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Chapter - Aftermath Part Two
Few moments earlier...
Uli and Bethany both knelt next to Aiko whom was still not responding to them, they tried making an escape but the fighting between Sachika and her opponent had blocked off their escape route. So they opted to hide round the corner that led to a dead end filled with vending machines of drinks and food.
Aiko's head was laid upon Bethany's lap as blood continued to spurt out of her stab wound upon the former's legs, as Bethany once again reached down placing her index and middle finger upon her friends pulse, she was distraught to find that there still wasn't one.
As she began to cry Uli turned to face, "Bethany stop it!" as she wrapped her arms around Bethany's neck to consul her.
"She's dead...she's really dead" Bethany muttered as she looked down at Aiko's lifeless body, her tears landing upon Aiko's peach skinned cheeks.
Uli grabbed Bethany cupping both her hands on either side of Bethany's face, "Beth, cut it out this isn't the time!". Bethany reluctantly agreed trying to keep her emotions at bay. Uli too found hard to keep her emotions in check, but if she lost control of herself then they're wouldn't anyone to keep them alive.
She turned the corner ever so slightly to see Sachika and her opponent still fighting one another, Uli quickly dashed back around from the corner as splinters of debris flew towards them a chunk ripping off a piece of the wall.
As her breathing became irrational Bethany started prodding at her arm she turned to her, "What is it Beth?" in an irritated manner.
Bethany was staring down at Aiko as the crystalline material that protruded from her spine started to slow flash getting brighter by the second. Uli too stared wondering what was happening.
"Uli, what's happening?" Bethany asked frantically.
"How the hell should I know..." Uli darted her eyes towards Bethany, their eyes locking together "...you're the know it all here!" Uli pointed at Bethany as she raised her voice.
Stammering Bethany replied, "I-I've never read anything about this during our high school years!"
Without warning the light flashed so brightly that it threatened to almost blind the two of them, the two friends instantly covered their eyes from the bright light to the best of their ability. Both of them wondering deep down what fate had in store for them this time.
Once the bright flash had died down it took a moment for both Uli and Bethany to adjust their eyes to the new lighting. After a few seconds the two of them rubbed their eyes then looked down at Aiko to find the unusually material protruding from her spine a constant light emanating from it.
Ashina and Amelia stood their along with the rest of their squad mates before laid the unconscious bodies of the Nebula controlled Familiars. Although the Nebula had control of them they were no match for the experienced third years, seeing that the former mostly consisted of first years from the South Korean branch.
Wendy standing next to them sighed, "Well I haven't worked that hard for a long time" she chuckles.
"Well maybe you should start using the fitness facilities more often" Ashina bluntly replied.
Little did they know that one of the Familiars laying on the floor was moving, as Ashina and Wendy continued to share banter between them. The girl slowly sat up from the floor, she looked at her hands starting to shake in panic. Without thinking she immediately clasped the ridges in the centre of her chest armour with her hands.
Suddenly the third years wails of a girl behind them as she attempted to pry the armour off her chest. Blood began spurt out as the armour tore her skin. The third years readied themselves for trouble as the girl before them panted as she continued to pull the armour off clearly in pain.
Once an opening in the centre of her bare chest was revealed there shone a red crystal, the girl grabbed it then pulled with all her strength.
To the surprise of the third years they witnessed the crystal with tendrils attached to the end being pulled out from girls' chest, shortly followed by blood trailing from the tendrils. The girl just flopped to the floor like a dead fish.
Wendy ran to the girls' side to check her heartrate, she turns to Ashina, "She's still got a pulse" sighing with relief.
Ashina just nodded in response turning to her Coordinator Amelia she noticed that Amelia was slightly panic-stricken from what she just saw.
Ashina embraces Amelia, the latter coming out of her daze only to realise what her partner was doing.
"It's okay Amelia" Ashina whispers comfortingly into Amelia's ear.
"I know that I've been through a lot over the years..." Amelia gulps slightly "...but, I've never witnessed something like this before"
The pair continued to embrace until Ashina heard a slight beeping in her right ear where she wore her earpiece. She presses onto the button connecting her to whomever was on the other end.
"Ashina, give a sit rep" Mistress Daiki immediately asked.
"Coordinators fire a barrage of Essence Shards!" Chi-Sun ordered as the second year Coordinators lined up readying themselves to fire.
"First and Second Squads provide a distraction!" The first and second squads of second year Familiars under Chi-Sun's command provided the distraction the former ordered. With their combination of Tachyon and Mirage abilities they charged the still advancing Nebula Cruiser Platform.
The two squads attempted to perform a pincer attack. The first squad attacking from the left, and the second squad from the right.
As they neared the target the Nebula Cruiser Platform used its huge tendril spikes to counter the Familiars coming towards it. Some of the tendrils connected with their targets, in particular one of the Familiars received one through the chest instantly killing her. The tendril flicked her off, as her body hit the floor with no hint of life in her.
The ones that got pass the enemy's counter attack were about to strike, when the Nebula Cruiser Platform suddenly emitted a jarring aura field from its body knocking the two squads to the ground. As the Familiars collected themselves to prepare for another strike.
Suddenly one of the girls screams as part of arm and leg detaches from her body wounds sizziling as parts of her skin started to melt. It wasn't long before the others started to experience similar injuries or worse.
The Coordinators were about to fire their barrage of Essence Shards when the Nebula Cruiser Platform fired its main plasma beam doing a strafing run along the line where the Coordinators were positioned.
Chi-Sun coughed heavily to get the smoke out of her lungs, she was caught in the things line of fire, around her she could her the screams and wails of injured comrades as medics quickly rushed in to assist them. Sensing a presence Chi-Sun turned around to see the Nebula Cruiser Platform moving forward as its presence started to clear the fog.
She feared for her life at this point most of the group were either dead or injured, and the third years were caught up dealing with the reinforcements of Nebula Grunts and Infantry that had just join the battle. The towering presence over her made it all the more clear as it aimed it's spiked tendrils at her.
In response Chi-Sun closed her eyes.
"Get off your arse and help the injured!" Chi-Sun suddenly heard someone shout opening her eyes she looked around frantically, to find that another Familiar was traversing through the trees towards the Nebula Cruiser Platform.
Jade had reached the second years before her third year comrades were able to using her Whiplash ability to traverse the tricky terrain of the forest. With her greatsword at the ready she used Whiplash to latch upon the enemy's own spiked tendrils.
Eyeing the core, Jade with the electrical tendril protruding from her spine used one of the Nebula Cruiser Platform's own tendril leverage herself up into the air. Holding her sword like a javelin she throws it towards the core which impales it.
Knowing full well that it wasn't enough to finish it off, "Lightning Tachyon!" she shouts out.
In mid air a sporadic current of electrical charges started to emit from all across Jades' body she positions her feet forward before she herself bursts through the air, leaving a trail of electricity behind her.
As Jade neared the core the speed and power of her Lightning Tachyon colliding against the hilt of the sword sends it clean through the core of the Nebula Cruiser Platform. It wasn't long before it started to fall to the side but before it could, the body started to evaporate into fine dust particles.
Jade with her sword in hand slid across the ground, thrusting her sword into the dirt to slow herself down as bits of mud, debris and dirt spattered up into the air. A few seconds went by when Jade turned her head towards Chi-Sun, the latter frozen by the intense glare.
Jade scoffed walking away. Chi-Sun just sat there her gaze following Jade for a few seconds before whe turns her head forward, what was that about?, she thought of the glare that she got from Jade.
Sachika felt soft arms wrap around her abdomen, she turns to look around to find that it's an unfamiliar woman to her it was the same one that had visited Aiko not so long ago. Where as then she was happy this time her persona gave off a whim of worry.
As Sachika pulled away she noticed she was trapped within a black abyss, and she felt as if she was floating in water, and that's when too realised that she was naked. At first she felt embarrassed however she was more concerned about the current predicament she was in.
"Sachika, you need to calm yourself" the woman saked gently.
Tears started to well up in the corner of her eyes, "How can I when she's dead!" Sachika shouted back.
The woman shook her head as specks of pixel and crystal dust detached from her body, "You're wrong she still lives" she says gently.
Before she could even say anything, Sachika's body felt like it was being away pulled away at the speed of light, as seconds went by Sachika eventually blacked out.
It wasn't long before she awoke to find herself staring down at the girl she had been pummelling to death just moments, instantaneously her Essence Form evaporated into particles. Her body was so numb that she fell on top of the girl beneath her.
Eventually Sachika's weakness took its toll on her, as she eventually fell unconscious.
It had been five days since the Third Nebula Invasion had come to an end, as for Sachika and Aiko the two of them had been unconscious since. This made matters worse for Mistress Daiki seeing that the Board of Directors at Essentia wanted answers.
As she sat in her business like black uniform smoking a cigarette. Across from her office desk sat an older man in a grey business suit albeit more casual than the Mistress. His hair was a mixture of grey and silver including his goatee. The hair had grown pass the nape of his neck, and it was unkempt and scruffy.
In his hand he had some files with the word, classified, printed over them he chucks them on the Mistress' desk. "Take a look" he casual says.
The Mistress takes the files still smoking her cigarette briefly looking through then throws them to the side, "So what, this is nothing that I haven't seen before"
"Look at Aiko's compatibility results" he reiterates.
The Mistress does as he says, Compatibility with Nebula Tissue - 36%, she looks up towards the Professor not saying anything. In turn the Professor took the chance to explain what he was getting at.
"As you well know girls with a compatibility rate of fifty percent to seventy five percent are viable to become Familiars, those between twenty five to forty nine percent are only viable to become Coordinators" the Professor explains.
The Mistress rubs her forehead with an agitated motion, "I know this Professor Oshiro what point are you trying to make?"
The Professor without pause pulls something else out of his briefcase this time it was a tablet, he slides it across the desk towards the Mistress. She pulls it across the desk in front of her briefly looking at the Professor before focusing her eyes upon the tablet.
Taking a few more puffs from her cigarette, she reads the information on the tablet at first she seemed interested however as she continued to read further on expression changed to that of confusion and doubt at what she just read. Before her on the screen read the following.
Blood Type: O Negative
After recent events we have taken the opportunity to test the compatibility level between the patients' human tissue and Nebula tissue to surprisingly find that the compatibility level has gone up to 82%.
The Mistress looked at Professor Oshiro, "You sure that this information is legitimate?"
The Professor let out a single laugh, "Please Mistress Daiki, I am the Professor Oshiro of Essentia I do have a reputation to uphold so the last thing I'll do is make a mistake before consulting anyone"
Mistress Daiki slouched back into her office chair taking in one big breathe of smoke from her cigarette before letting out into the room.
While on the other side of campus within the academy's infirmary laid Sachika on a hospital bed still unconscious. Next to her Hibiki was sleeping with her hand in Sachika's left and her head nestled upon the latter's lap, looking ever so peaceful.
it was then that Sachika's hand started to twitch against Hibiki's whom was still asleep, slowly but surely her eyes started to flutter open trying to adjust to their surroundings. Once adjusted Sachika slowly looked around to find Hibiki in her current state, sighing Sachika's head plops gently back upon the pillow.
Hibiki suddenly wakes her eyes laying upon a wide awake Sachika whom was looking at her with a small smile on her face.
"Sachika!" Hibiki jumps up instinctively hugging her friend.
"I'm okay Hibiki, can you try not to suffocate me" Sachika spoke through muffled tones as Hibiki hugged her tightly.
Loosening her grip Hibiki starts to cry, "I'm so glad you're okay". Sachika didn't what to say so many things were on her mind Aiko, the mysterious woman, what happened to her during the Third Nebula Invasion and so on, that she couldn't muster up a coherent sentence. Instead she just gave Hibiki an embrace of her own as she too started to cry.
So that's the end of Volume One I hoped you enjoyed it! Don't worry work on Volume Two is underway however there're things that I want to prioritise before I start uploading chapters for that.
For instance firstly I'm going to read my work and make the necessary improvements such as grammar and spelling to the best of my ability.
Secondly I am going to make some changes to the story particular the hallucination and transformation scenes, the latter is for reasons whilst experimenting with concept art I found a more likable idea for story and hopefully easier to depict in my drawings.
And finally I'll be finishing off my review swaps so I don't end up stacking them while I'm writing Volume Two.
Anyway like a said thank you for reading the first volume I hope you enjoyed it as always please leave a review or comment and if you're interested in collaborating with me to help the drawings feel free to drop me a message anytime and we can discuss it!