Sakura Wars Fan Fiction / Beyblade Fan Fiction ❯ Sakura Taisen:Zero One ❯ Previewings ( Chapter 5 )

[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]

"Attention to all divisions. The Commander orders your presence at the Conference Room. I repeat! All divisions, the Commander orders your presence in the Conference Room."

Hearing the announcement on the telecom, all of the members of the Neo-Imperial Capital Defense heeded the call, swarming from the upper floors of the Teito Broadcasting Studios to the Conference Room, way down the massive lower levels.

"What is it now?! Here we are taking a much needed rest, and we are called to another meeting!" grumbled the apparently disgruntled Sumire.

"Don't you have anything else to do other than complain?" muttered Kanna.

"All of the divisions have been called," said Maria, as the elevator that they were riding in stopped at their destination and opened up. "The meeting must be of great importance."

Team Hana joined the ranks of the rest of the Force, as they were assembled in the massive Conference Room. On the elevated ramp were Major Oogami and the rest of the Force's commanders.

"I know that you have been disturbed from what you've been doing," the Major started, "But this meeting is called for a very important announcement. I'll go straight to the point: I am aware that everyone here has been doing their best, but unfortunately, we haven't been making any progress. As we can see from what happened last week, our efforts are not enough to even prevent the enemy from attacking civilians. I can see that all of you want to ask what we should do about it. That's for Lt. Hayata here to explain."

By that, the Major passed the microphone to Lt. Hayata, who took it and said in his trademark impish voice, "Hisasshiburi da nee (it's been a long time) eh girls?"

Groans can be heard from the mostly female staff, knowing that Hayata loves being naughty around girls. But to their relief, he didn't harass them with his wisecracks as he usually does, as his face turned sober and proceeded with the minutes of the meeting. "All right, since we don't have that much time, I'll get down to business. Do you remember the incident last week?"

"The one at the Sairan Coliseum?" asked one of the staffers.

"Yes, I can see that your memory's still as fresh as ever. But do you remember who these are?" and as Hayata was saying this, the overhead projector flashed the images of the Blading boys. Seeing that, everyone in the hall were excited and murmurs passed around. The children in the room were excited even more when they saw their idols, but a young lady with shoulder-length, dark brown hair, who was obviously their caretaker, tried her best to calm them down. Of course, Team Hana was the most struck. "It's those rascals!" Sumire cried out.

"Those Kobu marauders!" said Kohran.

"Hey, what's going on?" asked Kanna. "What about those kids?"

"Aha! I got you there!" said Lt. Hayata. "Pop quiz kids! As you all know, the Wakiji are attracted to high levels of spiritual energy. Why do you think they attacked the coliseum? Major clue: the answer is the same reason why Sumire's Kobu was activated despite its damages!"

At that, Kohran piped up, "Of course!! It's because those boys have high amounts of spiritual power! So THAT's why the coliseum was attacked in the first place." And the rest of the audience murmured as they contemplated on what was said.

"Does that mean that everything that happened is their fault?" asked Sakura.

"In a way, yes," said Maria, "After all, it's their spiritual power."

"But blaming them is wrong!" Sakura said earnestly, "It's not like they willed it to happen, and I don't think they want that to happen."

"It might be the case, but it can't be helped. People who are not as open-minded and quick thinking as you are will place the blame on them...."then suddenly, it dawned on Maria. "Could it be?"

She went near the elevated ramp and said, "Assistant Commander! You're not seriously planning to....."

"Ah, you're quick thinking as always, Tachibana," and with a grin, Hayata declared, "Yes, ladies, these boys are the new members of the Neo-Imperial Capital Defense Force!"

Murmurs suddenly turned to gasps and excited yammering.

"Whoa," said Kanna, "Interesting."

"I don't believe this," Maria said, looking every bit dazed.

"Wow!" said Sakura, "New members? And boys at that!! I can't wait to meet them!"

"What are you so happy about?" groaned Kohran, "Have you forgotten what those rapscallions did?"

"But they did save us, right?"

"Yes, but...."

"THAT'S PREPOSTEROUS!!!!!!" cried Sumire. Her shout was so loud that everyone in the room stopped talking. The violet- haired woman strode towards the ramp and ranted, "Of all the people that you can recruit for the Force, why those charlatans?! Just because they have a high amount of spiritual power doesn't automatically make them qualify!"

"She does have a point," said Maria, "For one thing, based on their records, those boys have absolutely no experience in the theater, even in the school-play level."

"That's where you come in, Tachibana," said Hayata, "And as we are only about to go into the phase of evaluating their spiritual power and physical abilities for the completion of the new Kobu series that they will be using, we will be needing all of your help. In the long run, it's THEIR help that we will be needing."

"Unacceptable!!" cried Sumire, "Those kids will only be an embarrassment to the Force. Such artless street rats will only stick out like a sore thumb on the stage!!"

"Oi, Sumire," Kanna piped up, "I told you not to be so obstinate. I know you'll never agree with this, but acting abilities can be learned. Spiritual power can't be learned: you have to be BORN with it. No matter what we say, those boys have all the right to be drafted to the Force and there's nothing we can do about it. Right, Assistant Commander?"

"Well said, Kirishima," said Hayata.

"But Assistant Commander!" cried Sumire, "You just can't....."

"Forget it Sumire," Kohran sighed in resignation, "After all this is what the Major ordered. All we can do is at least teach those kids ho to show some respect for the Kobu."

"I agree," said Sakura, "Besides, I don't think that those children are that bad. Don't you think we can still be friends with them? Right, Iris?"

Iris nodded quietly, but it wasn't clear whether she agreed with what Sakura said or not.

"Sakura!" Sumire harrumphed. "Stop talking about such childish things!"

"She actually has a good idea, Sumire-kun." said Major Oogami, "We recruited those boys not only because of our need for more manpower in battle, but also because it is vital for you to have some form of male companionship that I can no longer give you. As you can see, I am an old man that did not have the privilege of the cryogenic process that you girls in Team Hana had. And I strongly believe that those boys are the right ones for the job, as their simulated biography suggests."

"But Commander!" Sumire insisted, stubbornly holding her ground.

As if to ignore her, Major Oogami said, "By now, you know what your orders will be, right, Maria-kun?"

"Yes, Commander." Decisively, Maria saluted and said, "As assistant captain, I will be responsible for the training of the new recruits. Consider it done, sir!"

Sumire was still seething with frustration and anger, but seeing that she can't do anything about it, she just settled down and fell silent.

"Speaking of which, where's Beckett-han?" asked Kohran, "I don't see her around."

"The Captain?" said Maria, "She was sent to the reception area to meet someone......" again, she was struck with another realization and said, "Commander, could it be that they..."

Iris clutched her teddy bear closer. "They're here."

By hearing the little girl's ominous words, the people in the room were swept in a wave of excitement. The Major sensed their anxiety and said, "Yes ladies, the Chairman of the BBA Board, Mr. Daitouji, had informed us that these boys had accepted our offer and are now on their way here. They will go down here any minute now, and I expect you to give them a warm welcome."

The BBA van drove into the massive, park like grounds of Teito Broadcasting Studios. Even at the entrance, the children can't help but marvel at the breathtaking grounds and the architecture of the grand palace.

"Wooooooow!" cried Max. "If it ain't for the high-tech security gadgets around the perimeter, I'd say that this is not a broadcasting studio, but a grand royal palace!"

"Actually, it IS sort of one," said Kyoju, "This was a state guest residence built in the Meiji era. It's actually amazing how they managed to modernize the facilities and preserve most of the original articles at the same time. The steeple that you see in the center is actually the transmitter tower itself."

"Wicked!" said Takao, "If you're not the one telling me that, I won't believe it."

"Oh this place is sooooooooooo romantic!" Hiromi swooned, "Just look at the gardens and fountains. And that palace is soooooooooooooooo beautiful! Just look at that glittering dome on the right! It looks like a diamond glistening in the sun!"

"That dome is where the residence's grand auditorium is located," said Kyoju, "And it happens to be the biggest auditorium built for a Victorian-era architecture palace! And it can seat up to a hundred thousand people all at the same time! And what's amazing is that aside from some upholstery changes, upgrades in lighting and the addition of modern air-conditioning facilities, almost all of the structures in it remain intact! What are seen glittering on the roof are hundreds of glass panels designed to direct the available light onto the stage, but as we know, advances in technology had rendered that idea obsolete and that dome is already closed off at the ceiling....."

"Oh cut it out!" Hiroya butted in, "We didn't come here for a guided tour. Where's the military facility? I don't even see a tank around here."

"Hiroya, even if you borrow a chicken's brain, you can never be called a genius." Kai said indifferently.

"Yeah sure! A chicken like your Dranzer!"

"Will you stop it?!" said Rei, "This is no time to argue. And as for the question of the military facility, it's probably hidden under the broadcast studio."

"How convenient." Dizzi, Kyoju's Bit Beast/ AI program, piped up. "A perfect front in a perfect location."

"Dizzi!! Where have you been?" asked Hiromi, "I missed you!"

"Well ask Kyoju-kun! He did not even bother to turn me on when the big events happened. Why, do you think I'm only for Beyblading? NO WAY! I could've at least gotten you an analysis and reading on those Wakiji thingies!"

"Sorry, Dizzi," said Kyoju, "I know you're mad, but our thoughts are kinda too preoccupied with personal matters as well. Don't worry: I'll secretly turn you on in the base so you can here our conversation, and you can take notes. But you must promise me not to say a word, lest you scare the people there. Okay?"

"Oh, all right," said Dizzi.

As the van rolled towards the main entry, Takao asked, "Hey, there's one thing that you guys haven't told me. Where have Rei and Kai stayed these past days?"

"The new BBA head office is occupying a residential tower," explained Mr. Daitouji. "They had been staying there, courtesy of the Association, of course."

"Wow! A residential tower?" said Hiromi, "You must be enjoying a lot of luxury."

"Not really," said Rei, "You see, we're outdoors most of the time. We're investigating what the Neo-Imperial Capital Defense Force is. We managed to make our way here somehow."

"Whoa!" said Max, "Did you get in?"

"Unfortunately, we can't risk trespassing and being caught," answered Kai. "So this is actually our first time to go in. Our first try wasn't lucky. Since there are a lot of security gadgets lining the perimeter, we only got as far as the hedge before the real, high- risk area of being discovered."

"Oh, stop being so modest," said Mr. Daitouji with a little chucke. "I don't exactly call trespassing a good way of investigating, but it's remarkable how you boys managed to get into the inner radius of the area and leave without triggering the sensors."

Rei was surprised. "How did you know?"

"Well of course! The officers had told me that they caught you in one of their surveillance cameras!"

"And let me guess: they let us get away since we're coming here anyway, and as a way of testing our abilities," Kai said with a smirk, "Typical of military big shots."

"Wow!" said Hiromi, "You guys are really amazing."

"Oh stop it!" Rei blushed.

"The Chairman is right. You don't have to be modest," said Kyoju. "Now you know why you shouldn't mess with them, Hiroya?"

"Hmf. Why should I?"

Takao puts on a mock scary look and said, "Because they are ASSASSINS. Watch your back."

A (humorous) frightened look was on Hiroya's face, not from what Takao said, but from how the latter's face looked like.

"Here we are boys!"

As the Chairman said this, the van pulled over right in front of the massive doorway.

It may have been hard for the group to say what they felt in those awe-inspiring moments, as they looked at the impressive structure before them. At a closer range, the details of the massive palace are clearer, and the group was so taken away that they felt like they were swept back in time. But that illusion was broken off when a group of uniformed security guards met them at the colossal door. At that, the Chairman showed them an authorization letter, and the guards took it to take a closer look.

"Oh, the BBA people huh? Come in: they've been waiting for you since this morning."

The guards then activated the automated (?!) door, and with an ominous whirring sound, it slowly opened and the group was awed even more with what they see.

The interior was much more elegant and architecturally astounding. Although the main hall is hardly decorated due to the nature of the profession that was practiced here, the structural arrangements were enough to make it stand out. Some of the massive, graceful archways were fitted with transparent glass enclosures as not to let the installations of function rooms and workstations be obtrusive to the original architectural plans.

"Weird. It's kinda quiet here," said Hiromi, "Where are all the people?"

"You won't find them here."

The group's eyes went to the base of the massive stairway.

"Hey," said Takao, "you're..."

"Yes, it's me." Lily Beckett approached the huddled group of youngsters and said, "Welcome to the base of the Neo- Imperial Capital Defense force. So, we meet again, kids."

"Come. Everyone's waiting for you."