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Falling Stardust

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After you packed a few suitcases, basic toiletries and comfort items, just as you were getting back off the train to go back to the corner store, your leg started to hurt. It didn't hurt bad, just a dull ache, but it was still unpleasant enough that you had to limp. Izuku had bandaged your leg so you wouldn't get any stares, and you'd had to replace your skirt and tights with jeans to avoid getting concerned looks while on the train. 

Nobody wanted to see the off-colored bloodstains. Not even you did.

By the time you got back, dusk had fallen, and Izuku was waiting for you. There was a girl in his arms, gathered close to his chest. She had a round, cute face and round eyes. Her pupils were slits. She had her hair cut to her chin with two long locks in front. Her cheeks were rosy. She was wearing a pair of white jeans and black high top sneakers, as well as a large pink sweater. Her arm was in a sling, tucked against her chest. There was rust-colored blood staining the bandages that covered her arm. Her leg was also bandaged, but there was less blood. 

The more you looked at her, the more disheveled she looked. Her hair was messy, her eyes were half-lidded, and there was an off-colored bruise on her collarbone and jaw.

Izuku perked up when you and Shoto approached. Shoto's expression melted into concern. "She needs that antidote."

"Wait," you said, not taking your eyes off the girl, "if she's Ozuran, how did she so easily get injured?"

"With enough force, some creatures can break Ozuran skin. She was pounced on. Shoto remains uninjured because he was only grazed, hence the bruises," Izuku said.

You then noticed the oblong discoloration on Shoto's collarbone, disappearing past his shirt collar.

"Is she Ochako?" You asked, and Izuku nodded. 

"The poison is beginning to hurt her. We need to get to the ships. Mine is in my storage shell; I needed to hide it since I landed relatively in the open. Getting it back out will take too long, so we should go to yours. Where is it?"

Shoto pinched the bridge of his nose. "In my storage shell, same as you. We have to find a remote area to take off. (Y/N), do you know of any?"

You thought for a moment. "There's a park near here that's usually deserted around this time. It's not terribly far, but there's a train that goes straight there."

Izuku looked down at Ochako, worry clear in his eyes. "We can't bring her on a train like this. It'll attract too much attention. We gotta move."

"That might be a problem," you said.

Izuku raised his eyebrows. "How so?"

You looked down at your leg. "My leg... It's beginning to hurt. I don't know how fast I can be."

Shoto's expression was serious. "Then we won't run at full speed. It won't do you any good if you injure yourself further."

You glared. "Thanks, I didn't think of that myself. "

"You're welcome."

You sighed. "You really don't get sarcasm, do you?"

Shoto looked slightly indignant. "Of course I do."

You snickered. "Liar. I was just being sarcastic and you missed it."

"As important as this conversation is," Izuku said, tone rushed, "we have to figure out how to get (Y/N) to that park without hurting her further."

Tokyo's nightlife was beginning to wake up, and a woman in too-tall heels and a little black cocktail dress passed you, applying a liberal amount of magenta lipstick while looking in a compact mirror as she walked. A man and a small giggling woman passed on the sidewalk across the street. Ochako and her injuries would draw attention, and so would you. Your face was a little ashen in the reflection in the window beside you, and your limp certainly didn't help. You knelt with some effort and unzipped your suitcase, withdrawing a watermelon patterned blanket from within. 

"Cover her with this," you said and helped Izuku tuck the blanket around Ochako's body. You re-zipped your suitcase. 

"That was sweet, (Y/N), but we need to worry about you, too," Izuku sighed.

"I can carry her," Shoto offered, but you shook your head. 

"I need to pull along my suitcase, and it would be difficult to carry me and be inconspicuous while also doing that. It's a little too large for me to tuck against my chest."

Izuku frowned. "Then we have to choice but to go slowly. Let's go."

Shoto took the handle of your suitcase before you could protest, almost looking offended when you reached for it as well. 

"Focus on moving. I'll take care of this. Don't slow us down."

You gave him a dirty look.

You hobbled after Shoto and Izuku as fast as you could move, and your leg was aching terribly once you'd gotten to the park. To make matters worse, you traveled along the twists and turns for a good ten more minutes until finding a clearing in the trees. You sat down in the grass, pressing your fingers to the tender area, yelping in pain at the sharp sting. 

The clearing you'd arrived in was a little off the trail and there was a large boulder in the center of it. The bushes rustled as your arrival startled whatever was lurking inside them. You put your hands on your bent knees to catch your breath, nearly buckling as you applied pressure to your right leg. You didn't need to look at the wound to know whatever was beginning to happen to it couldn't be good. It was beginning to sting.

Shoto extracted the disk he'd used to dispose of the Ripper from his pocket, pressed the button in the center, then tossed it into the air about twenty feet in front of him. 

Something began to take shape, slowly materializing into what looked to be an oddly formed jet plane, but far bigger. It took several minutes for it to become solid, the disk throwing itself back into Shoto's waiting hand. The ship was unlike anything you'd ever seen before. It was gunmetal grey with a large streamlined body, red striped painted along the side. The wings were vast and looked like they could be fonded and unfolded. There were several jets lining the underside of both wings. The ship altogether reminded you of some sort of bird of prey, especially with how the nose hooked downwards and the front windows were wide and reminded you of eyes.

Shoto approached the ship, and after he said a string of Ozuran words, a ramp came down. You hesitantly followed him, taking your suitcase from where Shoto had left it and rolling it behind you awkwardly on the grass. 

The ramp closed after Izuku carried Ochako onboard, locking you inside. You got that tugging sensation inside that one gets when they feel like they're leaving something important behind. The room you were in was circular and lit by pale blue light. On the side of the room opposite to you, there was a curved door that Shoto opened with a grunt of effort after tugging on the handle for a short moment.

Your breath caught in your throat as you entered the room beyond the door. The cockpit was at the very front of the room, the farthest away from where you stood. There were holographic screens blinking in the walls and in midair, and in the middle of the room was a collection of comfortable looking chairs and a large sofa. The looked to be attached to the ground. The walls were metal as well, but they were painted a mauve color, decorated with strange scrawlings and, in some places, garlands made of species of flowers you'd never seen before, not even in pictures. There was a workbench on one wall, the tools all strapped to the desk's top. There was a door to your left, slightly ajar, and another to your right, which was closed.

Izuku turned and disappeared through the door to your right as soon as he could, and Shoto hurried to the front. You followed, absently taking a seat in a chair diagonal to what you assumed was the captain's chair. You sat your luggage down beside it.

"Put that in that compartment," Shoto instructed, gesturing to a handle on the wall not far above your head.

You leaped a few times to catch it, and it took a few minutes of gasping and straining before Shoto put the suitcases in the compartment for you.

Shoto began muttering to himself in Ozuran, pressing buttons at the front console and messing with the holograms popping up on the glass window in front of him. The ship began to hum. 

"Set to multilingual mode," a smooth woman's voice said, and you frowned. 

"What's that?" You asked. 

"The ship's computer," Shoto said, "I set the language so it the ship detects what the passengers speak and allows them to hear what it says in their language. It picks up brain waves."

Izuku reappeared with Ochako, who looked a little more alert. She allowed him to lead her to the seat beside yours, then to buckle her in. You took the initiative and buckled yourself in as well, following how Izuku did it. 

"Hello," you said, and Ochako smiled. 

"Hi." 

Her voice was weak, but she seemed happy. 

"I'm (Y/N)," you said, and Ochako nodded.

"I picked that up. You know my name?"

You made a noise of assent. "Yeah, I was told."

She grinned. "Good. Spares us the extra effort of an introduction. You're a half-breed?"

You swallowed. "I'm still taking that in, but yeah, it appears I am."

"Stand by," the computer said, and Shoto sank into the captain's chair, strapping himself down. 

"Cloaking mode on."

Izuku strapped himself down. 

The ship began to tremble under your feet, and you curled your feet in your shoes. 

"Does this... hurt?" You asked Ochako, and she shook her head. 

"Not really. It's a little intense the first time, but if you do it enough, you get used to it. Just hold on tight until we clear the atmosphere and you'll be okay."

"Beginning to hover. Cloaking mode is holding stable. Stand by."

A soft pinging began, and you swallowed your building nervousness. 

"Engines preparing. Stand by."

The tremble melted into a shake, and your fingers curled around the armrests of your seat, nails digging into the material. 

"Take off in five... four... three... two..."

Your eyes went wide as the shaking became a rumbling hum. 

"Launch."

Everything dissolved into noise, though somewhat less of a roar than you expected. You watched as Shoto tapped the displays on the screens, text in Ozuran popping up and disappearing.

You screamed as everything jolted backward, and you felt like your stomach jumped straight to your throat. You watched with wild eyes trees and paths of the park shrank, and the city shrank below you. The pressure was slamming you into your seat, your whole body felt heavy, twice your usual body weight, and you couldn't even scream or lift your hand. The ship tilted up, and you grit your teeth to avoid biting your tongue as the entire cabin shook.

Oh my god.

Oh my god.

Ohmygodohmygodohmygod...

The sky was getting even darker than the dusky hue that you'd been seeing before, becoming so black it was almost unfathomable.

"Depressurizing."

The mounting pressure in your ears faded, and your breath found your lungs again.

Then, you could see the stars. At first, there were few, about as much as you'd see in a small town without the city lights, then as much as you'd see if standing in the middle of a desert, and finally, they were everywhere. Your eyes were wide and full of wonder, of shock and slight terror as it dawned on you just how much space you were looking at. It was black and deep and seemed to be completely endless. 

Your hair was floating around your head, fanned out in the air, and your necklace was hovering in front of your face. Your feet floated in front of you, and everything felt so utterly and completely light, a sharp contrast to the crushing pressure of before. You wanted to unstrap yourself and let yourself float about the room, bouncing off the walls, utterly and completely weightless. 

"Applying artificial gravity."

Your hair fell back around your face and shoulders, and you raised your hand to brush it back. 

You watched with awe as the ship circled the earth, as night turned to day, and then it picked up speed. 

"Preparing for jump speed."

"You can move around now," Shoto said, and you hesitantly undid your buckles. 

Your head was spinning as you stood, and you felt a wave of nausea wash over you. 

"Uh," you said, "I don't feel good."

You found a garbage can in the corner and promptly vomited up your lunch, the acid burning your throat.

"Sorry," you croaked.

"It happens to first-time travelers," Izuku unbuckled himself, walking towards you, "it's a little hard to adjust to the switch from gravity to zero gravity and back to gravity again and not get sick if you have no prior experience to it. You'll get better at it."

He helped you up, plopping you down on the sofa. You slumped back against it, head fuzzy. 

"I'll get you some water," he said, exiting through the door on the left of the entrance, then reappeared a few moments later with a glass of water.

You took it and drank it carefully, the fuzziness diminishing slightly with each gulp. 

"Thank you," you breathed.

"Entering jump speed."

The ship jolted slightly, but not as much as when it was exiting the atmosphere. 

"We will arrive at Adraxi in ten minutes," Shoto said, "(Y/N), there are living quarters through the door on the left of the entrance. If you please, go choose an empty one."

You rose, pressing your palm to your forehead as another wave of dizziness crashed over you. 

"Okay," you said, shuffling over to the bin where Shoto has put your luggage. 

He stepped in front of you, almost effortlessly lifting down the bags. You took the handles.

"T-thanks."

He nodded, then sat back down in the captain's chair. 

You had to pause and lift the bags over the metal threshold, which for some reason made you feel woozy.

How long had it been since you'd been poisoned? About three or four hours? Maybe the poison was to blame for how off you were feeling. You leaned against the wall to catch your breath, then walked down the hall after accomplishing this. It was a well-lit corridor with white walls and a tiled floor, lined with doors. One of them was slightly ajar, and you gently pushed it the rest of the way open. 

It was clearly Shoto's room since it was decorated. The room was about the same size as a mid-size dormitory. The bed was in an alcove on the wall opposite you, the alcove itself made up of storage compartments. It was a good-sized bed, large enough to fit two people if they pressed together. It was neatly made with dark blue covers. There was a digital tablet on the bed, switched off. There was also a desk on the wall to your left, bits and bobs decorating the surface, as well as a slim computer that you almost didn't recognize as a computer. There was a low grey sofa across from the desk. On the wall beside the bed, there was a large star map with notes written in white ink, all in Ozuran. There was a door to your right which presumably led to a closet.

You slowly backed out of the room, returning the door to the position it was in before. 

You turned to the door directly beside Shoto's bedroom, opening the door with a grunt of effort. The room was identical to Shoto's, minus the decorations. You let your luggage fall beside the desk, then half knelt to unzip the bags, wincing at the spike of pain that traveled up your leg. You pulled a comforter from your bag, spreading it on the bed, then adding the few stuffed animals you'd brought, as well as your pillows. 

You then hung a string of lights above the bed, put your laptop on the desk (though you couldn't find a charging port, you'd have to ask about that), and unpacked your clothes. You found that the door on the left wall was indeed a closet, and that there were no clothes hangers. You'd have to ask if anyone had some, or find some kind of substitute. You instead folded your clothes and put them in the chest of drawers in the back of the closet. The ones that didn't fit were placed on top. You also put various soft knickknacks on the sofa, folding small blankets to make it more inviting. You noticed some sort of handle on the wall beside the bed, and you crawled across it to grasp it. It was able to be pushed up, and what was beyond it stole your breath. 

 It was a window and a large one at that. The view was of the stars, moving past at a quick rate, glittering in the vastness of space. You sat cross-legged on the bed, pulling your comforter up around your shoulders to watch the infinite night, eyes full of wonder as you watched asteroids and stars pass in the distance. You decided you'd leave the window cover open as you slept, because, to you, this type of thing was a view that could never get old. It was occurring to you now how fast the ship had to be going to be passing stars so quickly, to be passing so much in so little time. It was faster than anything you'd ever been on, and the more you watched, the faster you realized it was.

There was a knock at the door, and Izuku was standing in the doorway. "We'll be there any minute, so get ready to land, okay?"

You glanced back out the window. "Yeah, okay."

You were beginning to feel nauseous, and your leg was now all but throbbing. You pressed your fingers to it, frowning.

Poison.

You tore your gaze from your leg and stood, wincing at the pressure. You slipped on a pair of sneakers before exiting the room, because if you had to run, you sure as hell weren't doing it in heels again.


You strapped yourself in as the ship warned you of descent, watching out the front window as a planet came into view, a planet with clouds and rocks and water. One side was very very dark, though, as opposed to the other side, which was varying in geography. There was a large storm, it appeared, that took up what had to be several miles of land. The ship jolted as it entered the atmosphere, soaring down towards where the planet's darkness met its light, and then with a mighty thud, it landed. 

"Are we on Adraxi?"

"Yes," Shoto said, "we will get you and Ochako treated here. The air is thinner than Terra's, so take this."

He reached into a compartment beside his seat and tossed you a slim mask, one that looked like it would fit over your mouth and nose. You unstrapped yourself and followed Shoto out into the circular room you'd entered in. You fixed the mask over your face, and it immediately extended so soft straps linked behind your head and the back of your neck. 

It was very cold on the planet's surface, but Shoto seemed unbothered, even as you began to shiver. Shoto opened a small device with what looked to be a keypad and typed something into it. The ground suddenly split into a staircase leading down, and a girl popped her head up. She was the first one of the aliens you'd seen so far to look truly like an alien, save for the Ripper. She had bright pink skin and wild pink hair from which yellow horns sprouted from. Her scleras were completely black, her irises yellow.

She was wearing some sort of shimmery dress that reached her mid-thigh. It had a high collar and was sleeveless, exposing the toned expanses of the girl's arms. The dress was layered over a pair of metallic leggings with a pair of black knee-high boots with thick soles.

She smiled broadly when she saw you and the others, but it fathered when she saw the state Ochako was in. 

She muttered something in another strange language, and Shoto answered in the same. 

"Human?" She suddenly said, in English, which took you by surprise. You scrambled for the words to answer her, assuming she didn't speak Japanese. 

"Yes," you said, "half-human, half Ozuran."

She chuckled. "What's your name?"

"It's (Y/N)," you said.

You spoke English well enough, at least according to you. It was your minor, after all, which was convenient. 

"You speak it well. Do you speak other languages?"

You nodded. "I do, my native language is Japanese."

The girl gave you the radiant grin again. "My Japanese is very poor, I'm afraid. I love Terra, and Japanese fashion is one of my all-time favorite things, so I really should learn more about how to speak it. My name is a little long, so you can just call me Mina for short."

She looked over at Ochako, at the bandages around Izuku's arm, and at the odd position you were standing in to avoid putting too much weight on your injured leg. 

"What happened?"

"A Ripper happened," Shoto said, "I have it in my storage shell. I'm not certain that it's dead, they're annoyingly tough. (Y/N) and Ochako have been poisoned. Izuku too, but not as badly. Since (Y/N)'s only half Ozuran, she needs attention before the poison begins to hurt her badly. Ochako has had the poison in her system longer, though, so she needs it fast."

Mina nodded, turning to walk down the stairs. "Follow me," she said.

And you descended into the darkness after her, followed by your new companions.