Genesis of Aquarion: Armageddon

Chapter 1: Invasion

A/N: This story is a crossover between Genesis of Aquarion, the series, and Shin Getter Robo: Armageddon. If you have no idea what that last one is, you probably haven't been playing Super Robot Wars, or Super Robot Taisen to some people.

"CC, Alpha 1 reporting, over", a male voice reverberated across the metal walls of the cavernous room. The floor of the room was stepped, each step full with operators in white military uniforms working on their consoles, most of which had screens which seemed to float in midair in front of them. These were arranged in rows along the steps.

"Copy that, Alpha one. Give us your status", a male operator answered as he touched an icon on his console's floating screen. On a wall in front of him was a larger version of the floating screen, full with bits of data on display, none of which makes sense to a layman.

"Sky's all clear. You want visual, CC?", the first speaker, a pilot on a patrol jet in the sky hundreds of miles away, answered. His voice gave away a hint of boredom, the same thing a lot of the people in the entire building was feeling.

"Y'know, I don't understand why we need to keep sending out patrols", a male operator in one corner spoke without looking away from his terminal. A female operator next to him spared a glance at an older man sitting on the top step of the room. He was seated at the center of the row of consoles, the extra stripes on his uniform's sleeves indicating his higher rank.

"It's a precautionary measure against further attacks by the angels. You know that", she replied once she was satisfied their commanding officer was too busy looking at the monitor to spare a glance at them, or too goddamn bored, as his slightly glazed eyes seem to inidicate.

"Textbook answer. Seriously, hon, nothing's happened at all ever since Deava declared victory...or ceasefire, more like...nothing inhuman anyways", the first operator retorted, recalling the power plays and political maneuverings that had started almost as soon as the angel crisis was over. The war had been the unifying factor for the different world powers under one banner. With it gone, they had gone back to business as usual, getting as much power and influence over each other as humanly possible. "If you ask me, we're not lookin' for stray shadow angels. We just want an excuse to keep our eyes on our neighbors"

"CC, this is Alpha 2. We got something, over", another male voice rolled out of the speakers before the female operator could speak, galvanizing the rest of the operators in the room into vigilance.

"Well, whaddaya know...some action", the commanding officer muttered before touching an icon on his monitor. "Alpha 2, this is central command. Show us what you got", he spoke briskly as all eyes in the room turned either to their consoles or the main monitor.

"CC, this is Alpha 2. My radar picked up something on our 4 o'clock"

"This is Alpha 1, heading to point 0163", the two pilots reported back to back.

"Alpha 2 here, we have visual...what the hell...?"

There was silence as the main monitor switched to the nose camera of the jets. The thing that was shown defied the comprehension of those present. It was a black, elongated, shapeless mass. Its surface seemed to be sleek, like crude oil, but its undulating consistency was definitely solid. It seemed to come out of a portal that shadow angels use to cross over from their dimension, but instead of the beautiful runic patterns of their circular gates, the portal seemed to be nothing more than a crack punched through the dividing wall between this world and theirs.

"...What in the holy hell is that thing...?" one of the operators wondered aloud as the jets moved closer to the thing. All in the room, and the pilots, stared transfixed at the black mass, which seemed to roil around slowly with muscular deliberation. The commanding officer was the first, and probably the only one, to notice what it was doing. It was rearing up, like a beast might do before it strikes a defenseless prey down.

"APHA TEAM! GET THE HELL OUT OF THERE!" he yelled, just as the mass start to gain shape, becoming a large worm, yellow eyes poking out of its slick surface in irregular patterns around its body. Before anyone could say a word, the black thing lunged forward, engulfing the screen, now showing five separate views from five different aircrafts, with its black mass.

"ARGH! WHAT THE FUCK?!" a scream ripped through the room, amplified by the speakers. Up in the air several hundred miles from their position, the screaming pilot watched, horrified, as the black mass first attached, encircled, and finally completely engulfed his aircraft with its black, undulating mass from nose to tail. His burners kept the thrusters free by blasting away the creeping mass, but it also kept the aircraft continually moving towards the thing. The four other aircrafts around him shared the same fate, trapped in the black mass with only their cockpit windows visible among the black flesh of their captor.

"Dammit! All units! Eject now!" the lead pilot shouts as he pulled a lever to the left of his seat. There was a small explosion as his cockpit burst open and his seat was propelled into the air. He smiled defiantly in his helmet, which turned into a painful grimace as soon as it formed. A black spike burst out of his chest, having entered from the back of his seat. It was connected to the roiling mass engulfing his craft below. He turned his head to his comrades' craft and could see the creatures cracking through the cockpit glass and spilling into the seats, engulfing the pilots with their polymorphic black mass. Even as he saw these, he bucked wildly and involuntarily as he felt the spike in him growing, branching out into smaller spikes that tore him apart from within. He was dead before his body was completely ripped apart by the growing abomination.

Back in the command room, all everyone could do was listen to the increasingly panicked cries of the pilots as the monstrous creature forced its way into their cockpits. Their screams grew into a high-pitched crescendo of screams before tapering off into loud, guttural gargling sounds. Everyone was transfixed. Most of them looked ready to hurl, and the rest looked close to fainting. On the main monitor was still the undulating black mass with its many round yellow eyes with black vertical slits for pupils, sometimes blinking at those watching below. The whole thing lasted for several minutes before, one by one, visual contact was lost, disappearing into white and black static.

It was a full five minutes before an operator found his voice. "Alpha team...contact...lost..." he said in a tone a victim of shell-shock might use. The commanding officer took another three minutes to respond.

"...Alert Deava"

A tiny figure stalked silently through a room within Deava headquarters. Small feet stepping slowly and silently over the pink carpet, the figure moved closer to a pink bed standing on one corner of the room. Seeing the female figure with long blonde hair sleeping in it, the child's lips broke into a mischievous grin as she clambered softly up the bed. Once she could see the sleeper's face, she crouched and prepared to jump.

"BOO-WHAAA!", She cried out as the apparently sleeping female shot out both arms and caught her beneath the armpits.

"Not a very nice way to wake me up, Chibi", the blonde female said to the small kid she was holding.

"Hmph...you're no fun, Silvia...", the latter pouts.

"So, why did you wake me up at...5 A.M.?", Silvia asked, looking at the alarm clock beside her bed and yawning.

"Deava's calling for you", Chibi answered as Silvia sat up and put her down on the bed.

"Deava?", Silvia repeated. Summons from Deava could only mean one thing, which was impossible. The Shadow Angels are no more. They're dead, or at least indefinitely dormant. "Are you sure it's Deava?", she asked again. The child nods without hesitation. With a large frown on her face, Silvia got out of bed.

Ten minutes later, she went out the small orphanage's thick wooden door, clad in a pink one-piece tube dress. Idling on the street right in front of her was a small three-wheeled car-like vehicle.

"Tsugumi?" Silvia wondered aloud as she opened the single door of the vehicle and stepped into it. "They summoned you too?", she asked the bespectacled girl sitting behind the wheel. She was wearing a simple t-shirt and jeans under a well-used lab coat.

The latter nods silently before stepping on the pedal. "Jun-kun's already on his way with Pierre and the Klicks", she spoke as they moved towards the largest building in town.

"Do you know why they're calling for us at this time of the day?"

"...No idea. None that makes any sense to me, anyway"

Less than an hour later, they were standing in Deava's command center, a large room with many consoles and electronic equipments, all manned by uniformed operators. Several young people about their age was already gathered at the top platform of the room, standing close to a pretty blonde woman in a white lab coat. She was accompanied by another woman with coldly calculating eyes and a slightly pale skin, also in a lab coat. Her hair was a very dark brown and reaches down to the middle of her back.

"Good morning, children", a brusque male voice greeted their arrival. The man wearing a black coat who issued it stood up from the large command chair and turned towards them.

"If I may ask, commander Fudou, why have you summoned us?", a blue haired young man standing next to a blue haired young woman spoke. One glance at their similar facial features was enough to tell that they are twins.

"I think you have a general idea, don't you, Kurt? Chloe?", Fudou asked back. The twins looked uneasily at each other. They all have a general idea why they are here, though all of them are thinking about slightly different things. "Go ahead", he turned his head to the blonde woman, who nods and pressed a button on the command console.

The image on large monitor facing the command platform started showing a playback of the last recording of the recon air patrol which disappeared an hour ago on the other side of the globe. The uniformed men manning the consoles were not looking at it, having seen it once before the young ones arrived. The latter stared at the screen, ears catching all the sounds emanating from the speakers. Their eyes widened in surprise when the black mass came out of the crack in the sky. As the playback continued, they started to grimace as the five split screens were engulfed by black and panicked screams filled the room. Tsugumi held a hand to her mouth in disgust as the audio played what sounds like tearing flesh, snapping bones, and guttural death rattles, along with other sickening inhuman crunches and cracks.

"...What...what was that?", a bespectacled young man spoke three minutes after the playback ended. His name was Jun Lee, a former pilot of the Messianic robot Aquarion, which was acting as the root of the tree of life to stabilize this world and the Shadow Angel's dimension, which was where the black mass seems to be coming from.

"Those are recordings sent by the UN a few hours ago, right after their reconnaissance team went MIA", the blonde woman replied coolly, though her folded hands were trembling slightly.

"We know that, Professor Sophia, but what was that black...thing?", Chloe asked, her fears more apparent in her creased forehead and pale face.

"It is not something of this world", a young girl on an elaborate wheelchair came into the room, her long wavy white locks framing the frown on her face.

"Rena-san...", Tsugumi spoke as she turned to face the newcomer.

"Not of this world?", a short haired young woman asked. Quite tall for a woman, she stood level with another young man with brown skin wearing what looks like a soccer uniform, his hair done in dreadlocks tied into a ponytail behind his head. Her name was Hong Lihua, known as Reika to her teammates, another former pilot.

"That is correct. They belong neither in our world, nor in the angels', but that is as all I can say about them", Rena answered, drawing closer to the group.

"...You say 'they'...does that mean...", the young man in soccer suit began, afraid to finish the sentence. He is Pierre, yet another former pilot and ex-soccer superstar.

"From what little we can see of its behavior, it is highly likely we are dealing with a shape-shifting creature or creatures", the brown-haired woman wearing a lab coat spoke coldly as she walked up to one side of the console and fiddled with the icons on the monitor.

"Saotome Michiru", Sophia said to the team of ex-pilots before they could ask. "A professor of several scientific disciplines and my former underclassman. We brought her here for her expertise in cryptozoology and several biological disciplines"

"These are pictures taken by a recon satellite at the time of the incident", Michiru continued as several large still images emerged on the large screen. They showed the five aircrafts as they were engulfed by the black mass. "From this, we can see that we are dealing with an amorphous

entity", she pointed to the mass, which seemed to have no distinguishable shape, enclosing the aircrafts, of which almost nothing but their jet exhausts were visible. The zoomed out picture does not allow them to see the pilots, for which Silvia was grateful.

"We checked everything from official UN and Deava databases to independent research papers and there is nothing remotely resembling this lifeform. The closest we can come up with are slime molds. Of course, no slime mold has ever been known to exhibit the predatory behavior we see here. We believe this is a superorganism of some sort", she continued at length. "They seemed to have come from the same dimensional realm as the shadow angels, and we checked with all the stuff they threw at you during the conflict a year ago, but again, nothing came up. All we can find other than those large things they use for combat are the bugs that ate all of the town's food and the parasitic fungus they released in the closing days of the war"

"So, in other words, we have no idea what the hell we're supposed to be dealing with?", Pierre growled.

"Pretty much", Michiru replied flatly and Pierre shook his head.

"Commander Fudou, we have a plan, don't we?", Reika turned to their commander, who was once more sitting at his console.

"We wait", he replied solemnly.

"Sir?", Kurt called out. At that moment, a man younger than their commander with light purple hair walked into the room. "Vice-commander Jerome"

"What he means", he spoke in a clipped voice as he strode towards them. "Is that you kids are going to be on standby right here until the time comes for you to sortie"

"We are dealing with an entirely new threat. We don't like it, but the only thing we can do for now is react as quickly as possible", Sophia added.

Silvia looked at Reika and Tsugumi, who looked back. Their faces were filled with doubt and fear, perfectly understandable in this situation. Jun and Kurt were still studying the large main screen while Pierre sighed, quite annoyed among other things. Chloe placed her fingers lightly on his upper arm. Rena was also studying the main screen, her face harboring more uncertainty than the others.

"...You are dismissed", their commander finally ordered, and they turned to leave the room.

"...Man...this is crazy", Pierre sighed as he reclined on the sofa in the lounge. The rest of the Deava pilots are gathered around a round glass table on which they had placed their breakfast and drinks. "I thought we're finished with this stuff"

"I was hoping so too..." Tsugumi said softly as her hands turned the mug filled with coffee held between them. It, like the plates on the table, was still quite full. Jun, sitting to her right, was tapping away at his portable computer.

"It would be pretty naïve to think we will never have to go into combat ever again", Chloe, sitting beside Pierre with his arm around her shoulder, said flatly. "Still, I did not think it would happen this way", she exhaled slowly. Kurt, sitting on the other side, did not say anything, but it was quite clear they were thinking the same thing.

"What do you think happened in the angels' realm, Senpai?" Tsugumi asked Reika, who was sitting to her left. The questioned shrugged her shoulders and shook her head.

"I have no idea, but I'm worried about Sirius..." she answered and looked at Silvia. The latter was staring dazedly at the space on the floor between her feet. She had not said a word since she finished calling her neighbors to request their assistance in maintaining the small orphanage. "...You're worried too, aren't you? About Apollo?" she asked. Silvia stiffened at the question and nods imperceptibly. No one spoke again and, for a while, the only sound in the room was Jun's typing.

"...Dude, what the heck are you doing?" Pierre finally asked.

"I'm looking up all the satellite footage those pictures come from", he replied without looking up from the screen. "Couldn't find any video footage, but I found lots of pictures. Looks like they're taken at split-second intervals. I'm loading it onto an imaging software to turn them into a quasi-video"

"I am not sure I want to look at those again..." Tsugumi commented.

"And...we are done", Jun said as he turned the laptop so its screen faced the others. A video was being played with no sound and it seemed to be missing several frames as the image moved jerkily across the video's window. The pictures shown in the command room was enough to startle them, and the moving image was even worse, especially since Jun seemed to have tuned the zoom level higher. Not only were they able to see how exactly the aircrafts were swallowed up; they could also make out what happened to the pilots. The pilots' images were tiny, but they could still make out one of them ejecting from the cockpit before something stopped him in midair. They also saw him bursting into pieces, seemingly torn apart from within.

"Oh, god..." Tsugumi turned away so she doesn't have to look at the disemboweled pilot. The fates of the others were less clear. The mass went on enveloping the aircrafts further before finally drawing back into the dimensional crack they came from, dragging all five aircrafts and four pilots along. The crack sealed itself as soon as the black thing retreats fully into it. "It's...it's..." Tsugumi tried to speak, but could not find the words that could adequately express the disgust and horror she felt inside. The others were mostly gaping or grimacing at the picture, feeling the same thing she does.

"Dammit, man, why did you have to show us that?", Pierre said through gritted teeth.

"I apologize if this disturbs you", Jun began, looking at them in turn, his gaze lingering for a moment at the pale Tsugumi. "But I believe we should find out as much as we can about our enemy, no matter how terrible they might be", he finished. Pierre was about to speak again but an aloof female voice cut him off.

"A good mindset", the voice spoke as the pilots turned to look at the newcomer. Michiru walked closer to them and took a seat at an unoccupied chair, a cup of coffee in her hand. "So, having seen all that, what do you think?"

"...I know nothing about them", Rena said softly as she reclined in her wheelchair. "I know for sure what they are not, but I can hardly make a guess at their nature"

"Hmph. Not even someone of your nature can tell us anything", Michiru scoffed, not unkindly. "I suppose you can already tell that you are not dealing with shadow angels here", she continued. Rena nods in reply. "I have been studying the angels' pattern of attacks, and these are more...visceral. Am I correct?", she addressed all of them.

"Sirius would say that shadow angels have a way with beauty, cruel as they may seem to be", Reika concurred.

"Sirius...one of the pilots who disappeared a year ago?", Michiru asked as she took a sip of her coffee. She received nods in reply.

"Do you think they could have gotten to my brother and Appolo, Miss Michiru?", Silvia asked, leaning forward in her seat. Michiru pondered the question for a seemingly interminable period of time.

"As I understand from your reports, they are acting as the roots of the Tree of Life as we are talking, aren't they?", the latter finally spoke, and received nods again in reply. "To be honest, I do not know enough to make any guesses at this point of time. It might be possible that their role has been compromised by the life form. If the tree of life is supposed to be the thing that holds both worlds together, that is the most logical guess I can make given how they are able to break through the barrier between realms"

Her response was met with more heavy silence as the pilots contemplate the issue.

"Well, try not to think too much about it. We should be able to get more information soon enough. Just be ready to sortie at any time", she said before getting up to leave. They watched silently as she walked out of the room before dispersing to their resting quarters. They will be facing an enemy they know almost nothing about other than their hostility to humans. They wondered whether the first people who fought the shadow angels felt what they are feeling now.

WARNING! NEW LIFE FORMS SIGHTED AT POINT 8579G! ALL UNITS TO COMBAT STATIONS! REPEAT! NEW LIFE FORMS SIGHTED AT POINT 8579G! ALL UNITS TO COMBAT STATIONS!

The automated announcement accompanied the siren blaring throughout Deava, rousing the pilots and all of Deava's personnel from whatever they are doing. The pilots ran through the large corridors into a large briefing room with monitors covering one side of the walls. There were no chairs and they stood as Sophia worked on her console, bringing up a picture onto the largest monitor.

"We have a confirmed dimensional breach at point 8579G, in downtown New Apple", she said as the monitor showed an aerial view of a large city filled with skyscrapers. Some of them are burning, and some have collapsed or on the verge of it. "We have had little time to evacuate the civilians. An estimated 1000 people are stranded within the district as of fifteen minutes ago. Our latest report five minutes ago puts the number at an estimated 750, and rapidly decreasing", she recites while working with the console, bringing up several smaller screens within the monitor showing black aircrafts.

"Your mission is to contain this invasion any way you can. You will be using Mass-produced Assault Type Aquarions since the original is lost in the conflict a year ago. Rena, Pierre, and Silvia will lead Squad one. Squad two will be Reika, Jun, and Tsugumi. Kurt and Chloe will monitor and manage the military Vector pilots of squads one and two from here and act as backups when necessary", she finished and looked at them all in the eyes. "Any questions?", she asked. No one spoke. They just looked at the screen intensely. It was showing a map of their operational area and expected resistance with red dots for each expected pocket. The latter was innumerable. "Dismissed"

The pilots ran out of the room and headed straight for the chutes which will drop them in their machines. Within minutes, all six outbound pilots are sitting tensely in their machines while the other two sat equally tensely at their consoles, their monitors showing data pertaining to the pilots of all 36 Vector machines.

"All units ready to launch, Commander Fudou", Kurt reported from his position.

"Squad 1, squad 2, launch!", the commander's voice boomed throughout the room and all 36 vector machines were launched from their catapults into blue sky.

"All units, head to point 8579G. Repeat, point 8579G", Chloe announced, and all 36 machines turned on their thrusters to head west.

At their speed, the journey to New Apple took no longer than an hour. By the time they arrived, none of the buildings in the area are intact, and among them were bipedal black creatures with long claws on their fingers. Their heads were elongated, yellow eyes set irregularly on random parts of it, and their jaws are full of sharp teeth. Long tails swishing behind them, they lumbered through the now ravaged area with surprising agility. Once in a while, some of them will turn into the formless mass the pilots saw in the command room's screen and reform into their bipedal forms with some differences in their physical structure.

"Deava base, this is Omega one. How many survivors are left in the city?", Pierre asked as he watched the abominable congregation below him.

"Our sensors detect no survivors within a 30 kilometer radius around you, Omega one."

"Holy shit...", he cursed softly. More than a thousand lives lost in one hour. Not even the Shadow Angels could match this level of destruction.

"All units, commence operation!", Fudou's voice thundered through the machines and they immediately sped downwards, letting loose with their rockets and cannons. Their attack caught the creatures by surprise and a good number of them are blasted apart by the sudden assault.

"Nenshin!"

"Gattai!"

"Go! Aquarion Omega!"

Rena, Silvia, and Pierre's machines lined up as they shout and combined into a large humanoid robot wielding a pair of machineguns. All around them the other machines were combining with similar exclamations from the pilots in the cockpits, three machines to form one robot. When they are done combining, the 12 Assault Aquarions start shooting as soon as they landed.

"Squad one! Follow me!", Pierre commands from the Omega where he assumed position as the head. Five other machines moved to assist him. The other five followed Reika's Aquarion Alpha, wielding a large PSG cannon on its left arm and shooting the creatures with a pair of rotating cannons on its shoulders.

Pierre's Omega fired its twin machineguns at the creature closest to it, riddling it with bullets. It staggered backwards as deep red blood poured copiously from its wounds. Keeping its gun trained at the injured creature, the Omega aimed its other gun at another creature approaching quickly from the left, strafing with the other 5 in a group as he did so. Reika's Alpha was doing the same with its shoulder cannons, occasionally firing a round from its PSG cannon. The two teams moved in tandem, clearing a path through the horde of creatures surrounding them.

In retaliation, the creatures fired off tentacles tipped with sharp claws, shooting out of their black metamorphic bodies. Most of these were shot down before they could reach the Aquarions, but some found their marks on the legs and arms of the machines, though these too were quickly gunned down. The battle raged for a good five minutes before Jun started to notice something amiss.

"Jun, what's the matter?", Reika called out as she realized that her machine's legs have stopped moving. Jun did not answer, instead pointing the index and middle fingers of both hands to the center of his forehead. Several screens suddenly appeared on his cockpit's monitor. They showed pieces of the creatures, blown off from the battle, moving, crawling quickly and joining with other pieces or nearby creatures, fusing together. The torn pieces that gathered together were quickly forming up new creatures behind the ones the pilots are currently shooting on.

"You gotta be kidding me...Deava base! Are you getting this?!", he shouts, transmitting the images on his screens to all the other Aquarions as well as headquarters. There was a small break in the Aquarion's assault as each pilot registered the fact that they have been fighting things that are simply regenerating themselves as fast as the machines can blow them apart.

"You serious?! That's cheating, man!", Pierre cursed as he started to fire again, each machine now slowly backing into a circle that continually gets tighter.

"Everyone, calm down. Commander Fudou, any ideas?", Rena called. The commander took a few seconds to ponder the situation before replying.

"All units, shift into Walker formations and prepare to retreat!", he commanded. At once the machines separate and reform into what looked like a fighter jet with arms and legs. Once finished, they flew upwards to escape the encroaching horde. They were barely a hundred meters off the ground when a shriek of surprise blasted out of the topmost machine. By reflex, the pilots looked up to see a winged creature with similar characteristics as the ones below them clutching the machine with its large talons. Spiked tentacles shot out of its body and pierced the machine in more than ten places. The shriek was cut off with a tearing and gurgling sound as the tentacle's spike drove through the pilot. As they watched, the craft slowly fell with the creature still on top of it. All around them, more of the winged creatures arrived, determined to cut off their escape route.

"Dammit! All units! Open fire and break through!", Pierre shouts as he opened fire with cannons and rockets mounted on the Walker's arms. The rest did the same and blasted a few of the flying creatures off the air. The creatures quickly moved in on them, ignoring the cannon rounds and missiles pounding onto their enveloping ranks.

"NOOOO!", Tsugumi shouted as the creatures shot tentacles that narrowly missed her machine, but found their marks with half of the units they lead.

"Damn! Is this it for us?!", Reika cursed as she saw three more units caught and enveloped by the creatures. Her unit and Pierre's were dodging as fast as they could, but the strain did not allow them to aim and shoot. There were only three machines and nine pilots left now. She closed her eyes in preparation for the worst.

"Commander! Three unknown objects approaching from the east!", Kurt's sudden report snapped her back to reality.

"What?!", Jorge exclaimed. "Put them on screen!"

"Yes, Sir!", Kurt complied and an image of three distinct aircrafts appeared on the room's large monitor. The three aircrafts were all black and gray in color, flying in formation. The one leading them had what looked like jagged plating in place of wings. The craft in the first wingman position had a very bulky profile compared to the other two, and the last one looked like a trident's spearhead.

"What the...who are they?!", Jorge stared at the new arrivals heading straight for the battle. On her cockpit, Silvia watched as the three aircrafts lined up in a straight line with the plated one in front. The bulky one and the trident-shaped one was right behind it, in that order. Outside, the creatures seemed to have noticed the new arrival and were temporarily transfixed on the three jets speeding towards them.

"Are they planning to fight those creatures?", Sophie wondered as she watched the three jets descend until they were skimming the ground. The creatures have begun to move to intercept them. The three jets continued to move forward on a collision course with the horde, each craft getting closer with each other as the seconds ticked away. 'They're going to crash!', Sophia thought. A split second later, they collided into each other, but did not crash.

"They're combining?!", Jorge exclaimed in surprise as he watched the crafts, now joined end to end. The nose of the combined form of the three crafts had pulled up and the whole structure was pirouetting as it transformed. The pilots and crew of Deava had a glimpse of the three crafts turning into a lanky humanoid shape before the creatures swarmed over it, engulfing it in a mass of black intent on simply crushing it.

"Commander, we must-", Reika began, but was cut off by screeches coming from the creatures engulfing the newcomer. She shifted her attention towards them and stared. She couldn't figure out what was going on at first glance, but she soon saw pieces of the creature surrounding the new robot tossed up and disintegrate into nothing instead of reforming.

Mouth agape, she stared as blood and pieces of the creatures' flesh flew up in the air, the carnage seeming to take a path towards the Assault Aquarions. A huge, sharp, spinning white thing burst through the back of the creature closest to the pilots. Whatever did it lifted the creature up and continued spinning and shredding until there was nothing left of it. Amid the thin mist of the creature's blood and particles of its flesh, they saw a lanky humanoid black and gray robot. Its left forearm was the spinning drill which shred the creature they saw and its right ended in a pair of large pincers. It turned its bullet-shaped head towards the Aquarions, appraised them, and turned its attention back to the creatures, which were now swarming for another attack. The robot raised its right arm, the pincer, and waved them forward in a gesture that said 'follow me'. The pilots looked hesitantly at the robot and back to their commander and teammates, unsure what to do. Meanwhile, the robot has raised its drill arm and was pointing it straight towards the incoming horde.

"All units, split up and follow the robot", Fudou commanded after a few seconds.

"Commander, is this wise?", Silvia asked.

"They know more about these creatures than we do. Follow them out and bring them back here", he replied. Silvia swallowed a lump in her throat and nodded.

"All units, separate and follow your leaders", Rena commanded. At once, the three remaining Aquarions split into their 9 component vectors.

"We're going full speed out of here. Try to keep up", a loud, cold voice suddenly boomed out. It took the pilots a few seconds to realize that the new robot was the one talking. They were about to reply when the robot shot its drill out, which hit the nearest creature and exploded. The robot then shot forward, a new drill already spinning on its left forearm. Tentacles shot out towards it, but the vector machines skimming the ground in a tight straight formation closely behind it shot them apart with their cannons. The pilots in them kept their eyes forward on the back of the robot which was proceeding to plow through the creatures with its massive drill held out in front of it. Once in a while tentacles and claws would lash out from above or beside them, but these mostly missed. Those that hit did not do more than scratch damage.

"It's protecting us", Rena said calmly, and Jun jumped in surprise. He had been wondering why the enemies could not do much damage to them. "Those green rays are destroying them", she continued, and it was only then that the pilots noticed the green mist seeming to emanate from the robot's spinning drill and trailing like a smoky curtain behind it. The creatures' appendages closest to the mist were slowly being eroded. It was also then that they noticed how fast the robot was going. They were on full afterburners but it was gradually pulling away from them.

They were wondering when the robot would pull ahead far enough for the protective mist to leave them behind when they suddenly pulled out of the black mass of the creatures and into open space beyond. The vector machines wasted no time pulling up into clear skies. Tsugumi looked back and heaved a sigh of relief when she saw that the creatures were not following, gradually becoming a black speck on the horizon as they pulled away.

She glanced down at the robot and saw it quickly detaching into its three component jets. Reika pulled close enough to the jets to see the lead jet's pilot, a man with scars on his face and medium length black hair. She motioned with her hand to follow and he nods his acquiescence. She pulled away, glancing at the pilot on the bulky jet, an elderly large man with close-cropped hair and rounded features.

They pulled into Daeva base within the hour and the pilots climbed out of their jets, exhausted and shocked by their losses. 36 of them went out. 9 came back. 75% losses. Fudou, Sophia, and Jorge was at the hangar with an entourage of guards when they arrived, and the pilots now stood with them close to the three new jets. The pilots in two of them climbed out and jumped onto the hangar's metallic surface. Their faces wore hard expressions which Fudou recognized as the result of plenty of tough battles.

"Welcome to Daeva", Fudou greeted. "I am Fudou Gen", he held out his right hand, which the man with scars took.

"Jin Hayato", he greets back.

"Kuruma Benkei", the portly man said as he took Fudou's hand in turn.

"I assume your reason for being here has to do with those things we fought", Fudou said as he took back his hand.

"That is correct", Benkei replied. The Deava crew looked at the two men expectantly.

"Can I presume, then, that you are willing to work with us against them?", Fudou asked.

"That would be wise", Hayato replied, and was met with silence as Fudou appraised him and Benkei.

"...Very well then", Fudou smiled. "I suppose explanations could wait until we are properly ready, but there's just one thing I want to ask"

"Go ahead", Benkei replied shortly.

"What are they?", Fudou asked, and it was Hayato who answered.

"Invaders"

End Chapter 1

Well, that's it for the opening. Hope I got the details right. I still need the names for the Chibikkos. If anyone can help me, well, just send me a word or two.