Several years passed. Mai, now 17, sat near the older Hiiro and Ken, watching them play a fighting game, occasionally looking down at a history book in her lap. Their caretaker, Ms.Yamikaze, smiled as she watched them enjoy themselves. The children had a rough past 10 years, but it seems things were looking up. They had finally acquired an actual place to stay, a small apartment near a decent school. It was much better than their old place in the back of a store. Mai had taken a great interest in historical figures, such as Thomas Edison and Nobunaga Oda. On a desk nearby, a mountians of paper were piled up, all research on said historical figures.
A knock on the door signalled the 3 teens to look up. Ken took advantage of the situation, quickly pressing combos on his controller, and finishing his brother off. "Oh come on!" Was the only response the laughing Ken got out of his brother. Ms.Yamikaze stood up and walked to the door.
Opening it, she was met face to face with men in white suits. Each faces potrayed no emotion. "Yukina Yamikaze." Said a deep voice. "Or rather... Agent Geist." Yukina's eyes narrowed in distaste.
"Mai. Hiiro. Ken. Get upstairs. Don't come out until i tell you to. Please." Hearing their caretaker's orders, the three slowly nodded and left, Mai taking her book and notes with her. As soon as the 3 were out of sight, Yukina glared daggers at her current company. "What does the Foundation want with me now? You know I quit."
"That would have been acceptable... Had you not taken top secret research with you. We would like the Eyecons and Drivers back, Agent Geist." The man held out his hand, as if expecting the items in question to just be handed over. Yukina was silent for a moment.
Then, she punched him in the face. The other 4 behind him lept into action, pulling out strange ribbed USB drives, and stabbed them into their necks, their faces morphing into masks of some kind, with a skeletal design to them. Yukina jumped back, grabbing a near desk drawer and opening it, producing a strange black object and a mechanical eyeball. Placing the object to her wrist, 2 straps extended and wrapped around her forearm. She raised the eyeball, and pressed a button on it's side, before loading it into the brace.
[LOADING.] A discorded riff sounded off, and Yukina was replaced by a figure in an all black armor and bodysuit, with a black and grey hoodie with short sleeves descending on her, forming a grey mask with black eyes on her helmeted face. She rushed toward the monsters in front of her. A fist impacted against one's face, sending it flying. Another began to sneak up on her, but a spinning kick knocked it back.
The curious teens sent to their room peeked out from behind a wall, watching their caretaker fight off the men as some kind of armored super hero. Mai's eyes were practically filled with sparkles as she watched Ms. Yamikaze fight, throwing punches and kicks. The two boys walked away, retreating to a room behind them. A room they had previously been told not to enter.
They hadn't even meant to.
But what they found inside would change the lives of all 3 teens.
The walls of the room were lined with papers, and manual, and blue prints for a variety of items. Hiiro walked over and found 3 eyeball devices like Ms. Yamikaze's, but they were entirely white with black etchings and pink marks splattered around them. He tried pushing it's button, only for nothing to happen. Ken opened another drawer, finding 2 strange belts. They were identical, featuring a creepy smile beneath a somewhat see through blue sheet, and a single eye, with a handle sticking out the right side. Mai walked into the room, and looked down at some papers. She picked them up, and read aloud.
"Eyecon System...?" A thought crossed her mind. The men out there asked for 'The Eyecons' back, right? Maybe... Maybe those were the Eyecons they desperately wanted. And if they were important enough for violence to get involved... And for them to be hidden away... then...
"Ken, Hiiro. Give me one of those. Please." The teenage girl asked, turning to her friends. Hiiro nodded in confusion, and handed one over. It flashed in her hand briefly, an S appearing for a split second, then returned to it's previous state. Hiiro handed ome to Ken as well, which flashed a G before returning to normal. The final one flashed an I. The two boys took the belts, and hid them in their jackets, before rushing out to see a hole in the wall, and all 6 fighters gone. They rushed over to see Yukina fighting down below, and a new fighter, wearing a similar armor to their caretaker, only with a yellow coat, 2 horns, and lightning bolts all over him, approached. Ken stared down at the belt on his waist, which was the same as the one they had taken from the room.
His armor lit up as he rushed over to her, and punched her square in the jaw, cracking her helmet a bit. Yukina pushed a button on her wrist device, and a large eye symbol appeared behind her, grey energy flowing into her fist. She rushed over to the new fighter, and with a jump, punched him as hard as she could, sending him spiraling back. Electricity began to spark around her body, and the suit flickered.
"You see, Agent Geist... That's what you get for using an early prototype. The suit can't handle the Omega Drive functions. Mine however... Can." The man in yellow said. Reaching down to his belt, he pulled the level out, causing a large eye symbol to appesr behind his own back, and send rainbow colored energy to his foot. He jumped, and descended onto the teens' caretaker, who screamed in pain.
"MISS YAMIKAZE!!!" Came the shout of one Mai. The man in yellow looked up to see the three teens watching in horror. He made a motion to the 4 monsters behind him, and they rushed off to deal with the children.
Yukina, now devoid of her suit, struggled to get up. She was bleeding in several places, and she definitely had a gash in her head. Blood ran down her face as she stared up at thw man in yellow. He grabbed her by the wrist, and removed the Eyecon from her wrist device.
"The Geist Eyecon... The first Eyecon developed by Foundation X. It's drawbacks include nausea, weakness in the joints, and the user's soul being trapped inside of it. So if the Eyecon is broken..." He began to squeeze it, cracks forming. "The user dies." He turned his attention to foot steps behind him, and turned to see the 4 monsters walking toward him, with the 3 teens in front of them, beaten and bruised. The man in yellow chuckled. "I wonder... Agent Geist. Would they despair if they watched you die?"
"DON'T! SHE'S ALL WE HAVE!" Mai cried, tears running down her cheeks. Hiiro glared daggers at the man, while Ken just closed his eyes in terror. The man laughed harder.
"Then even more reason to do it!" He laughed, and turned to show them the Eyecon. He squeezed harder, and crushed it. He opened his hand.
And pieces of the broken device fell to the ground as Yukina screamed bloody murder. Her body began to glow, and disintegrate.
"No.. No! Nonononono! Not yet!" Yukina cried, tears streaming down her cheeks. Reality set in. She was going to die. Realizing this, she looked to the 3 she had taken care of for years. "Mai... Ken... Hiiro... I didn't want to involve you all... I wanted you all to live peaceful lives... But now you know... Please... stay strong... Protect each other... Live... Live til the end... Let your lives burn brightly..." Her eyes and up were all that was left now. "Don't give up hope..."
Yukina's body vanished.
She was gone.
Mai screamed in rage, and sadness. Tears began to flow from Ken's eyes. Hiiro roared.
And the man in yellow continued to laugh.
"Kill them all. All who see us must perish. No evidence left behind." He declared, and turned away. The 4 nodded, and tool out daggers of a sort. The 3 wept. They had just lost everything... And now they were about to die too.
A stab. A scream of pain. Followed by another. Mai looked to her left, and saw Hiiro and Ken's bodies bleeding out. She screamed, cried. She felt a pain in her chest. Looking down, she discovered a blade going through it. As it was pulled out, she fell to the ground, her body shutting down.
I... I can't die yet... I can't! If I do... Then everything Miss Yamikaze said was worthless! I DON'T WANNA DIE!
The same thought ran through the heads of all 3 there.
All 4 intact Eyecons on the scene began to glow.
The man in yellow turned around, shocked. "No... They had them!?"
As the final breathes of all 3 were drawn, their bodies turned into golden light.
Mai opened her eyes to a field of green, with a waterfall nearby. Looking around, she wondered to herself.
"Is this... Heaven?"
A laugh echoed behind her. "Not quite, child." Swinging around, Mai soon met face to face with a hooded figure. Cloaked in yellow and black. "This is more a space between Heaven and Hell... Kinda like purgatory, but not. Sorry, where are my manners? My name is Yurei."
Mai nodded slowly, confused. What was going on? Hadn't she died?
"As you can see... You're dead!" He exclaimed. "But! That can be fixed! You died while in possession of an Eyecon, did you not?" Again, Mai nodded, and pulled it out. "Ah, so you did! Well, you're in luck! You can come back to life!" The girl's head shot up at this news. "...Kinda. You'll be brought back as a ghost. The main problem with this, is that you'll also be on limited time. 15 years at most." Mai's eyes returned to sadness.
"...So I only get 15 more years, huh? And even then, I'm not actually alive..." She sat down on a nearby rock.
"Woah, woah! Don't get all mopey on me, young lady! There's an upside!" She looked to him, waiting. "If you can collect 15 Eyecons of legendary men and women of history, you can get 1 wish! Any wish at all! You can wish to be a god, for unlimited wealth... or even for the life of yourself and others to be restored."
Mai looked down at the Eyecon in her hand. "These things hold that much power...?"
"Indeed! But! Only if you accept the contract. Once you do, your soul will be bound to that Eyecon until you're either brought back, or your time runs out. So! Do you accept the contract?" He asked eith a florish.
Mai stared down at it. If she accepted... She could bring back herself... Ken... Hiiro... and Miss Yamikaze...
She stood, and turned to Yurei. Determination filled her eyes.
"I'll do it. I accept the contract." She declared. He laughed.
"Wow! Without even reading it!" His hands glowed yelloe and orange. "Then... I wish you luck... Shinigami." He held put his hand, and blue flames enveloped Mai. A belt, identical to the ones found by Hiiro and Ken, and to the one present on the man in yellow's waist, appeared on her. The eyecon in her hand flashed, and it's colors changed. It now sported a black casing, with a white scalera and iris. The top changed to show two crossed, upside down scythes, with teeth below them. The word 'Shinigami' appeared below the symbol. Her spirit turned into motes of light, and she vanished. Yurei looked on for a moment longer, and laughed.
"Well... This'll be interesting data."
Back in the real world, the man in yellow was frantically searching. "Find them!"
They would not leave that complex.
Darkness enveloped the whole area, and Yurei's lines on his suit, as well as his helmet's face, began to glow to let him see better. He looked to where he had dropped the pieces of the Geist Eyecon, only to see them gone, and a gloved hand be holding them.
"Well... Looks like the playing field has been evened, wouldn't you say?" A female voice sounded out. The darkness cleared.
Standing there was a female in a near identical armor to the man in yellow's and Yukina's, with white bone patterns spread throughout. A red eye sat in the center of her chest, and a long coat with a hood, short sleeves, and a rib cage design on the lapels sat over the armor. A red gem sat in the middle of the figure's forehead region, and two crossed, upside down scythes formed pitch black eyes, with teeth and a nasal cavity below the blades. Her lines and silver of her face glowed softly. The Eyecon pieces in her hand vanished. "...Miss Yamikaze... I'll avenge you. And then I'll get that wish... So i can bring you back."
[KAIGAN! SHINIGAMI!] (Awaken, grim reaper!)
A large sycthe with several hinges appeared in her hand.
[NAKI TAMASHII! YAMI NO SENSHI! G-G-G-GHOST!] (A lost soul, a soldier of darkness! G-g-g-Ghost!)
As a call that sang doom fkr the enemy rang out, Mai lifted her now helmeted face. A wave of killing intent flew off of her, and the 5 beings in front of her, those responsible for the death of her friends and herself, took a step back. Mai spun her scythe as if she had trained with one for years, and, dragging it's blade along the ground, she walked toward them.
"Well... I-I can see you're angry... So how about we just talk things out? Alright?" The man in yellow asked, nervous, and frightened. Beneath his helmet, sweat practically poured down his face. He hadn't accounted for this!'
"You didn't talk it out with us when you let them kill me or my friends, did you? Or with Ms. Yamikaze? No. You didn't. The time for talk is long over... Now, is the time for reaping. Punishment. The time to send you all directly to hell." Mai broke out into a run, and the man in yellow backed up further.
"Well... I know when I'm beaten... I leave the rest to you 4! Ciao!" The man in yellow flew up, and then vanished. Mai clicked her tongue in annoyance, a habit that she would be doing a LOT. She focused her sights on the 4 in front of her... the 4 who killed herself, Hiiro, and Ken. She rushed forward again, pulling a trigger on her scythe, firing a bullet that boosted her forward.
Spinning, Mai clashed against the monsters in front of her. She slashed directly through one, cutting through him, but not bisecting him. Sparks flew instead, and the monster cried out in pain. She hit a button, and the weapon shifted into a sniper rifle, which she pressed against his head. He began to object, clesrly filled with fear.
She pulled the trigger.
The USB from before flew out of his neck, and he fell unconscious. She stabbed the USB, and a scream of pain came from his mouth, before his chest stopped moving.
Her first human kill. But in her eyes, it was alright. They weren't human to her. Not anymore.
The other 3 backed up. Mai turned her sights on them, and began to float. She flew higher into the air, and took aim. She fired off 4 rounds. 2 to knock the strange USBs out of them, and 2 to kill. All 4 hit their mark, and the last one got up snd began to run.
"You can not escape death..." She quipped, pulling out the lever of her belt. A large black and silver eye appeared behind her, and rainbow colored energy gathered around her left foot. She pushed the lever back in, and began to descend upon the final monster, who had become frozen in fear.
[DAI-KAIGAN! SHINIGAMI! OMEGA DRIVE!] (Grand awakening: Shinigami Omega Drive!)
Her foot connected seconds later, and the remaining monster was engulfed in flames, and then exploded. His USB flew out of the explosion, and then shattered to pieces.
When the explosion cleared, the only thing remaining was Mai, standing in a smoking crater.
And behind her, two shining lights. One red, and one brown. They reformed into the forms of Hiiro and Ken Kiseki. Mai turned around, her armor and coat vanishing into motes of light. Tears fell down her cheeks as her eyes fell upon them. They were fine... Or rather, almost. Ghosts, like her, on limited time.
This was only the beginning. What awaited them was far more horrible than what they had witnessed that day. A path of darkness, destruction, hate, and sorrow awaited these 3 friends.
SHINIGAMI RE;BIRTH 3: END
TO BE CONTINUED.
"Everyone is searching for a world where they belong. A place of light, free of falsehood. We are on a never ending journey to reach that world." -Tsukasa Kadoya