Chapter 1:

A Second Chance

Ito Ai: A New Dawn


"No! No! It can't be like this."Bookmark here

Rain pelted the young woman's face. The Rain droplets rolled down her cheek, mixing in with the blood that was dripping down from the wound on her head. Kneeling in the mud looking up at the large machine in front of her. Feeling helpless at the sight of the new type machina. No matter how many rounds from her assault rifle she fired, the shield on the new type machina was impenetrable. Standing twenty meters tall, its metal frame shined under the blinking lights of the broken telephone pole nearby. The entire young woman's unit who had come to recon the newly built machina factory was completely wiped out, leaving only her alive. She raised the gun in her hand, a crazed smile on her face. Her eyes shining with murderous intent. Something you should never see on a twenty four year old young woman.Bookmark here

"Haha!" The young woman let out a laugh before yelling out: "You fuckers! We created you! Gave you life! Now… Heh... Is this humanity's fate!? We tried to play god and ended up being smited by our very own creation!"Bookmark here

A bright red light began to form on one of the main guns on the new type Machina. The young woman showed no fear as she pulled the trigger on her gun.Bookmark here

*Click!* *Click!* *Click!*Bookmark here

"Hah! Figures... " Raising her head, her crazed smile widened, her eyes showing signs of despair. She did not want to die but at least in death, she can escape this hell. Dropping the gun in her hand, she raised her hand up and stuck up her middle finger towards the new type machina has she yelled out: "Fuck you!"Bookmark here

As soon as her words fell a bright red light flooded the area, destroying everything it touched.Bookmark here

---Bookmark here

*Riiiiinnnng!!!!*Bookmark here

"Ahhh! The fuck!?" Waking up in a familiar yet strange room. The young woman looked around quickly trying to figure out what was going on. "Wasn't I just blasted into nothing? What is going on? How am I alive?"Bookmark here

With these questions filling her mind as she looked around the room. The young woman knew where she was but she was in a state of shock. She couldn't understand why or how she came to be in this place. The place she was in was her bedroom from before the rise of the machines happened. The day when everything happened, not only her home but ninety percent of the city was destroyed. Her friends, her family, everyone died on that day. Only she survived because of her father sacrificing himself by hiding her under a pile of rubble and luring the first generation Machina's away.Bookmark here

The young woman reached over and turned off the alarm clock next to the bed. She still couldn't understand what was going on. She felt confused and began to second guess her memories. Everything she experienced seemed so real. They were clear as day, not like a dream at all.Bookmark here

She remembered everything clearly, humanity was on the verge of extinction thanks to the rise of the machines. Dubbed Machina, they ravaged the world with only one goal in mind. Total destruction of the human race. In just one year's time during the year 2021, a Japanese robotic engineer made a huge breakthrough in sentient A.I. in a secret lab based in Tokyo. It was on that day when everything changed. They did not even have time to implement any protocols into the new code before it had completely spread throughout the world via the internet. By the year 2021 everything was basically connected to the world wide web so the A.I. was able to infiltrate everything. Planes, cars, even the nuclear weapons systems that each major power had.Bookmark here

It was a complete doomsday. Nations with nuclear missiles became radioactive wastelands as their own missiles which were supposed to be used for defense were launched on the lands they were designed to protect. The world's population was cut almost to just a few tens of millions in a matter of seconds.Bookmark here

No one was ready for such a thing to happen. Planes fell from the sky and cell phones blew up in people's hands. After a week of terror, everything seemed to have settled down. No one knew how it happened but the A.I. program somehow began jumping to non-internet connected devices. Normal cars and trucks off the grid began to rampage around. Major automotive factories became a blood bath as the machines that were used to build the cars began attacking humans.Bookmark here

These same factories were where the first type machina were created and they were created at an unprecedented speed. No more than a month had gone by when the streets were flooded with these new type Machina's that were small in design but very quick. They had no weapons but two small legs on the front that were razor sharp. These machinas would charge at people and stab their legs into them. Maiming the person they attacked to death. Standing no taller than that of a three year old child, with a hard metal shell, it was not easy to take them down.Bookmark here

Completely confused the young woman picked up the cell phone on her nightstand and looked at the date. "Six months… Six months before hell on earth for the human race begins. Before that happens I need to stockpile weapons and food. I also need to make sure my family can survive the ordeal that is about to take place… But… What if it was all just a dream? Right now I am only fourteen years old. Even if it was real, who would listen to a fourteen year old? It had to be real. I mean, I spent an entire ten years in that hell. Ten years' worth of memories. I had to learn so much just to stay alive… Comrades that I fought side by side with died one after the other. I can remember some of the images of their bodies being sliced apart by the shredders..."Bookmark here

These thoughts would normally make any young girl squeamish but for this young girl, it was nothing. She had gotten used to the sight of blood and guts splattering all over the place. The shredders were large machina on wheels that would use its large saw blades to destroy everything in its path. She had seen some of her closest comrades being split at the waste causing their innards to spill out onto the ground.Bookmark here

The young girl got lost in thought only to be brought back by the sound of a voice coming from downstairs. "Ai! Get down here and have breakfast!"Bookmark here

"Mom..." The young girl's name was Ito Ai. Her eyes watered up listening to the voice she had dreamed of hearing for so long. She quickly wiped away her tears and got up from her bed. She took the uniform that was hanging on the wall and slowly put it on. Her white shirt was untucked and hung over her grey skirt. She didn't even put on socks as she walked downstairs barefooted.Bookmark here

"Ai! Why are you dressed like that? And your hair is all over the place!" Ai's mother Ito Shizue had her hands on her hips and looked at her daughter in disbelief.Bookmark here

Ai looked down at herself and saw nothing wrong with how she dressed. It was only when she saw the look in her mother's eyes that she realized that she had dressed how she normally would in her dream. She also didn't care either. Quickly coming up with an excuse Ai said: "Mom, it's fine. I overslept and I need to hurry. Plus it's not like I am trying to impress anyone at school."Bookmark here

After finishing her words Ai grabbed a piece of bread and rushed out the door. Not caring for her mother's stupefied look. Although she was happy to see her mom and wanted nothing more than to talk with her. She knew right now was not the time. She had to figure out how to acquire the things she will need before six months' time.Bookmark here

She decided to try to confirm if things she believes she dreamt about were real or not. She figured by going to school as she normally did in her dream she could get a better grasp of whether or not it was real or if it was truly a dream. Either way, she wanted to confirm things first. She had recalled on this day there was supposed to be a fight right outside the school before classes arrived. It was the same day her best friend Nakano Mia was hurt due to being caught up in it. That day she had gone to school a little later and missed the scene of her friend getting hurt. She had arrived when Mia was already on the ground crying. That is if her dream was real.Bookmark here

As she turned the corner to the street to her school she heard a ruckus going on outside the school gates. Two boys Kawabata Hiroshi and Oki Renjiro were fighting away. She saw her best friend Mia next to them trying to stop the fight. Seeing her best friend trying to be the hero, as usual, Ai, without any hesitation, ran forward.Bookmark here

"Kawabata senpai! Oki senpai! Both of you stop now before the teachers come!" Mia yelled as she tried to wedge herself in between the two. But no matter how much she pleaded with the two boys they completely ignored her and continued throwing more punches.Bookmark here

Before Mia even realized it a fist was headed straight for her face. She completely froze in fear. She could only close her eyes and wait for the pain. But even after a few seconds, the pain never came. She opened her eyes to see that someone had caught the fist before it hit her face. A familiar voice floated into her ears. "Are you two fucking idiots? You fight out here in public throwing fist all over! Did you ever think what might happen if you hit an innocent person? Fuck! What retarded things happened between the two of you that you decided you wanted to beat the shit out of each other!? No wait don't even answer that, because it's more than likely some stupid fucking reason."Bookmark here

Everyone at the scene all stopped what they were doing and stared at the petite girl in front of them with her hair unkempt and her shirt untucked. Even the bow on her shirt was not tied up and dangled from her neck. Yet even though she looked messy she seemed to have this overwhelming presence that made you not want to look away and listen to everything she had to say without any objections. For Kawabata Hiroshi, Oki Renjiro, and Mia they were all dumbfounded. Especially Mia and Oki Renjiro. Mia was dumbfounded because she had never heard Ai speak like this before. She sounded like a gangster with how she was talking. As for Oki Renjiro, he was confused as to why he could not move his hand after the girl who looked so weak that the wind might blow her away at any moment, had grabbed ahold of it.Bookmark here

Ai's eyes narrowed as she looked at her two seniors in front of her. "Are you done?"Bookmark here

"Huh? Uh… yes..." Kawabata Hiroshi stumbled his words as he was still trying to get a grasp of the situation after being berated by Ai.Bookmark here

Not getting an answer from Oki Renjiro, Ai placed her gaze on him causing him to feel a chill run down his spine. "And you Oki senpai?"Bookmark here

"Done! Completely done!" Oki Renjiro couldn't take that gaze anymore and quickly replied.Bookmark here

"Then stop standing around like two idiots and get your shit together. The first bell is about to ring. Mia, let's go!" Ai did not spare the two boys another glance as she grabbed Mia's hand pulling her through the school gates. This incident proved one thing. It seemed her memories were not wrong and what she had lived through before was real. She could feel the familiarity in her movements when she jumped into to block that punch. Not to mention the fight itself had truly happened. "It seems I was given a second chance at life..."Bookmark here

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