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Thread: Fate/Prima Nocta

  1. #1
    吸血鬼 Vampire Express's Avatar
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    Fate/Prima Nocta

    Sedimentary rock has quite a few things in common with humans if one stops to think about it for all of a second. Many individual deposits of sediment contribute to a growing entity; upon which after a certain amount of foundational time has passed, is referred to as an individual among others.

    But this understanding is flawed. A layer of rock as well as a human being owes everything it has to its history, to what personally came before it and contributed to its creation. While sedimentary epochs are judged far more leniently in this regard--one such layer may hold a perfectly preserved fossil, another carrying obvious stress indicators of cataclysmic change--humans actively reject any notion that challenges their perceived individuality. Perhaps this is just the most base manifestation of what’s called the “sin of pride”.

    In her mind, rocks have it rougher than humans by quite a long shot. Exposed to harsher elements yet without the consciousness and mobility to combat the indifferences of nature, humans remain blissfully unaware of the hardship of the common rock. Most thoughts had no use reappearing in a mind like hers; but in this place the concept was intrusive enough, as a reminder of why she was forced to live like this.

    But was forced really the correct term to be using? She didn’t give it much thought. It was moot, after all. She simply continued to gaze upwards toward the lip of her grotto, the gentle lullaby of the tide rocking her back and forth on the sandy seafloor. It was easier to breathe here, if only slightly. The world and its gravity didn’t weigh so heavily upon her underwater, and the small fish that passed through and the various barnacles clinging to the craggy walls were company enough for her.

    Stray white hairs drifted in front of her face, reminding her of the one she was patiently waiting for. “Hairs” was really just a term that vaguely fit the concept, as her body didn’t produce keratin anymore. It was a kind of linguistic laziness that was unlike her, but maybe it was just the last vestiges of the humanity she’d left behind exhibiting itself wherever it could.
    Still, she was reminded of his beard all the same. And the alienness that he represented to her.

    She’d been expecting Medusa. No, not expecting. That word had too much of a positive connotation. Dreading, perhaps. It was inevitable that the Gorgon would appear to her, given her heritage, yet all the same she had held a bitterness against such an eventual occurrence. The truth was, she had nothing to say to Medusa. An ancestor that had had no conscious input in being such an ancestor was little more than a stranger.

    An offhand gift to her family by way of Heracles, there was never any powerful emotion attached to the bit of dead snake the queen of Tegea received that day, at least not from the perspective of the mighty son of Zeus. There were far more important things to think about, course. It was little more than a favor to an ally of war. Yet this prize was coveted and cherished. So much so that it became a part of her family’s being. She was the product of a selfish wish to cling to a meaningless gesture, all thousands of years before her birth.

    And yet, she was highly--and, perhaps, happily--surprised when the one that appeared before her was nothing like the monster she’d been expecting. The first thing she noticed when the glowing light had died down was how white his hair was. A shaggy, snow white beard stretched down to rest between his wide-set chest. The hair curved up along his rugged cheeks, topping his ears to circle around his very bald pate. He was clearly elderly, at least in comparison to how most of the beings like him composed themselves. His age was nothing more than a number, given the extreme context of his body, she knew. Barrel-chested and rippling with muscle, he was in far better physical condition than men half his age with twice their power. His clothes were simple, and he wore nothing on his feet. Pale skin exploded into ruddy patches on his nose and extremities, unable to hide that he had once been quite comfortable living under a hot sun.

    Harsh blue eyes regarded her, and then he asked that most fateful of questions.

    “「 」”

    She gave her answer.

    “Know then that I am one who shall protect thee, Master.”

    He hadn’t given her a name, or anything to call him. It was fine, she hadn’t either.

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

    200 million years ago, the supercontinent of Pangea fractured into the beginnings of the continental tectonic plates. It was at this time, so early in the formation of the “modern” planet, that Greece began to form. The Cyclades, Dodecanese, Ionians, Sporades, as well as the more famous individualist islands like Crete, all began from a common coastline that remained relatively unchanged until the wandering earthen giants slowed and eventually halted their million year journey. To put it simply, then, Greece has been a hub for historical achievements long before the species known as humans even came into existence.

    Greece has the privilege then, due to being a launching point for civilization, of having its historic and prehistoric history verified mostly without a shadow of a doubt. It’s only in the modern age, ironically, that Greece as a whole has fallen by the wayside. Massive national debt and various other contributing factors caused Greece to withdraw little by little from the historical limelight. A phenomenon that allows the archipelago to once more drag the familiar misty blanket of mystery around its rocky coasts.

    Which quite suited the ancient line of Greek mages just fine.

    Modern political violence meant nothing to beings who had long left non-magical society behind. If anything, useful idiots were strategically deployed to cause trouble in certain parts of the country for the puppetmaster’s own personal gain. While the younger members of the Mage’s Association snickered around talk of the mighty families produced by the islands, those with more far-reaching memories were able to recall the staggering contributions to magical society Greece has made in the past.

    However, one such embarrassment was potent enough to plague even the staunchest of Greek mages. Whether it actually happened or is simply a myth is a point of contention, but the truth is irrelevant. Simply the rumor of the failed Greece Subtype Holy Grail War is enough for some to stake their reputations on disproving it. Because the truth is the Greeks haven’t presented anything groundbreaking to the Association in a very, very long time. Old rumors popping up like lesions at a time when their influence is on the wane is seen as one of the worst things that could possibly happen.

    The story goes that the war had been a disaster from its inception. Greece’s disproportionately vast concentration of immensely powerful Heroic Spirit material proved to be a detriment to the order of the war itself. Mages were desperately slaughtering each other publically for any relic of Heracles they could get their hands on, leaving a sizable number of bodies already before the war had even officially started. After Heracles, the process repeated for the nearest relic of Achilles, and so on and so forth. Eventually, after some form of conclusion that was never made even the slightest of public knowledge, elder patriarchs from every influential Greek family gathered to impose a special regulation set on any future Greece War.

    Called the Dódeka Parapáno, or Twelve Above, the regulations sought to criminalize the summoning of a selection of Greece’s 12 most famous heroes within the confines of the country; under the notion that to do so with such famous figures, combined with the natural homeland bonus provided, would make each of the singled-out individuals completely uncontrollable. While it was true that the Greeks realized the potential terror of a maddened Heracles boosted to godly levels of power, the Twelve Above was much more of a political peace treaty than anything else. Wasting time and effort squabbling over catalysts had a proven track record of destroying reputations and previous family alliance; it was better to simply avoid the whole trouble of it. Both the Church and the Mage’s Association were notified of the Twelve Above’s passing, and Greece instantly lost any appeal as the site of a Holy Grail War.

    Which begs the question of how Greece obtained a copy of the Grail in the first place. The answer lies only with the mysterious giggling White Woman who spread the secret of the ritual across the world like the intoxicating poison it is.

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

    She pulled herself out of the rocky grotto, onto the rather out of place tile flooring that rimmed the lip of the watery entrance. The expected percussive smattering of stray water droplets echoing across the tile never came, every bit of moisture clinging to her saline body. Her half-lidded eyes had no need to adjust to the dim light of the setting sun that shone in through glassless windows, yet she blinked rapidly regardless. Then frowned.

    Her mansion, which sat nestled in a cove on an unnamed island in the Argolic Gulf, was big, dark, and empty. It was also highly familiar to her, necessary given the state of her eyesight. Yet still, there was something unexpected that raised the cilia on the back of her neck, for lack of a more apt term.

    He was sitting cross-legged in the middle of the room. His back was turned to her, yet what meager light penetrated the room refused to reflect off his bald head. She never would have known he was there if he hadn’t shifted slightly. Intentionally? Hard to say, but the gesture didn’t go unappreciated. Or appreciated either, for that matter. That he had moved to signal himself to her was a fact, nothing more.

    She continued to stare at his back for several more long minutes, willing herself to perceive his frame more clearly, but finding herself unable to do so. She took a single shuffling pace towards him, all residual water from her “bath” having by now been absorbed into her body.

    “I require something from you.”

    There was no surprise in these words, despite their suddenness. Tension was something she couldn’t grasp very well. If she’d been anyone else, that person most likely would have fallen over startled. But because it was her, and she was she, the words were taken in stride the same way she did everything else.

    “State it.” She quietly ruminated on his voice. Baritone, but there was a crackling quality that made her think of a man attempting to speak after not drinking for several hours. Her own was barely a whisper, but she knew he could hear it.

    “I require something by which to call you, Master.” The ensuing pause was kept brief.

    “You already call me Master, that should be sufficient.”

    A longer pause. At least a minute, by her estimations. She couldn’t verify anything, of course, as she didn’t have a clock inside her abode. This wasn’t uncommon either, to have demands made by that being known as a Servant, at least to her knowledge. It almost made their title pointless, if they weren’t so committed to following commands. Maybe she’d been paired with someone ill fitting…

    He shifted.

    “Regardless, this is what I require.” This must be the arrogance of the elderly that she’d read about, or perhaps there was some other motivation at play. Still, a criminal doesn’t sign their name on the butt on their pistol. It was the same concept, the less she knew about him, and the less he knew about her, all the better. Which is why she couldn’t comprehend why she answered him the way she did.

    ...

    “Cassiopeia.”

    She uttered her own name almost distastefully, as though the word itself were taboo. No doubt this was noticed by the man in her house, but the mood simply continued to remain unchanged. A low rumbling escaped him. It was a grunt of acknowledgement. Assent? Dissent? No, such a sound was impossible to discern any meaning from. Losing the initiative concerning the balance of power was a real threat, as the physical power of a magus was nearly always dwarfed by that of a Servant. By several magnitudes. Action, therefore, needed to be swift.

    “If you are content with this relationship now that I’ve accommodated your wishes, I have mine own I ask of you to grant. Face me if you address me as your Master.”



    “Cassiopeia. Master. Allow me to share with you a piece of wisdom: Do not confuse frugality and honesty for humility, many times they do not cross paths at all.”

    An inch. His head turned an inch. Though he was no closer to facing her directly, Cassiopeia understood it as the signal of acknowledgement it was. She finally had his attention. His words, on the other hand, breezed through Cassiopeia’s head with not an iota of thought spared for them. Poetry was a useless linguistic conceit, so she failed to comprehend what was said at all. Perhaps sensing he was losing her, the man intoned his head back to its original position. So close.

    “It isn’t fit for a man like me to gaze upon the flesh of a woman who is not my wife. Put some clothes on, and I will show you my eyes.”

    Oh.

    =======

    I've been sitting on the beginning of this for a while, some might notice this tiny chapter is just the blurb I included in my Make-a-Magus contest but expanded.
    I have a second chapter mostly on the way, stay tuned (?)
    Greece is going to be a heavy theme and setting in this piece so apologies to any Greeks if I mess your history/geography up.
    Last edited by Express; February 5th, 2018 at 07:54 PM.

  2. #2
    E-Rank Bronzefag MehKitteh's Avatar
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    Bless Cassiopeia and her medusae glory.

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  3. #3
    吸血鬼 Vampire Express's Avatar
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    First 48/1

    =============

    Murder in a country like Greece is hardly a surprise.

    With an astronomical 21% unemployment rate as of 2017, combined with 8% of the annual mortality rate being attributed to suicides, crime among the islands is just a fact of life. A fact that keeps the Hellenic Police in constant need.

    Oftentimes defendants in a murder case will protest their innocence, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary. Between a desire to not implicate themselves, to possibly challenge a piece of evidence, or simply on the advice of a lawyer; to a jury such a display would seem foolish, if not simply arrogant. Of course, falsely accused persons will obviously voice their complaints about a mistreatment of justice, but most are content to let the evidence prove what they were already aware of. Still, humans are proud creatures. Vain. The mere suggestion of an act one has no desire to associate oneself with can lead to violent reactions.

    Inspector General Athanasius Kokkinos believes he has never seen a more violent reaction than the one stemming from the man in Holding Cell 2 of the Tripoli Police Department.

    Interrupting his morning coffee were the muffled screams and banging around of, presumably, some kind of demon from Hell. A demon being in his station was no good, he’d have to ask janitorial about it later. It was only once he’d cleared the front desk was he able to peer over the sea of cubicles and discern the source.

    “WHERE THE FUCK IS SHE, WHERE THE FUCK IS MY WIFE YOU FUCKING COCKSUCKERS!? OH GOD, OH GOD LEDA!”

    Charming.

    A young officer glanced up as Athanasius approached, relief washing over the young woman’s face as apprehension built in the senior officer’s. This was clearly not going to be a good day.

    “Athan, thank God. Do something about that, please.”

    Athan nodded, distracted. His focus was still on the door of the holding cell, which hadn’t ceased producing the equivalent of a snuff film’s soundtrack since he’d walked in. This kind of violence was concerning. Not only did it potentially endanger his officers and the subject himself, but it might also indicate a resurgence in hard drug use around his area. Heroin had been a problem in Greece for years, but this reaction was far more indicative of something like methamphetamine.

    Actually, Athan was mostly wondering why this man hadn’t been sedated yet. While technically only legal immediately prior to an arrest, sedation of arrestees wasn’t uncommon around his department. They’d probably just run out of syringes.

    A few minutes later, after flipping the card in the box on the front of the holding cell door to signify that an officer was present inside, Athan pocketed his heavy keyring and stepped inside.

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

    The first thing Athan noticed were the bindings. His department usually never encountered particularly violent criminals, so the already archaic arm and foot binds had fallen into disrepair. Even though they’re nothing more than heavy leather straps, Athan noticed that the strap on the man’s left arm looked suspiciously like one of his officers’ belts.

    The second thing he noticed were all the bruises on the man’s face. Someone had worked him over, whether in the process of taking him away or if one of his men had simply gotten sick of hearing the constant screaming, Athan couldn’t say for sure.

    He took his own seat across from the heavy oak table separating the two men. Under all the bruises, Athan could see the man was only a few years older than him. His disheveled hair and raw red face, however, made him look ancient. Athan reviewed in his head what the clipboard outside the cell had stated about the man’s case, before finally opening his mouth.

    “Would you like a glass of water?”

    The man stared at him. His eyes were hollow, blankly appraising Athan. Athan wondered how many hours the man had been crying, or when he’d slept last. The good cop routine wasn’t working here, or wasn’t even necessary. This person was here for results. Athan sighed to himself.

    “Fine. Tell me your name. Hurry up.”

    “Klemenis...Klemenis Panagiotopoulos.” That fit what had been on the clipboard outside. At least he’d stopped screaming.

    “Right. Klemenis. Do you know why you’re here?”

    At this, the man known as Klemenis began to shake in his seat; fists balled until his knuckles turned every shade of the rainbow. Athan understood the need for makeshift restraints a bit better.

    “...I know how I am here, sir, but I do not know why.”

    “You’ve been brought in on suspicion of--”

    “You fuckheads don’t know anything! I didn’t kill her, how dare you fucking accuse me of killing my wife!”

    “I’m just telling you this for your own knowledge, Mister Panagiotopoulos. We need to have an equal understanding of what happened here before we can proceed.”

    “And I am telling you, you’re wrong! And you pigs, you beat me when I try to tell you differently!”

    Athan leaned back in his chair. He didn’t doubt any of that. Times were tough, and frustrations were high for everyone. A few of his younger male officers had already been indicted on corruption charges, but even more had gotten away scott-free. If men like that felt nothing about taking money from criminals, then beating Klemenis would feel as natural as breathing.

    Still, him being this obstinent wasn’t helping Athan at all.

    “Just so we’re clear, then. You were brought in at 2:34 AM after placing a call that your wife had died. Preliminary autopsy conducted at 2:45 AM revealed a blockage of the windpipe, which had no doubt proved fatal. But choking to death isn’t immediate, Mister Panagiotopoulos. Why didn’t you help your wife? Perform the Heimlich Maneuver?”

    “I did! I did, nothing worked! You, you are married, right? You can’t honestly believe a man would kill his own wife...especially so cruelly!”

    He had a point. If he was going to commit a murder, then doing it by way of making too much food for dinner didn’t exactly have a high chance of success. A further autopsy would reveal signs of foul play or poison, if they were any. Or if the body hadn’t already been processed, which was more likely. It could be that this whole situation was what humans call an “accident,” or a “series of unfortunate events.” Causation does not equal correlation, as the academy had taught Athan. Most likely Klemenis would stay the night in custody and be released back to a home more empty than he’d ever remembered, until the duty wagon came around to pick him up when the case hit the court. A murder charge was a tasty treat to any brass looking to make quota, especially if the poor widower was too hysterical to prevent himself from being railroaded.

    Athan wasn’t going to get anything else from Klemenis. He knew he’d heard everything the older man knew, or was at least willing to say. Or had he.

    As Athan stood up to leave, he decided one more question couldn’t hurt.

    “Are you sure there’s nothing else you want to tell me?”



    Klemenis began to weep completely silently. Something had snapped inside him, and now the tears came like a broken tap. But when he spoke next, Athan found his voice clear and devoid of any stutter.

    “...We had a small fight before...Well, anyway. We were arguing...a very small one, I tell you. Fight, that is. We had gone back to eating, and I remember very clearly in my head…”

    This was taking too long. If he was going to admit guilt, why now? Is he suddenly deciding to build a mental incompetence case for himself? It didn’t matter. Athan made a gesture that Klemenis ought might to hurry up with all this.

    “I remember thinking to myself, ‘I wish you would choke.’”

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

  4. #4
    A Two-Named Thief Bird of Hermes's Avatar
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    Intriguing, keep it up!
    Quest of Fate (Update: 09/09/2018)

    Hall of Hermes Praise

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    It's official. Hermes is the old man hipster of CaS.
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    ...Are you the protagonist of a YA novel? Perhaps an otome game?




  5. #5
    吸血鬼 Vampire Express's Avatar
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    First 48/2
    First Among Heroes

    =============

    There is a concept in the field of criminal justice, especially in the study of homicides, known as the First 48. This is a “law” of sorts that states that after the first 48 hours of a crime being committed, the likelihood of said crime ever being solved drops exponentially the longer the case is still left open. This results in a cold case, dreaded by law enforcement and those left behind in such a case alike. Oftentimes police departments will reserve a file cabinet or two where cold cases are relegated until relevant information can be dragged up days, months, or years later.

    The Tripoli Police Department has no cold case files.

    And not for a lack of need of one, either. It’s just always been that way. If a case can’t be solved immediately, it just sort of...fades away. The Greek people have too many other daily hardships to suffer through to be hung up on the recent past. And yet, it’s the perseverance of the Greeks that allows them to look past the troubles left behind, ironically contributing to half of the problem that is a cold case.

    Weep not for the dead, but for the living.

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

    48 hours. 48 hours had passed since the mysterious Mr. Panagiotopoulos’ strange murder had occurred. But to think of it in the past tense, already as a murder, is to put the cart before the horse isn’t it? Athan wasn’t entirely sure he cared.

    No doubt, Mr. Panagiotopoulos would either be found guilty of murder, or discovered to be the victim of an exceedingly unfortunate accident, and found guilty anyway.

    It was easier that way.

    Yet, something still tugged at Athan’s soul as he arrived back at the station the next morning. The man who had been screaming for his wife only a few hours before, was already gone. Processed up north to Athens, most likely. He wished there had been something more obvious to the case.

    No, he wished that he had tried harder. Was it something meant only to waste time, or did he truly care about the pathetic life that had exited his own as swiftly as it had entered? The UN had called Greece’s prison system inhumane, the widower whose name Athan was already beginning to forget wouldn’t last long.

    He wished things weren’t like this.

    He wished he had more passion for his work. Passion for anything.

    He wished.

    He found himself staring at the same holding cell from yesterday, visible from his office through a natural hole in the low-walled cubicles. The man lashed to the interrogation chair, that image, wouldn’t leave his mind. He wanted to drink. He wanted to smoke. He wanted anything to happen. Some part of his brain even wished he was dead, that he had gone up to Athens in that screaming man’s place.

    A pressure filled the office. Or maybe it was just in his mind. A psychosomatic reaction to everything that had been piling up in Athan’s life long before yesterday. He rubbed his eyes.

    The card holder outside Holding Cell B had been flipped.

    [Occupied]

    That was odd in and of itself. If anyone had been detained before he’d arrived this morning, it would have been in a report. Someone would have told him. It was a little thing to be annoyed about, assuming one of his juniors had accidentally forgotten to fix the box, but it annoyed him all the same.

    He wished.

    Athan stood up, moving briskly towards the holding cell. Even if he was hallucinating, even if he was slowly going insane, he had to see what was behind that door. It was that, or reject any emotional depth a human should possess.

    He threw open the door.

    Sitting in the cell, arms folded and legs crossed, was a man. A different man than Klemenis Panagiotopoulos. Unlike his fellow Greek nationals, this man was harshly blonde.

    A foreigner in his cell? This wasn’t good. American and British tabloid magazines and online gossip-tanks had already attempted to expose the Greek prison system before; if this was another of those liberal backpacking college kids that had been picked up alongside the highway, someone was absolutely bound to make a stink about it.

    But this man wasn’t like any journalist Athan had ever seen. Nor was he a backpacker, he was clearly older than that. For one, he was far too beautiful. Even with his eyes closed and in such an awkward posture, Athan realized the man was stunning. So stunning that it hurt to look at him directly.

    He wished.

    Just as Athan was taking a closer look at the man’s dress, which looked as strange as it was probably expensive, the man stirred. Without addressing anyone in particular, he spoke.

    “To be summoned by such an abomination and in such a location...unforgivable.”

    A flash of light.

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

    Nothing remained of the Tripoli Police Station. When something is said to be destroyed, oftentimes it’s only the previous concept of the object in question that has been destroyed. A house that had fallen down due to an earthquake was considered destroyed, if only because its purpose as a “house” could no longer be reliably filled. Debris still remained however, which would then be treated simply as the corpse of that house.

    This was different. This was annihilation of a Biblical sense.

    All that remained of the large brick building was a scorched crater in the ground, extending hundreds of feet in all directions. Stone, cement, glass, plastic, all had been wiped completely clean. Perhaps such a scene would have a beauty of its own without the context, the blankness that met at harsh angles the rest of what could still be called the city of Tripoli.

    There had been about 20 officers present at the station when the phenomenon had occurred. Now there were none.

    Athan lay underneath a heavy blanket of dirt. He knew nothing. He was nothing. The explosion that had decimated the station had driven him so deeply into the ground that for a moment he thought he was finally dead. Was this all there was? To be as conscious as when one was alive, but stuck in the dark for eternity?

    No, this was unforgivable. If he was to die, then he at least deserved eternal punishment or paradise. Not deserved, but desired. Wished.

    He wished.

    Athan struggled against the crushing weight of the dirt. Tearing it with animalistic fervor, even as he scraped against the superheated crust that held him in his prison. He punched and tore and dug at the dirt that had been flash-fried into igneous rock. His fingers bled. But he didn’t care.

    “So, one with the tenacity of a cockroach playing at being human.”

    Athan struggled to catch his breath as he pierced through his own makeshift tomb. Raggedly gulping in air, as the blonde man stood above him. Of course he was here. Of course he was unharmed. Athan knew what he was, he some kind of devil sent to punish him. Or more accurately, to punish mankind.

    Or worse, an angel sent to do the same.

    Athan just stared up at the man, bloody tears streaming down his bruised face. If this was his fate, then fine. At least an angel would be personally responsible for killing him, that had to mean something, right? Yet, some part of him was angry. Infuriated at this angel for descending from God’s Heaven, in all His infinite wisdom, to kill his friends and associates with so carefree a hand. That the angel had tried to do the same to him.

    He couldn’t let such a being get away with it. His pride as a Greek man forbid it. He opened his shredded lips, throat cracking from the strain.

    “...Athanasius Kokkinos.” His voice was barely a whisper, and he had no idea when the angel would kill him. But he couldn’t stop himself.

    The golden man laughed at him. A terrible, awful, beautiful laugh.

    “Not a cockroach, but a ladybug. Rejoice, mongrel, for I have realized your true worth.”

    It was a pun that required some unpacking in Athan’s beleaguered mind. His first name, Athanasius, roughly translated to “immortal.” Ladybugs, as scarabs, are themselves symbols of immortality. His last name, Kokkinos, derives from the Greek word for “red”, further cementing the comparison. Red immortal, or in the mind of the golden man, a ladybug.

    A King of Heroes joke. Feel free to laugh.

    =============

    Comments sustain me.
    I don't know if people might be sick of reading about Gil at this point, since I haven't read many fics here, but he's basically the only tie to proper canon that's going to be showing up so bear with me.

  6. #6
    吸血鬼 Vampire Express's Avatar
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    A Lawman's Decision

    =============

    There are many legends surrounding ladybugs. Perhaps the most important is the one regarding how the spotted insect acquired its name. During the Middle Ages, locusts and other crop-destroying insects had gathered in such numbers that a famine threatened most of Europe. Desperate farmers prayed to the Virgin Mary for mercy, a salvation from this hell. The ladybugs soon appeared, as if from Heaven, to devour the locusts and aphids themselves. The farmers called these beautiful insects "The Beetles of Our Lady", and - over time - they eventually became popularly known as "Lady Beetles". The red wings were said to represent the Virgin's cloak and the black spots were symbolic of both her joys and her sorrow.

    In other words, the ladybug is an existence that came into the world by way of a miracle.

    Whether or not a culture believes the legend of the Mother of God’s winged friends, every culture that has encountered ladybugs believes in their lucky, miraculous qualities. Killing one is bad luck, and will result in sadness. If one lands near a loving couple, the number of spots would dictate how many days were left until the date of their marriage. Etc.

    In a way, ladybugs are quite like warriors of their own microcosm of vegetation. An insectivore whose entire biology is geared toward the elimination of threats to its habitat.

    Protectors of the garden.

    Protectors of the
    World
    King’s Garden.


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

    It was not a miracle that had visited the town of Tripoli.

    But perhaps there are miracles happening around the world on a constant basis, yet only visible to a certain group or individual’s perspective. Rather, this miracle was more like the burning of Sodom and Gomorrah. As surely as the Lord’s fire cleansing the two cities of sin was a miracle to Lot, so too was it a disaster to the inhabitants left to burn in everlasting flame.

    The golden man in the crater was angry.

    To him, it had seemed only minutes earlier he had been enjoying the company of his one and only friend again after so long. To be stripped from him yet again so soon was an act that could only be called criminal. Yet, it was meeting with his beloved Enkidu again that had kept the King of Heroes in such a comparatively decent mood throughout the previous conflict.

    But here he was. Having been forced to appear sitting in a disgusting jail cell.

    In front of an unknown mongrel who had the nerve to not be killed by his Caladbolg.

    In the land of the one he wanted to forget the most about; the insufferable bastardization of Hera’s Accursed.

    By a force he couldn’t even be sure was the Grail as he was familiar with it.

    Clearly, responsibility had to be placed and retribution enacted. It was the only fitting recourse. To be frank, he was still getting his emotions under control. Another fault to be placed on the “Grail”, or whatever fake that had once more brought him back to his garden. The man scrabbling on the ground was to have taken a sword in the face after the king’s boisterous proclamation, if only because a bit of his own sadistic humor might cheer him up a little.

    But the mongrel wasn’t worth the waste of another weapon from his treasury, which unfortunately meant the king was forced to look at the pathetic creature until he finally died. Or something. The pun was something he had come up on the spur of the moment, and nothing more. A punctuation to the punchline that was one mongrel’s petty life. The king owed himself that much for being forced to undergo so much trauma already.

    The thought crossed his mind that he might destroy this entire country.

    He’d been made aware of Greece’s modern political climate and economic troubles as a byproduct of manipulation of the Grail’s information stream the most previous time he’d appeared. Granted, it had been information gathered for his young Master at the time; but the pathetic state of such a bed of civilization was insulting.

    “Even the most beautiful rose wilts eventually, or something like that. Pity.”

    Greece was nothing compared to his own Uruk, of course. But all the same, he was annoyed a land he respected was on the chopping block. His own self-imposed chopping block, but it was what it was. Corruption must be excised before it could be allowed to spread, it was a simple matter of percentages. Perhaps he would even allow Greece the privilege of witnessing his--

    Something was grabbing his leg.

    He’d almost forgotten the mongrel at his feet. All the scorched dirt clinging to the man’s back did little to distinguish him from the rest of the earth. What insolence was this. Honestly it was starting to get a little ridiculous. So much so that he was beginning to be reminded of that red-haired fool from Japan. But if that boy had been in this man’s place, the king would have noticed a strong difference in what he meant by clinging to his leg like that. This one was beseeching a higher power for death, that he could tell immediately. This was not a display of defiance against a being that had obliterated a meaningless building in the middle of nowhere, but of resignation and hope for an end. It was only now that the king noticed the patch on the man’s jacket signifying his occupation as a police officer.


    Honestly.

    “Pathetic.” Gilgamesh spoke.

    As the vampiric race had once been thought to be the “antibodies of the planet”, law enforcement can be equated to the “antibodies of society”. Both of which Gilgamesh had rightful rule over, yes, but the concept of law was something that was personal to him. He had been created for the single purpose of lashing humanity back under the yoke of the gods, but he had instead rejected such a role. For humanity to survive on its own power, regulations for human nature had to be introduced.

    For he was the original lawmaker; his decrees later being codified centuries later by Ur-Nammu and Hammurabi. Such memories not of his life as a tyrant or adventurer, but as a proper ruler and guide to an entire species, were equally precious to him. It can be said without much question that all subsequent manners of law enforcement stem from himself.

    Which is why this man’s attitude so annoyed him.

    “I thought you were entertaining at first, but now you’ve proven your uselessness. Goodbye, mongrel.”



    Something was wrong. But Gilgamesh’s thoughts were interrupted as the man spoke up once more.

    “...You’re under arrest.”

    Ah. I see.

    Perhaps he had judged too superficially. Perhaps even the man himself has no idea why he’d said it. As long as one person existed who even spoke of the law, no matter if they believed in its usefulness, the law existed.

    “Hoh. This won’t be enough, policeman. Your country has fallen into disrepair. So much so that pruning it from this world is the only solution to its degradation. Let Greece fade with dignity, you fool.”

    He was right. Nothing Athan could say could possibly change this person’s mind. There was nothing he could or even wanted to say, he was just becoming so tired with constantly lying to himself.

    “...You called me a ladybug before. Ladybugs eat the aphids from plants, right? But...if the ladybugs fail, it isn’t the fault of the plants for being eaten.” Athan’s hand squeezed on the man’s foot.

    “You wish to be casually absolved of your sins. But society wasn’t created for something like that to happen, idiot.”

    Yes. But.

    “...”

    “Ask yourself if you really wish to save something so broken, policeman.”

    Wish.

    Wishes could do anything, couldn’t they. Just yesterday a wish had killed someone.

    Surely. Surely a wish could fix things, right? If not his country, then at least his life? But that in and of itself is wishful thinking, useless to the cruel reality of the world.

    “I don’t know.”

    Gilgamesh looked off, to the site of the police station that had once been. In his anger, he’d destroyed a bastion of his own authority. And here was the sole survivor, clinging to him with a need reminiscent of a drunk.

    Well, sometimes things like this happen.

    ============
    Be brutal.
    [1]: Official FSF Manga

  7. #7
    Across This New Borderline RoydGolden's Avatar
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    I have no idea where any of this is going, but it's really interesting so far. Definitely looking forward to more.

  8. #8
    屍食鬼 Ghoul Siege's Avatar
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    It's looking pretty good, keep it up!
    The turtle moves!

  9. #9
    吸血鬼 Vampire Express's Avatar
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    Stirrings

    =============

    Just outside Tripoli, Greece
    August 3rd, 2017
    3:08 PM
    Athan Kokkinos and Gilgamesh


    It was an awful lot like training a dog.

    Gilgamesh was beginning to think that keeping such a useless organism alive was pointless. Yet he’d already determined to make a proper vassal out of this weak creature, this poor excuse for a police officer. It insulted him that his occupational progeny were so inept, so incapable of enforcing the will of the law.

    Well, it didn’t have anything to do with destroying Athan’s police station. Useless things are better off not existing, it was just a simple fact. But a mongrel refusing to succumb to a weapon not even meant for him was to be expected, however admirable it might be between themselves. Still, he was here, and that was that. The king’s will is absolute.

    He thought back briefly to that blue wildman from the Emerald Island. Dogs will always be lesser than humans, but that one should at least be the standard among his fellow mutts.

    This Greek stray he’d picked up was incapable of reaching the same league as that hound. Truly, he hadn’t even reached maturity. The alpha among a pack of puppies, with no knowledge of anything outside the world of an immature canine. Barking and biting at the world it failed to understand while submissively whimpering to the greater institutions it had no chance of escaping, anything for a scrap. Such a mindset was unacceptable.

    So Gilgamesh lectured.

    It was a nice enough day. The morning cloud cover that had just finished burning off a few hours prior was already creeping its way back inland from the shore, bringing with it the oncoming chill of the evening.

    “Do you understand, policeman?”



    No. Not really. It was something so utterly divorced from the reality that Athan knew it couldn’t help but sound ridiculous. Or like an American movie plot, at best.

    Seven heroes magically summoned to the present to do battle, all for the sake of an all-powerful wish? It leaned too heavily on tropes from young adult fiction to be actually believable.

    Well, ordinarily at least. This golden man who summoned destruction on a whim, the man who called himself the king of everything: Gilgamesh. He was the sole disproving factor.

    Perhaps, that is, so far.

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

    Madrid, Spain
    August 2nd, 2017
    11:00 AM
    ???


    Morning light filtered through the stained glass windows of the city’s largest building of worship. One of the largest buildings of worship in the world, actually.

    The Almudena Cathedral. Built only very recently in the 19th century, despite plans that had extended back to the 1500s once the capital of Spain had been moved from Toledo to Madrid. 1,275 meters squared, it was designed to be the largest cathedral in the world at the time. Although inevitably eclipsed by Saint Peter’s Basilica and other international cathedrals, Almudena was less about occupying as many people as possible as it was pure image.

    Image. That which is portrayed to the world for others to see. Far too many believe that such a concept was a paramount aspect of society.

    More than anything, he hated being in Madrid.


    His Doberman, Raul, sat politely at his feet as he meditated many meters beneath the public face of Almudena. The face the Spanish church proffered to the public was ordinary in every way; but as with many old things it held secrets, systematically collected and squirreled away in minute detail. All for the future purpose of...something, probably.

    Clack.

    Clack.

    Clack.


    An elderly man in fine silk robes approached. A black scarf hung around red and white layers beneath, this was undoubtedly the cathedral’s bishop.

    “You can’t keep coming down here like this, Santino, hijo.” The bishop said.

    “Why not?”

    “Because it isn’t proper decorum for...well, maybe it is alright given your...occupation.” Santino didn’t like how the man was treating him. How they all treated him. Always like this, like he was some kind of delicate vase to be kept in pristine condition for fear of the evil genie that lived within. Santino was sure the bishop had been told his first name through the various channels the church has access to, because he sure never introduced himself. Why couldn’t he simply serve God how he wanted to, among the rank and file? But to even wish such was disrespect to the Church’s wishes, and so Santino put up with it.

    Los Ejecutores have called on you, Santino.”

    Las Albaceas.”

    The bishop looked at Santino quizzically. Because he could clarify the reason for the correction, Santino stood up.

    “Go to Greece, hijo. The southernmost part, in a town called Tripoli. The Church has reason to believe that beast TATARI has manifested there, or something like it.

    Dead Apostles, known to the rest of the world as the culturally incorrect term “vampire”. Hunting them wasn’t usually in the job description for an Executor. Maybe the Church leaders thought a simple Eighth Sacrament Judas was easier to control than the Burial Agency. Maybe they were right.

    “You have been granted the right of a Holy Scripture.”

    Santino’s eyes widened.

    A Holy Scripture, the greatest weapons of the Church...this was undoubtedly serious. No, more than that, there was no way he could be asked to carry something that important. It wasn’t an honor he deserved. Truthfully, he wanted to go home. Home to his beautiful Canary Islands, where he could forget about the troubles of the mainland.

    But.

    “...Which one, might I ask?”

    “The Third. According to your personal history this item might possess a certain level of irony, or so I’m told. Do your best to get over yourself.”

    Santino gulped. Oh.

    The bishop approached, lording over the young man in the underground pew. Raul the Doberman looked up curiously.

    “Santino Murciélago de Vallombrosa, do you accept your duty as a warrior of God?”

    “Yes.”

    “Will you slay all that stand in your path, becoming as to God’s shadow so that the light may thrive unmolested?”

    “Yes.”

    “Are you ready, hijo?”

    Santino’s next words were in a language that wasn’t his native Spanish. Nor was it a language that had been witnessed by most humans for the last many thousands of years.



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

    Tripoli, Greece
    University of the Peloponnese
    School of Economy, Management, and Informatics
    8:02 PM
    Dean’s Office

    It was never enough. It had never been enough. A university dean’s salary? It was fucking degrading is what it was. He should have gone into drugs like his brother, or human trafficking. Anything was better than dealing with these bumpkin fuckers sailing in from the islands to learn how to screw in lightbulbs for a living.
    Quote Originally Posted by Athan Kokkinos
    “So you say this thing grants wishes...er, sir.”
    No, but at least he could make tenure...and make a fraction of what his brother can pull in by the weekend in 20 fucking years.
    Quote Originally Posted by Gilgamesh
    “Correct, policeman. And what do you think about that? Also, don’t call me something so boorish.”
    It wasn’t his fault, honestly. He just loved the stuff. Money had been tight growing up, its importance was stressed to him on such a constant basis was it any wonder he grew to love money so much?
    Quote Originally Posted by Athan Kokkinos
    “I don’t think I rightly know. What’s in it for this...Grail to grant wishes of nobodies?”
    Green. Copper. Nickel. Silver. Gold. Platinum. Gold. Jewels. Gold. Gold. GOLD.
    Quote Originally Posted by Gilgamesh
    “You’re overthinking it, surprisingly. It isn’t a sentient being that decides who it empowers based on anything preexisting, I suppose that’s why mongrels have such a fascination with it. Rather, the Grail is merely a machine that does what it’s programmed to, to borrow modern diction. In other words, if you wanted a smoothie, you would put the necessary ingredients into a blender. You aren’t making a smoothie from thin air, you’re simply recombining fruit that already exists to make it for you.”
    All he’d wanted was a way to get it. It didn’t even have to fall out of the sky. Hell, earning it was half the fun. But it had to be fun. Being a dean wasn’t fun.
    Quote Originally Posted by Athan Kokkinos
    “I get it.”
    Then again, what harm was there in wishing for it. Wasn’t that how Midas got his golden touch?
    Quote Originally Posted by Gilgamesh
    “You’re lucky I don’t cut your tongue off for lying so blatantly to me, policeman.”
    Just a wish.
    Quote Originally Posted by Athan Kokkinos
    “I can’t help it, it sounds like too much fucking bullshit. I didn’t grow up that way, it’s…”
    A forgotten yearning, lost to the definition of daydream.
    Quote Originally Posted by Gilgamesh
    “Speak, your inanity threatens to drive me mad.”
    It was too damn easy.
    Quote Originally Posted by Athan Kokkinos
    “It’s too damn easy.”
    The first thing he did was turn his entire office into solid gold. The color, the sheen, the smell even of gold was overwhelming. But it still wasn’t enough, despite its immaculate perfection.

    The entire building, now, was solid gold. Faculty and students had been turned into brazen Venuses de Milo mid-stride, without a thought spared for the lives that had been ended in an instant.

    He had an erection.

    There was no limit. He could do anything! Turn anything into gold! Even...Even the ocean. The ground beneath his feet. The air itself!

    Quote Originally Posted by Gilgamesh
    “That’s the fault of your own mongrel perspective, of which I can’t and refuse to help you with. Wishes aren’t restricted to the realm of humans. Anything that possesses a will, no matter how abstract, possesses the capacity to wish for something.”
    Sisyphus: Forced to roll a boulder up a mountain for eternity for assuming his cunning superior to Zeus.

    Narcissus: Fell in love with his own reflection and drowned.

    Icarus: Flew too close to the sun on his mechanical wings and plummeted to his death.

    Arachne: Unable to best Athena in a weaving competition, and turned into a spider.

    Niobe: Entire progeny killed for insulting the mother of the Archer Twins.
    Quote Originally Posted by Gilgamesh
    “Even the Earth itself.”
    Something exploded in the dean's chest. He died before he hit the ground he had planned on turning into gold only a few seconds prior.

    And so he joined the rest suffering from hubris and greed, another nameless soul in the swirling vats of Tartarus.

    The woman that stood over the man's body retrieved her spear.

    Frankly, the Earth had put up with quite enough nonsense for too long.

    =============
    [1] Rido Ridograph

    Decided to truncate the next bit into this chapter to make it a somewhat more worthwhile length. Especially since the next chapter is most likely going to be a fight scene.
    Last edited by Express; February 20th, 2018 at 05:39 AM.

  10. #10
    吸血鬼 Vampire Express's Avatar
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    Archer and Lancer

    =============

    Gilgamesh turned his head, interrupting himself from berating Athan any further.

    “Ah, finally.” It was said so simply and casually, as if a package he’d ordered a while ago and subsequently forgotten about had arrived out of the blue. A pleasant, if expected surprise, that’s what it sounded like.

    Athan followed the king’s gaze, unsurprisingly failing to see anything but the same stretch of rocky coastline they’d been on the whole evening.

    “Expected company, policeman. Go meet it for me.”

    Hairs rose up on the back of Athan’s neck.

    “I have no intention of seriously facing anything else summoned by this abomination that pretends to be the Grail.” Athan wasn’t sure what he meant by that, but one thing was clear.

    Heroic Spirit. Another one.

    And this one wasn’t going to be on his side.

    No way, this was happening too fast. Wasn’t he allowed to get a few hours to process any of this?

    Of course not, aren’t you a policeman? He questioned himself silently, glaring towards the center of town. Whether or not he was a policeman wasn’t up for discussion at this point. This great golden man who reeked of condescension had given him an order, and no part of him could actively refuse a command like that. He’d been forced to endure the abuse of superior officers in the past, of course. But the prospect of impending retribution was never so...explosive. Athan also knew that the techniques of wooing corrupt officials weren’t going to cut it with this one.

    He knew that he could despise the golden king with every iota of his being, and Gilgamesh would hardly even notice. And a part of him did. Not for something as petty as telling him to probably put his life at certain risk, of course, that was simply a part of what made Gilgamesh Gilgamesh. Even Athan understood that.

    A more recently active part of Athan was fascinated. There were too many suspicious things that Gilgamesh had told him that Athan just still couldn’t wrap his mind around, but denying a spoken truth from someone with such a strong aura was a losing battle.

    Magic. Wishes. Confirmation that the might of the past continued to influence the present. And far less subtle than before. To finally deny his own cynicism and truly believe a fantasy world for children was real, Athan doubted he could ever truly hate such a person who had introduced him to all that.

    But he wasn’t such an easy sell. He wouldn’t allow himself to be.

    So fine. He’d investigate what has disturbed the king. As a policeman. As a dog of the state. It’s as much what he was bred for as it is for bloodhounds, right?

    “How am I supposed to tell you what I find? My phone’s destroyed, and I don’t see one on you either.”

    No terrible golden laughter this time. Only a smirk.

    “You’ll walk back and report to me directly, of course. I won’t stand for insubordination, so make sure you live long enough and don’t keep me waiting.”

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

    So Athan trudged along the darkening coastline back to town.

    Briefly he considered turning around when he had still been within Gilgamesh’s line of sight to see if the golden king was still watching him, but a memory from out of his childhood steered him away from such potentially disastrous thinking.

    His mind was being reshaped by the events occurring around him, and especially by Gilgamesh’s presence, so it’s quite possible that under any other circumstances he would have never remembered the classic fables he learned in primary school.

    Of Orpheus, the son of a Muse and the only man to journey to the Underworld and return alive. Or maybe he wasn’t, Athan’s memory of primary wasn’t so clear. What he did recall was that Orpheus was punished for doubting something, for looking back when he’d been told not to. Was it pride, or simply impatience?

    Athan not so secretly thought these legends like Orpheus were just idiots. How little self-control could one person possibly have? Gilgamesh could have put a sword in his back (or whatever he used as a weapon, Athan still wasn’t clear on that), but at least he would die with his pride intact. For following orders, even if they were from an undead Babylonian king.

    There was also the entirely likely outcome that Gilgamesh wouldn’t even be there. Or just laugh at him if he was.

    Athan continued to follow the familiar beaten path back to the center of Tripoli, mind clouded with what he couldn’t recall. He might have passed people along the way, he might not have. Truthfully, ever since Gilgamesh had arrived everything began to seem...washed out. Maybe his vibrance really was all that he boasted.

    Like many ancient cities of its time, Tripoli began at a central hub and radiated outward as the city grew and expanded. The deeper in Athan retreated, the more claustrophobic it became. Streets became narrower, while the familiar white stucco and red clay shingles rose higher and higher above him. Despite the hour of day, many of the streetlights had yet to kick on. Oases of harsh light interrupted the rampant onset of night. Athan thought it all very noir.

    When he saw it, he thought the entire building was on fire.

    Akadimaikou G. K. Vlachou Street.
    GR-221 31 Tripoli, Greece.

    It was the fucking university.

    But no, the university wasn’t steadily burning away in the middle of the night unbeknownst to anyone else. Athan realized it was just the glare of the nearby light reflecting off the building’s new material.

    “Gol--”

    He stopped short.

    Ask many police officers what their greatest weapon in a case is, and many will respond that initial intuition is more useful than any sidearm. In the face of a lack of any concrete facts regarding a case, officers will often defer entirely to intuition. Athan himself has fallen back onto his intuition more times than he’d like to admit. Your conscious mind often doesn’t notice crucial things, but your brain does.

    There was no such need for intuition here.

    Crouched near the front walkway of the university building,a walkway that burned with golden light as much as the building itself, was a humanoid form hunched over the newly golden bricks.

    Taking stock of the situation was impossible, not with the way that thing was looking at him.

    She was female, that much Athan could tell immediately. Small and lithe, maybe only five feet tall if that. She was olive-skinned much like he was, but that might have been a trick of the streetlight’s yellow hue. Long trails of dark brown hair hung low over her face and spilling over her shoulder.

    Something was...off, about her body.

    And it wasn’t the severed head of some large animal the girl wore like a headdress.

    It might have been the fact that aside from said headdress, the girl was completely naked.

    When the girl-creature blinked, Athan realized what it was. Her eyes. Reflective like a cat’s, like nothing he’d seen from a person before.

    “Easy…”

    No response. Maybe she doesn’t speak Greek? He tried racking his brains for the Latin he learned in school. But.
    She stood up.


    It was then that Athan noticed her spear. And approximately the time when he wished his sidearm hadn’t been obliterated in Gilgamesh’s temper tantrum.

    Heroic Spirit.

    If this girl moved against him, he was dead. But that was fine, wasn’t it? He should have been dead at least a few times over. Maybe if he let this girl with the spear kill him he could escape to Hell and be done with it for the rest of his life. It beat years of therapy he’d never be able to afford in the first place, after all.

    “Remember that your life is no longer your own, policeman. You were reborn into my service that day, so don’t pretend you have the authority to throw my property away like that.”

    Athan nearly jumped out of his skin, whirling around to see the king himself standing off to the side behind him. When did he even get there…!? But that was just another property of the Heroic Spirit he’d never understand. Probably. He was getting a headache.

    “...Gilgamesh.”

    “I also shouldn’t have to tell you to never turn your back on an enemy. Honestly, your training is pathetic, Athan Kokkinos.” God fucking damn it.

    Luckily, the girl-creature remained in her tense standing position. Flashing green eyes swung back and forth between the king and the graying policeman.

    Enemy. Kill.
    De??m?ig??o???d?


    The golden one’s face bunched up in disgust when he deigned to notice her. He raised an arm, and addressed the human male again.

    “Now move, policeman. I’ve decided to be generous and spare a single sword for you tonight, don’t insult me further than this mongrel abomination already has.”

    The air itself rippled, golden light shimmering next to Gilgamesh’s head. It had the visual consistency of water, but hung in the air like a mirror. Something was sliding out of the golden mirror, reminding Athan briefly of that Ring movie.

    A sword. A sword?

    Weapon

    Indeed, a sword. The blade was a brilliant white, shining with an internal passion that ignored the ambient light of the evening. Athan was more confused than ever.

    “This is Skofnung, policeman. A legendary sword from Scandinavia, once owned by the king Hrolfr Kraki. Some say it was forged from the ice of the Frost Giants. Others say it possesses the souls of the king’s 12 loyal berserkers, or that the sacred necklace of Freyja herself is embedded somewhere inside. It’s one of a few weapons of mine that require specific prerequisites in order to use, so look grateful.”

    “Prerequisites?” He had no idea what the king was talking about. More than that, was he really going to kill this savage girl?

    “Correct. The hilt may not be drawn in view of the sun, or in front of women.” He sneered at the girl-creature still standing quizzically at the two of them.

    “And both requirements have been fulfilled. Rejoice in your death, mongrel Lancer.”

    Like a cannon, the sword shot out of the “golden mirror”.

    Spear
    Weapon
    Fast
    Dodge


    Skofnung: Rending Glacial Fang


    Athan couldn’t follow what was happening. It was over in seconds. Maybe even one second. His mind, however, continued to play out what it could comprehend. Where there wasn’t a crackling glacier before, there was one now. The sword. The sword Gilgamesh had shot out of his “mirror” had exploded and created this glacer.

    “Tch.” Athan mechanically turned to Gilgamesh, who was looking displeased. Upon closer inspection of the glacier, the girl Gilgamesh had called Lancer was only about stuck in the ice up to her waist.

    Had she dodged something that fast? No, that was impossible. That was faster than a bullet. Nothing on Earth could move that fast and still claim to be a natural existence. The girl, however, didn’t seem very phased by either Athan’s opinion of her reaction time’s impossibility, or the glacier itself. She poked at the ice before turning her attention back to her attacker.

    “We’re leaving, policeman.” Gilgamesh was already turning to leave. What. After what he just did to this person, not to mention all the property damage?

    “You’re just going to leave her there? You can’t just--” Gilgamesh turned, casting a serpentine red eye on Athan.

    “Can’t I? I said I would waste a single sword on this mongrel, Athan Kokkinos, and I did. If you’re so concerned about the suffering of a stranger, put it out of its misery yourself. You can tell yourself to do as many idiotic things as you want, but don’t try to tell those same things to me.”

    “You fucking destroyed an entire street and you’re not even going to finish the job…?”

    “Need I remind you that the deaths of these things you continue to think of as people contribute to your wish? You can’t have things both ways, you insipid guard dog. If you’re so squeamish, then hope another Servant comes along and finishes the job, but I won’t partake in your cowardice.”

    “Now heel, we’re done here.” With that, Gilgamesh continued his leisurely stroll away.



    Athan looked to the Lancer girl. He tried to discern a shred of intelligence from the flickering green eyes, but he just couldn’t do it.

    Or was he just convincing himself that it wasn’t there?

    He was going to let this person be trapped in ice, he knew that internally.

    All for a wish, right.

    The self-disgust he felt was only surface level, he could deal with it couldn’t he? What kind of cop could survive being this susceptible to guilt?

    Athan turned, and followed Gilgamesh away.

    Wiseup!

    La?n??cer??
    U?nkno??wn: ??
    Un?k??nown: ??
    Unkn?ow??n: ??
    Unk??nown: ??
    Noble Phantasm: N/A


    =============

    Hey look a fight scene. Kind of.
    [1] Oono tsutomu
    [2] Boku no Hero Academia Season 2
    Last edited by Express; February 26th, 2018 at 05:32 PM.

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