Eren sat uncomfortably with his "replacement partner". She was apparently a new student at the school, who was able to attend because of a Sponsor. Although the school was filled to the brim with teachers and students, he was becoming more and more suspicious of his new partner. Not to offend her or anything, but she looked old, compared to the rest of the student body. Apparently, her name was Aeris. She had light pink hair, and wore clothes comparable to a wedding ceremony. And she was quiet. It was a new feeling, since almost every single damn student in the school was to fucking loud.
"Aeris. While Hitomi's being checked out, why don't we complete...this job." he suggested, holding up a paper.
The "girl" studied the paper. It was near the borders of Fiore, and no train would take them there. Apparently, reports of strange monsters that were attacking the walls that protected the country were given to the Council, and they needed somebody there. She raised her eyebrow at the location.
As if reading her mind, Eren quickly explained himself, "We can take my fighter. I'll code you into the encryption on Hitomi's fighter, and we should be able to get there in no time."
Aeris flinched at the mentioning of Hitomi's name once more. Eren pretended to ignore it, and started to walk her to the port where all the planes were. He stole a glance at the girl once more, trying to analyze her. Hitomi's name seemed to have an impact on her. Perhaps something happened between them. When they arrived at the port, Eren flashed a card at the man standing at the door - which, he really didn't need to; everyone knew he was one of the Big Three; a group of the highest ranking pilots in the academy.
The man glanced at Aeris, and then asked which plane that he was taking.
"HACF-001 and ESAM-002." he answered automatically, "We're going to the Outer Rims."
Without questioning, the man brought them to the landing squares where both fighters were docked. Eren's fighter, ESAM-002, was a blue and white plane equipped with two rotational guns that produced eternano-enhanced, concentrated beams of plasma. It was still in its powering ring; a attachment that no pilot should leave behind. The plane was custom-made for him, as it followed his blueprints and his orders.
Hitomi's fighter, HACF-001 was an infamous plane that followed no rules. Although it was relatively the same appearance-wise, it was a completely different thing when it came to weapons and security measures. It is a gold and grey fighter with a powering ring with additional backup power charges. The powering ring came equipped with a magnetic resonance charge that allowed the droid that was situated on top of the fighter resonate with the plane when needing immediate assistance. The droid was connected to all systems in the fighter, and allows the guns to merge, creating a plasma cannon.
"Well, the gold one is yours. Its name is HACF-001, short for Hitomi Arras Custom Fighter Number One. Mine is the blue one, ESAM-002. Stands for Eren Seiun Absolute Model Number Two. Kinda sucks being behind Hitomi like this, but at least I'm better than Kaguya. Speaking of which, her's is the red one, KHSM-003. Kaguya Hyugen Slaughter Mechanism Number Three. Terrible name. Shoulda named it Monster Machine." Eren rambled as he climbed into ESAM.
Studying the plane she was boarding, she started to ask several questions. All of them remained unanswered until they were cleared to take off. As the two planes descended into the sky, she started to ask them once more.
"Was this plane created by Hitomi?"
Eren pressed a few buttons on his console, and answered. "Yeah. Crazy chick, it would of been much quicker if she just sent the damn blueprints to Mecha and allowed them to construct it. But no, she just had to build it herself. Said she wanted to be original. So she scavenged the ends of the earth to find the materials needed." Eren muttered.
"Oh! Sorry that I didn't explain earlier. Mecha is shorthand for MechaAutomatons. They produce all of our stuff, medical equipment, airships, you name it. Everyone sends-" Eren was cut off by a urgent beeping from his console. Looking at it, he quickly paled. "Aeris. I want you to navigate behind me."
Confused, she steered towards Eren's ship, much to the protesting of the droid. Suddenly, three fighters similar to Eren and Aeris's appeared. Jamming the communications of both systems, they advanced towards them. Eren quickly pulled upwards, narrowly missing the shot aimed for his engine. However, Aeris wasn't that fortunate. The shot had clipped her right wing, knocking the entire plane off balance.
"Shit! Aeris, sit tight, will ya?" Eren yelled with gritted teeth, knowing that he wouldn't be able to communicate with her. "When this ordeal is done, Hitomi is going to murder me."
With experienced navigation, he quickly dove between two of the planes, and fired several shots, clipping one's left wing and killing the other one's pilot. He watched with a grimace as the plane crashed onto the ground below. Focusing on the the two fighters left, he tilted his plane back and forth as he dodged the shots, and then fired once more at the plane with the clipped wing, sending it crashing into the ground.
The last fighter's pilot was smiling. Narrowing his eyes, he advanced to the plane and fired a shot. It bounced right back, catching him off guard. With a groan, he dodged it, and glared at the opposing pilot. Those barriers just ruined his day. These idiots were probably slave traders, searching for new victims. Worriedly, he glanced back at Aeris, who seemed to be trying to figure out how to use the contraptions that Hitomi had placed on the thing. Then, realization dawned upon him. The droid!
He mentally groaned, this is why nobody was able to properly use HACF, the droid prevented them from doing so, unless they were able to mimic Hitomi's voice and say the command words. Frustrated, Eren dove underneath the opposing ship, and fired from behind, spotting the weak chink in the plane's shields. Sensing this, the plane turned around immediately, and fired at him, trying to keep him at a farther distance. Suddenly, the ship exploded, revealing a surprised Aeris behind it.
"I'm guessing you did that."
She nodded, and grinned.
"I suppose you are a good partner."
Sweating, cold, and hungry, Hitomi navigated in the suffocating darkness that surrounded her. It was so dark, that she could not even see her own body. Where am I, she thought, looking for any way to get out of this place. The sweat had matted her hair down, and was now running down her face. She blinked, and felt for any way out. As time passed, she was becoming more and more desperate, as the darkness seemed everlasting, until someone flicked the switch. Standing before her, was a young woman with turquoise hair, and a strange contraption on her face.
"Hello?" she called out, hoping for an answer.
The woman flickered, and then disappeared. Caught off guard, she stumbled away, now that she could see everything so clearly. Summoning Reishadanki, she carefully lowered her stance, and started to walk down a hallway that the light procured.
"What do you desire?" a small voice asked.
She quickly turned around, and lowered her blade to the throat of a young girl. She didn't even flinch.
"What do you desire?" the little girl asked again.
She stifled the gasp that threatened to escape from her mind. The little girl was her, at least, the younger self. She remembered that day, the day that it all started. Bit by bit, villages that held Pandoras were being burned down. Including hers. She remembered being asked that question before watching the entire world that she once knew get burned to ashes.
"Love." she murmured, memorizing the response that she gave that day, "Warmth, compassion... a saviour."
Her younger self seemed satisfied by her answer, and flickered away. Startled once more, she continued down the hallway. She rubbed her temples, and was met with yet another person. This time, it was Eren, as a younger child.
"What do you wanna be, someday?" he asked.
"Somebody." she said firmly, and slashed the image away with her blade. This entire ordeal was starting to become frustrating.
However, as she made her way across thousands of memories, she managed to stumble upon a door. It was by no means a small door; it took up nearly half of the space in the room. Cautiously, she opened the door, and was greeted by a chuckle that was rather familiar. Too familiar.
A woman stepped forward, obscured by the darkness of the new room. However, when the lights flickered on, she was met by a surprise; a doppelganger of herself.
Or, at least she thought it was a doppelganger.