targets were sitting next to both sides of him. Karen was flashing him a rather seductive smile, "Want some company?"

He swallowed. "N-na samom dele ya zhdal kogo-to," he tried telling him that he was expecting someone.

"Hey, there's need to be scared of," Airi stated. "We're not here to do anything inappropriate." Airi smirked, "Unless you want us to." Kazuya blushed and looked forward.

"R-right," Kazuya replied, speaking with the best Russian accent he could muster and playing up the awkward angle to divert suspicion.

"So where is your Pandora?" Karen asked, leaning in close enough for their cheeks to be almost touching. "Figured Limiters always stick close to their partners."

"Uh…she said she'd be here for the celebrations, but-"

"Hey Kaz, I can see you from where I'm at," Diaz said to him over the comm. "Hey about getting them alone somewhere and we'll take it from there?"

"Guess I've just been stood up, heh," Kazuya chuckled, quickly changing his demeanor, which didn't go unnoticed by the rogue Pandora, much to their delight. "So, no, I guess I don't mind if you do anything inappropriate." His smile faded when he felt something soft and warm press into the back of his head, followed by arms wrapping around his neck.

Airi pressed her large breasts further against the back of Kazuya's head, "Name's Airi. She's Karen. We're going to be in town for the next couple or so days and we could use a guide." Airi leaned down and purred into his ear, Kazuya noticing the way Karen was looking at him seductively, "We left a few things at her hotel. Care to follow us?"

"…poydem," Kazuya squeaked, agreeing to do so.

"Real fucking smooth, Kaz," Diaz deadpanned. "Way to play up the whole awkward virgin schoolboy angle."

Kazuya frowned, "Seb…"

"Heh…"

"Hey," Karen grabbed Kazuya by the face. "Why the frowny face? Let's go already." And she promptly pulled him off his seat.

Ten minutes later, Kazuya barely registered getting struck in the back of the head when he entered the targets' hotel room, static filling his HUD as his fell on the carpeted floor. Slamming the door behind her, Karen smirked down at the fallen 'CDP' Limiter with a nasty glint in her eye while Airi simply cracked her knuckles. "Oh, we should have mentioned," Karen stated. "You'll also going to be doing whatever the hell we say, unless you want your Pandora to find out."

"Kaz, we're in position!" Taylor said over the comm. "Hit em'!"

Airi stepped towards him, "You can start by taking your pants off and giving us a show-" She was cut off when Kazuya rolled over onto his back and thrust his left palm towards them, gritting his teeth as he felt his head begin to ache. The rogue Pandora smirked, "And just what do you think you're going to do with…"

++ STIGMATA ACTIVE

"FREEZING!" Kazuya exclaimed, projecting a glowing blue honeycomb structured field that froze both rogue Pandora in place.

"W-what the fuck?!" Karen screamed.

Airi gritted her teeth as she struggled against the field, "How?! How are you able to-?"

Kazuya glared at the two of them…

++ CHAOS CYBER-CORE ENGAGED

…got up while still holding the field with his left palm, electricity coursing through his right palm. Dropping the field, he charged them. "STATIC!" he struck the two of them with his right palm, 10,000 volts coursing through both rogue Pandora where they violently convulsed as they fell to their knees before dropping to the ground, electricity coursing through their bodies long after they were knocked unconscious. Kazuya tapped each one with his foot before he opened his comm. "Targets down."

(FB)

Karen groaned as she found herself coming too. Trying to move her arms she realized they were cuffed together behind her back, and she was lying on the floor on her stomach next to Airi, whose mouth was gagged. She mumbled loudly at the three heavily armed and armored Prometheans standing in their hotel room, and Karen thought she had voided her bowels when she realized that the Winslow Accord had finally tracked them down, and not being deep in CDP territory could protect them. The middle-aged Promethean man with a shaved head commanding visage suggested a lifetime of warfare stepped forward, a smile creeping on his face.

"Evening, ladies," Commander John Taylor greeted them. "We let ourselves in."

Karen gritted her teeth as she tried to break out of her bindings, "Who are the fuck are you augs? And where's the brat that hit us with Freezing?"

"Oh, you mean Kaz?" the male Hispanic Promethean – Specialist Sebastian Maretti - said. "We know how much you Pandora can't get enough of younger guys so we-"

Airi's angry screaming was muffled by her gag. Karen snarled, "This was a goddamn trap?!"

"Hey, there's brains between her ears after all," Taylor smirked. Now serious he stated "Alrighty then, let's get this over with. He cleared his throat, "Airi Costello, Karen Marshall; on charges of desertion, dereliction of duty, treason, six counts of murder in the first degree, ten counts of theft of WA property, four counts of sexual assault, conspiracy to commit murder, terrorism, attempted assassination of a WA officer and illegal possession of Stigmata – said Stigmata will be immediately repossessed and you are sentenced to immediate termination." He turned to the short blonde-haired female Promethean – Specialist Sarah Hall, "That's your cue."

Karen felt her pupils shrink as Hall drew her MR6 handgun and screwed a silencer over the barrel. She and Airi struggled against their bindings as she walked over toward one of the beds and picked up a pillow, "H-hey wait…w-whatever Chevalier's paying you jarheads w-we can double it, TRIPLE it." She screamed, "DON'T DO-!" Diaz immediately gagged her too

"Chevalier and the Winslow Accord thanks you for your services," Hall stated emotionlessly and she smothered her face with the pillow and pushed the barrel against her head, the rogue Pandora letting out one last muffled scream which was cut short when Hall pulled the trigger.

(FB)

Kazuya's augmented hearing picked up the commotion happening behind the door as he leaned against the wall standing guard outside the hotel room. He closed his eyes when he heard the knife being drawn and the Stigmata being carved out of the backs of those two rogue Pandora, wishing he could dig his finger into his eyes. There was a time when the Promethean Kill-teams didn't even bother to end the Pandora's life before 'repossessing' their Stigmata, and Taylor's team had only started terminating them after he had been assigned to Kill-team 4-7 two year ago, when he was thirteen and finally out of a near lifetime of training. He was the youngest Promethean in existence and the first one to be able to use Volt Texture due to his Stigmatic body.

"Slava pakta, ogranichitel!"

Just as he was beginning to hope that his request for reassignment had been put through Kazuya was brought of his ruminating by that blonde exo-suit wearing Limiter he had caught a glimpse of outside on the street, who had just blurted out the CDP salute. He took a moment to study the Common Defense Pact aligned Limiter, noting how militaristic his black uniform and his demeanor looked in comparison to his counterparts in the Chevalier and the Winslow Accord, the fact he was wearing an exo-suit and a steel mask that covered the lower half of his face, more than enough. The rumors that the CDP's Limiter Program took in mostly war orphans and former child soldiers had to be outlandish.

"Slava pakta," Kazuya responded. Glory to the pact.

"Chto proiskhodit?" the Limiter asked what Kazuya was doing.

"Zhdu, chtoby moya Pandora zakonchila nakruchivat' svoyego parnya," Kazuya replied, stating that he was waiting for his Pandora to finish screwing her boyfriend. "Vskore my dolzhny byli vernut'sya v Genetiku," he added, saying that they were supposed to head back to the Genetics Academy soon.

The blonde Limiter raised his eyebrows. "I not seen you before," he pointed out in English. "You are transfer, correct?"

Kazuya chuckled and rubbed the back of his head, "Uh…yeah, you got me. All the way from States. Name's Kazuya-" Just as he was about to offer his hand he was cut off when the blonde suddenly grabbed him by the scruff off his suit, wiping the smile of his face.

"Aoi?" the blonde snarled. "Kazuya Aoi?"

"…Aoi?" Kazuya looked genuinely confused. "Who's Aoi. My name's-"

"You come quietly," the blonde said. "Boss wishes speak to you. Otherwise she kills Winslow Accord team." His narrowed his blue-colored eyes. "Make you watch."

"Guys, we're compromised!" Kazuya mentally shouted into the comm.

"No shit!" Maretti exclaimed. "I'm scoping out CDP regulars pulling up outside the hotel and there's VTOLs headed your way. I think we just got lured into our own trap!"

"That means it's time to haul ass!" Taylor cried. "Hall, Diaz you take groundside! Kaz, you and me are taking the rooftops! Maretti, you provide overwatch! We rendezvous outside the exfiltration zone! MOVE OUT!"

++ MARTIAL CYBER-CORE ENGAGED

Kazuya unleashed a straight jab to the CDP exo-Limiter's chest, knocking the wind right out of him and sending him flying across the hall, where he landed and skidded across the hall right into the hotel room on the other side, breaking the door and causing the guests inside to scream in fright. "Vse otryady, dvigaysya!" the Limiter shouted angrily. "DVIGAVSYA!"

++ VOLT TEXTURE ENGAGED

Kazuya willed his Tactical Rig onto his body, his combat armor, helmet and traversal equipment materializing on his body, including his Kuda submachine-gun with silencer attached with materialized in his hands, magazine already loaded with two backups on Kazuya's pack. His helm that was a slanted cube in appearance had four built-in mechanical eye-ports that were glowing a sinister red The elevators leading to the floor opened, smoke grenades being popped to cover CDP infantry decked out in exo-suits wielding Russian-produced KN-44 assault rifles advancing out the lifts and up the stairs. Kazuya engaged his Tactical Mode, where he was about to see through the HUD and their heat signatures. He opened up with his Kuda, downing three of them immediately. He cried out when was suddenly hit by an electromagnetic pulse grenade that scrambled his HUD and shorted out his augments, dropping him to the ground. He could make out a CDP soldier staring down angrily at him and pointing his KN-44 down at his face.

"My dolzhny vzyat' tebya v zhivykh!" the soldier exclaimed angrily. He looked up in time to see someone smash through the wall, his eyes widening in panic and he lifted his KN-44 and was suddenly flying with his arm severed and painting the walls in blood courtesy of a point-blank shotgun spread. He felt himself lifted up off his feet…

++ SYSTEM REBOOT

…regaining control of himself to see Taylor with his KRM-262 pump-action shotgun, modified with the long-barrel and extended magazine.

"Let's move, kid!" Taylor cried, the two of them running down the hall in the opposite direction of the approaching CDP soldiers. "We got twenty minutes to reach the EZ!"

"Sarah and Seb?!" Kazuya cried.

"Ground level! We're taking the rooftops! Go OVERDRIVE!!"

The world around Kazuya slowed considerably as he engaged his Promethean Overdrive, the operating power in his augmentations increasing tenfold and giving himself a massive burst in speed, bullets whizzing by his head as he smashed through the hotel room door at the opposite end of the hall and through the windows, the two of them exiting the building and slamming into the wall off the opposite structure. Putting their fist through the wall they quickly scaling the side of the building, pulling themselves up onto the roof, CDP troops already waiting for them, KN-44's primed.

Kazuya and Taylor immediately exchanged fire with the CDP soldiers, their augments allowing them to slide across the ground towards cover. Kazuya stretched his hand out, his cybernetics with his augmented arm, "IMMOLATE!" The grenades on the soldiers' belts were suddenly blaring, in their panic they dropped their rifles and tried to pull the explosives from their bodies, only to be reduced to chunks once they detonated, blood spraying over Kazuya and Taylor. Holstering his shotgun on his back Taylor bent over and picked up one of the fallen assault rifles, wiping the blood away from the electronics within handle and resetting it's ID functions. Kazuya looked out over the adjacent rooftops, which led halfway toward the massive wall that separated the city from the ocean searchlights blaring down from the VTOLs as they approached the rooftops. "Twenty minutes?"

"Nineteen, now," Taylor patted Kaz on the shoulder. "Move out."

Engaging their cloaks, they made their way across the rooftops, pushing their augmentation to their limits as they dodged the search lights.

"What the hell happened back there, Kaz?" Kazuya heard Taylor's voice in his head, the man's lips not moving as he communicated to him through their DNI.

"I don't know. This Limiter accosted me out in the hallway and said either I'd come with him or you and the whole teams dies," Kazuya replied. "I…I think the CDP laid their own trap for us."

"For you, you mean!"

Kazuya became alarmed, "Wha…? Why?!"

"You wanna maybe talk about this later?" Maretti shouted over the com. "You got incoming!"

Talon assault drones ascended from street level above them and opened fire. "OVERDRIVE!" Kazuya swerving past each bullet and opening fire, blasting two of them out of the air while Taylor shot down three more. He saw another squad of CDP troops dropping down from one of the VTOLS.

++ CONTROL CYBER-CORE ENGAGED.

He stretched his hand towards the last Talon drone. "OVERRIDE!" Kazuya remotely hacked the Talon drone, quickly rewriting its allegiance parameters. Immediately it sped towards the CDP and fired upon them, killing one of them and forcing the rest into cover long enough for Taylor to hurl a grenade and take the rest of them out, leaving the two Prometheans to leap off the rooftop towards the next adjacent rooftop and towards two more VTOLs. "Maretti!" Kazuya exclaimed, flexing his right hand.

"I'm ready!"

"FREEZING!" Kazuya unleashed another Freezing field powerful enough to hold the two VTOL in the air. And ten blocks away on another rooftop a male African-American Promethean was looking through the scope of his Drakon sniper rifle at the cockpit windows of the two VTOL.

"Taking the shot,"Maretti announced before firing, switching to the next target before pulling the trigger again. Both rounds were also caught in Kazuya's Freezing. "Drop it, Kaz."

Kazuya released the field and both bullets pieced through the windows of the VTOLs, splattering the brains of both of their pilots all over the cockpits, the aircraft plummeting of the air and crashing into both the building and the streets below; civilians, Pandora and Limiters scattering and fleeing the resulting explosions that followed. "Shit Maretti, Kaz!" Taylor exclaimed. "Like this op wasn't already a clusterfuck!"

"WINSLOW ACCORD!" they suddenly heard someone shout at them from behind, right before they dodged a halberd Volt Weapon belonging to a CDP Pandora clad head to toe in black-colored specialized exoskeleton – Pandora Mode. "Vy zaplatite za eto, mudaks!" she exclaimed angrily, telling them they will pay for the destruction they just wrought.

"Pandora battle rules, Kaz," Taylor reminded Kazuya. "Can't kill em'. Still need em'!"

Kazuya nodded, "BREAKDOWN!" He extended his hand, his cybernetics hacking into the Pandora's leg armor, making her right leg to seize up and twist her ankle and causing her to fall over, screaming in pain as she clutched at her leg.

"Get off the roof, now!" Taylor ordered, both he and Kazuya dropping down onto street level, engaging their thrusters before touching down on the ground. "Maretti?"

"Yeah, I'm going! See you at the EZ!"

"Hall? Diaz! How are we doing?"

"Minimum resistance on our end," Hall reported. "We should reach the base of wall soon. We'll hold position outside the guard post once we get there."

"Roger," Taylor replied.

Armored Personnel Carriers pulled out on the road around the corner. Three Combat Limiters decked out in exo-suits and carrying VMP submachine-guns in one hand filed out, "ZAMORACHIVANIYE!" the Limiters cried out as they stretched their palms out and hit both Kazuya and Taylor with a near overwhelming Freezing field, keeping them frozen in place.

"KAZ!" Taylor shouted.

Kazuya gritted his teeth as he concentrated, before managing to release his own Freezing, dissipating the field around them. Taylor followed up by engaging his cybernetics. "SONICS!" the older Promethean unleashing a near-silent soundwave that washed over the Limiters, causing them to cry out in agony as they covered their ears as they were each assaulted by a piercing sound that caused them to go into convulsions and muscle spasms, one of them doubling over and vomiting before collapsing on the ground.

This served to enrage their Pandora – each clad in their dark, armored uniforms - the three of them engaging their close-combat Volt Weapons as they charged, CDP infantry piling out behind them and taking cover as the Pandora moved in. "The Pandora's yours!" Taylor exclaimed, focusing on the infantry as he engaged his Overdrive and disappearing from sight. The Pandora each seemingly disappearing from sight as they engaged their Accel Turns.

"OVERDRIVE!" Kazuya felt his speed increase, not as much as a Pandora's Accel Turn – about half the speed minimum– but he fast enough to see two of the Pandora go for him, one armed with a sword the other with a scythe, with murder in their eyes. Kaz dodged the sword-wielding's Pandora's thrust, batting it aside with his left hand and countering with an electrified Static discharged from his right palm to her chest, knocking her down and taking her out of the fight. Quickly switching his Cyber-Core to Melee he faced the scythe-wielding Pandora bringing her deadly blade upon him. "SHOCKWAVE!" Kazuya balled his right cybernetic hand into a steeled fist and struck the blade with near overwhelming, supercharged force; cracking the blade in half much to the Pandora's horror and sending her flying through the wall of a building, bringing up dust and debris.

He disengaged Overdrive.

++WARNING: CYBERNETICS OVERUSE

Kazuya heard bellowing his way and he turned to see one of the Limiters Taylor had dispatched swing away at him with a machete, tears welling his eyes at the state of his Pandora laying semi-conscious on the ground. Kazuya sighed, caught the machete between his palm which startled the Limiter, following up with driving his knee into the Limiter's armored gut, knocking the wind and saliva out of him sending him curling into a pained fetal position on the ground.

Remembering that one of the Pandora had made a beeline for Taylor he turned to see his commanding officer jump up onto the roof of one of APCs, dodging a direct energy blast fired by the Pandora and her two floating cannons. "Time to get evasive, Kaz!" Taylor exclaimed. The Pandora directed her angered gaze at Kazuya and fired two straight energy beams at him, prompting him to slide forward to dodge them.

"Heads up. That's a Type-SSS!" Maretti stated, referring to the Pandora's Stigmata Satellite System projectile based Volt Weapon. "Taking the shot!"

"Wouldn't mind," Taylor grunted, peeking over cover to see a sniper round tear through the Pandora's shoulder, right through her exo-suit and out the other end. She screamed and fell to the ground, hand covering her wound.

"Fingers crossed she doesn't bleed to death," Maretti commented, miffed. "We're allowed to gun down as many CDP mooks but we can't extend the same courtesy to the their chairwoman-deifying Pandora and their boy toys-"

"Save it!" Taylor exclaimed. "Exfil…now!"

(FB)

Outside the city limits near the abandoned industrial sector Diaz scoped out the massive guard post at the base of the wall. Alarms blaring out loud it was high alert with infantry piling out of trucks, autonomous Wraith gunships hovering above and he thought he saw a whole squad of Pandora accompanied by their Limiters step out of one of the VTOLs touching down on the helipad. "I get the feeling they really don't want us to leave," Diaz remarked, cynical.

"We noticed," Taylor and Kazuy dropped their cloaks and materialized behind them. "How're we doing for time?"

"Thirteen minutes," Hall replied.

"How are your cybernetics holding up?"

"We had to push our Overdrives to breaking point to get here in time," Hall replied.

Kazuya nodded, "Same here." He turned to Taylor, "We can't fight all of them."

Taylor smiled, "And where's our diversion comes into play. Maretti?"

"I'm in position, setting up," Maretti replied. "Charges already set."

"Right. Diaz, Hall, Kaz, we're taking separate routes to the cargo lift up to the top of the wall. Whoever gets there first secure it for the rest of the team. "Taylor's looked utterly serious, "Maretti, the second we secure our route up the wall you start running. Got that? The USS Retribution's not gonna wait for us forever."

"I hear you Taylor."

"Exfil in twelve," Taylor produced a detonator and pushed the button down hard, "Going loud."

Charges scattered all over the outpost and on top of the walls detonated, multiple explosions sending the entire area into panic. CDP military personnel scattered as the ammunition dump went up in flames, guard towers collapsed under the weight of their damaged infrastructure and pieces of wrecked vehicles rained down on them. Engaging their cloaks Taylor and his team sprinted towards the base, splitting up and taking alternate paths, Kazuya cutting through and heading into the base past the destruction they had just wrought.

"NET, NET POZHALUYSTA NET!" Kazuya's heart sank when he saw a Pandora screaming and clutching her dead Limiter to herself, the boy missing his left arm and leg and his eyes wide open and lifeless. "KTO-TO POMOCH' SSHA!" Kazuya bit his lip as the Pandora continued screaming as he cut his way through towards the hanger.

"Hey, I'm taking a shortcut through the garage," Kazuya said over the comm, drawing his MR9 pistol and shooting out the window, leaping through it and into the hanger. "I should be able to-OOOFFFF!" He was sent flying as something struck him from behind. Skidding across the hanger floor he slammed against the wheel of a parked Armored Personnel Carrier.

He groaned in pain and tried getting up but felt a foot land down on his chest and pin him down. He looked up to see that green-haired Pandora in her exosuit glaring down at him. Footsteps drew his attention and he turned his head. Kaz panicked as static filled his HUD, and standing right next to the Pandora was a green-eyed, blonde-haired little boy well-dressed enough to scream, in his father's own words, 'high-class trash' holding a riding crop with a sadistic grin on his face as he lifted it above his head, ready to strike Kaz across the face again.

"NO!"

Feeling like he was nine years old again he cried, closing his eyes tightly hoping he wouldn't be able to feel anything. He only opened them when he didn't feel any pain coming. The static cleared and instead of a sadistic little boy there instead he saw that same tall dirty blonde-haired, blue-eyed Limiter equipped in a light-exosuit He wasn't smiling evilly at him, instead he appeared stoic.

Kaz gasped when he realized his DNI had just suffered a glitch. He reached for his handgun where instead the CDP Limiter kicked it away from his grasp. The Limiter frowned, right before kicking Kaz upside the head, breaking his nose and spraying blood and saliva. He blacked out temporarily, only coming to when he heard the Russian speak, his back turned to him.

"Gospozha predsedatel?" he heard him speak Russian into an earpiece communicator. "Tselevaya opredeleny: Kazuya Aoi."

'Chairwoman? Target identified: Kazuya Aoi?' Kaz mentally translated what the Limiter was saying. 'Kazuya Aoi?" He groaned, "Who the hell is Kazuya Aoi?"

"Net, mem, ya ne bol'no yemu slishkom plokho," the Russian teenager responded to whoever he had just called.

'No ma'am, I didn't hurt him too badly,' he groaned painfully and rubbed his aching mouth. 'What the crap?'

Groaning out loud, the Russian turned back around to face him frowning, no doubt disliking whatever order he was receiving.

"Dah. Rassmotrim eto sdelat."

'Yes. Consider it down. Consider what done?!'

The Limiter turned to the Pandora, "Olga, my yego zhivem." 'We take him alive.'

"Kakiye?!" the Pandora, Olga her name was, turned to look at him, enraged. "V.V?" The Limiter, identified by the initials 'V.V' shrugged and sighed loudly. "Eto yerunda!" 'This is bullshit!'

Kazuya didn't waste time. Exhaling blood out of his broke nose and gritted his teeth as he extended his hand, "FREEZING!" Both Olga and V.V. were caught in the Freezing field, startled that he was even able to generate one.

"W-what?!" V.V. cried. "But…you have no Pandora!"

Kaz grinned in spite of himself as he slowly stood up, switching Tactical Mode off his HUD to get rid of the glitches in his optics, "I'm special."

V.V. grinned, "So am I. ZAMORACHIVANIYE!" It was Kazuya's turn to be caught off guard when V.V. managed to counter his Freezing with his own. Olga summoned her Volt weapon – a katana – and lunged at Kazuya. The cyber soldier cringed as the blade sliced through his Kuda.

"ACCEL TURN!" Olga seemingly disappeared out of human sight.

"OVERDRIVE!" pushing his augmentations to their limits Kazuya could see Olga coming for him, katana in both her hands with the point aimed for his heart. Turning himself out of its way he extended his hand towards the Volt weapon. "LOCK-OUT!" Olga screamed in pain when she felt her own weapon deliver a painful jolt up and down her arm before it disappeared, leaving her open to Kazuya to swing his leg at her and connect with her forehead, the force behind his kick coupled with her Accel Turn sending flying in the opposite direction and into some steel creates.

"OLGA!" V.V. cried. The gears in his exo-suit whirred as he sped towards Kazuya, throwing a right hook that Kazuya effortlessly dodged and his fist went right through the fuel tank of the APC. With his free hand he drew his machete and swung at the Promethean, the blade sinking into Kazuya's right arm. Sparks flew out and ignited the fuel that was leaking out. Kazuya gasped and covered his head with his arms as the fuel tank exploded, sending him flying backward and skidding across the ground.

V.V's screaming got his attention and he looked up to see the Limiter frantically tearing parts of his exo-suit as he rolled on the ground before becoming motionless as he burned. "Oh, God…" Kazuya coughed into his hand before getting back up and continued running through the garage, encountering resistance as CDP soldiers stormed into the building, guns blazing. Sliding across the floor towards the exit he fired back with his MR9, grabbing a grenade off one of the soldiers he down as he ran past him, pulling the pin and tossing it over his shoulder before sliding out of the warehouse, the explosion taking out two more CDP soldiers.

Kazuya gritted his teeth when he felt his prosthetic augmentations seize up and he force himself against the wall to steady himself.

++ WARNING CYBERNETICS CRITICAL
++ SAFEGUARDS ENGAGED
++ CYBER-CORES UNAVAILABLE
++ RE-ROUTING EXCESS POWER TO AUGMENTATIONS

Balling his fists, he was in control of himself again. He didn't waste time running as fast he could and catching up to the rest of the team, ducking under building and vehicular wreckage towards the base of the wall and the cargo elevator leading up to the top, where at least a dozen dead CDP soldiers strewn about all shot to death or in various bloody states of dismemberment. The rest of the team were waiting for him.

Diaz waved, "Kaz, get on the lift!"

Kazuya didn't need to be told twice, "Right here. How much time left?"

"Six minutes," Taylor replied. Hall hit the switch, everyone nearly lurching forward as the elevator began its ascent upward. "Kaz…"

Kazuya had already hacked into the elevator console, placing his hand on the controls and closing his eyes as he focused on enacting a firewall around the control, making sure the enemy couldn't prevent the elevator from reaching the top of the wall, gunfire continuing to be exchanged between the Prometheans and the CDP troops on the ground. Up until a Pandora in her exosuit smashed right into the cage and into Kazuya, severing his connection from the elevator and knocking him to the ground, the Pandora drawing her Volt weapon, two massive trenches, and she would have impaled the Kaz through the chest if Taylor hadn't drawn his shotgun and blasted her head apart, splattering her blood and brains all over the elevator interior.

"Fuck, Taylor!" Moretti exclaimed. "What'd you just say about killing Pandora?"

"Sue me," Taylor retorted as he offered a hand down to Kazuya. "You ok, kid?"

Kazuya wiped the blood off his face and took Taylor hand, the older man lifting him up, "Y-yeah…" He looked up, seeing that they closed to the top, another security station beyond the gates leading out of the elevator shaft. Stepping off the lift their guns were up and they began exchanging fire with the guards that were waiting for them at the top. Moretti already had a smoke grenade ready, tossing it and blanketing the station with smoke, the Prometheans activating the Tactical Modes on their HUDS as they made their way through the smoke, rushing the guards and smashing them against the walls with their augments.

A whirring noise was heard they stepped out of the station and onto the top of the wall, the edge of the sea just below them. "TALONS!" Kaz exclaimed as drones bared down on them, .223 machine guns going live and forcing the Prometheans to scatter, Taylor immediately activating his cybernetics…

"IMMOLATE!"

…locking onto several of them, overloading their components and causing them to explode in midair.

"Shit, they really don't want us to leave!" Diaz pointed out the obvious as they ran across the city wall towards the EZ, dodging rockets and tracer fire that lit up the night sky. "Aw fuck, HEADS UP! CDP ROBOTICS HEADING OUR WAY"

Kazuya's eyes widened Marching across the other side of the wall towards them was entire contingent of General Purpose Infantry Units, or Robot Grunts, all armed with KN-44 assault rifles and immediately opening fire. Kazuya quickly laid down an electrostatic smoke grenade, screaming the robots visual system long enough for the team to leap over the fences towards the edge of the wall and the sea below them. Taylor gritted his teeth and activated his com system, "Retribution, Romeo here! We're right above you. Get ready to receive visitors!"

"Copy that, Romeo! Better scale that wall double-time, I think the CDP knows where here. Retribution out!"

"Romeo out!" Taylor exclaimed above the gunfire. "Kazuya…"

"Taylor…AH!"

A stray missile sent him flying backward from the edge of the wall, sending him over the other side and right back down to the ground. Kazuya frantically activated his thrusters and slammed his right hand against the structure to slow his descent as he plummeted back to the outpost. Error and status messages flooded his HUD, indicating his right hand was being critically damaged it scrapped against the wall.

"Fuck! Kaz!" Diaz exclaimed. "Taylor…"

Kazuya blacked out when he struck the ground. Quickly coming to see several Grunts approaching him, no weapons in hand and with the clear intent to tear him apart with their bare, steel hands. Kazuya drew his handgun and fired away at them as he tried to pick himself up, his augmented limbs visibly damaged from the fall.

"Kaz, talk to me!" Taylor cried.

Kaz gritted his teeth, "I'm here!"

"I'm on my way, ETA thirty seconds," Taylor stated. "Kaz…"

Kazuya got knocked off his feet and his pistol was smacked out of his hands by another Grunt, "DAD…!"

"Hang tight, kid. You're not dying today!"

"OH SHIT, HURRY!"

The grunt reached down to grab him by the right arm and lift him up so that they were 'eye' level, Kazuya immediately grabbing the robot by the arm and tearing it off the torso before smashing the robot's severed left arm into its head, sparks flying from the head. Grabbing the grunt's KN-44 he opened fire on the other robots that were bearing down on him. He was suddenly blinded by a white flash and the sound of Volt steel slicing through cyber-operated metal and woven nanofibers right before his left arm was separated from the rest of his body, dropping to the ground. Kazuya didn't waste time as he spun around to face the offending CDP Pandora, her reddened angry face befitting her Volt weapon that resembled a great sword, which morphed into a look of pained shock as Kazuya open-palmed struck her in the chest, winding her leaving her open for an uppercut that sent her flying right off her feet, hitting the ground hard. Quickly swerving his head to avoid another Grunt's left hook he ravaged the robot's chest with his right hand, tearing out its core. Suddenly it exploded in his hand, scrambling his optics and filling his vision with white. Bone-chilling horror washed over him as he felt his systems shut down…

"GAHHH!"

…and he collapsed, closing his eyes as he desperately tried to reboot himself. His optics cleared just in time to see Olga in Pandora Mode land right in front of him, her katana already drawn as she brought it down towards Kazuya. Raising his right hand in an effort to block it pieced right through his palm into his right lung, sending blood and sparks spraying upward, from his wound and from his mouth which began to pool in his helmet's mouthpiece.

"You fucking aug!" the Pandora screamed in English, her visor lifted up to Kazuya could see the tears running down her eyes. "V.V…y-you burned V.V. alive!"

Kazuya thought he was beginning to drown in his own blood as the Pandora twisted her sword and he coughed it up, his vital indicators in his optics bottoming out.

"OLGA!"

Two more Pandora landed behind her, one a red-head and the other wearing a helmet and flight mask. The red-head grabbed Olga and pulled her away from Kazuya, the Promethean gasping as he felt the Volt weapon pulled out of his chest. He struggled to push himself back up with his remaining arm but pain brought him back down, that and coughing up more blood.

'Oh, shit that...isn't good!' Kazuya thought alarmed, feeling his systems begin to shut down, around the same time his internal translation mods going haywire and he could understand the Pandora scream at one another in English.

"Olga STOP! We can't kill him! Orders, remember?!" the red-headed Pandora exclaimed, holding Olga back. "The Chairwoman wants him alive!"

Kazuya blinked, Chairwoman?

"Yeah, look at him! We've already got hell to pay for messing him up!" another on the verge of a panic attack cried. "Chairwoman Reznov is going to have our Stigmata for this!"

"I DON'T CARE!" she cried, tears streaming down her eyes as she struggled out of her comrades' grasp. "HE HURT V.V.!!" She raised her katana, "THE HALF-BOT DIES!"

"OL-!" the redhead was permanently cut off when she took a bullet to the head just as each of the grunts around them malfunctioned and exploded. The other Pandora cried out and tried swinging her Volt Weapon, but the business end was caught in the hands of Commander Taylor. He followed up with an uppercut to her gut and unleashing an electrical current that completely fried her, burning her stigmata right out and leaving her a convulsing wreck on the ground. Olga swung her sword at the Promethean, who deflected with his right fist before countering with a straight jab to her face, breaking her nose and winding her long enough for Taylor to get her into a headlock.

Olga whimpered, "V-Vya…"

CRACK!

Taylor let the Pandora's lifeless corpse drop amidst the other bodies scattered around Kazuya. Coughing up blood, Kazuya could see Taylor looking down at him with wide eyes, looking like he couldn't breathe for a second as he scanned Kazuya's mauled body,

"…d-dad?" he muttered as he felt darkness creep around the edges of his vision.

"Hey…HEY Kazuya, stay with me, you hear?"

He felt himself drift off into unconsciousness, feeling Taylor's hand squeeze his shoulder.

"You're gonna be alright. Just hold on…"

And he was smiling. He just remembered her name. And she had been the one who tied that string around his ring finger. And despite the bruise on her face she had been so happy, smiling brightly as she grasped his cybernetic hands right before they locked pinkies. "Kaz…"

"…Stella…"

++SHUTTING DOWN

(FB)

++ SATELLIZER ALONGRUTCH: UNTOUCHABLE QUEEN ++

"What?"

A guilty looking nine-year old Kazuya's feelings of anxiety managed to dull the itching the bandages around his face and left eye were giving him. His head was bowed as he tried to look away from the blonde girl two years his senior and the tears that were welling in his eye were nearly enough for him to just lose his composure right there on that boardwalk. "We're moving to Alaska. Dad's new post is there and…" he forced himself to look into Stella's eyes, himself tearing up. "I can't come back here again, Stella."

++MOISTURE DETECTED IN OCULAR SYSTEMS

Kazuya ignored the error message blaring in front of his eyes. Stella burst into tears, falling to her knees on the wooden planks underneath their feet. Kazuya sniffed and knelt in front of her, hands on her shoulders. Stella reached for his arms, gripping tightly as if that would make sure he wouldn't leave her. "We…we finally escaped from that place together and…and you're leaving just like that?" Stella looked up into his eyes, "Is this because you-?"

Kazuya nodded, the two of them looking down at his cybernetic hands, "He can't hurt you anymore." He narrowed his eyes determinedly. "Not if he wants my dad to have another talk with his mom again."

"But where am I and mother supposed to go?"

Kazuya smiled and grasped his her as gently as his augments would allow him, "Dad told me you and your mom will be taken care of." Stella smiled and wiped her eyes. "He also said you won't have to worry about the either."

Stella caressed Kazuya's face gently, "But what about you?"

The American boy was smirking now, "They can't do anything to me either. It was self-defense, and if Louis ever wakes up, he'll be in BIG trouble."

The British girl laughed, "That's…that's…"

"YO KAZ!" both of them turned towards the shore, Kaz's dad and Stella's mother were waiting for them, Kaz's dad calling out to them and pointing at his watch. "You wanna wrap it up?"

Stella shook her head and embraced Kaz tightly, causing the boy to blush when he felt her face against her chest, "Don't go! Please!"

"Hey, it'll be fine," Kaz gently pushed Stella off himself, again the two of them holding hands. "I'll still be able to write you and everything." He smiled, "And…who's to say we can't see each other again, right?"

The girl stared at him bewilderedly, before she returned the smile and wiped her eyes, "You promise?"

"Promise," Kazuya replied. He raised his little finger, "Wanna swear on it?" Stella surprised him when she grasped his right hand and tied a piece of string around his ring finger. "Stella?"

Stella smiled, "Remember what we promised once we escaped? I'll become a Pandora, you'll become a Promethean-"

"We'll get married and together we'll save the world," Kazuya finished, the tears flowing freely now. "Yeah, I remember."

Stella interlocked pinkies with his. "When we see one another again."

Kaz's eyes went wide with wonder, before he smiled and nodded. Hand in hand they walked the boardwalk toward their parents…

(FB)

(Yokota Air Base)
(Tokyo, Japan)

REBOOTING

Kazuya gasped out loud as he woke up with a start. Feeling a sharp pain in his chest and a dull ache in his bandaged nose he fell back down on the bed. Feeling himself attached to several medical equipment including EKG monitor he tried to move his arms. He frowned when he realized his left arm was still missing, and so engaged his Volt Texture. He watched as his left arm reassembled itself out a thin air, nanofibers weaving around wire and metal under it reformed into his missing limb. Flexing his fingers on his left hand, he sighed when found the response time to be slow by a few milliseconds.

"Welcome back," Kazuya nearly jumped in fright when he heard his dad, turning to his right to see the man out of his armor and in uniform sitting beside his bed. Taylor smiled, "The medics on board the sub was able to stabilize and patch you up long enough until we landed at Yokota."

"Yokota? W-we're in Japan?" Kazuya queried. Taylor nodded, causing Kaz a bit of visible distress. "We…we haven't been back here since-"

"Yyyyyeah…say no more," Taylor interrupted him.

Kaz groaned as he tried to get comfortable, "How long was I out?"

Taylor shrugged, "About a couple of days. Doc says to give you a week to…y'know…" he indicated his nose. "You've been reassigned, kiddo. Where you're going, you'll be needing your good looks."

"Reassigned?"

Taylor got up from his seat, "Congratulations, you are now officially on loan to the CIA. Your LNO should be here right about…now." The door into the room opened and in stepped a woman in civilian wear, her black hair tied in a bun and carrying a datapad in her hands. Kazuya recognized her. Taylor smirked, "Hello, Rachel."

"…" The woman turned to Taylor and replied coolly. "Taylor."

Kazuya sighed. Rachel Kane, his former instructor in the Central Intelligence Agency's delicate art of 'Enhanced interrogation' and handler for a time back in the US. He noticed Taylor walking towards the door, "Wait, you're leaving?"

"Duty calls, Kaz. Keep me posted," Taylor replied. He followed up with a wry smirk, "And try to stay out of trouble." He addressed Kane as he stepped out of the room, "He's all yours."

Kane watched him close the door behind him. She turned to Kazuya, a smile on her face. "It's been a while, Kaz."

"Heh, yeah," Kazuya chuckled. He groaned as the pain his nose and chest flared up. "Ow…"

Kane looked at him curiously, "I was briefed on your upgrades. How's the Volt Texture treating you?"

Kazuya lifted his left arm and wiggled his fingers, "It's handy. Is every Promethean going to be fitted for one?"

"No, it's just you for the time being. So far during Project Prometheus' run you're the only human accepted to have actual stigmatic tissue in your body," Kane explained. "The Type-Maria's - that's the girls born with stigmata in their bodies - have all been claimed by Chevalier and if the WA attempts to recruit it would violate the treaties we have with them." Kane paused, letting all that sink in before dropping the data pad on Kazuya's lap. "Anyway, Taylor's already told you you've been reassigned."

Kazuya picked it up and tapped the screen, displaying a file on Military Academy West Japan Genetics located off Shintoshi City, or simply West Genetics include images of what appears to be a series of opulent looking buildings reminiscent of a high-class boarding school. Raising an eyebrow, he turned to Kane questioningly, "You're sending me there?"

"This comes straight from WA High Command. West Genetics is the center pillar of Project Pandora and our contact inside is feeding us details some rather unsettling developments, headed up by this man," she tapped the screen, showing a picture of elderly-whited haired Japanese man. "Dr. Gengo Aoi."

'Aoi?' Kazuya remembered that CDP Limiter calling him Aoi. "Isn't he the guy who started the whole Pandora project in the first place? Doesn't he have a seat at Chevalier?"

"Same one," Kane replied. "In the past few years, he's been attempting to dodge oversight from Chevalier and the Winslow Accord, whatever he's been working on he's been making backroom deals with the Coalescence Corporation and Seiga Heavy Industries, it's also drawing attention from the Common Defense Pact. We haven't been given specifics but whatever current projects he's working on, they're big, and must be considered a possible threat to the Accord."

Kaz blinked, "Can't you just ask him what's he doing?"

"Only if were that easy," Kane muttered, before shaking her head. "So far, he's declined about three meetings with the Joint Chiefs of Staff, each time pointing out that it would draw Chevalier's attention and it would cause them to think we were plotting something behind their backs. We'd send a rep along with a protective detail but we don't want to risk their safety."

"Safety?"

"The Pandora at West Genetics, especially the ones Aoi's surrounded himself with, have been known to be…overzealous," Kane replied. She narrowed her eyes, "Fanatical is the proper word, actually. Aoi's behind the Pandora Project, to the Pandora he might as well be the center of the universe." Again, she paused. "Covert operation's being authorized to determine if Dr. Aoi's a threat and we're sending you to West Genetics."

"So, I'm gathering intel on the guy?" Kazuya asked.

"Him and everything that's going on at West Genetics, we have to know if anything that comes out of the place should be considered a threat to the stabilization of the Winslow Accord, and whether it would be something the CDP would take advantage of," Kane went on. "Also, we want a Promethean operative already on standby in case…"

Kazuya looked deflated, "You want me to terminate Dr. Aoi?"

"…if so ordered, if the WA is required to use force to handle the situation you'll be there to cut the head off at first opportunity," Kane continued briefing. "We're sending you in as an exchange student from Valley Forge, someone that'll hopefully be accepted as a Limiter."

Kazuya blushed. He never imagined himself becoming the partner to one of those incredibly beautiful girls, not in a million years. He suddenly realized, "Valley Forge? That's where the Promethean candidates are trained, remember?" Kazuya remembered Valley Forge Military Academy was where the WA secretly accepted cybernetically augmented young people his age and forging them into becoming part of Project Prometheus. "They just need to take one look at my file and realize-"

"That you've been asked for specially to be the Limiter partner of this particular Pandora," Kane redirected his attention to the datapad. Kazuya's breath hitched in his throat when he saw an image of a beautiful, buxom, long blonde haired young woman wearing a blue headband and wearing a Genetics Academy uniform.

"T-this is…?" Kazuya trailed off, Kane sighing when she thought he was getting too engrossed. S-Stella…

"Satellizer Alongrutch, 2nd Year Student at West Genetics," Kane said. "Nicknamed 'The Untouchable Queen?"

"Eh?" Kazuya looked up at Kane. "What kind of name is that?"

"Her record's all there if you want to go through it. She used to be at East Genetics until she crippled the last person who attempted to become her Limiter – Levon Brooks." Kazuya recoiled a bit at the image of the guy looking like he had just been pounded into the floorboards. "She was held back a year afterward and transferred to West Genetics. Long story short: She's considered to be highly dangerous and any sort of contact with her is highly inadvisable."

Kazuya pursed his lips, "So why's she still there at all?"

"Her connections," Kane said. "Coalescence Corporation – more accurately the family who owns it - sponsored her admittance into the Pandora Program." She paused to reflect. "Same way the corporation sponsored your rehabilitation, I guess."

Kazuya nodded, "I remember." Kane tilted her head curiously at him. He smiled, "I…memories are slowly coming back to me." He tapped the back of his head, "They worked out the bugs in my DNI."

"Right," Kane nodded. "As I was saying: West Genetics reached out to the Winslow Accord Cyber Soldier Initiative of Project Prometheus and requested a neophyte around Limiter induction age as part of a Pandora/Promethean exchange program." She couldn't hold back a chuckle. "Guess they think you'd be tough enough to survive being her partner."

Kazuya smiled, "That's a compliment, right?" He looked serious, "So they'll be expecting that I'm loaded with Promethean-grade cybernetics and know my way around a weapon and some basic hand-to-hand? My cover looks tight enough."

"Uh-uh, that's still going to be problem. West Genetics isn't known for its oversight, they just let the Third and Fourth Years lord themselves over the student body and do whatever the hell they like," Kane groused. "It's less a military institute and more like a high school run by the alpha bitches." She narrowed her eyes at him, "The people running the school anticipate you're going to have to defend yourself at some point they won't deny you that right. But they ask that whatever they say or do, try not to kill anyone."

"Whoa…" Kazuya threw his hands. "I-I don't think I'll go that far."

"Though you're within your authority to either terminate Pandora who have proven to a risk to human life or to harvest their stigmata you mustn't kill any of them," Kane reiterated. "And I expect they'll push you enough to want to kill them."

"…" Kazuya glimpsed down at the data pad, and Satellizer Alongruth's picture. "Hopefully it won't come to that."

Kane patted Kazuya gently on the shoulder, "Just keep a level head and you'll do find. Reports will be sent automatically via your DNI uplink to WA Command at regular intervals. Just focus on being Alongrutch's partner and making contact with Dr. Aoi, we'll take care of the rest." She got up out the seat. "Your arms and legs will be given skin grafts, to make sure your position as a Promethean will be hidden from the West Genetics student body. You transfer in a week."

"Alright," Kazuya nodded. Kane turned to leave but before she stepped. "You're not still upset at dad, are you?"

"…" Kane inhaled deeply. "Why would I be?"

"It's just…" Kazuya smiled as nostalgic memories went through his mind. "For a while we were like a real family."

"Get some rest, Specialist Taylor." She stepped out of the room, leaving Kazuya alone with the data pad. The boy went back to staring at the picture if Satellizer Alongrutch, his eyes widened when he thought he recognized her. From his fragmented memories.

"Stella?"

(FB)

(One Week Later)

(West Genetics Academy)
(Shintoshi, Japan)

Kazuya wasn't averse to wearing a suit and tie. He wore plenty of military dress uniforms during his time at Valley Forge. He didn't like the fact he felt like he stuck out like a sore thumb, wearing all yellow with black lines running the length of it, the Genetic logo emblazoned on his shoulder. And the material in the suit, Chevalier sure spared no expense. It was all luxury and comfort, nothing to reflect their role as humanity's protectors, not like the cold, spartan aesthetic of the Winslow Accord's military that Kazuya was accustomed to.

Standing before the front gate leading onto the front grounds of the academy, Kazuya took a deep breath and rand a hand through his short, freshly cut hair; which tickled the skin grafts covering his cybernetic arms, the feedback a bit stronger than anticipated which prompted Kazuya to disengage the pain receptors. Alright, mission begin. Just need to head for the headmistress' office, get this show started and find where…Stella…is…whoa!

Speak of the devil, there she was. Standing right in the middle of the grass and surrounded by the semi-conscious bodies of the Pandora she had already defeated there was Satellizer Alongrutch. His eyes widened as he stepped forward towards her near entranced her back turned to him. "Stella?"

The girl turned to face him, stoic impassiveness on her face; which vanished in a heartbeat when she recognized the scars on his youthful face, and the piece of string tied around his mechanical ring finger.

SATELLIZER ALONGRUTCH
- NATIONALITY: BRITISH
- AGE: 17
- YEAR: 2ND
- ALIGNMENT: WINSLOW ACCORD
- VOLT WEAPON: NOVA BLOOD
- LIMITER: UNAVAILABLE

"…Kaz?"

"I'VE GOT YOU NOW, ALONGRUTCH!" both their heads shot up to see another Pandora, a red-headed pigtailed girl armed with a series of triangular-spiked chains descended from the air. "THE TITLE OF NUMBER ONE WILL FINALLY BE MINE!" Kaz's DNI didn't waste time identifying her…

GANESSA ROLAND
- NATIONALITY: BRITISH
- AGE: 16
- YEAR: 2ND
- ALIGNMENT: WINSLOW ACCORD
- VOLT WEAPON: BINDING CHAINS
- LIMITER: ARTHUR CLIPTON

…nor instinctively throwing himself between her and Satellizer, catching Ganessa off guard when he grabbed her by the arm and threw her over her shoulder onto the ground, face first into the grass and the momentum of her descent sending her bounding off the ground and landing painfully on her back. Scandalized gasps were heard by all the other Pandora taking part in the 'Carnival' when they saw a Limiter take down a Pandora. Kazuya immediately heard the Pandora muttering amongst themselves…

"D-did you see that?!"

"That kid flipped Ganessa right on her ass!"

"Must be a CDP Limiter. Those guys are hardcore!"

"Is he wearing an exo underneath his suit?"

"Look at the back of his head? Is that an implant?"

"Those scars on his face look really sexy..."

"W-WHAT?!" outraged, Ganessa shouted as she picked herself up, her Binding Chains readied her chains to face the boy who dared get between her and the title of No.1 among the 2nd Year Pandora. Wiping her face and levelling a glare at Kazuya she cried, "You just cut into our annual Carnival!"

Kazuya's eyes widened and he appeared embarrassed when he remembered there would be one running when he arrived at the Academy. Pretending to be nervous he chuckled, "Whoops. Sorry, my bad."

"That's all you have to say for yourself?!" Ganessa cried. Forgetting that she was supposed to be fighting Satellizer she instead threw herself at Kazuya, chains primed to strike. "I'll show you what happens when you mess with a Pandora!" Kazuya raised his arms and was about to move himself into a close-quarters fighting stance when Satellizer suddenly appeared before him, swinging Nova Blood in an upward strike, sending Ganessa's chains flying off target and leaving her open. "What-?!" Briefly she could see fire in Satellizer's eyes. Not that dull, superior-than-thou look that was a bane on her existence, but actual drive, the kind behind protecting something…and then Satellizer followed up by slashing her diagonally across her torso. Her eyes widened in pain and surprise her blood splattered all over Satellizer and Kazuya.

Alarmed, Kazuya wiped the blood off his face as he watched Ganessa fall over onto her back, eyes bulging in horror that she lost. "Shit!" Kazuya exclaimed, turning to Satellizer, "D-did you have to go that f-?" He paused when he noticed Satellizer reaching towards him. His face lit up in a blush when she felt her hand caress the left side of her face near his scar.

"Kaz?" Satellizer looked like she was about to burst into tears. "Is that you?"

"I-I…" Kaz swallowed. "We…we need to-"

"Err…Kazuya Taylor?"

The both of them turned to see a brown-haired Pandora whose eyes appear to be closed…

CHIFFON FAIRCHILD
- NATIONALITY: FRENCH-CANADIAN
- AGE: 17
- YEAR: 3RD
- ALIGNMENT: CHEVALIAR
- VOLT WEAPON: ANTI-NOVA
- LIMITER: EUGENE HARRISON

…hiding behind a cringing blue-haired, brown-eyed Pandora.

TICY PHENYL
- NATIONALITY: FINNISH
- AGE: 17
- YEAR: 3RD
- ALIGNMENT: CHEVALIAR
- VOLT WEAPON: GIGANTES GRAVE
- LIMITER: ABEL ROTOMASTER

"P-President Fairchild?" Ticy stuttered nervously.

"Neophyte Taylor, right?" Chiffon smiled and waved. "I'm supposed to escort you to Headmistress Margaret once you arrived?" She turned to Satellizer, "But I see that you're being acquainted with the Untouchable Queen-"

Kazuya looked down at Ganessa, "She needs a medic! Like, right now!"

"Oh yes, silly me. Guess this means that Satellizer Alongrutch is the winner of this year's Carnival, and still reining Number One," Chiffon snapped her fingers and pointed at Ganessa, who was still groaning in pain. "Could someone please take her to the Recovery Center while I escort Taylor to the Headmistress' office?"

Two Pandora immediately rushed and draped Ganessa's arms over their shoulders and carried her way. "A-are you sure you don't want me and Alongrutch to-?" Kazuya turned to where he thought Satellizer would still be standing, only for the blonde Pandora to have disappeared.

(FB)

"Neophyte Taylor reporting for duty, ma'am!"

Headmistress of West Genetics Sister Margaret looked bemused at the young man standing to attention before her desk, raising his right hand to his forehead in a military salute. When West Genetics had requested a Promethean neophyte to become Alongrutch's Limiter she didn't expect they would be sending him a proper soldier.

Chiffon giggled, "Heh, at ease soldier." Kazuya blinked and lowered his hand, hands clasped behind his back. "And relax already."

"Yes, that won't be necessary. Things a bit less rigid than what you are probably used to, Taylor," Margaret smiled in understanding. "This isn't Valley Forge, we're here to make sure you feel comfortable during your time here at West Genetics." Her smile faded, "Especially since you're here specially to become Satellizer Alongrutch's Limiter."

Chiffon looked sympathetic, "Poor you."

Kazuya nodded, "Those are my orders and I'll carry them out, ma'am. Though…" he looked a bit sheepish. "Wish we…uh…met under better circumstances."

Margaret remembered he had stumbled into the Pandora Carnival and dispatched Ganessa Roland, resulting in the cancellation of the event and Satellizer's retaining her No.1 Rank amongst the Second Years. "Ah, yes, speaking of which," Margaret said. "You're fully augmented, correct?" Kazuya's eyes lit up, and he appeared at a loss. "We're well aware you're a late-stage cyberization case. That's the reason you were requested in the first place."

"Yes, ma'am," Kazuya replied. "Limbs, heart, lungs and Direct Neural Interface installed. I was ordered to keep it a secret from the student body." Kazuya rolled his eyes over at Chiffon. She smiled and did a 'zipping' motion with her finger and thumb, indicating that his secret was safe with her, the president of said student body."

Margaret had noticed the skin grafts on his hands. "That would be best. As you're no doubt already aware Prometheans aren't seen in a good light by Pandora." No doubt due to the Pandora Kill-Teams Kazuya reasoned, and the Promethean Enforcement Units posted at other Genetics Academy outside Japan, rumored to be liberal about keeping Pandora charges in line whenever they get out of line. That and the massacre following the 9th Nova Clash where Winslow Accord Prometheans killed and harvested more Pandora than the Type-S Nova and the Nile River Coalition's mercenaries had. "You are aware that Genetics is a…highly competitive environment amongst Pandora?" Kazuya nodded. "It would be preferable if you do not get in between them from now on and stick to your role given here, that is to support the Pandora as a Limiter."

"Yes, ma'am," Kazuya acknowledged. He paused before asking hesitantly, "I'm allowed to defend myself, right?"

"Yeah, he did overpower Ganessa right in front of everyone, ma'am," Chiffon pointed out. "Rumors are probably already going around right now. If she plans to get even with him that can be problematic."

"Ganessa will be told to keep her distance from you once she's discharged from the recovery center," Margaret said. "And yes, if for any reason your life is in peril you are allowed to defend yourself. As long as you're not overly reliant on your augments." She frowned, "And as long as you don't inflict any serious or fatal injury."

"No, ma'am."

"Good. Now as for your charge, you're to become Alongrutch's Limiter," Margaret explained. "You are aware of her reputation as a Pandora?" Kazuya nodded, those photos of Levon Brooks battered form coming to mind. "I admit I have no idea, much less suggestions, on how you would be able to properly bond with a Pandora of her…temperament," Margaret admitted. "But I suppose that's why you were chosen specifically."

Kazuya smiled, "I'll find a way, ma'am."

Margaret returned the smile, "I appreciate that. But for now, Chiffon here will give you a proper tour of the facilities. You'll be able to ingratiate yourself with the 1st Years tomorrow when you start classes. That'll be all."

Kazuya saluted, turned around and stepped out of the office. Chiffon shot Margaret an amused look before following after him. Once the door into hero office was closed, Margaret slumped forward over her desk, hand grasping the side of her head as she felt physically sick over what was going to happen once something happens that would force Kazuya Aoi to reveal what he truly was, what his masters had twisted him into. It was an inevitability.

Margaret breathed in deeply. She knew who this boy was the second she laid eyes on him. 'All this time Winslow Accord had Kazuha's youngest brother? So many years spent trying to find him, and the WA hides him underneath our very noses. And they twisted him into one of their…weapons. And no doubt they sent him here on account of Dr. Aoi.' Exhaling shakenly, she picked up the phone, "Yu-Mi, could you and Eliza please come to my office. It concerns Kazuha Aoi's younger brother." She winced at the shrieking response from the opposite end of the line.

"…what?!"

(FB)

"That's him. The guy who beat Ganessa."

"No, that was the Untouchable Queen. He just got in between them during their fight and tossed her around like a rag doll."

"I heard he actually knows Alongrutch!"

"What?! From where?!"

"Crazy talk!"

"Heard he's an exchange student from Valley Forge in the US?!"

"No way! That's where they train Prometheans!"

"Those scars look pretty cool…"

Kazuya didn't miss the stares he was receiving or the incessant whispering he could hear as he made his way down the hallway beside Chiffon, blushing a bit at the Pandora who said that his scars looked cool. And he didn't miss the fact that every Pandora he had passed by was drop dead gorgeous. He was aware that the Pandora underwent the same fitness regimen as the WA military, but seeing them outside their exosuits he expected soldiers, not models; and he was drawing their intrigue. So much for not drawing attention, he felt annoyed at himself. Reunited with someone I promised to never forget and I put us both on the spot.

"Hey Taylor, don't let them bother you," Chiffon smiled over at him. "The very concept that someone actually knows Satellizer Alongrutch tends to fly over one's head."

"…uh-huh," Kazuya mumbled.

"President Fairchild," both Limiter and Pandora looked ahead to see Ticy waiting for them up ahead. "Taylor."

Chiffon smiled faded, "You've been waiting for us?"

"T-there's rumors already going around that Taylor's a Promethean," Ticy said. "That the Winslow Accord chose him to be the Untouchable Queen's Limiter because he's durable enough to be her partner." She turned to him, "Is that true?"

Kazuya's eyes widened, That didn't take long. What do I say-?

"Why yes, yes he is," Chiffon stated smilingly, causing Kazuya no small amount of alarm. "He's combat ready, isn't that right Taylor?"

Kazuya gulped under Ticy's inquisitive frown. "Uh…well, I'm not a certified Promethean exactly, I just have the upgrades," Kazuya answered. "But yeah, I've gone through military training and I'm augmented enough to withstand a lot of things that'd…heh…" he chuckled a bit and scratched the back of his head. "Kill a normal person." Ticy narrowed her eyes at him, peering in close toward his face. Kaz was taken back a bit by the sudden invasion of his personal space. He saw that she was focusing on his scars, "Eh…training accident. An instructor came at me with a knife during blade drill."

Ticy blinked, "They went as far as scar you?"

Kazuya narrowed his eyes, his tone suddenly becoming venomous, "He was a psycho." He seized up when Chiffon reached forward and traced a finger across the scar running horizontally his face, delicately mind. No one has ever touched him there before, and not get punched into the ground with extreme prejudice in return. "P-President Fairchild?"

"Obviously," Chiffon said, pulling her hand back. Suddenly she brightened up and smiled, "Anyway, what were we doing? Oh, I was showing you around the facilities right before we get you settled in."

Kazuya breathed a sigh of relief, "Y-yeah. Good idea."

Ticy suddenly grabbed Chiffon by the hair and whispered frantically, "You're not going to tell him to go back where he came from?"

"…" Kaz blinked as he obviously heard her loud whispering.

"Why should I?" Chiffon replied. "He looks built to handle the Untouchable Queen." Chiffon levelled a smirk his way, "Right?"

"Uh…heh…" Kazuya chuckled, blushing. "Well…"

"Kaz Taylor."

Suddenly everyone on the hallway gave a wide berth for none other than Satellizer Alongrutch. Kazuya turned around to see the bespectacled, blonde-haired Pandora walking towards him, glancing to the side to see Chiffon and Ticy take a few cautious steps away from him, Chiffon startling Ticy when she grabbed her by the hand and gripped it tightly like a lifeline.

"Ms. Alongrutch," Kaz's smiled looked awkward compared to how utterly emotionless Satellizer appeared. "Uh…good to see you again. I…was wondering if you-" Everyone gasped when Satellizer suddenly stretched her hand towards his face, near his left eye and the scar that ran across it, almost tenderly. Kazuya swallowed lightly when he flushed red, everyone watching with bated breath at the exchange between them as he slowly raised his own hand and held her against his face. "It's…been a while huh, Stella?"

Satellizer nodded, "It has, Kaz."

"Y-you two really know one another?" Ticy pointed and did a double take between them.

"Yes," Satellizer coldly replied, not taking her eyes of Kazuya. The Promethean felt a chill run down his spine, Satellizer sounded so cold. Removing her hand from his face she looked over her shoulder, the students in the hallway quickly about face and went about their business.

"Did you want to go someplace and…talk?" Kazuya asked, glancing over at Chiffon. "There's a lot of things I…we need to-"

"Yes," Satellizer interjected. "I want to-"

"ALONGRUTCH!"

The window nearest to them exploded outward along with a fair bit of the wall, Kazuya finding himself blown against the wall from the sheer force. Coughing the dust out of his lungs he saw that the Pandora were still standing, and Ganessa was standing in the window sill, dressed only in a hospital gown, and a reddened, furious look on her face.

"R-Roland!?" Ticy cried. "What-?!"

"We're not finished yet, Untouchable Queen!" Ganessa screamed, summoning her Binding Chains and looking close to a predator about to set itself upon its prey. "I want a rematch! I won't rest until I've claimed the title of Number One!"

"In your current condition, not likely," Chiffon stated matter-of-factly. "How about you go back to bed, get some rest, and maybe not-so-loudly ambush Alongrutch some other time when your wounds have fully healed?"

"And I'm not in the mood, either," Satellizer declared, which made Ganessa look that much angrier.

"Hey, I'm sorry I cut in the middle of your match, I didn't know-" Kazuya cringed when Ganessa turned her venomous glare onto him. "Uh…I mean-"

Ganessa smirked nastily at him, "Don't worry, I haven't forgotten about you, soldier boy!"

Suddenly she charged straight at him…

++MELEE CYBERCORE ENGAGED

…and before he had the chance to defend himself or for Chiffon and Ticy to intervene, Satellizer materialized her Volt weapon Nova Blood and threw herself between Ganesa and Kazuya. Ganessa grinned, "Thought you said you weren't in the mood, Untouchable Queen?" She wasn't smiling when Satellizer struck her hard enough to send her flying back out the hole in the wall she made and onto the courtyard outside. Landing on one knee, Ganessa gritted her teeth as she tried to ignore the pain of her aggravated injuries, watching as Satellizer stepped through after her, Volt weapon in hand and every student present screaming in fear and getting the hell out of dodge away from the both of them.

Satellizer glowered at her stricken opponent, Nova Blood at the ready, "In your state you don't stand a chance against me. Just walk away."

"NEVER!" Ganessa screamed and started thrashing away at Satellizer with her chains, her opponent deflecting each blow easily enough before striking her with another force to send her flying in the opposite direction, bouncing off the ground before skidding to a stop. "AH!" she thought she felt her wound open up as she tried to stand back up.

Frustration brewing within him, Kazuya wanted to just hit Ganessa with Freezing and put her down, but that would expose his ability to use the ability without use of a Ereinbur set, and bad enough he was already outed as a cyborg. He turned to Satellizer, herself barely winded from Ganessa's 'surprise' attack. "Stella?"

"I won't let her stop us from seeing one another," Satellizer replied, her face blank with no emotion. Addressing Ganessa she repeated coldly, "Walk. Away."

"GANESSA!" everyone looked to see a blonde-hair adolescent male running towards them, waving his arm as if trying to get the pigtailed Pandora's attention. Out of breath he doubled over as he panted heavily, "F-finally, caught…up with you…"

"Arthur!" Ganessa smirked. "Perfect timing! Back me up here!"

Alarmed Satellizer looked ready to charge Ganessa at any given moment. Kazuya's eyes widened. Arthur. Arthur Cripton., 'Oh shit, her Limiter.'

"What?! No!" Arthur cried, wiping the smirk right off Ganessa's face. His blue eyes stared at her pleadingly. "You should be resting, not fighting the Untouchable Queen." He looked ahead to see Kazuya and smiled apologetically, "Hey I'm sorry about this, Ganessa's normally-" Everyone suddenly covered their eyes as a blinding light surrounded Ganessa as she activated Pandora Mode, encasing herself in her Pandora-type exosuit, "Ganessa!"

Crap! Kazuya thought. He turned to see Satellizer looked ready to throw down as well. Textbook unauthorized Pandora duel, violation of the Winslow Accord Pandora/Promethean Charter – and West Genetics looked like it openly disregarded every WA regulation in the book, and if weren't for Dr. Aoi's influence the WA would have most likely forced Chevalier to shut this place down ages ago.

And that's when the soldier in Kazuya came out. Fixing Ganessa with a determined glare he ran toward her as she was prepared to lunge at Satellizer, throwing herself between the two Pandora. "You realize you've just violated at least two directives from the Pandora/Promethean Charter?"

"Kazuya!" Satellizer exclaimed, her outward showing of concern wasn't missed by everyone present.

"Excuse me?!" Ganessa exclaimed. "Who gives a shit about some charter those warmongering hypocrites wrote?!" She saw that Kazuya wasn't budging and growled. "KNOW YOUR PLACE LIMITER!" she shouted and swung an armored backhand at Kazuya's face. The Promethean reacted quickly raising his right arm to block her strike, steel making impact with steel with a distinct rattle and the force knocking him down on his back, unharmed and now levelling a death glare up at Ganessa. The Angel of Confinement staggered back, startled when she realized she had struck metal. "Wha-? How?" she cried. Her eyes widened in horror when it dawned on her. Oh shit...ohshitohshitoshit that was a cybernetic arm I just struck! They sent a Promethean here?!

"GANESSA!" Arthur shouted, pulling her out of her panicked thought in time to look up and narrowly dodge a downward slice courtesy of Satellizer and her blade, throwing herself in between Kazuya and Ganessa as she stood protectively in front of him, Nova Blood poised to strike. On instinct Arthur extended his arm and deployed his Freezing field, "FREEZING!"

"FREEZING!" It was also on instinct that Kazuya threw up his own Freezing field as he laid on the grass, countering Arthur much to his and Ganessa's shock and cancelling Arthur's field, the feedback knocking him flat on his back and leaving Ganessa wide open for a spinning kick to the face courtesy of Satellizer, knocking her sideway onto the grass.

'Was that...? Did he just...?! That guy doesn't need an Ereibur Set to use Freezing?!' Arthur thought, alarmed.

Ganessa's was visibly shaking with fear underneath her exo, Freezing? Prometheans can use Freezing now?! She gritted her teeth and forced herself to calm down, NO! This won't stop me! She picked herself up as Satellizer approached her, "I...I can still fight. You can I'm afraid of you or that fucking half-bot?" Satellizer winced at the use of the derogatory term to describe cybernetically-enhanced humans. Ganessa smirked, "That struck a nerve?"

"Just give up," Satellizer said. "I said I'm not in the mood."

"WHY YOU!" Ganessa shrieked, her chains primed as she threw herself at Satellizer.

Kazuya sighed...

++CHAOS CYBERCORE ENGAGED

...and extended his hand, in the pretense of throwing up another Freezing field. Instead, "OVERLOAD!"

Ganessa felt herself seize up as error messages flooded her Heads-Up Display. "Wha-ARGHHHHHH!" Ganessa screamed when she heard piercing static hit her eardrums, which knocked her right out of Pandora Mode, the static stopping immediately once she was no longer encased in despite a loud ringing in her eardrum she forced herself back up, readying her chains as she threw herself at both the Untouchable Queen and the Heavenly Dog of War.

"HOLD IT!"

Suddenly she a felt the business end of a lance pressed against her throat courtesy of a young Korean woman in a Chevalier instructor uniform. "I-Instructor Kim?" Ganessa cringed, dropping her chains to the ground and raising her arms.

YU-MI KIM
- NATIONALITY: KOREAN
- AGE: 23
- POSITION: INSTRUCTOR
- ALIGNMENT: CHEVALIER
- VOLT WEAPON: GETSURO

"That's far enough," Yu-Mi Kim declared. "Elise?"

ELIZE SCHMITZ
- NATIONALITY: BRITISH
- AGE: 23
- POSITION: INSTRUCTOR/PHYSICIAN
- ALIGNMENT: CHEVALIER
- VOLT WEAPON: DOPPELGANGER

"Here," both Satellizer and Kazuya both felt the points of two daggers pressed against their necks courtesy of Elize Schmitz, the resident physician of German birth. "Both of you, don't move."

"Dr. Schmitz," Satellizer emotionlessly intoned her name.

Kazuya gulped, "Ma'am, we can explain-"

"You don't have to. We saw enough," Yu-Mi addressed, frowningly. "Taylor." Kazuya felt the point of Elize's dagger removed from his neck. "You're confined to your suite until tomorrow's lessons begin."

"Wait, y-you watched this whole thing go down?" Kazuya cried, shocked. "Why didn't you-?"

"Crypton!" Yu-Mi called out for Ganessa's Limiter. 'Escort Roland back to the recovery center immediately. And make sure she stays there."

Arthur picked himself up from the ground, groaning as he rubbed his back. "Y-yes ma'am!" he called out as he helped Ganessa walk away. He looked over his shoulder and flashed an apologetic smile at Kazuya and Satellizer, "No hard feelings, right?"

This prompted a raised eyebrow from the Promethean, before he turned to see Satallizer being escorted away by Yu-Mi and Elize. "Wait, Stella!" he reached out toward her, Satellizer appearing like she was ignoring him. He felt a comforting hand on his shoulder and turned to see that it was Chiffon, "Fairchild?"

"That's enough showing up the 2nd Years for one day," Chiffon informed him, pointing out all the attentive stares he was getting, one or two of them swallowing nervously at the sight of him.

Kazuya sighed and nodded, "Yeah."

The mission had barely started and it was already a clusterfuck. But then again, he had known the Pandora were known to be rough on their own turf. No different than the Prometheans to be honest. The only thing that mattered to Kazuya, however, was when he was going to see Satellizer again. And would be able to keep their promise to one another.

And it was going to be one hell of a ride...


A/N: I feel guilty not updating my DOOM/RWBY fic, so I figured I'd publish something that's been sitting on my hard drive for crossover enthusiasts to read. I published the first chapter of this fic years ago, but I ended up deleting it because I thought it wasn't getting enough attention and, therefore, not worth updating.

Buutttt...here it is again, with the second chapter bolted on as well. I probably won't update this, but if this gets enough attention I'd have to reconsider. ^_^