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~Lightning and Wind~ Chapter Five

Chapter Five:

 

Ruins.

The only way to describe what remained of the Academy City facility was ruins. The building was in shambles, crumbling to pieces and barely qualifying to be called a building anymore, large chunks of the steel walls were gouged out and torn aside. The bodies of countless guards, pieces of powered armors, and broken security droids lay skewed around like thrown away dolls that were torn to shreds by an angry dog. With the exception of the debris slowly falling and the hum of fluorescent lights, there was only silence, as Misaka Mikoto stood at the giant hole that was once a door, speechless at the scale of the destruction.

Lessar checked the bodies of the fallen, only to find no signs of life. They all had severe wounds, inflicted with traces of magic, underneath their top-of-the-line protective gear. The enemy had hit them hard and fast, using a method that undercut their defensive measures. As Lessar passed one guard who died with his eyes open, she gently ran her hand across them and closed them.

“This is horrible,” Mikoto said, to no one in particular.

“This is a standard invasion tactic of certain cabals,” Lessar commented. “You decimate the defenses using numbers, the element of surprise, and speed, capture the target, and disperse in multiple directions. They probably used golems rather than magicians, but if we move now, we can catch up to the ones controlling them while they’re running.”

Mikoto stood there motionless, without response. Her sister lived here. Even if she was killed, they had to find her body. Lessar grabbed her shoulder and tried to convince her, but a weak cry of help came from inside and Mikoto took off.

Navigating the maze of fallen equipment and debris, she searched for signs of life using her electroperception, sensing the minuet electrical signals of a living body. Behind a fallen steel cabinet, the silhouette of a woman was faintly moving. Using magnetism, Mikoto pushed it aside and rushed over to the barely living woman.

She was dressed in a tattered and blood-stained lab coat, with the stains growing wider and wider from the seeping blood. Mikoto pulled off the backpack of supplies Mark Space gave her and lifted the dying woman’s head with it. Her eyes were foggy, and her breathing labored, but she tried her best to speak.

“…Who’s…there?” she asked weakly.

“My name is Misaka Mikoto,” Mikoto replied, as Lessar moved in to see if she could help. “What happened here?”

“The Railgun…?”—she coughed up blood—“Eight’s older sister?”

“Eight?”

“That’s what we call serial number #10142…you have to help her. Those creatures, we suspected that they were after the Perpetual Energy core that we were developing here. It was only a prototype, but it still held limitless potential if used right. Eight was like a daughter to us all, so w-we had her take it and run after we realized we couldn’t stop them.”

“I’ll go after her now!” Misaka yelled as tears fell down her eyes. “Just hold on for now. For her.”

“Thank…yo…u…”she smiled weakly and single tear fell from her eye, before she passed on. Mikoto looked at Lessar, who shook her head. There was nothing she could do now.

All they could do was chase after the fleeing Sister.

***

#10142 stumbled on an overgrown root and fell to the ground. The sound of collapsing trees echoed across the jungle, as her pursuers chased her for the last few hours. They demolished her home and forced her to leave her family behind, only gaining a few precious minutes for a head start.

As a pair of stomping feet got closer, she hid as best she could behind one of the trees. The looming shadow of a Pokaku Kapua—a ten foot, stone, humanoid golem—eclipsed the sunlight. She held her breath as it passed by, hoping that it would go away.

But that was hollow wish, as they somehow found her no matter where she went. It stopped mid-step and bought its massive arm around in an arc towards the tree. #10142 narrowly avoided being crushed.

She ran, the voices of the other Sisters in her head through the use of the network, attempting to guide her remotely through the use of satellite images of the area and identify the creatures that decimated the facility. Last Order, the administrator of the network, had streamlined the processing power to transmit them as effectively as she could.

As she ran, she recalled the last memories she had before the attack.

***

“Is it ready yet, Misaka asks while metaphorically trembling with excitement.”

“Now, now,” the female scientist said while patting her on the head. “The M.E.S.D.O may be finished but we still need a test run, Eight. Be a little more patient, it’s not like someone else can take it. It was made for you and your sisters after all.”

“Okay, Misaka says with a slightly disappointed tone.”

“Hehe,” the scientist laughs as she entered calculations into the computer. In the tank next to it was a sphere made of a pattern of numerous hexagons. “So, you met your big sister today?”

“Yes. Nee-san was making a move on ‘that person’, so Misaka interfered and confronted her, says Misaka with confidence. ”

“Honestly, you girls are all love struck over that boy. Didn’t you and #10032 get into a heated debate about it over the network? It dragged in so many of the Sisters, the administrator had to interfere and stop it.”

“This Misaka gloated over the network to #10032 earlier today.  Hehehe, Misaka laughs at having the upper hand.”

“Eight, hon,” an older man came through the door, “you be nice to your sisters. You’re all one big family. Don’t let a boy come between you.”

The scientists and guards working in the facility were good people. They were all native to the island, and taken back when they were first ordered to take in the clone for readjustments. They were told to treat her no differently that they would a lab rat, but such cold actions were beyond them.

They welcomed her like a daughter.

Time passed, and #10142 became familiar with the island and the people, becoming a regular known as “Eight”. And then WWIII occurred, and the facility was attacked many times by an unknown group of people using strange weapons, forcing them to relocate the facility near the jungle and arm themselves. #10142 took command of the weapons training, as all the Sisters had been given the experience for the Level 6 project. But things settled back down after the war ended.

Until the attack.

The alarms went off and the security measures befitting Academy City activated. None of them stopped the Pokakus from invading. The guards armed themselves with weapons, powered armors, and security droids, heading out to the front, leaving #10142 to defend the Perpetual Energy core. One by one, her friends at the facility began to die. When the defensive line fell, the two scientists called for her.

“The ETA until they penetrate the final defenses is two minutes. The Misaka network is in communication with Academy City. Reinforcements were launched, but something shot them down and it will be a few hours before anyone else can arrive. Please run with the core, Misaka says in a panic.”

“We won’t make it,” the older man told her as he shook his head. “They destroyed the vehicles with that last attack—if the two of us try to run, they’ll catch up to us. Besides, the self-destruction mechanisms for the important equipment and data require both of our codes to be entered at the same time.”

“T-Then Misaka will stay here and cover you both, Misaka says as she prepares for her final stand.”

The woman shook her head and then handed her a pouch made of a super lightweight, but nearly indestructible material. “No Eight, your last order—No, your last request from us is to take the core and escape. With your training, you’ll be the most likely to get away.”

“B-But Misaka wants to stay with you, Misaka says as she begins to cry.”

The woman hugged her tightly. “You’re like a daughter to all of us, and no parent wants to see their child die in front of them. We finished the M.E.S.D.O and placed it inside the pouch—it has about a day’s cool down time after each use, and has a few flaws, but it’s functional—use it as a last resort. Now go.”

The final alarms went off and the two forced her out the emergency exit.

They died shortly after ensuring that the data and equipment were unusable to the invaders.

***

Ke-Keep running says Misaka as Misaka tries to think of what to do, the tiny administrator of the network ordered. The core couldn’t be allowed to fall into the unknown enemies’ hand, so running was the logical conclusion. The Sisters as a whole were thought to not have any emotions, so following the scientists’ logical choice was to be expected and carried out without question.

But that wasn’t true.

Though they were buried deep down, each of the Sisters were living, and slowly gaining the emotions that they were denied to develop at birth. Yet, the sorrow at the loss of her family, and the rage at their deaths drove her to release angry tears that fell down her face. Logic would not bring peace—nor would it bring back the lives lost at the facility.

Ignoring the cries from the administrator to keep running, she stopped and turned around. The army of Kapua that stood before her, the wall of destruction incarnate and countless reapers, the puppets that claimed those #10142 held dear, were the only ones she could unleash her new found rage.

Don’t stop, Misaka screams as— Last Order’s command was cut off by the voices of the rest of the Sisters on the network screaming from the unfamiliar rage spreading throughout it. Misaka Worst was overtaken by it and destroyed the electrical equipment—and living room in general—in Yomikawa’s home with a burst of purple electricity.

From her pouch, #10142 pulled out the black sphere made of countless hexagons and tossed in the air. She held a closed fist parallel to her face, discharging electrical streamers from it to the sphere. The gaps between the individual hexagons were illuminated blue, as it floated above her fist while being electrically charged.

Hidden within the countless roars, she muttered a command. “M.E.S.D.O. Activation: Confirmed. Pattern: Alpha. Charging: C-Complete. Network Calculation: C-Comp-ple-ted.”

She launched it as if she was punching the orb forward. It left a blue trail in the air as it flew towards the army. Halfway across, the orb split apart, and the black hexagons moved into a dome formation, hovering in the air, with the Kapua centered as the targets. The latent electricity stored inside was released.

The sound of hundreds of thousands of bolts of lightning became a single roar of thunder that shook the entire island nation.

And the network connection with #10142 was severed.

***

The dome of lightning was like a giant bomb that set off every switch in Mikoto’s body. She could detect the origin of the source in the distance—the location of #10142. She had to travel fast, in order to get to her. Lessar, who seemed to have understood at a glance, handed her an ugly stole and pulled out a second one. They were both covered in runes and had various bird feathers attached.

“These represent the feather cloaks used by Odin and Freya,” Lessar lectured her. “The gods would literally change into birds, but these were made to be used in junction with my wind spells. Put it on, and you’ll be carried by the wind like a feather.”

Mikoto did as she was told. She had no time to waste, and as ridiculous as it sounded, she’d seen enough magic in the last day to believe anything. Lessar closed her eyes and summoned her magical energy before chanting, “Vindr, vér frétta þú bera Aser!”Wind, we ask you to carry us!

Mikoto looked at her in curiosity, as a light breeze began to blow. “It’s Old Norse,” Lessar told her. “I use modern sentence structure rather than traditional, but I just asked for the wind to carry us.”

The light breeze became a fierce gale that lifted them off the ground, in the air it slowed down to a weak air current that constantly blew. As they were floating just over the treetops, Lessar was motioning the wind, keeping them airborne, with her fingers and her concentration.

“Can’t we go any higher or faster?” Mikoto asked Lessar, her concern for her sister clouding her judgment.

“This spell wasn’t designed for high altitude or speed—I’m not Floris you know—and your electrical field is interfering with the spell somehow. If Lancis were here, I’d risk it since she can sense danger, but if we fly higher and get attacked, we won’t end up with just broken limbs.”

Lessar noticed a shift in the atmosphere and swore. “Uskit’r!” The winds howled and became a storm that overtook Lessar and Mikoto. “This has to be Pel’s work!” Lessar screamed over the wind. “We have to—”

Whatever she was about to say was cut off when a bolt of lightning struck them both from the sky. Mikoto was immune to the strike, but Lessar wasn’t. She had a defensive charm in place, but she still lost consciousness, and with it went the spell she was using to stay airborne.

They fell from the sky like broken birds and split apart.

***

Mikoto really had to thank both Lessar and the devil’s luck.

She had the fortune of landing at the base of a small waterfall, after plowing through several branches of trees, which should have probably killed her, if it weren’t for the stole’s defensive charms. It was torn to pieces now, and she sustained a few broken ribs judging from the pain. Blood was also seeping through her clothes, but at least Mikoto was still in one piece.

That luck ended when seven seashells fell from the sky and into the water. Shadows began growing around Mikoto. The ground shook and water splashed when seven giant Pupua Kapua emerged, made of wet dirt, with a giant shell breastplate.

Mikoto let lightning fly and it penetrated the sandy creation…only for it to reform. It felt like the world was spinning, but she pulled out her coin dispenser, set on ending the battle quickly before she passed out.

She had to find Lessar and her sister.

***

Lessar had regained consciousness mid-fall and turned herself upright, landing unharmed on a branch with the help of her dragon tail. Her stole was also in tatters, making it unusable. She discarded it and went groundside, where she would be safe from attacks from above.

As soon as she landed the wind blew and several speeding blurs entered her peripheral vision. She ducked and narrowly avoided being skewered by…leaves? The wind swirled, and surrounding her were a dozen Lau Kapua—golem made from leaves—that looked positively murderous.

Lessar sighed. “That kerling beiskaldi, she destroyed my feather cloaks and now she’s attacking me with leaf golems in a forest. I guess she has a grudge against me,” she said as she reached in the New Light bag and pulled out her Steel Glove. “Wind spells won’t be much use on you guys—offensively anyway.”

The Kapua circled around her and raised their arms. A gale blew, and the leaves from the trees and the ground around her levitated, forming a dome. The dome was made of leaves that could be fired from any direction, at any time. She was trapped.

As the leaves flew like bullets, Lessar held her Steel Glove—using it to grab the air itself like a flag—and performed a dance with it. As a dozen came from above, she swung the makeshift flag vertically, the wind deflecting them. As five came from the right, she twirled and avoided them, simultaneously swing the Steel Glove to knock down more coming from a different angle. The numbers continued to increase to unbelievable digits, with Lessar moving faster and faster, becoming a bewitching flag dancer, until she gathered enough air with each swing.

She slammed the Steel Glove into the ground and chanted, “Vindr Lind!”Wind Shield!

A dome of air expanded outward and knocked away the leaves temporarily. Next, she kissed her right index finger, and it glowed with magical energy. “Brenna Unnr!”Burning Wave! Lessar yelled, as she wrote the rune of Kauno in the air—risting would be the proper term—numerous times as a bind rune, and wild, roaring flames bellowed from them. The runes of flame summoned them, as she supplied her magical energy to fuel the flames. The flames rolled over all, save for Lessar, and swallowed the forest surrounding her.

It was safe to say that there were no more Kapua around her.

She was exhausted from the effort and dance, but she resolved to find Mikoto before she rested.

***

The beautiful waterfall was now a smoldering slag. With the true power of the Level 5 unleashed, the massive heat generated from her attacks left nothing alive. However, she was in pain from her previous injuries and her vision was tunneling. As she stumbled to the ground, she saw a ghostly child walking closer to her.

Once the child was close to the electromaster, she reached her hand out and touched her on the forehead.

The world became black after that.

***

Lessar found Mikoto and #10142 underneath a tree, both with signs of being injured and then treated through magic. Not just emergency aid to keep them alive, but no visible injuries at all. A twig snapped and she looked to her right, only to see the ghostly child hiding behind a tree, her face exposed slightly.

That’s not a human, Lessar thought. The calm serenity, yet overwhelming nature of power that it possessed was not of the mortal realm.

“You’re a Kahuna Kapua,” Lessar stated her guess. “You healed them? Are you one from Koleamoku?”

The child disappeared, turning into flowers and collapsing into a pile on the ground, after giving her a slight nod.

“I think even the Gods have limits when it comes to GREMLIN.”

Lessar sat next to the two and drifted to sleep, after setting up a ward to shroud them. She was tired as well.

***

“What the hell is wrong with you two brats?” an esper using a futuristic cane asked the crying Last Order and breathless Worst. “Why the hell are you two upset!?”

“A facility in Hawaii was attacked,” Misaka Worst, who was now leaning against the door frame, answered. “#10142 was there.”

Minutes after Misaka Worst explained the situation from what she could pick up off the network, she asked him, “Misaka wants to know, what are you going to do?”

After looking at the crying Last Order and exhausted Worst, he stepped outside.

And he flipped the switch on his collar.

 

 

Notes:

  • The reason they call #10142, Eight is because when you add those numbers up, that’s what you get.
  • M.E.S.D.O (Mass Electrical Sisters Discharge Orb) is Eight’s new weapon. For those TYPE-Moon fans, you will notice the charging method is similar to Fragarach. Instead of a gray orb, it’s a sphere made of numerous black hexagons with a core at the center that becomes connecting point of electricity linking all the pieces together and evenly charging them. Depending on the command she issues, the pattern changes on discharge. It releases far more electricity than a single Sister could, due to something special inside. It also has an effect on the Sisters network and electronics due to a flaw, hence the severing at the end, which causes Eight to “shut down” temporarily.
  • Old Norse isn’t my strong point, but those words should match, with Aser being the word “us” derived from the name of the Norse gods. As for the swear words, one is “D**n” and the other is “Old Hag B***ch”. Lessar has a potty mouth towards Pel since her spiritual items were destroyed by her. She’ll probably snap if her Steel Gove is destroyed.
  • I wasn’t really planning to have Accelerator in this fanfic as more than a cameo, but then I thought about it. He promised to protect the Sisters and there’s no way that he wouldn’t find out about the attack when a Sister was connected to the network with Last Order and Misaka Worst there.
  • Lau = leaf, Pokaku = stone, and Pupua = shell.
  • Kahuna means caretaker in some translations I found, but in others they were healers, wizards, and magicians. Koleamoku is patron to all Kahuna, the God of the Art of Healing, so his demigod would specialize in it.
  • New Light as a group is on the island, but Lessar is the only one involved in this, as they normally only help for the good of the U.K. and they are on vacation. For now.

 
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