Post by CosmicNoirTear on Sept 23, 2016 15:52:07 GMT
"That was too easy, Level 5."
Brief background. Hamazura is a Level 0 Esper, which basically means he has no powers while still meeting all the requirements to be classified as an Esper. He was also a thug, car thief, and for a time, a former leader of the gang of Level 0s known as Skill-Out after the former lead died in a confrontation with Accelerator. Under a deal by Academy City that involved assassinating Misaka Misuzu, their attempts were stopped by a joint effort of Touma and Accelerator with Hamazura himself being defeated in a brawl by Touma after getting some sense knocked into him.
He actually made a brief appearance in the anime as a seemingly one-shot bad guy since the anime has yet to cover later events of him such as joining ITEM afterwards that would lead to establishing Hamazura as the third hero of the story after Kamijou Touma and Accelerator.
Initially had the advantage against Touma in their fight in his attempt to recapture Misaka Misuzu. Also pointed out he and every member of Skill-Out works out like an athlete to deal with Espers. Can also take a hard hit or two from Touma hard enough to knock out his teeth.
He was one beat slow because of that and heard something slicing through the air. It sounded like a tennis racket being swung and it was, of course, the sound of the baton.
He immediately lifted up his left arm to protect his face.
The blow was aimed for his temple and it hit the bottom of his wrist with a dull noise.
A disconcerting groaning vibration went through his bones.
As Kamijou‘s face twisted in pain, Hamazura jabbed his knee into Kamijou‘s gut.
A loud noise like a drum being hit could be heard.
Air escaped Kamijou‘s mouth.
The shock caused the objects stuck into his belt to fall to the ground. These objects were the stun gun, the baton, etc. that he had taken from the Skill Out members he had defeated.
(Damn it. Imagine Breaker is no help against a Level 0!!)
Kamijou gritted his teeth and quickly leaned over to pick the stun gun up from the damp ground. But…
"Did you really think I‘d let you do that?"
Hamazura stomped full force on Kamijou‘s hand as he grabbed the weapon.
There wasn‘t enough time to just sit there feeling the dull pain.
"I know better than anyone how to use this kind of thing!!"
An unpleasant noise rang out.
While standing on Kamijou‘s hand, Hamazura had used his other leg to kick Kamijou in the jaw.
Kamijou‘s consciousness wavered.
At the very least, he hadn‘t bitten his tongue.
Kamijou‘s body arced backwards and he fell to the ground on his back. Misuzu gave a small scream, but no one was paying any attention to her. Kamijou grabbed some dirt from the ground and threw it at Hamazura‘s face.
Hamazura protected his face with one hand so he wasn‘t blinded, but he still flinched and took a step back.
Kamijou quickly got up to a half-risen posture and tackled Hamazura square in the gut. A loud noise like a door being smashed in came from somewhere near Kamijou‘s shoulder.
Hamazura‘s legs slid along the ground.
Even so, he did not fall backwards.
"Sorry, but I‘m a Level 0," came a whispering voice next to Kamijou‘s ear.
Hamazura spoke at point-blank range while Kamijou almost looked like he was embracing him.
"To deal with espers in the back alleys, you need to build up a strong body. It‘s fucking stupid really. We do the same thing as athletes, but no one praises us for it!!"
As he spoke, he slammed the bottom of his baton into Kamijou‘s neck.
A sharp pain unlike any in the fight so far ran along Kamijou‘s back bone.
He groaned and Hamazura brought the baton down 2 or 3 more times. Kamijou was swaying and about to fall when Hamazura grabbed his collar with his free hand.
He laughed at point-blank range.
"I see, I see. If you aren‘t with them, then the deal with them is still good. So if I take the target over there‘s dead body to them, they might still shelter us. Ha ha ha!!"
However, those words might have been a mistake.
A definite power could be seen in the light in Kamijou‘s eyes.
"Try saying that again, dammit!!" Kamijou yelled from his bottom of his gut and aimed for the area between Hamazura‘s chin and lower lip with his forehead. With a sound like a flower pot that had been dropped from somewhere high up, Hamazura‘s neck bent backwards.
Kamijou then slammed his clenched fist into the top of Hamazura‘s nose.
Hamazura‘s body arced backwards and fell to the ground.
Hamazura rolled on the ground holding his nose and Kamijou tried to kick him. But the damage he had taken must have affected him more than he had thought, because his footing faltered.
"Shit…You have a sloppy way of fighting."
Hamazura had managed to stand back up.
The previous head butt must have knocked one of his front teeth crooked, because his lips were stained red.
After getting his car totaled by a construction crane being operated by one of the Espers working under Kakine, Hamazura's fast thinking allows both him and his group to narrowly avoid getting crushed by the incoming wrecking ball.
“See?” Hamazura arbitrarily added on. “With an excellent navigator like that, they won’t get away. The bigger question is what you’re going to do once we stop that station wa-…”
Hamazura’s words were cut off.
This was due to a giant mobile crane flying out from a side street.
He didn’t have time to turn the wheel.
The monstrous mobile crane slammed into the center of the 4-door car Hamazura and the others were driving in. A terrible crushing noise rang in his brain. In response to the sensors, the airbag deployed from the steering wheel, but it wasn’t much use as they had been hit from the side.
Hamazura had been driving the car straight forward, but it was now moving to the side as if it was being pushed by the mobile crane.
They broke right through the guardrail, ran onto the sidewalk, and hit the wall of a building.
The 4-door car was completely immobilized between the yellow mobile crane and the concrete.
Whoever did this didn’t seem to care about causing a disturbance or damaging the area.
It seemed they were intending to kill Hamazura and the others.
“Damn it… That was School. They really want that station wagon to get away. They’re trying to slow us down!!” Mugino snarled.
The mobile crane backed up about 10 meters. A girl of about 14 was sitting in the driver’s seat that was surrounded by safety glass. She was short and slender and was wearing a short dress with an open back. It was the kind of dress one would expect the women at a hostess club to wear.
Hamazura thought she was planning on running into them again, but he was wrong.
The girl operated a lever and the crane arm extended. It did not have a metal hook for picking things up on the end.
It had a giant metal ball a few meters across that was used for destroying buildings.
“Shit!!” Mugino yelled and opened the back door, but the car’s frame had been warped too much for the door to open.
Hamazura pulled a lever to fold down the passenger seat.
“We can get out through the windshield!! Hurry!!”
He smashed the cracked windshield and jumped out onto the hood of the car. Mugino and Takitsubo climbed over the passenger seat to get into the front seat.
That was when the wrecking ball came swinging like a pendulum.
The giant mass of metal came roaring towards them. Mugino escaped through the windshield onto the hood first and Hamazura hurriedly grabbed Takitsubo’s hand and pulled her out, but the wrecking ball slammed into the side of the car.
There was a loud crash.
The shock threw the three of them down from the hood onto the ground. Hamazura tried to raise his head, but Mugino grabbed the back of his head. He was pushed to the ground and a second later the car was enveloped in fire as it exploded. It was amazing they all survived.
Splits up from Mugino and the others and gets singled-out by the Esper girl operating said crane. Once more, his fast thinking allows an ordinary human like him to survive a confrontation with a high Level Esper.
Hamazura continued to run away, started climbing up the metal emergency staircase on the side of one the buildings, and entered the building on an arbitrary floor.
The building seemed to be a student dorm.
He ran through a straight hallway and heard a door open behind him.
(She caught up to me…!?)
He turned around by reflex.
Sure enough, the short girl had entered through the same door he had. The girl in the showy dress held a ladies’ handgun in her hand. Basically, that meant it had a small grip.
Hamazura smacked his palm against the wall.
He had pressed a nearby button and a steel shutter fell down like a guillotine. The shutter’s purpose was to protect against out-of-control psychic powers. The girl’s eyes widened slightly and she fired her gun at Hamazura.
Bang bang! Two gunshots rang out.
Hamazura instinctively shut his eyes, but, when he opened them, there were no holes in the steel shutter. Looking at the monitor next to the button on the wall, he saw the girl click her tongue and look down at her own gun. Apparently, she didn’t have the firepower to destroy the shutter.
(…So she can’t get through to me no matter what she does.)
Relief ran through his body.
He made the world’s stupidest expression, raised his hands, and shook his ass back and forth while yelling “Ee hee hee hee hee!!”.
The girl in the dress saw this on the monitor on her side of the shutter, put her handgun back on her thigh, and reached around to her back.
What she pulled out from the back of her waist was a handgun with a barrel about as thick as a can of coffee.
It was a small 40mm grenade launcher.
“O-oh, fuck. That’ll kill me for sure, won’t it!?”
Hamazura hurriedly ran back along the hallway, but the girl mercilessly pulled the grenade launcher’s trigger. The shutter exploded and blew off in Hamazura’s direction. He was hit by a blast of fragments and flew more than 5 meters down the hallway before landing.
He somehow managed to get back up and ran wobbling down the hallway balancing himself with a hand on the wall. Ahead of him was a terrace, so it was basically a dead end.
It seemed there was no stairway or elevator on that end of the hallway.
There was a 3-story drop on the other end of the railing.
However, behind him was the unknown girl from School.
He didn’t have to think twice about that decision.
(I’m definitely going for the 3-story dive!! Taking a leap of will-power and guts is 100 times better than facing someone as strong as her! The weak have our own weak way of living!!)
“Ha ha!! Being a loser is the beeeeessssttt!!”
Hamazura laughed loudly while running, stepped up on the railing, and jumped off of the third floor.
He didn’t even look down before jumping.
With a pursuer, he hadn’t had time to check what was below and he thought he might be too afraid to jump if he actually saw what was down there.
But a 3-story drop was nothing to laugh at.
(Shit. I hope there’s something to cushion my fall down there!!)
Hamazura looked down at the ground for the first time while in midair and saw a young mother happily pushing a baby carriage.
As he flew through the blue sky, Hamazura Shiage’s brain yelled “no” as loudly as it could.
He was swinging his arms and legs around trying to get some distance between him and the carriage by air walking. Whether that had any effect or not, his large body landed about 15 cm to the side of the baby carriage.
A sharp pain ran from his heels to his ankles.
The young mother put her hand to her mouth in a refined expression of shock and the baby’s eyes opened so wide it forgot to cry.
“U-um…Who are you?” said the young mother.
“I’m the kind of hero that falls from the sky. It’s dangerous here, so get out of here, miss.”
Hamazura gave a refreshing smile as he spoke and ran down a nearby alley.
Things go from bad to worse later in the story and to protect his now girlfriend, Hamazura confronts his former boss Mugino, whose now completely unhinged and already made a horrifying example out of their teammate Frenda.
“Please… I don’t want her to die. I could never make up my mind, but I finally know that that’s what I want to do. So please go. I can’t protect her alone. Without your help, I’ll lose everything here!!”
“Do you really think you can do anything on your own!? She’s a Level 5. She’s the terrible monster who’s ranked 4th in Academy City! I’ll buy you some time, so please take Takitsubo and get out of here!!”
He yelled to the point that he thought his throat would be torn to pieces. Yomikawa had her breath taken away at how desperate he was. She hesitated, but she finally nodded as if the light in Hamazura’s eyes was compelling her.
“Once I get that girl to a safe place, I’ll come back with a fully armed Anti-Skill team. So don’t die until I’m back.”
“…Sure,” Hamazura responded.
Yomikawa shook off her hesitation, got in the driver’s seat, and stepped on the gas. Her sports car drove off at high speed with Takitsubo on board.
Hamazura heard a whistle.
He turned to look and saw Level 5 Mugino Shizuri approaching as she crossed the small bridge.
“A battle with your life on the line. A numbing feeling, isn’t it, Hamazura?”
“I…” he started to say.
As she approached, Mugino casually swung her hand to the side. It hit Hamazura and he flew to the side and the metal guardrail sunk into his gut with a dull noise. The great shock gave him the urge to vomit. It felt like strength was going to leave his arms and legs and he lay sprawled over the railing like a futon hung out to dry. He could see the railroad running below the bridge.
“Quiet. I didn’t ask your opinion.”
Ignoring Hamazura’s groans, Mugino made it completely across the bridge.
That hadn’t been her Level 5 power. It was just the strength of her arm. She had purposefully used her physical strength so that it wasn’t something that could be explained as being the difference between a Level 5 and a Level 0.
Mugino still hadn’t given up. Even if it destroyed Takitsubo, she was going to find out where School was.
“Ha ha,” laughed Hamazura as he lay sprawled out on the railing. “Should you really be finishing me off right now?”
Mugino looked over at him with just her eyes in an irritated way.
Then her eyes widened.
In Hamazura Shiage’s hand was the case of Body Crystal that Takitsubo Rikou used.
“She needs this to use AIM Stalker, right?”
“You bastard, that’s…!!”
As obvious rage entered Mugino’s eyes, Hamazura jumped over the metal railing and off of the bridge.
A train was passing by underneath at that exact moment.
Hamazura’s body struck the roof of the train. He had imagined the roof as being flat, but it actually had quite a few ups and downs from the air conditioners installed on it. His body rolled around when he landed, his skin was torn like it was being scraped off with a file, and he almost fell off because he couldn’t rid his body of momentum. Even so, he finally managed to brace himself and stop.
Sprawled out on top of the train, Hamazura smiled.
(I managed to get through it. Without this Body Crystal, Takitsubo can’t use her power. She doesn’t have to be forced to fight now. As long as I can keep this from Mugino…)
That was when the train suddenly stopped.
Hamazura’s body slid across the roof. He managed to stop himself and then looked around in surprise. He saw Mugino standing a good way back on the track. She must have jumped from the bridge just as he had. Her hand was stuck deep in the ground. The power cables for Academy City railroads ran through the ground. Mugino had used her power to sever the power cable in order to stop the train.
From a few hundred meters away, Mugino Shizuri said something.
Hamazura couldn’t hear her voice, but he understood it from the movements of her mouth.
I – am – going – to – fucking – kill – you.
Though she's playing around and mostly going after any potential cover Hamazura to keep him running, Hamazura does survive an onslaught of Mugino's Meltdowner.
In an area with lots of cover, Hamazura Shiage had a slight chance of victory.
With that one word, Hamazura’s body was covered in a sense of danger.
He ignored his theory and got down on the ground and at the same time “that” came.
A rain of beams flew by.
With the woman known as Mugino Shizuri at the center, lines of bright, unhealthy-looking light shot out in all directions. They weren’t special electron beams shot out with the force of a lightning strike. Just like light, electrons have the properties of both particles and waves, but Mugino had the power to forcibly control electrons that remained in that “ambiguous” state.
When electrons that were fixed in that ambiguous state struck an object, they couldn’t decide whether to react as a particle or as a wave, so they would “stop” there. Normally, electrons had a mass that was incredibly close to zero, but that “stopping” created a false wall that caused a dreadful amount of destructive force to be strike the target at the speed with which it hit that wall.
That was Meltdowner.
The technical classification was Particle Waveform High-Speed Cannon.
Unlike the #3 Railgun, she was a Level 5 who manipulated electrons without using waves or particles.
Each one of the beams tore through the metal like it was paper, melted the thick walls, and tinted everything orange. The heat must have reached the refined alcohol, because small explosions occurred all over the place. Hamazura had somehow managed to avoid being directly hit, but a metal fragment the size of a guitar pick was stuck in his left shoulder. And it wasn’t just that one. There were 4 or 5 of them stuck there.
Holding his bloody shoulder, Hamazura unintentionally yelled out.
Since the areas for cover were in her way, Mugino was just going to destroy them all. Once she had leveled everything to rubble, Hamazura would have to face Mugino in a hopeless situation.
“The machinery here is like that thing in the goldfish scooping games at festivals. Umm…I forget what it’s called. Anyway, it won’t cut it as cover against my Meltdowner.” Number 4 in Academy City.
The group of machinery that had been covering the floor just a bit before had been reduced to rubble in just one attack. Every kind of cover had been crushed and even the outer wall had been greatly damaged. Mugino stood in the center of the destruction that could easily bring the entire building down as a smile slowly, slowly spread across her face.
“Those fucking scientists said that my survival instinct keeps me from putting out any more force than that, but apparently it was originally enough to kill Railgun instantly. Well, I can’t complain too much, since they say that the recoil would blow my body to pieces if I actually did it.”
Fear spread through Hamazura Shiage’s body.
The Level 5 monster quietly approached him.
After a long, sadistic game of cat and mouse, a decisive opportunity arrives that allows Hamazura to defeat Mugino.
A white beam so bright it made him think it was a nuclear explosion blew straight through the mountain of metal
Hamazura was hiding behind. He was knocked back by the gust of wind created and he sensed a presence standing right behind him.
Before he could turn around, he sensed something odd about his right ear.
Mugino Shizuri had stuck a screwdriver in his ear.
“It seems you’ve got a screw that’s just a liiiitle loose in your head.”
The tip of the screwdriver slowly moved further into his ear.
“Want me to tighten it for you?”
He couldn’t move. If he moved his head even slightly, the inside of his ear would be damaged and bloody. While holding the screwdriver in place, Mugino put her empty left hand in front of Hamazura palm up. She was telling him to hand over the Body Crystal.
Hamazura put his hand in his pocket.
The clear case of Body Crystal was there.
(God damn it…)
Gritting his teeth and closing his eyes, Hamazura Shiage prepared himself.
He ignored the screwdriver and forcefully spun around.
Hamazura ignored the screwdriver in his ear and forcefully spun around.
Unsurprisingly, Mugino seemed a bit shocked.
The screwdriver carved into the inside of his ear. An extremely intense pain exploded in his head and the sound from his right ear became muffled as if he had an earplug in it. On top of that, half of his vision became slightly tinged red for some reason.
Ignoring it all, Hamazura pulled the case of Body Crystal from his pocket.
It was a small rectangular case much like a mechanical pencil lead case.
Gripping it tightly, he used the corner of the case to cut at Mugino’s nearby face.
Mugino’s right eye was crushed at once much like a pirate captain’s.
She held her red, wet face with both hands and tottered backwards.
Seeing that, Hamazura gave a silent smile.
“A Level 0 ear for a Level 5 eye, huh? …That’s a pretty good deal, dontcha think?”
With those words, Mugino’s face was dyed with rage.
A bright flash swelled up.
Mugino Shizuri’s left arm was blown away from the wrist to the elbow as if it had melted. The bright light it caused was aimed for Hamazura Shiage’s face. She shot Meltdowner ignoring any kind of detailed aiming.
Hamazura swung his head to the side right before it hit.
It was only pure chance that he had managed to avoid that overwhelming attack.
Mugino stretched out her bloody right arm, shoved down Hamazura who had already lost his balance, and climbed on top of him. The Body Crystal case slipped from Hamazura’s hand and clattered as it slid across the ground, but Mugino wasn’t paying any attention to it anymore.
She stared at Hamazura’s face with her remaining left eye and yelled in a voice filled with rage.
“That has nothing to do with this!! That has nothing to fucking do with thiiiiiisssss!! An ear!? An eye!? You can tear off my arms and legs and crush my organs, but you can’t change the difference between our strengths! I’m a Level 5! I’m #4! I’m Meltdowner! Don’t get so pleased with yourself, you motherfucker! I can kill a Level 0 like you 100 times without moving a fingeeeerrrrr!!”
Foam sprayed from her mouth and Mugino grabbed Hamazura by the neck with her right hand. If she activated her power now, Hamazura’s head would certainly be annihilated.
Hamazura Shiage smiled as his neck was being held like a drink can.
He relaxed as if he had given up on something.
“…Y’know, I’m not an idiot. I knew it would end up like this.” Hamazura said while listening to Mugino’s erratic breathing. “You’re the kind of person that can’t stand it when you can’t complete a video game without 100% accuracy. If you fuck up even slightly, you fly into a rage and won’t accept it even if you complete the game.”
“When someone like that fucks up even slightly, they find another goal in order to write it off. When you aren’t able to get 100% accuracy, you instead go for a high score and are satisfied with that. …There was no reason to get so obsessed with a Level 0 like me. You could have used the Level 5 power you’re so proud of to pick me off at a distance.”
“In other words,” Hamazura smiled as he spoke, “that ridiculous obsession with victory left a decisive opening for me.”
A metallic noise rang out.
It was the sound of the ladies handgun flying out of Hamazura Shiage’s sleeve as he stretched out his arm.
Before Mugino could say anything, Hamazura pulled the trigger.
Bang bang bang!! With that dry sound, multiple holes opened up in her upper body. Hamazura continued pulling the trigger until he was out of bullets and even continued moving his index finger for a bit once the clip was empty.
Mugino looked down at her bloody body in shock.
Before long, she wobbled to the side, collapsed, and stopped moving.
“That was too easy, Level 5,” said Hamazura while got up as if he were dragging his battered body.
He picked up the case of Body Crystal that had fallen to the floor and put it back in his pocket.
If Hamazura Shiage had initially pulled out the handgun, he wouldn’t have won. She would have used her power to easily defend against it. That was why it had been necessary for him to wait until the very last second to do so. He hadn’t even taken out the gun when she stuck the screwdriver in his ear because he was getting her to lower her guard by making her think he didn’t have any proper weapons.
Previously, the leader of Skill-Out, Komaba Ritoku, had gotten a step away from taking the life of Academy City’s strongest Level 5 by sealing his power. Hamazura had done the same thing.
He stuck his pinky finger into his injured right ear.
His ear drum didn’t seem to be damaged. He pulled out a clump of blood plugging the ear and his hearing improved a little.
“…Damn, that really was a good deal,” he said in shock and started to leave.
A shock ran down Hamazura’s back when he heard that voice ring out from the depths of hell. He slowly turned around and…
The woman with dark red holes all over her body, her left arm up to her left elbow gone, and her right eye crushed forcefully stood up. An overly unhealthy-looking white light was gathering around her right hand. She was most likely looping the particle waveform high-speed cannon in her hand. One hit by that attack would definitely blow Hamazura away.
There were no bullets left in the ladies handgun in his right hand.
That was why Hamazura didn’t rely on the gun.
Throwing away the gun, he unhesitatingly ran towards Mugino. Their arms crossed.
If he had hesitated even slightly, it would have created an opening.
If there had been the slightest opening, death would have come through it.
But Hamazura Shiage was resolute. He merely forcefully came in, clenched his fist like stone, focused on the face of the enemy he needed to defeat, and attacked with his strongest strike.
A tremendous noise rang out.
Strength left Mugino Shizuri’s body and she collapsed to the ground. The ominous white light in her hand disappeared into the air as if it had dissolved. There was no more sense of danger.
Hamazura picked up the ladies handgun he had thrown aside and looked down at Mugino as he pulled his phone from his pocket. He called Yomikawa’s number. He had it because she had given it to him saying something about giving him guidance if he ever needed someone to talk with.
“It’s Hamazura. The Anti-Skill backup isn’t needed anymore.”
He walked through the destroyed floor and towards the exit as he spoke.
Hamazura wasn‘t quite sure what to say as the helicopter continued on. The private salon building was only 3 roads away from the hotel. They would be there in no time.
The building was just as luxurious as the hotel had been.
He could see a few figures on the lit up heliport. They were not customers wanting to be rescued. They had submachine guns in their hands.
Tension grabbed at Hamazura‘s heart, but they did not shoot at the helicopter flying above them.
Hamazura looked confused.
"What‘s going on?"
"…I don‘t know who they‘ve contacted, but I bet one of their demands was to be given a means of escape. They may have mistaken our helicopter for the one they requested."
"The female pilot circled around the private salon building."
"But that doesn‘t change the fact that they‘re on their guard. We can‘t exactly land at the heliport if you don‘t want this helicopter to be taken by the terrorists."
"I know, and I don‘t intend to cause that much trouble for you." Hamazura looked down at the heliport below and pointed at a certain spot. "What‘s that?"
"…An imitation tree. To put it simply, a number of layers of white cloth like a yacht‘s sail are formed into the shape of a tree and various colors of lights are put on as decorations. If a normal tree were there, the branches broken off by the wind would create issues when landing or taking off."
Hamazura thought for a bit.
Then he unhesitatingly opened the helicopter‘s door.
"Thanks for the info."
That caught even the female pilot by surprise.
Hamazura Shiage then jumped out into the night sky.
They were around 20 meters above the heliport. Gravity slammed Hamazura into the tree made of cloth. The yacht sail-like decoration snapped, but it absorbed enough of the shock for Hamazura to avoid receiving a fatal injury when he landed on the heliport.
At first, the three terrorists armed with submachine guns and grenade launchers merely stared on in shock. After all, some strange guy had jumped down out of the helicopter they thought had come in accordance with their demands.
And Hamazura did not wait for them to retain their composure.
He mercilessly pointed his handgun forward and repeatedly pulled the trigger.
Multiple gunshots rang out and the terrorists were taken out before they could manage to fire back.
Hamazura waved once at the helicopter circling around above signaling for it to leave the area. Then he moved his gaze to the door leading inside the building.
His lips moved slightly.
"…I‘ve come here to the depths of hell, partner."
Manages to avoid pursuers while looking after Takistubo long enough for unexpected help to arrive.
The footsteps drew closer and the number grew. He couldn‘t do anything. He could tell a great number of gun barrels were aimed towards them. He only had a small handgun. In the current situation, they would be turned to Swiss cheese if he tried to pull it out.
It was a completely hopeless situation.
No miracle would occur.
And then countless beams of light shot by.
They blew the unknown pursuers away and removed the threat approaching the two of them.
He had no idea what had just happened.
He just thought it must have been some kind of esper power. The dozen or so pursuers who had been approaching had been torn to pieces. Their guts had been spread about and fresh blood dyed that area of the passageway red. He didn‘t know who had done it, but someone had actually saved them. Hamazura simply sat there blankly while still embracing Takitsubo Rikou.
"Heh heh heh…" As the situation slowly crept into Hamazura‘s head, a sense of relief finally filled his brain. "We made it. I don‘t know who helped us, but we managed to survive!!"
With that one word, an intense chill ran across Hamazura‘s entire body.
He recognized that way of calling his name. And once he recalled that, the power that had just flown by clicked into place as well. It was Meltdowner. It was a type of power that manipulated electrons. It didn‘t manipulate the waves or the particles. It manipulated and fired the electrons themselves. That power was recorded as belonging to the #4 Level 5. Its user had…had…had once been defeated by Hamazura Shiage.
The user was approaching.
This was not a hero that had come to save Hamazura.
Characteristic footsteps approached as if to proudly proclaim the Meltdowner user‘s existence. The person approached in a straight line stepping on the fresh blood and guts of the recently killed people.
Hamazura recognized the girl.
She had no right eye.
Her left arm had been ripped off.
A pale blue light like one would see during welding resided deep within the empty red eye socket. The same was true for the left arm. As if to compensate for the missing arm, a dazzling arm of light was jutting out. It must have been made of fairly high energy because it continuously made the sound of a high voltage current frying a bug in a bug zapper.
It was created from her power.
It was created by the #4 Level 5 power, Meltdowner.
That was not some cheap power that would manifest in just anyone. As far as Hamazura knew, she was the only person with that power.
A cracking voice leaked from Hamazura Shiage‘s mouth.
He squeezed out a name despite his vocal cords and entire body trembling.
"Don‘t let pitiful bastards like that take your life. The one who‘s going to rip you to pieces is me!!"
This time, the true mouth of despair swallowed Hamazura and Takitsubo whole.
After putting some distance away from Takistubo and getting Mugino to chase him to where he can confront her, Hamazura demonstrates what he can really do using just his surroundings.
The Level 0 who had once destroyed the #4 Level 5 truly stood up once more.
And just as before, he did it to protect the girl known as Takitsubo Rikou.
Mugino Shizuri jumped down to the lower level from the melted passageway.
The sound of her landing on the wire mesh floor of the passageway resounded throughout the fighter testing facility. Hamazura Shiage stood on the same level. He was leaning his injured body up against the outside of a crane cockpit box while staring at Mugino‘s one-eyed face.
"Killing me once wasn‘t enough?" Mugino repeated Hamazura‘s words in enjoyment as the arm of light created by looping a large number of electron beams crackled. "That‘s not enough. That‘s not nearly enough. If you want to deal with me, you need to use your brain cells a bit more before complaining!!"
Her arm of light explosively expanded.
But Hamazura was already moving.
If Hamazura had raised up his handgun that he was holding loosely at his side, aimed it at her, and fired, Mugino would have had enough time to blow his body apart.
So Hamazura did not do that.
He pulled the trigger with his arm still hanging down at his side. Of course, this caused the bullet to fly in a completely different direction. It accurately hit a nearby fire extinguisher.
The gas sent white powder all over the area.
(…Is he trying to hide?)
"Don‘t take me lightly, Hamazuraaa!!"
Similarly to an audience responding to a cheap performance, Mugino fired beams of Meltdowner. By firing a few of the brilliant white beams in a row, the silhouette visible through the powder from the fire extinguisher was blown through in some vital areas and then blown away.
"Tch. I wanted to slowly crush him. Did I just take him out in an instant?" Mugino muttered, but that wasn‘t what had happened.
What she had blown away was a pile of cardboard boxes that had been next to him. While Mugino had been distracted by that dummy, Hamazura had jumped down from the wire mesh passageway and fled to the bottom most level.
"Ha ha. Ha ha ha ha ha. Fleeing using a smokescreen and a dummy? …What are you, a ninja!?"
She fired more beams down towards the lower level out of annoyance and confusion before jumping down herself.
A number of fighter jets were lined up in the vast space. They were prototype models, but they had been fully painted and otherwise perfectly finished. They may have been scheduled to undergo an equipment load endurance test because a good number of missiles and bombs were installed below the wings.
Mugino looked around with her remaining eye.
Hamazura Shiage was most likely watching her from somewhere waiting for an opportunity. Even he would know that running away any more would just get him shot in the back.
For an instant, she glanced over towards one of the fighters, but she decided that it wasn‘t likely he would counterattack with one of them. She would have some problems dealing with the 20-30 mm Gatling gun or the various types of missiles, but she seriously doubted that would happen.
She couldn‘t see a thug like Hamazura Shiage knowing how to use something as specialized as a fighter jet. And even if he could operate one, they were in a storage area. The fighters were standing still so Mugino would be able to evaporate them in a single strike.
Mugino grinned as she slowly walked along the kilometers long passageway.
(This is it. This is it! If that small fry stands up to me, I can just kill him in a single strike. He needs to play his part too, so I can slowly torment him.)
"Where arrrre you, Haaamazuraaa?" Mugino sang to an arbitrary rhythm as she swayed her arm of light back and forth.
"Here!" came the unexpected response.
The response had come from quite close nearby. Mugino had been hit by a counterattack with a handgun the previous time, so she quickly and forcefully twisted her body around and fired Meltdowner without checking on her target. A brilliant beam of light shot out and the fighter jet in its path melted orange.
But just before it did, Mugino saw what was there.
A service tractor and a long narrow bomb packed in what looked like a large pipe were in the place she had fired on. On top of those was a wireless headset that was set at its highest volume so the sound would escape into the surrounding area and a fiberscope with a wireless LAN that would be used for aircraft maintenance.
She didn‘t have time to think about it.
Before she could think a single thought, the 200 kg bomb that she herself had struck with intense heat split open and created a large explosion that enveloped the other bombs, the missiles, and the airplane fuel.
Hamazura was hiding at a distance, but he did not escape unharmed.
He had found an electric tractor-like vehicle used for moving the fighters and had been silently travelling at high speed away. He had hidden behind cover about 500 meters from the explosion. His cover was a small truck filled with paint tools used to change the color of the fighters. He had used a maintenance radio to send out his voice and was subsequently sent rolling along the ground as the blast struck him.
He felt like his eardrums were about to burst. An odd pressure came from within that felt like it was going to pop out his eyeballs. But he was more worried about where Takitsubo was. He had at least left the dummy radio in a place away from where he had dropped her and he had handed her the powered suit with the crane. Quick actions were too much for the suit‘s normal mode and its high mobility mode could only be activated with a special electronic key, so the suit couldn‘t be used to fight, but it should have helped her endure the explosive blast. Even so, he hoped that she had been outside the range of the explosion.
In any case, Mugino Shizuri should have been caught up in the blast.
Fortunately for Hamazura, she still looked down on all of her enemies. In this case, that wasn‘t an inaccurate way of viewing her enemy, but it had created unnecessary openings in her defenses and had caused her to let her guard down a bit.
(That 200 kg bomb was created to destroy thick concrete bunkers. That isn‘t something to be used on a flesh-and-blood human. I‘m sure that was enough even for Mugino. I need to find Takitsubo and get the hell out of here.)
Hamazura tossed aside the radio and the small monitor for the fiberscope and ran back the way he had come.
A hot wind blew about.
The floor had collapsed in the area of the explosion and the destruction had even reached the underground space below. The connecting passageways above had been twisted and knocked down. Hamazura ran amongst it all and searched through that area where a secondary or tertiary explosion could occur at any time all the while calling Taktisubo‘s name.
Then he heard something moving.
Hamazura turned around.
Heat suddenly fled his entire body. It was already too late. That arm of light was stretching out from the black smoke. Hamazura twisted his body, but an unpleasant sound and smell came from his ear. It sounded like oil being poured onto a heated frying pan.
Mugino appeared cutting through the fog and looking down on Hamazura as he writhed around on the ground.
"Did you reallllly think this kind of mass produced weaponry could take out the #4, Hamazuraaa?"
"Fuck! Fuck, fuck, fuck!!"
Hamazura desperately tried to suppress the intense pain eating into his ear, gripped his handgun with both hands, and fired. But Mugino suddenly disappeared.
She had fired Meltdowner like a rocket engine. She must have escaped the 200 kg bomb the same way. With the sound of a blunt weapon being swung, Mugino moved outside of his vision.
"Do you really think that kind of obvious counterattack will work on me!?"
Despite his previous plan failing, Hamazura manages to once more outsmart Mugino and finish her off.
The tip of her shoe stabbed into Hamazura‘s back as he lay on the ground knocking him a few meters through the air. He couldn‘t even cry out anymore. He had stopped breathing and he fell back to the floor…no, he fell through the crack in the floor opened up by the explosion.
A number of shocks ran through his body.
He was assaulted by such intense pain that he seriously thought a part of his backbone had been dislocated, but he didn‘t have time to cry out at every little thing. With the cold killer intent coming from above, Hamazura used all his strength to roll along the floor. Immediately afterwards, Mugino‘s beams came down one after another.
"Run! Run!! Flee from your predator, little piggy!! Let me enjoy this as long as possible!!"
A fragment of the floor stabbed into his body. He didn‘t know whether he had rolled on top of it or if it had been blown into him. Even so, he twisted his body and leapt for cover. She must have been pissed at having lost sight of her target because Mugino jumped down into the underground area shortly thereafter.
(…Where is this? Where‘s the exit?)
Hiding behind cover, Hamazura looked around.
It was an odd area. The room was a 100 meters square, but protuberances were sticking out from one wall uniformly. And opposite the protuberances, what looked like air conditioner vents covered the wall. One wall was covered in reinforced glass and what looked like a control room could be seen through it.
They were in a fighter testing facility.
(Is this an air friction endurance testing area?)
Hamazura was leaning up against a capsule-shaped model. It was a full size model of a fighter cockpit. It may have been a model, but it had proper reinforced glass covering it and it was made of the same composite material as a real fighter.
It seemed to have been fixed in midair on something like a stepladder, but it had been knocked over by the explosive blast. The reinforced glass covering the cockpit was sitting half open.
Hamazura Shiage‘s shoulders gave a large jump at hearing his name called. He hurriedly searched for the exit and found it. However, it was a bit of a distance away. He would probably be shot 500 times before he reached the door if he ran out from behind the model cockpit.
He couldn‘t use the exit.
He had to settle things there.
However, he doubted he could kill Mugino using only his handgun. She was the girl who had used her powers like a rocket engine to escape the detonation of a 200 kg bomb. A normal human could not hit her with a 9 mm bullet.
If he didn‘t use some more powerful and overwhelming ranged attack that she could not escape, he could not defeat Mugino Shizuri. But Hamazura was a Level 0, not a powerful esper. He did not have something like that.
"God, this is really fucking ridiculous. It may be rather troublesome for you, but it‘s even more so for me," the Level 5 said as her footsteps approached. If she circled around, it was all over.
"But at least I have it better than Kakine Teitoku. It seems that #2 was collected in an even worse state than me. His brain was split into three pieces and each one was stuck in a container full of some sticky liquid and a machine even larger than a refrigerator was installed on his side to preserve only his crushed organs. It seems he‘s really nothing more than an object used to produce his Level 5 power."
Hamazura frantically looked around the area.
"It looks like the board chairman wants to reuse us pretty badly, but I wonder why. Well, the one thing I know for sure is that you‘re going to die here."
He was searching for a hint of how to turn the battle around. And then he found a single ray of hope.
He suddenly realized that Mugino‘s tone had changed. Hamazura thought for a second and then shook his head. He didn‘t want to think about that. If he did, he wouldn‘t be able to do what he had to do. He would hesitate in a situation where being even an instant too slow would be fatal.
But Mugino Shizuri continued speaking.
"…Why did I turn into such a horrible monster?"
Hamazura just barely managed to keep that curse silent.
That was what he had not wanted to think about. While Mugino Shizuri was a monster, she was also a girl. He didn‘t know what she specifically was referring to with "such a". It could have been her being kept alive by strange technology, it could have been her beginning to work in the underground organization of ITEM, and it even could have been her becoming a Level 5. At any rate, Hamazura Shiage did not have an answer to her question. All the question gave him was anguish.
Hamazura played with the small hint within his grasp and thought over it again.
Was it okay to kill her?
Could he just slay her as if she were a mere monster and then have a happy ending full of smiles?
"Is that what you wanted me to say, Haaamazuraaa?"
A grand noise rang out.
Mugino had circled around the model cockpit in an instant and kicked Hamazura squarely in the gut. That one attack was not the end of it. 7 or 8 of those sharp and heavy strikes sent deep pain to even Hamazura‘s internal organs.
"Gya ha ha!! What are you twitching like that for!? Eh? Is that mouth of yours only there to cough up blood? At least use it to let me hear even rarer and more enjoyable screams!!"
(…Dammit. What‘s happened to my organs?)
The inside of his body was shaking unnaturally. His organs were acting oddly. They felt like a living thing wriggling around inside a leather bag. That was the first time Hamazura had ever known a human body to work like that.
(They‘re still in their proper places, right? …They haven‘t gotten all shuffled around, have they?)
"C‘mon, enough with the silence. Maybe your senses‘ll come back with a bit of kindness."
Her toes struck his gut even harder than before.
Like he was being thrown into a trashcan, his body flew into the half-open cockpit. He heard a crackling noise. Mugino‘s arm of light expanded to a size bigger than he had seen it before.
"I think I‘ll mix you in with the melted iron so I‘ll have an interesting piece of art once it cools."
He had no time to think.
Hamazura pulled the trigger of his handgun. However, he did not hit Mugino. The bullets travelled on and shattered the reinforced glass on the wall. Mugino‘s smile turned even more villainous, but Hamazura‘s expression did not change. He had hit what he had been aiming for. He knew he would never hit her. The stream of bullets caused the heavy glass to shatter and pour into the control room. The glass rained down on the control panel. It hit buttons at random and sent instructions to the large installation.
A low roar began.
Mugino looked around questioningly and noticed the air conditioner vent like objects on the wall moving. Meanwhile, Hamazura slipped even deeper into the cockpit. It was only a model, so it had no real controls, but it did have one button. He pressed it and the half-open glass fully shut, sealing the cockpit.
Mugino Shizuri realized something and finally turned back towards Hamazura.
She moved her lips, but Hamazura could not hear her through the reinforced glass.
But Mugino‘s eyes were wavering like those of a girl on the verge of tears.
Immediately afterwards, the area outside the cockpit became filled with an explosive orange wind.
The room they were inside was an air friction endurance testing area. When fighters traveled above the speed of sound, they received a huge amount of air friction. The surface temperature would reach a few hundred degrees. That facility was used to see if the craft could endure that friction. As they could not create air moving at the speed of sound, the room artificially created a special type of strong wind by using a large amount of iron sand to increase the friction like a file.
Hamazura was protected by the cockpit model.
Mugino did not have that protection.
A tremendous noise split the air as the 100 meter square room was filled with explosive wind that created friction of a few hundred degrees. Mugino could move at high speed like a rocket engine, but she couldn‘t escape when the entire area was filled up like that. She was knocked back as if she had been hit by a giant fly swatter and she struck the other wall.
After that, Hamazura was unable to see what happened to her.
Everything outside of the transparent reinforced glass was dyed orange and he couldn‘t see anything. It was like looking outside the window on a space shuttle heading through the atmosphere.
Hamazura covered his face with his hands.
His victory did not bring him any joy.
He squeezed his eyes shut and prayed that that hell would disappear as quickly as possible. Had that really been his only option? He kept asking himself the same question.
Post by CosmicNoirTear on Sept 23, 2016 19:21:26 GMT
World War III events
As Hamazura and Takistubo escape to Russia, he decides to rob a store for supplies only to find it already being held up. With everything Hamazura's been through, even several armed crooks is almost too manageable of a situation for him.
“Nothing,” Hamazura replied with a smile. “I was just thinking that, whatever we’re going to do here, we’re gonna need some money. The money in our wallets when we left Academy City wasn’t much and we can’t even use that right away because it isn’t Russian money. We need to get some somewhere.”
They could always sell the stolen car he was driving, but Hamazura didn’t feel that was the best plan. Finding the kind of shady dealer that would accept a stolen car wasn’t exactly easy. He could manage it in Academy City, but he didn’t know how things worked in Russia.
And he didn’t know much Russian. Academy City and Russia were enemies in a large scale war, so it might cause a major issue if some Asians who spoke Japanese were spotted.
“I guess we’ll just have to steal some.”
“But…” Takitsubo hesitated.
However, that was their only option.
As if in response to their plan, they spotted a small store ahead. The store was connected to a gas station and it sold canned foods and other preserved foods most likely for those on long distance drives.
“Wait here,” Hamazura said to Takitsubo as he parked the car a bit away from the store. “I’ll be back with some money.”
…Hamazura had said that, but he was actually fairly worried.
First of all, he wasn’t in Japan. The usage of guns was treated differently. He had a small handgun, but they could have a gun or even a rifle for self-defense.
(There’s a war.)
Takitsubo had translated the Russian news they had picked up on the car radio, but the word still didn’t feel real to him. (To the Russian people, we’re their biggest enemies. If they find out that we came from Academy City, it wouldn’t surprise me if they gang up on us.)
Hamazura thought about all that, but what he was truly worried about lay elsewhere. He may have been thinking about the problem of the war in order to avert his gaze from his true worry.
That true worry was the fact that he had to attack that store with a clerk inside. It may have been an extremely selfish excuse, but doing that was a lot different from stealing a car or an ATM. When he thought about the possibility of being forced to use his gun, he felt something heavy deep in his gut.
Hamazura checked the safety of the small handgun in his pocket again and again.
(I have to make sure—make sure—that I don’t hurt the clerk in there!! All I need is what’s inside the cash register. I’ll only point the gun at him, that’s all. If I’m going to fire a warning shot, I’ll make sure to point the barrel up!!)
Repeating those things in his head, he gave a small, vaguely-directed prayer. Just before entering the store, he put up his hoodie’s hood so his head was deep inside and put on the gloves that had been in the stolen car.
As he opened the door, he pulled out his handgun.
(I have to make sure I don’t hurt the clerk!!)
And then Hamazura saw the female clerk with her arms and legs bound with duct tape and saying “Nnn! Nnn!” because her mouth was covered.
He also saw a masked man who looked a bit like a professional wrestler holding her down and pressing a blade up to her throat. The large man was over 2 meters tall and he wasn’t alone. He had two companions. They looked over as Hamazura opened the small door and came in.
“Who the hell are you?” they said in Russian.
Hamazura hadn’t understood them and he merely responded by saying the words in Japanese he had been preparing to say.
“This is a robbery. Put your hands up.”
Takitsubo heard multiple gunshots.
She turned her head while sitting in the passenger seat of the stolen car and eventually saw Hamazura Shiage approaching having left the store. It seemed the robbery was over. He was holding quite a few large beige paper bags in both arms.
At least one must have been full of food because it had a long loaf of French bread sticking out. Another had the end of a wool scarf and what looked like part of a folded up coat sticking out.
As Hamazura opened the driver side door and got in, Takitsubo asked him a question.
“Hamazura, were you successful?”
“The clerk was so thankful she gave me all sorts of stuff!! We even got gas for the car!!”
As Takitsubo looked on in puzzlement, the stolen car headed off once more.
Old Man Dream: Well, I went ahead and already spoiled myself over later events in the series. Looks like that gets fairly messy with handling its little plot twist involving Rika, Satoko, and the mentioned story element having some assume there's some sort of...
Mar 29, 2021 12:43:09 GMT
Old Man Dream: ...Umineko crossover. May have liked the idea with better handling of the story development. But it's basically made Satoko a rather unlikable character now.
Mar 29, 2021 12:44:11 GMT
Taka: It's a gigantic mech franchise. I haven't seen Macross myself. I know it's a big one.
Apr 9, 2021 6:17:00 GMT
Old Man Dream: Guess we don't get it. Make things short and sweet: Through some unintentional legal wranglings, Harmony Gold's owned international rights to the Macross name for decades and its Japanese developers, disgusted by the move, had not allowed...
Apr 9, 2021 10:22:58 GMT
Old Man Dream: ...many later Macross anime outside Japan because that would profit Harmony Gold. Macross was one of three anime titles used by HG in the 1980s to edit together the popular Robotech series popular with fans during that time. Under this deal...
Apr 9, 2021 10:24:47 GMT
Old Man Dream: ...later titles in the Macross franchise can finally come stateside with all involved parties finally coming to a truce over how to handle things with the Macross trademark and all later anime in the franchise associated with it.
Apr 9, 2021 10:26:05 GMT
Taka: I see. A global release will benefit it. Gundam did pretty good. The only few franchises that are only popular in Japan but not popular in the west - Yokai Watch comes to mind.
Apr 10, 2021 1:55:16 GMT
Master Menos: F for Respects. DMX did all his work while suffering from a drug addiction, and I almost never knew until a point. I hope his next life treats him far better.
Apr 10, 2021 15:30:45 GMT