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Anime/Manga Fan Fiction >> Iczer One

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Of Destiny and Purpose
By Coutuva

 

This is a Work of Fanfiction, based on the Anime Series
Iczer One, from US Renditions, and Iczer Three from AIC.
The Characters and Backstories are the Exclusive Property
of their respective Copyright Owners, and are used without
permission. My object is hopefully to entertain and promote
these excellent animated series.
Based solely on events in the Anime; unfortunately, I've
never seen the Manga.

For this and any of my other works, visit my Web Site at:

http://www.geocities.com/Tokyo/Bay/9295

As always, C&C is anticipated, accepted, and appreciated.

Please Enjoy!
Coutuva.

++++++++


Of Destiny and Purpose
-----------------------------------------------------------------



Stars. Planets. Nebulas. Asteroids. All beautiful;
all marvels of nature; all the same after a few years.
Iczer Two stood on the small chunk of planetary debris she
had landed on a few days earlier, looking over the vast emptiness
that surrounded her. It was the same thing as always surrounded
her, and she was becoming less and less impressed with it by the
millisecond.
When she left Earth after helping her sisters defeat Neos
Gold, she looked forward to wandering the Universe free and proud,
subservient to no one and without any mission save whatever her
heart desired.
That was then. Now, she found she was without purpose --
like a weapon without a war.
There had been a few little skirmishes as she encountered
various lesser beings, but for the most part her existence had
been painfully uneventful. In fact, as she recalled, the humans
had a word for the state she found herself in. Bored.
Sighing, she lit up her beam sword and slashed at the rock
beneath her feet, chipping away a chunk and watching it drift
aimlessly out into the void.
Just like she had, so many years ago.
As she contemplated that comparison, she idly picked at
the rock with her sword, not even paying attention to what she was
doing. Finally, she leapt up and swung around, about to reduce
the rock to sand just for something to do, then froze as her eyes
caught something.
Moving a bit closer, she actually gasped as she saw that
she had unwittingly written something in the hard rock. A single
word. A *name*.
Nagisa.
Her face sobered for a moment as she searched her memory
for any command to write that name. There was none. For a few
more moments, she wondered how such a thing could possibly happen,
especially to as perfect a being as she was. Expanding her search
parameters, she came up with a very human answer. Fate.
A wry smile crossed her face. Suddenly, she had something
to do.




Nagisa sat behind her console as per usual, intently
studying the data streaming across her monitor. Finally, the
telemetry from their experimental satellite was flowing as it
should, meaning the project could advance.
Kicking back in her chair, she flashed a relieved 'thumbs
up' to Yajin, who flashed back a smile and an 'ok' sign. The rest
of the crew in the Moonbase control room broke out in applause as
she routed the feed over the main monitors for all to see. This
was the culmination of six months work, and everyone was ecstatic
that the new-type transmitter was finally on-line.
"Way ta go, Commander!" Yajin smiled, sauntering up to her
station.
"Thanks, Sergeant. This has been far too long in coming.
If we hadn't made it work by the end of the week..." she trailed
off, her large eyes saying what her words hadn't.
"Hai. They would have cut the budget. Maaa... I can't
figure those idiots Earthside, though. After all that trouble
eighteen years ago, you figure they'd see the need for an Early
Warning System that actually *works*," he grumbled, his expression
showing his distaste for all the politics.
Nagisa smiled her trademark smile, and shook her head.
"Some things never change though, do they, Yajin-kun?" she noted
quietly, then rose from her chair and started toward her office.
"Hey, jeese; don't call me that here!" he erked,
glancing around at some of the female techs he had been trying to
impress.
"Like I said," she smirked, laughing to herself. Yajin
was still very much the same, even though a lot had happened in the
eighteen years since the invasion. Of the original crew of the
Queen Fuji, herself, Yajin, Candy and Rob were back on the rebuilt
Moonbase, but Kawai had stayed Earthside, eventually marrying one
of the Survivor Coordinators she had met during the rescue efforts.
In fact, the last message she had from her old friend mentioned
that her daughter, Nagisa, was about to graduate high school.
Candy and Rob finally married as well, and now had two
children, all of whom lived on Moonbase. Candy was no longer a
Pilot, but was still very active in the Defense Force, and her
husband was now a Major, flying and developing the new generation
fighters.
Yajin was a Sergeant in the Defense Forces, and was
working on his Pilot's wings, as well as every available female on
base.
Nagisa herself had been 'drafted' into the Defense Force
after her efforts to save the planet, and soon became a Commander.
Her first act as such was to request transfer to Moonbase,
particularly after she heard they couldn't find anyone willing to
take the command.
She too had married, but her marriage hadn't lived up to
the promise it had shown, and after only two years, failed. She
knew he had loved her, and she'd felt she loved him, but as time
passed, it became apparent that something was missing.
The parting had been amicable, and in fact they still
spoke when occasion warranted. He, however, was stationed
Earthside, another area they had not been able to find common
ground on.
Sighing, she settled behind her desk and began scrolling
through the reports of the day's activity, a job she wasn't
impressed with. The reports went to North America Base every day,
and she had to make sure they were accurate.
As she looked them over, her mind began to wander,
recalling scenes from the invasion days, and the beings that had
helped them in their fight. Even to this day, she wondered what
had become of the Iczers, especially Iczer Three. She had an
almost motherly concern for the small being, and unknown to anyone
else, had cried herself to sleep for months after the Iczers
departed.
It was amoung her dearest hopes that she would see them
again, at least while she was young enough to appreciate their
presence. She knew time meant nothing to them, and hoped that
they'd remember it meant a *lot* to her.
Settling her chin on her hand, she returned her attention
to her monitor before she got all weepy again, as she had a habit
of doing when she thought too long about the unique beings -- the
ones she considered more than friends.
As she started to read the reports again, she was shocked
to hear a certain very specific sound from behind her. It was a
sound that was burned into her memory. The sound of subspace
righting itself after being opened and passed either from or
into -- it was the signature sound -- of an Iczer.
Spinning in her chair, she gasped as she met the tip of
an emblazoned green beam sword, only inches away from her nose. She
looked up the sword, there to meet the cold, level gaze of the last
Iczer she ever expected to see again.
"Iczer Two!" she gasped, more in disbelief than any other
emotion.
"Greetings, Nagisa. It seems the years and the humans
have been kind to you," the smirking Iczer observed, through her
usual assessing gaze.
Nagisa, despite being delighted to see *any* Iczer,
lowered an eyebrow and controlled her emotions. She knew Iczer Two
was too much of a wildcard to take for granted.
"They have," she replied, keeping her tone upbeat.
"This is good; these humans owe you for their very
existence. It is fitting that you hold a position of Command,"
Iczer Two noted, lifting her sword away. "Although, I would
think they should have given you more to be in command of," she
added disdainfully, as she turned to look out the large office
window.
Nagisa relaxed. Something inside her told her that this
was only a social call, and that Iczer Two was not in an
aggressive mode. That observation made her smile. "I chose this
assignment. I love Moonbase; it's close to the stars," she
finally countered, almost wistfully.
"The stars. Feh. After a time, they all begin to
look the same, no matter what part of the Universe you are in,"
the red-haired Iczer remarked almost sadly, then dissipated the
sword.
"I imagine they would. So tell me; what have you been
doing? I've been wondering how you were all doing."
Iczer Two looked back at her for a long second, as if
considering a reply. Nagisa, meantime, swore that she saw a
slight sparkle flash through her guest's eyes. That *really*
made her wonder why the Iczer had come.
"I have been exploring this Universe... On my own. My
sisters are with the Cthuwulf, aiding them in their quest for a
new homeworld, and destroying the remnants of Big Gold's evil,"
the being finally replied, her face sobering again.
"Well, I'm glad you came. I've missed all of you, even
though I never really got to meet you," Nagisa smiled warmly,
then leaned back in her chair. "Come to think of it, I never got
the chance to thank you for your help against Neos -- or even to
say good-bye," she noted, thoughtfully.
Iczer Two hesitated a moment before responding, her face
briefly flashing a look Nagisa couldn't decipher. "I... Departed
after the final battle was won. I was... Anxious to begin my
quest."
Again, Nagisa smiled, only this time, it was knowingly.
"I see," she nodded, picking up another 'impression'. "Iczer
Two... What's wrong?" she found herself asking, almost before
she realized it.
Iczer Two erked, then made a scornful face. "Nothing!"
she snapped, turning away quickly.
Nagisa knew better. Rising from her chair, she walked to
the defiant Iczer and touched her shoulder. Iczer Two jumped at
her touch, then steadied herself.
"You can tell me, Iczer Two," she almost whispered,
noting the slight quiver in the Iczer's body as she spoke.
"Nothing is wrong. I am here... For a visit," she
insisted firmly, turning her head. "I have come to see how you
humans have used what we Iczer preserved for you," she added, the
old smugness returning to her tone.
Nagisa only smiled, then nodded acceptingly. "I'm glad
you did. I'd worried I wouldn't see any of you again in my
lifetime. My Grandmother never did," she redirected, knowing
she wasn't going any further on the other topic.
"Your grandmother... Kano Nagisa. I remember her well.
She was a valiant warrior; you should be proud of her, Nagisa,"
Iczer Two noted, her visage softening. "Even I was impressed.
She was tough... For a human."
"I know; somehow, I have all of her memories. Memories
that even she didn't know she had. That's how I know about you.
I have to admit, I like you better now," she winked, moving back
to her chair. She swore she saw Iczer Two's powerful eyes
sparkle again.
Just as she was about to speak again, her office door
opened and Yajin stepped in, only to freeze as a burst of energy
erupted beside his face.
"Wak...!" he squawked, as he dove behind a desk.
"You are lucky to be alive, human," Iczer Two admonished,
slowly lowering her arm.
Lifting his head, Yajin looked toward the voice and erked.
"Masaka... You're one of those... Iczers!"
Iczer Two only smiled smugly.
"Nagisa - ! What is *that* doing here?!?" he demanded,
as he leapt to his feet and jabbed a finger at the red-haired
figure.
Before she could answer, he gulped as a beam sword
appeared under his nose.
"Human, you begin to annoy me. I am Iczer Two; you are
advised not to forget that," she commanded, her eyes narrowing.
"State your business with Nagisa... Or leave," she added, sending
a ripple of energy down the sword.
"He's harmless, Iczer Two... You don't need that,"
Nagisa interjected, eyes slightly wide at her 'guest's' behavior.
"It will remain until I am convinced. Speak, human...
If you wish to retain the ability," she responded, eyes fixed on
Yajin.
"Ano... I wanted to ask if Nagisa... Wanted to go get
supper -- that's all!" he stammered, nervously.
Iczer Two smiled emotionlessly. "You are harmless; although
I advise you to treat Nagisa with more respect," she stated,
removing her sword and turning away.
"Gomen, Yajin. She's an Iczer," Nagisa explained, as
he tried to keep from hyperventilating. "And yes, I'll have
supper with you," she smiled, patting his shoulder as she walked
by him.
As he went to rise, he glanced at Iczer Two, who only
glared coldly back at him. He scrambled out the door.
Outside the office, he moved beside and wiped his brow,
his eyes wide. "Hooo... What gives with *her*?" he exclaimed,
shaking his head.
Nagisa smiled. "She's protecting me... I think," she
replied, still wondering herself. "Although I'm not sure why. I'm
not even sure why she's here," she added, glancing over at him. "I
could feel sadness in her, and I think she may even be... Lonely."
"Ano... I hope it doesn't mean we're gonna get attacked
again. Once in a lifetime is enough for me," he emphasized,
worriedly. "And what do you mean, you can 'feel' things? Is that
telepathy you had coming back?"
"Hai; I think so. It's like it was always there, and just
went dormant while there were no Iczers around," she replied,
smiling.
"Kuso, I don't like the sound of that. It's like it's
all happening again!" he shuddered, grimacing.
Nagisa almost laughed. "I don't think that's it at all,
Yajin-kun. So don't worry," she assured, looking back at him.
"She'll be fine."
"I sure hope so; for all our sakes."
Entering the base cafeteria, they collected their food
and moved to a table, Yajin still talking about his worries, and
Nagisa only half-listening. Despite her assurances to the
contrary, she was a bit concerned about Iczer Two's presence, and
was devoting a good deal of energy to figuring out what the being
really wanted.
As she toyed with some possibilities, she heard a murmur
wash through the crowd, and glanced up to see what was happening.
As her gaze found the main entry, she almost gasped as she saw
Iczer Two step through and begin striding toward her, her proud
visage and sultry walk standing out as much as her battle armor.
She also noticed, much to her amusement, how the men in
the room seemed almost hypnotized by the Iczer, while she paid
them absolutely no heed. Her cool gaze was fixed on Nagisa
herself, and seemed not to notice anything else.
All eyes watched Iczer Two stride right up to her, and
continued to gape as the being took station just at her shoulder.
"Would you like to join us?" Nagisa smiled, offering the
Iczer a chair beside her.
"What ritual is this?" Iczer Two responded, casting a
wary gaze about the room. Instantly, everyone else found
something different to look at, including Yajin.
"This particular one is called 'supper'. We humans need
to eat to sustain ourselves. We aren't self-renewing," Nagisa
supplied, trying to hide her grin.
"Hm. And this is your fuel?" she asked, the seriousness
in her face almost breaking Nagisa up.
"Hai. We can use a variety of substances. It depends
on what each 'human' wants," she added, holding her plate up for
Iczer Two to inspect.
The Iczer took the plate and looked it over carefully,
making Nagisa wonder if she was running some sort of analysis on
it. Iczer Two then raised her gaze over the room briefly, soon
returning it to the plate. A few moments later, she grimaced and
handed the plate back. "A distasteful practice. I am glad I have
no need of it," she noted, relief touching her features.
"Would you still like to sit with us?" Nagisa asked her
again, hoping to minimize the disruption that was gradually
sweeping the room.
Before the Iczer could respond, one of Yajin's friends
walked up confidently behind her and cleared his throat. "Hi...
I'm Mark. Could I interest you in some supper -- or maybe a
little 'dessert'?" he suggested, eyeing her lewdly.
Yajin gulped. Nagisa covered her eyes.
Iczer Two's face darkened contemptuously. "You are too
close to Nagisa, human," she growled, prodding a finger into the
center of his chest. The slight bluish flash at the point of
contact was enough to send him several metres up the aisle,
leaving him flat on his back and wondering what happened.
Nagisa was surprised at the number of women who stood
up and applauded riotously, and Iczer Two herself even cracked a
thin, satisfied smile.




A little over an hour later, Nagisa was well in the midst
of showing Iczer Two around the base, mainly to keep her away from
the rest of the population. She noticed, much to her delight,
that the Iczer seemed genuinely interested in the facility.
"... And this is the arboretum. We have samples all of
the most efficient varieties of Earth fauna here, which helps
maintain our atmosphere," she noted proudly, having instituted
the program herself to make the Moonbase air more normalized.
"It is unfortunate that humans require so much support.
This limits your capabilities in the Greater Universe," Iczer Two
noted, plaintively. "Your species will never conquer," she added,
shaking her head.
Nagisa flashed her an annoyed look. "We have no desire to
conquer. We only want to exist peacefully. This Base and the
EarthNet Bases are only for defense!" she indicated, firmly.
"Then why do you expand off your home planet? If you have
no desire to conquer, then your efforts are wasted," Iczer Two
countered, genuinely confused.
"As I said; for defensive purposes. Those "Masters of
Heaven" wiped us out before we knew they were coming. We don't
want that to happen again."
"Hah! Your technology is far from advanced enough to
detect such a threat. And you do not possess weaponry capable
of countering it. As well, it will be many more generations
before you achieve either of those, given your current rate of
advancement," Iczer Two retorted, her voice almost contemptuous.
"Nagisa, *this* is the kind of capability you will require to ward
off such a threat," she stated, withdrawing a bracelet from her
suit and clamping it over Nagisa's wrist. "Come; I will
demonstrate its use," she smiled, then took her by the hand.
A heartbeat later, the two stood side by side on the open
lunar landscape.
"Ahhh! Iczer Two; we're... Outside?!?" she shrieked,
noting the moondust swirling about her feet.
"Yes, Nagisa. The bracelet has enveloped you in a shield
that protects you from the conditions, and will as long as you wear
it. It will also protect you from this!" she abruptly smirked,
raising an arm and unloading a fairly powerful blast directly at
her.
Nagisa, much to Iczer Two's surprise, was ready for it,
simply standing her ground and smiling as the blast bisected
around her.
"I see you know of the bracelet's capability. Very
impressive... Nagisa," she intoned, looking pleased with
the little 'one-up'.
"I do. My Grandmother had memories of two similar
ones. She wore each of them at various times," Nagisa noted,
winking.
Iczer Two, meantime, frowned momentarily. The statement
had reminded her what happened when she last gave a woman named
Nagisa a bracelet. It was a memory she found she would rather not
have.
Nagisa noticed her expression and immediately walked up
to her. Reaching out, she touched the Iczer's shoulder, and
discovered two things that startled her. First, Iczer Two
shuddered at her touch, and second, she could actually feel the
material of her armor through the 'shield'.
Shaking off her surprise, she followed through. "What
is it, Iczer Two? We're alone out here; we can talk if you wish."
Iczer Two met her questioning gaze for a brief moment, then
her face hardened. "Nothing," she almost snapped, but her bluster
couldn't hide the torment in her eyes.
Deciding to go for broke, Nagisa threw caution to the
wind and suddenly wrapped the startled Iczer in a huge,
affectionate hug. Iczer Two stiffened for a second, then Nagisa
felt her relax. A moment later, the Iczer's arms began to rise.
The next thing Nagisa knew, she was standing back in the
hallway, her arms wrapped around empty space.
Unfazed, she brought them in tightly around her own chest,
then closed her eyes -- and smiled.





That night, in the midst of a more peaceful sleep than
she'd had in recent memory, her mind filled with dreams of the
invasion. Only this time, they were not her usual nightmares.
They were memories of the accomplishments she cherished, and even
in her sleep, a smile graced her soft face.
On the other side of the room, shrouded in darkness,
Iczer Two stood against the wall and simply watched Nagisa
sleep. She could feel some of the woman's emotions, and wished
she possessed the ability to read dreams, so that she could
appreciate what was making her smile.
Sighing, she walked silently to the bedside and looked
down on the sleeping woman. She noticed that Nagisa's hair was
scattered about her pretty face, and before she realized she was
doing it, she reached out and brushed it aside, eliciting a soft
moan from the girl.
"What is it about you, Nagisa? Why do you affect me?"
she whispered, a small smile decorating her normally stoic visage.
Sighing once more, she gazed down for a few more moments, then
resumed her post against the wall.





The next morning, the alarm woke Nagisa from a sleep that
felt so satisfying, she regretted its end. After fumbling about
her side table, she found the panel that deactivated the annoying
device, and flopped back on her bed.
Finally, she rolled herself off the bed and stretched
luxuriantly, working the last of the sleep from her very relaxed
muscles. Rubbing her eyes, she reached down and hit the panel to
open her window's blast shields, and almost shrieked as she saw a
shadowy figure outlined by the light of the sun.
"Iczer Two! You startled me!" she instead gasped,
waving a hand before her face.
"I am not surprised. This practice of hibernation is
a dangerous one. An enemy could kill you before you were even
aware of the danger," the Iczer noted, disapprovingly.
"I know. But humans require it," she countered, trying
to calm herself. "Were you there all night?"
"I was. You required protection while in your
hibernative state. I provided it -- as a courtesy," she replied,
slightly smugly.
Nagisa smiled. "Thank you. I appreciate you watching
over me. I hope someday to be able to return the favor," she
indicated, bowing to the surprised Iczer. "I have to take my
bath now and get ready for my day. Please feel free to relax,"
she added, smiling sweetly as she headed into the bathroom.
As she started her shower and furo and laid out some clean
towels, she was a bit surprised to hear Iczer Two appear in the
room behind her. Turning, she was instantly amused by the look
on the being's face.
"What is the purpose of this?" the Iczer asked, as she
examined the Japanese appointed room.
"For cleansing; we humans have to do it to prevent health
problems," Nagisa supplied, thinking that would suffice. "Would
you like to join me?" she asked, curious to hear the response. In
the interim, she pulled her nightgown over her head and set it
aside.
Iczer Two looked at her expressionlessly for a moment,
although her normally cool eyes widened slightly.
"Well? Are you coming?" Nagisa urged, stepping under
the shower and reaching for the soap.
Iczer Two finally broke her silence. "I have no need of
such a process. I will await you in the outer chamber," she
stated flatly, vanishing once more.
Nagisa smiled, shaking her head bemusedly at the remark.
Turning her attention to her bathing, she caught herself thinking
that she was feeling better than she had in years, and began to
wonder if it wasn't related to Iczer Two's presence.
Her telepathy had started to come back, and her spirits
seemed recharged. She had slept better, and she found that
Iczer Two's presence overall had definitely made her happier.
In short, she felt like a sixteen year old again.
The more she thought about it, the more she became
convinced it was because of Iczer Two. Nothing else in her life
had ever made her feel as whole or as strong as she had when Iczer
Three had been around, and this was the same kind of feeling.
Finishing her shower, she stepped into the furo and sank
to her neck, the warm, swirling water relaxing her completely.
Closing her eyes, she allowed her mind to simply drift, enjoying
her newfound tranquillity.
Before long, some strange feelings began to intrude on
her thoughts, feelings she knew were not her own. They were
feelings of sadness, confusion and painful loneliness, and as
they pervaded further into her conscious, she gradually realized
where they were coming from.
Iczer Two.
Suddenly, she knew exactly why the Iczer had come.
She was feeling as if she had outlived her usefulness, and
was even questioning her purpose for existing; a feeling Nagisa
knew better than she cared to admit.
At least she had; until Iczer Two appeared.
In a heartbeat, she was out of the furo and through the
bathroom door. Once in the living room, she strode straight up to
the surprised Iczer and threw a loving hug around her.
"I just want you to know; I'll always need you, Iczer Two.
Always," she breathed, and tightened her hug around the speechless
being. "I just didn't realize how much -- until you came back."
This time, when Iczer Two regained her composure, she
actually returned the hug. "Nagisa..."
Until she felt the droplets land on her bare back, Nagisa
didn't know that Iczers could cry.





Even Yajin noticed it. She walked with a deliberacy
and purposefulness that she hadn't exhibited in years, and her
eyes were as bright as an Earthrise when he met up with her in
the control room.
"Ano... What's this all about?" he asked, nervously.
"What do you mean, Yajin?" she asked innocently, sliding
behind her console and logging in.
"I dunno. You seem... Different."
Nagisa only smiled. "I guess... I am. I think... It's
because I have a purpose again," she indicated, turning to her
console and pulling up her source code.
Yajin blinked. "Ara... A purpose? Kuso, the last time
you said that..." he began, only to stop as she turned to face
him.
"It's nothing like that, Yajin-kun. I was worried at
first too, but I'm sure now," she stated, confidently.
"Feh; I'm worried now. I remember that Iczer from the
big battle, but before that, she was the one who took out Iczer
Three, remember? Are you absolutely sure we can trust her?"
"Hai. I know we can," she assured, smiling even more
brightly.
"Well, for all our sakes, I hope you're right. She makes
me nervous," he responded darkly, then turned toward his station.
He only managed about two steps before a flash erupted in front of
him.
"Human, had I wished you harm -- you'd already be dead,"
Iczer Two intoned, her cold, superior glare burning into his
widening eyes.
"Shimata!" he blurted, then scrambled around her quickly
and ran for his station.
As he darted away, Iczer Two smiled smugly.
"Humans spook too easily."
"That wasn't very nice, Iczer Two. Funny, but not very
nice," Nagisa indicated, trying to hide her smirk.
"What is the expression you humans use? He had it coming?"
the Iczer remarked haughtily, flipping her deep red hair back over
her shoulder.
Nagisa couldn't help but laugh.
Iczer Two remained at her side for the next couple of
hours, stoically studying everything she did. Nagisa was slightly
surprised at that, but assumed it was simply because the Iczer didn't
have anything else to do.
Whenever she would cast a glance toward the silent being,
she noticed that she was always looking back at her, and her eyes
would briefly soften.
Just before lunch, Nagisa was surprised to hear a certain
voice call out to her from the main control room entry. When she
turned to face it, she saw Rob, Candy and one of their children at
about the same time Iczer Two did.
"You know these humans, Nagisa?" she asked, her eyes
narrowing.
"Hai. He's one of the others that fought with me. Both
he and his wife. They flew the ship we were in," Nagisa smiled,
waving back at him.
"His... 'Wife'?"
"Hai! His mate; the person he loves. They got married
a year after the battle, and have two children now," she explained,
to which Iczer Two only nodded.
"Oi, Commander! We heard that you had a visitor!"
Rob smiled, as he stepped up to them.
"Hai! I do! This is Iczer Two. You never met her
properly, but she was a big help during the final battle,"
she announced, proudly. She didn't see the glint in Iczer Two's
eyes.
"Then I guess we owe you one. So, what brings you
back? Something exciting going to happen?" he asked jovially,
doing his best to disguise his own concerns.
"You humans are a nervous species. I came back...
Because it was my wish," Iczer Two remarked absently, her
attention drawn to the baby in Candy's arms.
Nagisa almost gasped aloud as she felt a surge of
jumbled emotion emanate from Iczer Two, then smiled. It was
much different and considerably better than the Iczer's previous
reaction to a human child.
"A very new human," the Iczer observed, leaning closer
to the baby.
"This is my daughter, Keiko. She's just two months old,"
Candy smiled, as she lifted the child's bonnet.
Iczer Two nodded absently, still studying the child.
Tentatively, she stepped forward and reached out to brush her
gloved fingers over the child's head. The baby responded by cooing
and squirming happily. Iczer Two gasped and snatched her hand back,
fear flashing across her face.
"I meant it no harm!" she stammered, stunning everyone.
Nagisa smiled. "She was expressing happiness, Iczer Two.
She likes you," she assured, nodding for emphasis.
"Likes... Me?" the Iczer blinked, looking back at the
baby, who was now looking directly at her.
Nagisa quickly looked over at Candy and nudged her head
toward Iczer Two, hoping her friend would catch the hint.
Thankfully, Candy figured it out.
"Would you like to hold her, Iczer Two?" she offered
pleasantly, extending the baby toward the flabbergasted being.
"I... I... Do not know the proper method," the Iczer
stammered, eliciting shocked gapes from most everyone -- except
Nagisa.
"We'll help you," she assured, then stepped up and
positioned the Iczer's arms. "All you have to remember is to keep
her head supported. When babies are this young, they don't have the
strength in their necks to hold their own heads up," she advised,
gesturing for Candy to hand off the baby.
As Candy complied, Nagisa watched the being's face to see
how she was reacting. She could see that Candy was worried about
her baby, and wanted to be ready.
To everyone's surprise, Iczer Two's face instantly melted
from uncertainty to a soft, even loving look. It was the same
expression one would expect from a human.
The baby babbled and cooed its acceptance of the Iczer's
embrace, which brought a small, content smile to her visage. As the
baby lay in her arms, she reached up and played with the child's
flailing hands. Nagisa couldn't help but notice how her eyes
softened as she seemed to connect with the child.
A heartbeat later, she shivered as she felt another surge of
emotions wash over her.
She couldn't help but smile.
Abruptly, Iczer Two seemed to realize that something
was different as well, and quickly hardened her face. "This
does not bode well for survival of your species in Space. This
weakness and vulnerability could easily be taken advantage of by an
enemy," she asserted, handing the child back to Candy with a
gentleness belying her bluster. "As well, this makes procreation
off-planet difficult; it would require too much support to be
practical," she added, her voice condescending.
Nagisa had to roll her eyes. "Oh, I'm sure we'll find a
way, Iczer Two."
"For your sake, I hope so," the Iczer responded evenly,
then, with a last glance at the still happy baby, vanished from
sight.
"She's a bit grumpy today," Rob observed, scratching
his head.
Nagisa smiled. "No -- I think she just discovered that
she's more 'human' than she's ready to admit."




As Nagisa tried to get herself to concentrate on the
code in front of her, she sighed and shook her head. For some
reason, it wasn't making any sense at all, and the situation was
frustrating her to no end.
It seemed as if all she could think about was the look
on Iczer Two's face, and the surge of emotion she'd felt as the
being held Candy's baby. Again, a smile crossed her face as she
recalled it, and especially the Iczer's defiant attempt to
belittle its impact.
Just as she began to wonder why Iczer Two was fighting
it so hard, her wristcomm beeped insistently, snapping her out
of her thoughts.
"Hai?" she responded, raising the device to her face.
"We're ready for the system test, Commander," a voice
indicated, bringing a smile to her face.
"I'll be right there!" she replied excitedly, having
been waiting anxiously for this particular event. The system
in question was the propulsion unit for the fully-functional
version of their Early-Warning System Satellite, which was the
last major component of the unit that remained unfinished.
Jumping down from her station, she almost ran to the
testing lab, a facility separated from the base proper by a
long passage. Several minutes later, she was swiping her ID
through the reader and waiting none-too-patiently for the
doors to open.
When they finally did, she stepped through them and
walked up to the checkpoint, waiting to be scanned.
"Okay, Commander. You know the drill -- no
interference-causing devices," the tech at the station grinned,
holding out his hand. Nagisa smiled back at him and removed her
wristcomm, ID badge and necklace watch, then stepped into the
scanner.
She gasped as it beeped loudly.
"You must have some other energy source on you, Commander,"
the tech indicated, looking her over.
"Nani? I... Oh! I do!" she gasped, holding up her wrist.
On it was the bracelet that Iczer Two had given her. Rolling her
eyes, she snapped it open and handed it over. "Gomen," she
apologized, then stepped through the scanner again.
Clearing it without incident, she continued into the lab
and met up with the Manager of the project, who was almost too
excited to speak.
"We're all ready to go, Commander! We've solved the heat
problems, and the control systems are finally cooperating! We
should be ready for a field test next week!" he indicated,
as he handed her a chart.
Nagisa looked it over coolly, knowing how many misfires
this part of the project had already suffered. "Are you sure this
time? We can't afford another failure, or they'll force us to
use the old engines," she countered, flipping through the reports.
The Manager frowned. "You know that won't work,
Commander. They require too much fuel to make them practical,"
he stated, adamantly.
"I know that, and you know that, but Earthside is pulling
the strings. We're over budget already, and they're getting
nervous down there," she replied, handing him back the charts.
"Well, it looks good on paper; are we ready to light it up?"
she smiled, raising her eyebrows questioningly.
"Very ready! We can initiate any time you're ready," the
manager noted, then turned to the console before him.
"Then let's do it. I want to see this work," she
indicated, nodding sharply.
"Then we're underway," he smiled back, touching a pad
on the console. Abruptly, warnings began to sound and lights
started to flash, informing the platform of the impending test.
Once the panel flashed green for all-clear, he looked back
at Nagisa and smiled proudly. "Would you like to do the honours?"
he asked, pointing to a panel labeled 'Main Engine Start'.
Nagisa grinned. "I would. Arigato," she responded with
a quick bow, then reached over and touched the pad firmly.
Before them, the outer blast doors opened onto empty space,
followed by the engine stand rotating to direct its plume out the
opening. One by one, the fuel, control, and telemetry systems
came to life, followed by the flashing of a countdown timer.
Nagisa and the manager looked at each other nervously, crossing
their fingers as the counter reached zero.
The entire complex shook as the huge motor burst to life,
blasting a plume out over the lunar surface that lit the sky like
a sun. The Manager smiled at the sight, then turned his attention
to the displays and readouts before him.
"Wonderful! It's performing exactly as it should! Shall
we increase power?" he asked, raising his voice a bit over the
din.
"Follow your program," Nagisa nodded, watching the powerful
engine through the inner blast shields.
Just as the Manager nodded his confirmation, Nagisa smiled
as she heard a familiar sound behind her. "Iczer Two!" she
exclaimed, very pleased to see her back.
"What is this device, Nagisa?" the Iczer responded, fixing
an assessing gaze on the engine.
"This is the new engine for our satellite. It supplies
more power and runs longer on less fuel than its predecessors,
meaning we can send it further out with a smaller fuel payload,"
she explained proudly, turning back toward it as she felt
the results of the throttle-up. "How's it doing?" she redirected,
turning toward the Manager again.
"Great! All within spec! If it manages to maintain 75%,
then we're in!" he responded happily, slipping her a wink.
"Then give it a try!" Nagisa grinned, becoming more
excited herself. Turning back toward Iczer Two, she smiled
brightly. "We've been working on this for months, and had all
kinds of problems. It was looking for a while like it might not
ever work," she explained, glancing back at the unit.
"I am not surprised; it is rudimentary technology,"
Iczer Two deadpanned, eyeing the device critically. Nagisa
smirked reprovingly at her, then shook her head.
"Okay... Here we go!" the Manager broke in, increasing
the power to the desired range.
The engine cooperated willingly, increasing its output
smoothly. The vibration in the room seemed to settle as it
topped out, eliciting an exchange of smiles between Nagisa and
the Manager.
"All it has to do for now is maintain this level for a
few minutes, and we can call it a success! Then, we can move to
the next phase!" the Manager smiled, returning his gaze to the
panel.
"Excellent! I'll be *glad* to tell Earthside about
this!" Nagisa winked, only to be disturbed by a shrill warning
beeper.
"Damn! Its blown through the limiters! We'd better
shut it down!!" the Manager abruptly shouted, frantically
stabbing at panels all over the console.
Unfortunately, he wasn't fast enough. In seconds, the
monitors registered output of 150% of the engine's rated
maximum, and it kept increasing.
The vibration returned in force, shuddering the
lab so hard that the instruments became unreadable.
As Nagisa watched in gape-mouthed horror, the unit
began to break up. Just as she assimilated that occurrence, a
powerful blast tore through the side of the engine, sending large
fragments spinning toward the inner blast shields.
Without taking the time to think about it, she spun and
dove at both the Manager and Iczer Two, shoving them to the floor
just as the wall and console disintegrated.
Explosive decompression turned the room into a tornado
of flying debris, until the outer blast doors finally slammed shut.
Immediately, emergency oxygen began to flow back into the room.
Coughing and gasping, Nagisa raised her head and looked
at the Manager and Iczer Two, both of whom were on their backs
under her sprawled form.
"Are you... All right?" she asked, looking back and
forth between them worriedly.
"Yeah... I think so," the Manager gasped, raising
his head to look back at her.
Iczer Two's response was predictable. "Why did you
protect me, Nagisa? Such an event could not do me any harm."
"Gomen... I forgot..." she smiled weakly, then her head
suddenly dropped.
"Oh, shit!" the Manager blurted, noticing the gaping wound
in the middle of Nagisa's back, and the array of shrapnel
protruding from her body. "Medical!! Get Medical in here now!!
The Commander's down!!" he shouted, pulling himself from under her
and leaping to his feet.
Iczer Two could only stare gape-mouthed at the body
sprawled across hers, the sudden absence of Nagisa's presence in
her mind stunning her immobile.
"Nagisa..." she finally mouthed, reaching toward the
woman's stilled face. As her fingers touched Nagisa's skin, she
caught sight of the arm that lay just beside the woman's face --
and gasped as she discovered the absence of the bracelet.





The Doctor sighed disgustedly through his mask. "That's
it... Mark the time; 21:03. Good work, everyone; you tried your
best," he droned, pulling down his mask. "Damn..." he added,
turning away from the table. "Better notify Earthside," he
instructed, then turned and walked dejectedly from the operating
room.
As the staff filed out of the room sadly, Nagisa's
battered, abused body lay face-down on the table, still covered
in surgical dressings and connected to a few of the monitors.
Abruptly, the silence of the room was disturbed by the
sound of subspace opening, followed by the appearance of a
mournful Iczer Two. Her face fixed in a sad frown, she strode
up to the table and looked down at the remains of the only human
she considered her friend.
"Nagisa; it is not fitting for one such as you to throw
your life away so foolishly. You wasted it protecting me; and
yet, of us both, you have the greater right to live. It is your
destiny to show others the value of life -- as you have shown
me," she stated reverently, a tear starting to form in her eye.
"And since this is so, I will give you back that which you have
as surely given me," she smiled, gently rolling Nagisa onto her
back.
Closing her eyes, she lit up her hands and passed them
slowly over Nagisa's body, then began to smile as she felt the
spark of life return.
Within moments, Nagisa's chest heaved up as she gasped a
huge breath of air, then opened her eyes wide. Blinking, she
looked wildly around the room, then finally spotted Iczer Two
standing at her side. When she went to speak, however, she
almost choked on the airway tube still in her mouth.
Noticing that, Iczer Two grabbed it and pulled it
carefully out, tossing it aside disdainfully. "You will live,
Nagisa," she stated, a small smile parting her face.
"Iczer Two... What? How?" she croaked in response, her
throat still irritated from the tube.
"You died from your injuries, Nagisa; but I could
not allow that to happen. I have given you back the life you
gave to protect me, as you did not deserve such a wasteful
death," the Iczer explained, her face softening as she spoke.
Nagisa blinked, then raised her head to look at herself.
Her eyes widened as she saw the bloodied drapes, trays of
surgical tools and monitors around her. Looking back up at
Iczer Two, she shook her head and smiled appreciatively.
"Thank you, Iczer Two... But why?" she asked, still
somewhat confused.
Iczer Two's eyes shimmered. "You saved my life,
Nagisa. Not by your actions here, but by doing what I could
not accomplish in all my time alone. You have shown me that
there are things to live for beyond fighting -- and what those
things are. It is a debt that I can never completely repay,
but it is also one that I will never forget," she smiled,
reaching over to adjust Nagisa's matted hair.
"Iczer Two, no! You don't owe me anything! You're
my friend," Nagisa protested, looking back at the Iczer evenly
as she lifted herself to a sit.
Iczer Two smiled knowingly. "And this is why you deserve
to have your life back, Nagisa. I finally understand -- why my
sisters think so highly of you. You are a truly special human,"
she responded, leaning forward and kissing her fully on the lips.
"And I also understand why you could have this effect on me. I
love you; just as they do," she smiled, then stepped back from the
table and extended her hand -- with her typical flourish.
A glow flashed briefly in it, then faded to reveal the
bracelet Nagisa had left in the control room. "Now that the
resistance and denial are gone from my heart, I know that my
destiny is with my sisters and the Cthuwulf -- as it always has
been. I must go now to rejoin them, but I will leave you
this. As a reminder of my love -- and as a guarantee of
protection in my absence," she stated, then snapped it over the
bewildered Nagisa's wrist. "Fare you well, Nagisa...
We Iczer owe everything we are... To you and your Grandmother,"
she smiled, then bowed deeply. Upon rising, she looked back with
soft, emotion-filled eyes -- and vanished.
"Iczer Two..." Nagisa gasped, reaching out toward the
spot once occupied by the red-haired being. Drawing her hand back
slowly, she brought it to her tightening chest and crossed it over
the arm already there -- then broke out in tears.




Yajin stood outside the door to Nagisa's quarters,
literally leaning on the admit bellpad. He had been there for
fifteen minutes, and was cursing to himself about wasting so
much time.
For the third straight day, Nagisa was late for her
shift, and he was becoming worried. Since Iczer Two had
disappeared a week earlier, the woman hadn't been the same,
seeming almost to have slipped into a depression.
She was no longer the bright, enthusiastic, happy
individual she was during Iczer Two's 'visit', and even the
sparkle seemed to be missing from her eyes. She wouldn't talk
to anyone, even him, and of late seemed like she was completely
detached from what was happening around her.
He had even seen her show up for work with reddened, puffy
eyes, indicating she had likely been crying all night.
Just like he knew she had the last time the Iczers left,
despite her attempts to hide the fact.
Finally, he looked down at his watch and growled his
frustration, realizing he didn't have any more time to waste.
Pounding the door with a resounding curse, he stormed off down
the hallway, considering getting security to go in after her.
Inside the darkened, disheveled room, Nagisa lay
face-down on her bed, arms and legs splayed out and face buried
in her pillow. She had heard Yajin outside her room, even with
having deactivated her admit bell.
That however, didn't matter. Nothing mattered to her
any longer, now that the she was sure the Iczers had said their
final farewells. Over the past few days, she had come to
understand why Iczer Two had said what she had at their parting.
It was because she had been the last Iczer Nagisa herself would
likely ever see.
It was that realization that had convinced her that
she no longer had a purpose. Without the Iczers around, she felt
lonely, incomplete, and desperately, painfully empty. She loved
the Iczers, and had bonded with them in ways nobody but herself
would ever be able to understand. She had given them so much of
herself that with them now gone, there was simply nothing else
left. For her or anyone else.
Drawing a long, deep sigh, Nagisa turned her head slowly
and looked at the bracelet adorning her arm, and heard Iczer
Two's words run through her tortured brain.
"But I will leave you this; as a reminder of my
love -- and as a guarantee of protection in my absence," she had
said, just before zapping out of her life... Again.
Sniffing, Nagisa rolled herself into a sitting position,
bringing her arm over so she could get a better look at the shiny,
metallic band. Even as her eyes found it again, her chest began
to tighten and her eyes filled with tears.
Suddenly, she knew what she had to do.
Raising her arm to her chest, she clenched her hand into
the familiar fist, closed her eyes -- and fired.





Blackness. Endless, formless, empty blackness. It
surrounded her, it pervaded her, and yet... It comforted her.
Nagisa looked around herself curiously, noting that no
matter where she turned, the scene before her did not change. It
was simply black.
Raising a hand to her chin, she wondered if she was in
some sort of personal purgatory, reserved for those who took their
own lives. A chill of fear ran her spine. This was not what she
wanted.
As she tried to figure out what was happening to her, she
noticed the blackness beginning to change ever so slowly, becoming
first a dull gray, and finally, a brighter, wispy gray that
seemed warm and inviting.
Abruptly, she gasped as she felt a presence behind her.
Turning, she yelped out loud as she came face to face with...
"Iczer One!" she exclaimed, leaping up to wrap a grateful
hug around the receptive Iczer.
"Greetings, Nagisa. I have missed you," Iczer One smiled,
upon stepping back from the hug. Before Nagisa could respond, she
noticed a second figure she didn't recognize standing a short
distance behind them.
"Iczer One? Who is that?" she asked, uncertain of how
to take the elegant, green-haired woman.
Iczer One smiled. "Nagisa; please allow me to present
Sister Gray. She is the leader of the Cthuwulf, and the one who
created me," she smiled, as she gestured the woman toward them.
Nagisa immediately bowed respectfully. "Hajimemashite,
Gray-sama."
"We and the entire Cthuwulf race owe you a great debt,
Nagisa of Earth. It is I who should bow to you," the woman
smiled, immediately bowing. Nagisa flushed embarrassedly, then
shook her head.
"Iya; I didn't do anything special," she sputtered,
uncomfortably.
Sister Gray shook her head. "Oh, but you did, Nagisa.
Because of you, the Iczers are at last together, and may act as
one to both protect the Cthuwulf, and rid the Universe of the
last of Big Gold's evil spawn. You have much to be proud of."
"And you gave Iczer Two an appreciation of life and
love -- and what it means to place another before yourself. I
had not thought that possible, given that she was created out of
Big Gold's desire to kill me; she knew that as her only purpose
for existing. But, without even realizing it, you planted
the seeds for her to grow beyond her hate-filled conception,"
Iczer One supplied, smiling.
Nagisa could only blink.
Iczer One noticed. "Do you recall how you were able to
reach Atlas? The same thing happened to Iczer Two. She was
reincarnated by Neos using the Iczerio; and it had been exposed to
you through Iczer Three and Iczer Robo. Because of that, you were
already a part of both of them," she elaborated, smiling knowingly.
"Iczer Two is grateful beyond words -- as are we all."
Nagisa looked back at the two figures incredulously, about
to reiterate her objection. But, when she tried to open her mouth,
another thought flashed through her mind; one that sent her to her
knees in tears.
Unknown to her, Iczer One and Sister Gray looked at each
other and exchanged knowing smiles. Sister Gray then stepped over
and knelt beside her, resting a hand on her shuddering shoulder.
"Why do you cry, Nagisa? You should be pleased; you have
accomplished more than we could ever have hoped," she asked gently,
with a glance back at Iczer One.
"I know... And I am," she sobbed, making no effort
to control her tears. "But that means... That means I'll never
see any of them again! And I can't live like that any more! I
love them; I'm part of them! They're all I am! Without them... I
might as well be dead!" she quavered, covering her face with her
hands again and crying even harder.
A moment later, she felt a hand settle on her other
shoulder.
"Nagisa; you do not need to live without us," Iczer One
began, at which she instantly stopped crying and snapped her head
up.
"Nani?" she blurted, wiping at her face.
"Hai. We were watching you carefully, fearing that after
being so closely tied to all of us, you may have ended up feeling
as you do. When you tried to take your life, we 'stepped in' and
brought you here," the being continued, then handed off to Sister
Gray.
"That is true, Nagisa. We could not simply take you from
your Earthly life, as you are considered a hero and savior by your
own people. But, as you have now 'indicated' that you no longer
wish to remain there, we are free to offer you the chance to come
with us," she smiled, to which Iczer One nodded her enthusiastic
agreement.
Nagisa was dumbstruck. Looking back and forth between the
Iczer and Sister Gray, she finally managed to get her gaping jaw
to function.
"I... Would be honoured..." she breathed, a wide smile
spreading across her tear-streaked face.
"Then so be it," Sister Gray smiled, rising and helping
her to her feet. As Nagisa rose, she felt something strange,
and looked down to see that her nightgown was gone; replaced by a
skirt-set like her Grandmother had once worn. She broke out in a
wide, brilliant smile.
"Thank you... This... Is my dream come true," she
sniffed, then stepped up and hugged Sister Gray.
"No, Nagisa. Having all of us; yourself, the Iczers
and the Cthuwulf at last together is my dream -- and it is you
who has made it possible. I am now certain that the Cthuwulf
will survive -- survive and flourish as never before," Sister
Gray corrected, returning the hug tightly.
When Nagisa finally stepped back from the embrace, she was
stunned to see that she was standing in an ornately-decorated room,
her back to a large, sweeping couch. Beside it, Iczer Two stood
smiling her approval.
Before she could even react, an excited, familiar voice
called out from beside her.
"NAGISAAA!!" it shouted, followed by a full-body tackle
that flattened her back onto the couch.
"Iczer Three!!" she squealed, hugging the stuffing out
of the giggling young Iczer.
Iczer One, Iczer Two and Sister Gray all looked at
each other -- and smiled.




====================================================================
END - Of Destiny and Purpose An Iczer Fanfic By Coutuva

Comments Welcomed, Flames Extinguished!
coutuva@vecdev.com

 

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