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BEFORE YOU READ:

  • I am no great writer, so I apologize in advance for any mistakes I make!
  • If you have any questions, comments, corrections or suggestions to make, feel free to comment in any chapter!
  • For some reason, my stories tend to be way heavier on dialogue than anything else. If that bothers anyone, I apologize!
  • There are several articles out for Galaxy Mew Mew, including a main page and character pages, if you are interested in checking them out at any point!

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After a lengthy four years, Akio Fujioka had finally perfected his research. Having lost his original work due to the attacks on Earth and the sudden rush to the colonies, the geneticist found himself needing to start over from scratch. The man leaned back in his chair and sighed. Yes, he had finally finished his work; all of the data was, for the most part, perfected, and all DNA and galactic elements gathered. Akio removed his glasses and stared at the ceiling. He lost himself, thinking about all the work he’d need to do to get the project up and running, before a voice interrupted him, one belonging to a rather odd Danish scientist named Alexander Knudsen--one of his only friends in his sect.

“Doctor Fujioka, what are you doing?” he asked his coworker with surprise. “Are you taking a break? Shouldn’t you be working on your research?”

He shook his head and didn’t wait for his friend to respond . Alexander paced back and forth and wagged his finger around as if in disapproval.

“I know you’re close to completion, but we scientists have no time for breaks, you see (not anymore anyway) so of course it would be best to press on and get back to work, at least I think so.”

Alexander stopped and bit his lip. “Oh dear, now I’m wasting my time talking to you and there's much to be done. How very strenuous this day is! “

Akio laughed, something he hadn’t taken the time to do in quite a while. Alexander stared at his coworker with confusion.
“Alexander, I’ve done it!” Akio suddenly exclaimed, sitting back up and turning his chair to face his friend. “I’ve completed the Galactic Mew Project- It’s done!”

Akio stood and put his hands on Alexander’s shoulders.

“And now, Alexander, I can finally begin testing! Do you know how long it’s been? Not only did I spend four years working on it back home, but I worked four more years from scratch! It hasn’t done much good to my health, but now that I’ve done the hardest part, well, everything seems so much easier! Sure I have some work to do and there is a flaw or two that I should fix, but it’ll be cake compared to this.”

“Well, my friend, I congratulate you,” Alexander said with a smile, “But, just who are you going to test it on?”

Akio looked down and bit his lip.

“Ah, that’s... a marvelous question…..” he remarked. “Well...I, uh...you see…. I’m not exactly sure. That’s the one thing I had not thought of.”

“You had better find someone soon, Fujioka.” Alexander's voice carried great sincerity, Akio could hear. “I’m not sure how much time the captain gave to you in the first place.”

“Don’t worry about that,” Akio sighed. He dropped his hands to his sides. “It’s my responsibility. I mean, I don’t know if he realizes that it takes much longer than a year or two to complete something like this. And I’ve managed to get extensions, to sway him and all, but, you know, I’m finally done with the biggest part! There’s absolutely no reason for him to be so angry. I’ve taken a long time, stretched his patience, yes, but I do think the results will be worth it. And not only will this get the captain off my back, but it could open up endless possibilities!”

“But what about that ‘flaw’ you mentioned?” Alexander insisted. “Don’t you want this to be perfected?”

Akio shook his head.

“I do, Alexander,” he admitted. “But I cannot ask for another extension. The captain is already rather upset with me for extending it two years. But this flaw, I’m sure I can find a way to reverse it- perhaps when this is all over.”

“That is if it’s successful,” warned Alexander. “But, you seem very sure of yourself, my friend, so, I’ll be behind you if I must.”

“Thank you, Alexander,” said Akio. “I’m just going to do my best to get this done first, and if the project is successful and if we do manage to go home, I will definitely work on fixing things.”

He smiled.

“And like I said, don’t worry! I’ll go out and find a good test subject, you’ll see. In fact, I should go right now.”

He began to run off, and Alexander called after him:

“Good luck, Akio!”

--------------

“Heeey, Niji, come on and play with us tonight, it’s gonna be great!”

Niji heaved a sigh and dropped a tool she had been using to work on an engine. She didn’t quite feel like playing card games and gambling with sweaty machine workers once more. Although she enjoyed unwinding with them at times and hearing stories, especially from her friend James, the constant nauseating smell of smoke and rust from the rest of her coworkers, although familiar, was not welcome tonight. Not to mention, she had some business to take care of. It had been about a day since her last meal, and she intended to take a trip to the colony marketplace to look for something to take home.

“Ah, no thanks, James,” Niji shouted back, tossing her worn grey knapsack over her shoulder. “I’ve got some stuff I need to do besides.”

“C’mon, Niji, you know It’s no fun without ya,” James insisted. “Besides, I still gotta teach you how to bluff.”

“Aw, leave the gal alone, James, we can play without her,” a female worker shot back.

“Sorry guys!” Niji apologized. “Any other night, sure, but I really have to get something done.”

“Like what, staring out of that window, wishing for better things like you always do?” called a man with a cigarette between his fingers. He blew out a cloud of smoke.“You know we all do too, right?”

“Yes, I do,” Niji laughed. “But no, it’s something else.”

“Aaaah, get outta here already, do what ya gotta do, y’know?” James called out. He ran a hand through his aged hair and began to shuffle a worn deck of cards.

Niji flashed a slight smile, waving back to her coworkers and turning to go. She ran out of the boiler machine rooms and into the marketplace, looking for a steal to make. While it was not something she was proud of, Niji knew that in order to survive in this colony, she had to do what she could to get what she needed. She never bothered to take anything more than things like food and clothing, and she made it her goal never to draw attention to herself or to, of course, get caught.

On this particular day, the market was crowded and full of chatter in various tongues. Niji thought it to be a convenience, knowing that the merchants would be much too busy with customers to really notice anything or anyone slipping by and taking an item or two.

“Alright,” Niji said to herself, sliding the front of her knapsack closer to the front of her body for easier access. She took a look around for something good that would really stick to her for a while. Unfortunately, most of what she could find was both much too small or inedible altogether- Clothing and fruits, vegetables and metal parts, all kinds of things that she didn’t need or care to have for the umpteenth time. It took quite a while, but Niji finally found herself face to face with a stall that had was selling something that not many did- Meat. Because most of the animal life had to be left on Earth, barely anyone had meat on the colony. Those who did most likely had brought a chicken or two with them or were prepared with another animal. Most of the time, anyone who was selling meat during the day would have their hands full trying to handle a crowd of people. And of course, the merchant was.

What luck for something like this to happen!

Niji swept in while the merchant was busy and stole a few slabs of cooked meat. She had no time to wrap them up in anything, but figured she could clean it off when she returned to her cramped old ship cabin. Niji prepared herself to turn and run, but before she could even make a move, she heard a booming voice, yelling at her to stop. She quickly turned around to see an officer nearby, running towards her. Not wanting to get caught, Niji took off. Her heart began to pound, and she felt both excited and frightened. Niji had never been caught before, and she certainly didn’t want to find out what would happen if she did. The two went at it for only a few minutes, but to Niji, it felt like an eternity. Eventually, she began to slow down, and her breath betrayed her. The officer quickly caught up and grabbed her by the arm.

“You’re in a lot of trouble, miss,” he growled, grabbing the knapsack from a terrified Niji. “You kids are always tryin’ to steal from these merchants, eh? Why can’t you get a job or make some friends instead?”

“I’m not a kid, I’m nineteen!” Niji shot back. “Look, just please let me go! I’ll trade him something-- anything! I don’t mean to cause trouble, it’s just so hard for me--“

“Shut it ,” the officer interrupted. “You’re not helping yourself.”

Abruptly, the two were approached by a slender young man, wearing a lab coat and smiling.

“You’ve gotten yourself into quite a bind, haven’t you?” The young man asked. Niji raised a brow.

“Who are you?” She demanded. The officer laid his eyes upon the man in the same manner as she.

“Can I help you, sir?” He asked. “Am I in the way? I won’t be any longer, I just need to take this thief out of here.”

“Oh, I can take full responsibility for her,” The young man assured. “And I can cover the cost of what she's stolen, definitely.”

The young man dug in his coat pocked for a bit and eventually pulled out a few bits of golden jewelry.

“I’ve been saving this for personal bartering, but I suppose I could spare it for this young lady,” he said, handing the officer the jewelry. “So please, hand her over to me, if you don’t mind, officer. I’m sure a few pieces of meat are worth a bit of gold.”

Niji looked dumbfounded, and the officer let go of her arm and pocketed the jewelry.

“Aaalright,” he sighed, tossing Niji’s knapsack back to her. “Take her and get on out of here. And young lady, I don’t wanna see you doing this again.”

He pointed a dirty finger at her. “If I catch you, I’m sure as heck gonna make sure you get what you deserve. You hear me??”

“Yes sir,” Niji groaned. As the officer walked away, the young man who came to her rescue turned to Niji and smiled.

“Walk with me,” he commanded.

“Huh?”

“Just come on.”

Niji hesitated at first, but because of his rescue, she decided that perhaps he deserved her humoring, so she went along with him.

“So, who are you?” she inquired, opening her knapsack and pulling out one of the pieces of meat. She thought she might collapse if she didn’t eat anything soon. “Why did you save me?”

“I’m a scientist who works down below in the ship under the captain’s supervision,” The young man replied. “I was walking around when I saw the commotion. My name is Doctor Akio Fujioka.”

“Oh, so you’re Japanese too,” Niji concluded. She ripped off a piece of the meat with her teeth and ate it. “I know there’s a lot of people from Japan and other parts of Asia on this colony, but I seem to always meet the people who aren’t. I guess it’s kinda nice to meet someone who’s the same as you for once.”

Akio nodded.

“As for why I saved you,” he moved on, “Let’s just say you looked like you had potential.”

“Potential for what?” Niji asked, taking a large bite of her haul. The way this man was speaking caused her mind to fill with all sorts of unusual things.

“Well, before I tell you anything,” Akio began, “Let me ask you a question.”

“Shoot.”

“Have you ever thought of becoming a superhero?”

What?”

Akio grinned.

“It sounds silly,” he assured, “Believe me, I know. But I’m not sure what else I can call it without making it sound like, erm….an experiment.”

“An experiment?!” Niji raised her voice. In her surprise, she almost dropped her meat. “What is this? What do you mean, are you asking to cut me open, remove a few limbs, smother me in chemical sewage?”

“Oh no, no, nothing like that!” Akio protested, hoping to reassure the girl. “It’s just a project I’ve completed-- a project that can turn anyone into a biological super weapon. A- a superhero? It’s completely safe!”

Niji calmed herself a bit, though kept an edge of concern in the back of her mind. Before she knew it, the duo had reached a guarded point past the ship’s machinery. Akio pulled out a pass from his coat pocket and showed it to the guards, who let the two in. They began to walk down a long set of stairs, and Niji focused her eyes on the steps below her, so as not to trip and fall.

“But, that’s not possible, is it?” Niji proclaimed, shaking her head. She wiped her hands, relatively greasy from the meat she had been holding, on her pants. “I mean, in science fiction, or maybe in comic books, yeah, but, I don’t know...I don’t believe that's even possible.”

“But it is,” Akio reassured Niji. “Science does wonderful things for us, you know. We’ve invented plenty of things to help us live In space, have we not? We've learned to genetically alter other beings at our expense, even back on Earth, so naturally something like this seemed logical, especially now that our population has shrunk and our people have been divided. The strong are now weak, and the weak are dying or getting weaker. Something had to be done, and I've done it. We need someone to step up to the challenge, and with a little help from genetic modifications, we can easily help people become stronger and fight.”

“Fight against…what exactly…?” questioned Niji.

“The monsters that overtook our planet, of course,” Akio reminded her. “I had been working on this project since they first showed up on our planet. We saw that our home was being overrun and we wanted to take our planet back.”

“Then why so late?” Niji asked.

“Unfortunately, I didn’t finish in time,” Akio responded, hanging his head a little bit. “My supervisor was angry with me, but because everyone like scientists, officers and other workers were being rushed to the colonies before civilians, I had no time to write any notes or take anything with me. I had to start from scratch. Luckily, I managed to remember the important bits of data and managed to improve on things. I perfected the project just recently and I needed someone to test it out.”

“Well, I don’t know why on earth you chose me.” Niji shook her head. “But I admit, even though it sounds pretty crazy, if it works, that would be something. But before I even give you an answer, please at least tell me how it works. I want to know what I’m getting myself into, you know.”

“Of course,” Akio agreed with a smile. He stopped, and so did Niji. To her left, she saw a workspace with a computer and plenty of loose paper. There was an office chair in front of the workspace, which Akio sat in. Niji stood next to him and watched Akio as he began to type away. He entered some coding into his computer that Niji could not understand. In an instant, various files were brought up. Akio, without flickering his eyes, spoke after a while.

“By the way, miss, you never told me your name.”

Niji, who had begun to space out, shook herself back to reality and blinked rapidly a few times.

“Uh, oh, My name is Niji,” she answered. “Niji Harada.”

“Are you living on the colony alone?”

“Yeah…I- I am.”

Before she could say anything else, Akio brought up a digital simulation that showed Niji how the process would go. Niji leaned in and watched with interest.

“Basically,” Akio began to explain, “We have this sort of machine, I guess you could call it a laser if you’d like, but it’s loaded with some genetic material--that of animal DNA and other elements. The subject will be infused with the DNA, as well as have their own altered a bit. They will inherit powers.”

“What kind of powers?” Niji inquired.

“That depends on you,” Akio answered. “The specific abilities should vary with each person, but definitely have a theme in relevance to the elements around us here in this galaxy of ours, as that’s all I could draw from here on this ship.You will also inherit the abilities of the animal whose DNA we are fusing yours with. That’s all I can really predict for sure.”

“Sounds simple enough,” Niji mused.

“Well…there is a flaw,” Akio admitted, almost hesitantly. “Something I can’t really seem to fix.”

“What would that be?” demanded Niji.

Akio crossed his arms.

“When a subject undergoes the transformation,” he explained, “Theoretically, it’s...permanent. The subject will forever be genetically altered. I mean, I suppose I could fix it when everything is finally over, but...”

He trailed off and turned to Niji for a response, but received none. After a brief silence, he spoke again.

“These people need a hero, Niji,” he said. “I understand that this process is risky and maybe even frightening, but something has to be done. I don’t know about you, but so many of us have dreamed of going home and living our own lives again. Some of us want to do whatever it takes to make sure that happens. That’s why I created this project. I wanted to give these people something to hope for, to believe in. I certainly won’t force you to say yes, Niji, but please, at least consider it.”

Again, Niji remained silent, and Akio turned back to his computer and sighed.

“Well, that’s alright, I understand,” He assured her. “I’ll have no problem finding another subject, I’m sure. Or perhaps I need to perfect it more-Oh the captain will have my head for needing an extension again…”

“I’ll do it.”

Akio turned around again, unsure of what he just heard. Niji, who had been looking down at the floor, looked up at Akio and straight into his eyes.

“I’ll let you transform me.”

“Really?” Akio questioned. “Are you certain that this is something you want to do? Even with that flaw, even with all that responsibility?”

“I have nothing left here,” Niji expressed. “And I’ve always spent my time dreaming and wishing I could go home just as much as everyone else. If this will help everyone go back home and live their lives again, then fine. I’ll do it. I don’t care if I look a certain way or have a certain power permanently, as long as I can do my part.”

She sighed.

“I mean, it beats sweating all day in a boiler room and having to steal my own supplies.”

“Indeed it does,” Akio chuckled. He stood up and shut his computer off. “Now why don’t you follow me?”

---------------

“Uh, I know you said this was safe, but, is it going to hurt?”

“No, of course not,” Akio assured his patient. “It will feel strange, but it shouldn’t hurt.”

He tightened a strap around Niji’s wrist and knelt down to tighten another on her ankle. Akio had been securing Niji to an inclined table to make sure she didn’t move around or get thrown due to any force. The two were inside of a tall room with white walls and one thick glass window above them. Behind it was a room with various mechanisms and control panels, as well as a microphone to communicate with anyone below. In the white room, a large, odd looking metallic machine with a long, skinny shaft that resembled a gun barrel was a few yards in front of Niji, and pointed directly at her. This, of course, made her uneasy.

Shouldn’t?”

“It won’t hurt,” Akio sighed. “Is that better?”

“Geez….” Niji groaned. Akio, who had been kneeling down, stood back up and smiled.

“Don’t worry, Niji,” he said. “Your safety is our priority.”

“I thought results were our priority,” Alexander spoke into the microphone. He was seated above In the control room, waiting for his coworker to finish up down below.

“They are,” Akio replied sharply. “But results are as important as safety, you know.”

“I guess I’m just one of those scientists without a heart full of care for others,” Alexander shrugged.

“You’ve just never dealt with human trials,” Akio reminded his friend. “You've never had to take care of a particular patient, since they’re not a part of your field.”

“And what field is that? Does he specialize in being a total nutcase?” Niji mocked. “It’s hard to feel safe with him in the room; he doesn’t seem to care what happens to me.”

“Alexander’s just a little strange, that’s all,” Akio informed her. “And he typically works with...well...awfully dangerous chemicals….”

“A chemist!” Niji exclaimed. “Oh, that explains it, those fumes must have gotten to his little Danish head. He must be mad.”

“Mad as a hatter,” Alexander slyly responded with a grin. “Although I don’t mean to boast.”

He frowned.

“Now when are we going to get this over with? I have more work to do, you know. Why-”

“Alright, alright,” Akio stopped him. “I’ll be up there in a little bit.” He turned to Niji.

“Are you scared?” He asked. Niji shook her head.

“I’m a little on edge, but I think I'll be fine,” she promised. “Although these straps are a little tight…”

“They’re supposed to be,” Alexander replied in a sing-song tone. Niji snickered, and Akio, glad that she felt otherwise comfortable, turned to go. He exited the white room and prepared to go up a small set of stairs when a rough-looking middle-aged man confronted him.

“Captain?” He spoke up, raising his brows. He was not surprised, as the captain had announced that he would be visiting him for the process, but he didn't expect to run into him so suddenly. “I assume you’re here to view my progress?”

“Indeed I am,” the captain answered with a booming voice. “I’m here to see the results, and if they’re good, then I’ll give you some further time to train this subject of yours and be on my way. I understand I haven’t been patient with you, but when it’s for the sake of our own, you can imagine….”

“I do understand, Captain,” Akio guaranteed. “But something like this takes far more time, especially with only me working on it. It can be rather exasperating, if you don’t mind my saying so,”

“Not at all,” the captain replied. “I take no offense to your statement. I understand, after all, that your job is no easier than mine. Now, shall we go up?”

“Of course.”

Both men headed up into the control room and were greeted by Alexander. Akio took the controls and fiddled with them for a bit. When he finished, he spoke into the microphone.

“We’re going to start now,” He told Niji. “Are you ready?”

Niji, rather nervous and unable to speak, simply nodded. With that, Akio started the machine and fired a forceful beam of energy at Niji. The light it emitted was bright, and all the men in the control room could feel a heavy tremor beneath their feet. And though it only lasted a moment, to Niji, it felt much longer. She could not see well because of the bright light, but she swore that she had seen the faint outline of a wolf somewhere inside of it, running around her. She felt as though her body was going numb, and while it was not entirely comfortable, it was as Akio said; Painless. In fact, after about a minute she rather liked the way it felt. It was warm and somewhat pleasant. She thought maybe she should close her eyes just for a little while, and so she did.

Before she knew it, Niji felt herself being shaken by two strong hands. She opened her eyes to see Akio, attempting to wake her up. She felt that the straps on her ankles and wrists had been removed- no, they weren’t there at all. Niji looked around and noticed that she was in another, smaller white room, lying on a bed. She felt a light clamp on her finger with a wire that led to a heart monitor.

When Akio saw that her eyes were open, he breathed a sigh of relief.

“Oh, thank goodness!” he cried. “You fell asleep after the process, and I brought you here to rest and monitor you. Your heart stopped there just for a minute, you had me worried!”

Niji sat up and removed the small clamp from her finger. She looked down at her wrist and saw a wristband so dark blue in color that it almost seemed black. Then she saw her legs, a garter wrapped around her left thigh and long slender boots of the same color as the wristbands. Curious, she examined her chest and arms to find the rest of a different outfit than what she had worn before. Niji too noticed her hair of a different and brighter color. She also felt furry ears popping out of her head and a white tail coming from behind her. She realized her ears, at least where her real ears were supposed to be, were gone.

“What happened to me?” She wondered aloud. “I look so….strange. And my ears, and….and…”

“Calm down,” Akio directed. “You’re alright. This is how it’s supposed to be. You have the ears and tail of the animal’s DNA that we infused yours with- it’s perfectly normal.”

“It feels really weird, Akio,” Niji shot back, folding her ears down with her hands. “But, at the same time, I do feel more radiant. Kind of….strong, even….”

She paused for a moment and lied back down.

“I guess I like it.”

“What do you mean?” Akio was confused.

“I mean I sort of like this whole thing in general,” Niji replied. “I like the way it makes me feel, and to be honest, I really dig the outfit. A little flashy, but at least It allows for some movement.”

“I see,” Akio responded. “Well, we can’t quite consider this a success until we do some testing. We need to see what sort of powers you have. The captain was pleased with the result and told me I had a few days to train you in your form-“

Niji sat up.

“That doesn’t seem like a whole lot of time,” she insisted.

“It could be, if you’re this comfortable with your form already,” Akio reassured her. “And besides, when we’re this close to beginning the salvation of our home, it’s hard not to be impatient. Even I want to get started as soon as possible,”

“I guess,” Niji agreed. “Well then, fine, what are we waiting for?”

---------------

Niji had been taken to a large gym-like room cluttered with metallic test dummies. Some were leaning against rails on the walls and others already stood, spread out throughout the area. Akio tested Niji first on her physical ability, which proved itself as potentially destructive, but with great strength deemed useful. While Niji first delt with quite a few mishaps, leaving dents and cracks in the floors and walls, she eventually learned to control her strength and energy. Afterwards, Akio prompted the girl to use her weapon. At first, Niji felt unsure of what Akio meant, but within seconds of his command, words came to her head. She found herself reciting them, and out of thin air appeared a whip, fused with unusual energy.

“The Galactic Whip: a powerful weapon, especially in your hands,” Akio explained. He bid Niji to work with the whip, and she did so brilliantly, constantly using her specialty attack, Spectral Divide, as well as simply lashing out and ripping apart the test dummies. After quite a long time of fighting, Akio called Niji in for the day. He gave her some water and leaned on one of the rails.

“You were very impressive,” Akio complimented. “And it seems that you’re getting very accustomed to your Mew form.”

“Mew form?” Niji questioned. “Is that what you call it?”

“Yes,” Akio replied. “You’re one of the first of the Galaxy Mew team. We won’t be using your real names outside of the laboratory and team for personal reasons of course.”

“Makes sense,” Niji acknowledged. “I have to say, I never thought I could feel this kind of strength. I feel kind of like a-“

Superhero?” Akio teased, grinning.

Niji smiled.

“Yeah,” she said. “Exactly. I was a little afraid, I gotta admit...In fact, I still sort of am, considering I'm supposed to go against those monsters back home and all. But I’m really glad I went through with this. I can finally help these people get their lives back. It just feels so….great.”

“I’m glad to hear it,” Akio admitted with a warm smile. “But I do think you should take a break for today. I’ll probably still have to monitor you for the next few days and you’ll definitely have to stay here until we know you can effectively defeat those Chimera Anima. But if you do manage to defeat one, which I’m sure you will, then we can make this public and you can go back to sleeping in your own bed if you’d like.”

“Ah, I don’t care,” Niji replied. “I’d rather sleep in a flat medical bed than in a rock solid cabin bed in a cramped space.”

“Well you can certainly upgrade to a more refined cabin If you’d like,” Akio informed her. “I can definitely get you one, or even a space for more than one person if there’s someone with you.”

“No, I’m alone,” Niji declared, a hint of sorrow in her voice. “But, you know, I might think about it. I could use the space, for sure.”

Niji leaned on the rail next to Akio.

“Thank you,” she said suddenly. “For, you know, giving me this opportunity, Doctor Fujioka.”

“Oh, please, just call me Akio,” her companion insisted with a grin. “And, you’re welcome.”

-----------------

Over the next few days, Niji grew stronger and much more skilled. She worked closely with Akio, her new friend, and when she took her periodic breaks, she’d get a visit from Alexander. He’d always joke around and tease her, as well as chat with his friend Akio from time to time before returning to work. Within a week of being accustomed to her form and her new life, Niji was ready to be taken to earth for a test run. Akio, Niji and Alexander were standing together in front of a medium-size space craft in the Colony’s launch bay, currently closed off until the ship was ready to take off. When ready to launch, Akio would have to seal the ship in the bay and open the gate from inside the Docking Bay, so as to keep everything else from being sucked into space.

“We have these small ships that we use to go to Earth now and again,” Akio explained. “We typically have these for the astronauts to go between the colonies and Earth for supplies to bring back. I’m sure you know that at least.”

Niji nodded.

“They can fit a team of about eight people, but I’ll be the only one going with you,” Akio continued.

“Wait, you’re going with her?” Alexander inquired. “I thought you intended to stay here and contact her through a device of some sort. You shouldn’t put yourself in danger like that, Akio- especially if you’re the only one who can carry this project out!”

“I think he’s right,” Niji agreed. “I would hate to see you get hurt in the field. Even some of the Astronauts get killed down there, and they’re very experienced with missions like that. Don’t you have anything?”

“I do, but I want to be there for you in case something goes wrong, or in case you are unable to make it back to the ship we send you on. Someone should be there.”

“I’ll go,” Alexander offered, his usual lively tone replaced now by sincerity. “You don’t need to risk your life for this project, not again. Besides, I have nothing more to do on this colony. There are plenty of others to do the same work.”

“But Alexander," Akio protested, "I couldn’t allow my friend to endanger himself either.”

Alexander shook his head.

“I will go.” He insisted. “If she succeeds without needing someone there for her, then we can send her alone from then on. It won’t be a problem.”

“Alexander, are you sure about this?” Niji questioned. “I can just go alone, after all It’s what I was made for, right?”

“Yes, but what if you were to be knocked unconscious and could not make it back on your own? You’d surely be killed,” Alexander pointed out. “Just for this time, I will go.”

He made his way towards the ship and entered it without allowing anyone to protest once more.

Akio gave Niji a solemn glance, but said nothing more on the matter. He handed her a small device the size of a bottle cap, with oral instruction to pin it to her choker.

“This is a very small portable radio that I can use to keep in touch with you. Alexander has one too. It has its own speaker built into it with very clear sound and works sort of like a phone. We have quite a few of these, but they’re very expensive, so, please try not to break it!”

He smiled at Niji, noticing worry in her expression, in hopes he could lift her spirits.

“You’ll be alright, I promise. I won’t let anything happen to you, and neither will Alexander.”

Niji flashed a weak smile at him and pinned the radio onto her choker. Without saying anything, she boarded the craft to join Alexander. Akio walked out of the bay and closed the doors behind the craft. Once the ship was sealed in the launch bay, Akio opened the launch gate. With the ship started, within moments, Alexander and Niji headed off to Earth for her first battle.

The flight took a few hours, but the duo finally made it back to their planet. Earth looked much different than Niji once remembered it: the sky looming over them much darker than before, many buildings destroyed and rubble scattered everywhere, broken trees and dying plantlife.

“What a mess,” Niji noted. She had been staring out of the window of the ship she and Alexander flew in. They spent some time searching for a safe spot to land away from their target Chimera Anima, soon finding a flat area to land--the run-down floor of a church now completely destroyed.

“What part of the world are we in?” Niji asked, unbuckling herself. “It doesn’t seem very familiar.”

“We’re in Europe,” Alexander informed her. Niji found herself surprised at how different he acted, now that the situation bore gravity. It made her feel slightly uneasy, but she knew well that there laid no time for fun and games in this sort of situation.

“Istanbul, Turkey, if I’m not mistaken," Alexander shook her from her thoughts. "At least what’s left of it. It doesn’t seem as crowded with Chimera Anima as the other places we’ve passed, so I think it’s a great spot for practice.”

The Mew rose, preparing herself to walk out of the ship and into the sickly Earthy atmosphere that the humans fled from many years ago.

“There’s a Chimera Anima to the west,” Akio’s voice called from the device on her choker. “At least that’s what it says on my radar. How about yours, Alexander?”

“Same here,” Alexander replied. “Now go on, Niji, I’ll be perfectly alright.”

Niji did as told and began to run west. Within a minute, she found herself looking directly at a Chimera Anima- a scorpion-like creature that was currently unaware of her presence.

Alright, I can’t mess this up, she thought to herself, taking a few rapid breaths. She intended to rush in and quickly carry out the job, but the scorpion heard her as soon as she took her first running steps and turned around. Instantly, it attempted to attack her with its stinger. Niji tumbled to the side to avoid it, gathered her balance and summoned her weapon.

“Spectral Whip!”

She flipped backwards to dodge another devastating blow, but the force threw her onto the ground.

“Niji, are you alright?” Akio demanded, a concern rising in his voice.

“I’m fine,” Niji assured him, standing. The scorpion this time tried to swipe at her with its claws. With Niji's late reaction, it succeeded in doing so. The creature held her by the torso, raising the Mew up to look at her. From the corner of her eye, Niji could see another Chimera Anima far in the distance heading towards the church.

“Alexander, get out of there!” She shouted. “There’s a Chimera Anima headed your way!”

“Don’t worry about me, I’ll distract it!” Alexander shouted back.

“Alexander, what do you mean? Just take the ship and get out of there!” Akio panicked.

Niji felt the scorpion tighten its grip on her, cutting into her skin. She gasped from the pain.

“It could probably catch up to me by the time I did so,” Alexander explained quickly. Akio and Niji began to hear panting and rapid footsteps on their end. “The ship would most likely be destroyed and we’d have to wait much too long for another to rescue us. The noise would certainly attract other Chimera Anima and then we’d be in trouble! Niji can’t handle too many at once.”

“Alexander, I can’t let you do this!” Akio screamed.

The scorpion raised its stinger.

“Try and stop me,” Alexander challenged. “You two are my friends, and I’m glad to have met you, but right now what matters is that Niji is safe and the project succeeds.”

Niji inhaled deeply.

“Alexander, please don’t do this!” Akio cried.

“Goodbye, my friends.”

There was a roar, followed by the sound of static. Akio remained silent, and Niji began to feel weakened.

I can’t just give up now, Niji thought. I can’t let this mission fail. Not after what just happened.

She noticed the scorpion about to strike her.

“I won’t fail!” She ferociously screamed. The Mew swung her legs back as far as they could go and kicked the Chimera Scorpion in the eyes. Blinded and in pain, the predator released its prey. Niji dropped to the ground, and though she felt a tremendous amount of pain, she attempted to set her nerves aside and quickly took hold of her Galactic Whip, promptly rising from the ground.

“Ribbon Spectral Divide!” She shouted. The ferocious young woman brought her whip down, slicing the Chimera anima in half. The Chimera Anima disappeared, and a strange-looking jelly-fish like creature surfaced from it.

“What is that thing?” Niji examined with disgust.

“Kill it!”Akio demanded. His comrade did as told and struck the creature immediately with her whip. It disappeared in the same manner as the scorpion creature.

“That’s a sort of parasitic being that infects a host and turns it into a Chimera Anima,” Akio explained. “They’ve been taking over all kinds of things- Mostly animals, but some Humans have been affected as well.”

Niji looked down.

“I’m sorry, Akio,” she apologized. “I wanted to save him, but-“

“Please, don’t worry about it,” Akio interrupted. His voice had a hint of sorrow, but it appeared that he was trying to be strong. “If anything, this should be more of a reason or you to fight. You see now what these things can do. You see what they have done. We shouldn’t sit here feeling sorry for ourselves. We should continue fighting. If not for ourselves or our home, then surely we should for Alexander. I refuse to have let him die for nothing, Niji.”

“I understand,” Niji agreed. “I’ll do whatever it takes to keep everyone safe, to rid this planet of those terrible creatures.”

“But for now, I think you deserve a break,” Akio said. “Get back to the ship and get out of there before anything else happens, won’t you?”

“Right,” the party on the other line responded quietly. She headed back to the ship, given brief instruction on how to set it on autopilot, as piloting it alone took much practice, and undoubtedly Niji wouldn't get the hang of it anytime soon. Within a few hours, she safely returned to the colony.

“Niji!” Akio greeted. He was trying to smile again as he had before, but both of them knew that it was entirely artificial. “You’ve done it, Niji. You’ve proven that this project is a total success. Now we can look for more people to join your team. That way you won’t be alone, right? After all, it is a big job for just one per-“

Akio was interrupted by Niji, who threw herself onto him. She was vexed by the thought that Alexander’s death was her fault and felt defeated because of it. Akio stopped talking and hugged Niji, trying to reassure her.

“I don’t blame you for what happened, Niji,” He admitted. “I will truly miss my friend, but I cannot allow his sacrifice to be in vain. We must continue this, for his sake.”

He smiled, this time truthfully.

“You’re a strong, brave young woman, Niji,” He said. “I’m proud of you for doing this, and I promise, I will always take care of you and the rest of your team. But Please don’t beat yourself up, I just can’t bear to see you this way.”

Niji sighed.

“I’ll do my best, Akio,” she promised, feeling a bit better. “For everyone. Not just Alexander.”

She stepped away from Akio for a moment.

“So…I’m a superhero now, aren’t I?” she chuckled. “Does that mean I get a cheesy name?”

Akio smiled.

“An alias, yes,” he answered her. “From here on out, you will be known to everyone as Mew Spectral Galaxy.”

“Mew Spectral Galaxy, huh?” Niji mimicked, leaning against the wall. “Sounds good to me.”

She turned to Akio and smiled at him.

“Well, I suppose all that’s left to do now is let everyone know they’ve got a hero.”

“Of course,” Akio agreed with a nod.

Within the next hour, a live feed was sent to everyone’s cabins in all colonies. Everyone got their first look at Mew Spectral Galaxy, who was introduced as the first of the Galaxy Mew team, and the new protector of the Earth. Akio, backed by his colony’s captain, announced to their entire race that they now had someone to look up to, that this project and this mew team would be the ones who would help take back their earth. And everyone rejoiced at the news. Niji felt happy that she and Akio were giving these people hope- something they had not felt or had in such a long time.

------------

“Excuse me, are you the head here?”

A gruff middle-aged man fixing a machine down in the boiler rooms turned around to see a scientist trying to get his attention. It surprised him to see one of their kind up here, since most of the scientists stayed in the laboratories for days without surfacing with all the work they dealt with.

“What can I do you for?” The gruff man asked, wiping his dirty hands on his overalls.

The scientist reached into his coat pocket and began to pull out a note.

“My name is Doctor Akio Fujioka,” He introduced. He handed the note to the man who began to read it. “One of your workers has recently been given quite an opportunity down at the laboratories, and as such she will not be returning to work here.”

“Ah, Niji?” The gruff man inquired. “Well I’ll be, I didn’t know she was smart enough to become a scientist.”

“She’ll be my apprentice,” Akio said. He didn't quite lie when he told the man this. It was the truth-- Niji was meant to work from this point alongside with Akio, but certainly not as a scientist. However, Mew Spectral Galaxy’s identity could not be exposed for personal and private reasons, of course.

“Well good for her!” The gruff man laughed. “Niji’ll be steppin’ up and up. She might even become captain at that rate. It wouldn’t surprise me.”

James Garrison, Niji’s closest friend and somewhat of a father figure worried about her, overheard the two men speaking and went over to Akio as soon as he heard Niji’s name.

“Hey, uh, is Niji alright?” James asked.

“Yes, why do you ask?” Akio responded.

James began to scratch the back of his neck.

“Well, I ain’t her father or nothin’ but I’ve been worried sick about the gal since she stopped showing up for work a week ago and all. You’ve been with her, right? How’s my girl been?”

Akio laughed.

“She’s just fine, sir,” He assured James. “She’s doing quite well as my apprentice. She’s awfully brave and strong.”

“Oh, don’t I know it,” James chuckled, shaking his head. “That girl’s a tough one. I didn’t know she was interested in science, but, you know, as long as she’s happy where she is...”

He dug in his jeans pocket and pulled out a deck of cards.

“Here,” he said, handing Akio the cards. “Can ya please give these to her? It may not mean anything to you, but these are my lucky playin’ cards. I’ve used these with Niji for years. I may not be able to see her again, but I sure as heck ain’t gonna let her forget about me now!”

“Of course, I’ll give these to her immediately,” Akio promised.

“Thank ya, doc,” James gratified with a nod. “And tell her I’m real proud of her, would ya? I’ll miss my tough girl, but at least she’s alright. That’s all that matters to me.”

Akio promised to do as instructed, and James went off to go back to work.

Akio felt content in the fact that someone truly cared for Niji in times such as these. Although things didn’t always go well for everyone, he found himself relieved to see that people still had something to cling on to, and that they could still be brought together through even the simplest of things.

He tucked the playing cards in his coat pocket and went merrily on his way to deliver them to Niji, whistling an old tune that Alexander used to whistle while he worked.

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Next Chapter

Created by AnnikaDoll

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