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Daisuke had been out on his own for a while now, and honestly, he found it only got easier as he did. Over the past month, he'd seen a lot of Freedom City. Although his whirlwind tour had started out with getting kidnapped by a creepy circus and forced to be one of the attractions, things had started looking up again when he got busted out by that super nice magical girl, Darla. He also got to meet that mermaid girl, Droplet, and Dale, Darla's brother, all of whom were pretty cool.

Of course, it couldn't last. He couldn't just hang around with them all the time. They had their own lives to go back to, their own worries to deal with. So he said goodbye, and took off into the city to make his own way.

It hadn't been easy, but in his current metal form, he didn't have to eat or drink, cutting two of the biggest worries out of his day to day life. Back in Japan, he'd had to dumpster dive all the time in order to remain fed. That always led to getting chased around by angry restaurant owners. Hey, they were the ones who threw the stuff away in the first place! It was just going to go to waste otherwise!

But without the necessities of life needing to be seen to, Daisuke found his days more or less filled by aimless wandering. The search for his idol was not going to plan. By now, he had expected to hear something about the fabulous Nanowire, hero and saviour! His onii-chan should be in all the newspapers, proudly proclaiming his dedication to peace and justice! Evil should be reeling back on it's heels, running from the glory that is he!

Okay, maybe that last one went a little over the top, but as Daisuke eased himself into his improvised shelter for the night, he couldn't help but wonder...


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The smell of cordite and concrete dust filled the air as yet another burst of high caliber gunfire shattered more pieces of the pillar Nanowire was taking cover behind. the man in mecha form thought to himself. That was, of course, the worst thing about this situation. He couldn't blame anyone but himself for it.

This plan, unlike the past one at the museum, had been extensively researched and mapped out beforehand. Higher security required more stringent measures to overcome them, which meant that for the past few weeks, this particular lab had seen a new user in their computer banks, one that they couldn't track or catch no matter what they did. Seeing as how Nanowire could hack their systems from the moon if necessary, even the best encryption couldn't keep him out forever.

So after a lot of prep work, Ren moved in, opening doors and gaining access to restricted areas on the fly. He'd just gotten into the section of the labs he wanted - weapons development - when all of a sudden, the entire place locked down and security forces started swarming the place. Ren, still in his more vulnerable human form, had to take cover behind a workstation when the assault rifle wielding troopers began blasting without preamble. There was only one way in or out of the weapons lab, which meant Ren really only had one way to go; through the men currently shooting at him.

One transformation using the ample machinery at hand, and Nanowire began rampaging through the labs, looking for the way out. He had just plowed his way through another checkpoint when he found himself inside an area that appeared to be an underground parking lot. An underground parking lot filled with power armored security personnel, all pointing guns at him. Nanowire barely got behind a pillar in time before a fusillade of gunfire tore through the area he had occupied only moments before. he grumbled as a little more of his cover disintegrated around him.

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Daisuke laid his head down on the ground to get some rest. Not that he needed it, or even needed to sleep, but he found it helped him out if he could think about the next day while in this position. It's how he used to do it all the time back in Japan, camping out under the night sky. Here, just as there, not many stars were visible in the sky due to all the lights from the ground, but it helped him all the same.

Over the past few days, he had come to the conclusion that Nanowire had to be undercover for some purpose. Why else would he not be out there defeating criminals like the other heroes of the city? It made perfect sense, of course. His onii-chan looked like any other human without his armor, but when it came time to bust the bad guys... BAM! Instant mecha, just add machinery.

The only problem with that theory was as long as Nanowire remained undercover, Daisuke wouldn't be able to get in touch with him. And even the Freedom League would probably deny they knew him. All to protect Nanowire and those he loved!


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The cannonade finally tapered off after a several long seconds, leaving Nanowire hiding behind barely more than enough concrete to cover his enlarged body. From the damage the 20 mm rifles had been doing, he deduced his opponents were loading Krak rounds; ammunition specifically designed to shake armor plating to pieces. Even Chobham reactive armor couldn't stand up to that kind of firepower for long.

"Attention, intruder!" bellowed one of the powered suits' wearers. His voice had been amplified by some sort of on-board megaphone, making it echo around the parking lot-like structure."You are completely surrounded! Come out and we'll kill you!"

Nanowire resisted the urge to blink inside his armor at the odd turn of phrase. "Don't you mean, 'Come out or we'll kill you?" He hazarded a glance at his attackers as he spoke. Their armor seemed to be based off of the ones he'd seen plans for use at the Bruckner Ridge Superhuman Penetentiary, only slightly larger, with a bulbous headpiece and proper grasping manipulators, each of which held a 20mm autocannon loaded with the aforementioned Krak rounds. The over sized shoulder pauldrons no doubt contained some sort of weapon pods as well. Overall, very nasty looking machines indeed.

An ugly laugh came from the lead suit, which had been painted with dark crimson lines, no doubt meant to look like blood. "No, I meant exactly what I said. You were dead the moment you stepped into this facility, pal. Why not make it easier on yourself and give up?"

Nanowire slunk back into his hiding place and weighed his options. Upon further examination, the place he had managed to get himself trapped in wasn't a parking garage, but some sort of urban environment simulator, set up with much higher ceilings, mock buildings and burned out vehicles for obstacles. A lot of cover, if he could get to it. The "getting to it" would be the problem. "You know, I've never been much for making things easy on myself." Nanowire prepared to move. This was going to take some precise timing.

"Have it your way," the leader said with a note of finality. His mech raised it's hand, then dropped it.

And the guns began to thunder once more...

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  • 2 weeks later...

Considering how best to go about figuring out which criminal organization Nanowire had infiltrated, Daisuke took his spiral notebook out of his bag and started making notes. There were only so many bad guys worthy of being hunted down by the coolest superhero ever, so listing them shouldn't take too long. ""

His answer in writing in front of him, Daisuke began considering how he'd go about looking in on his big brother. He couldn't just drop in on The Foundry, of course. Not only did he not know where they were based out of, it would totally blow Nanowire's cover when he had to rescue him. No, that wouldn't work. He might have to wait until Nanowire resurfaced, victorious in his mission to destroy the Foundry from within.

Daisuke jotted a couple more things down in his notebook before looking up, an expression of consternation on his face. What was that noise? It had been there for a little while, but it seemed to be getting louder now. It almost sounded like...

"Gunfire!" Daisuke hopped to his feet, his mission to find Nanowire temporally forgotten. He stuffed all his gear in his pack before taking off towards the disturbance. "Ready or not, bad guys, here comes Mashin-kun!"

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Bullets whizzed through the wooden facade of the building, prompting Nanowire to run faster. Although he now had an inkling they may not be as powerful as he'd feared, he wasn't about to chance taking an errant burst. Which helped to explain why he was carrying one of the powered suits with him, wearer still occupying it, furiously struggling impotently against his vastly superior strength. "You know, you'd make this a lot simpler if you'd stop flailing around!" he yelled as he smashed through another wall, stringing his pursuers along further into the compound.

A blur of motion from the right made attracted his attention. There was the roar of rushing air and a tremendous crash, then Nanowire felt himself get catapulted out of the fake building via explosive relocation. He managed to get his feet underneath him as he skidded backwards, away from the dust cloud ruin of what used to be his main source of cover, which was now nothing more than plywood scraps and nails.

He all of a sudden noticed that he wasn't supporting the weight of his captive anymore. In the chaos of his unscheduled flight, he had dropped the man along the way. His radar pinpointed him a moment later, or rather, what was left of him. From his condition, it was blatantly obvious the armor was not rated to withstand the weaponry it carried. If Nanowire could have turned off that particular sensory apparatus at the moment, he would have, but as it was, the scene of that man, spread out there under the ruins of a concrete pillar, filled Nanowire with revulsion...

...And rage.

"You still alive, boy?!" the harsh voice of his pursuer called out over the sound of settling debris.

"Yes," Nanowire said quietly, getting back to his feet and looking out across the massive structure at his adversaries. "And I am going to make you pay."

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  • 1 month later...

Daisuke made his way down the street through the tight alleyways, trying to localize the sounds he was hearing. Unfortunately, every time he thought he was getting close, they'd get further away, seemingly in random directions. To make it worse, they were muted and distorted, like they were being funneled through a pipe or something.

"Wait, a pipe?" Daisuke muttered to himself. Looking down, he found himself positioned right over a manhole cover. A sly grin crossed his face. "Oh you sneaky little..." Quick as a flash, Daisuke crouched down and tore the steel cover off of the ground, tossed it aside with a resounding clang, and ducked his head into the dark expanse.

He had expected to get hit with some sort of foul odor emanating from the sewer, but to his surprise, it actually didn't smell all that bad; more stale than stinky, really. But he knew he was on the right track. The sounds of battle were far more prevalent down here. The walls literally reverberated with gunfire interspersed with explosions. Whoever was fighting down there was not taking things by half measures.

With a nervous sigh, Daisuke leapt down into the darkness.

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