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Thread: Singularity - Academy City (FGO X Index)

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    吸血鬼 Vampire Ausreford's Avatar
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    Singularity - Academy City (FGO X Index)

    I don't actually know how many of y'all know about Toaru Majutsu no Index/A Certain Magical Index, but since this has FGO in it... please don't kill me.

    I got a request to write this one-shot after Index III came out, and originally was meant to be just about Index. Then after the FGO panel at Anime Festival Asia, the nature of the request changed a bit. Now it’s… weird.

    This is gonna be one of the weirdest things I’ve written, and that’s saying a lot. But I’ll show you what I mean.

    -

    “Hmm… So this is what a ‘miracle’ can achieve.”

    The voice that had spoken those words belonged to an enigma. It was insufficient as a description, but the speaker was someone (or quite possibly, something) beyond description; they looked liked an adult, but at the same time a child. They looked like a man, yet also a woman.

    He certainly looked like a saint, but she was surely also a criminal.

    “You can talk, can’t you? Why don’t you say something?”

    Despite his words, the mysterious figure’s tone was anything but curious. It was impossible to decipher anything resembling emotion from that voice, but that could have been chalked up to appearance of the room they were in: cloaked in dim light pouring out of several screens – each showing readings and images related to something that made no sense to anyone but him – the entire space was bereft of any sense of hospitality.

    Naturally, it did not help that the host was suspended in a giant tube of red liquid.

    But the other occupants of the room – two figures bathed in shadow – did not seem to mind. Rather, it appeared to the man that they had other things on their mind.

    “… I understand very well,” the first one spoke. He was a large man – if he could even be called a man. Physical size aside, there was something distinctly inhuman about his appearance; sitting atop an otherwise humanoid body, was a mass of white mane and what was undoubtedly a lion’s head. “I understand very well that this era’s technology was what called out to me. I understand that my soul is shaking with uncontrollable excitement at the possibilities of this world. To that end, I must thank you, the one who summoned me.

    “However!”

    The force of his roar sent a powerful gust of wind blowing across the room. However, since there was nothing to knock over, he failed to leave an impression on the man in the tube, whose expression had barely shifted.

    “I must ask!” the lion man continued, his voice filled with impassioned rage. “Why is it that you have deemed it necessary to bring along this insolent cur – this absolute buffoon who knows nothing of true genius?!”

    “Hmph, it’s always the ignorant who flap their gums,” the other figure said, stepping out of the shadows and standing next to the lion man. Unlike him, this man looked far more human; in fact, it would not have been a stretch to say he was exceedingly handsome. “It looks like regardless of how many years pass, you will always be a fool, Edison.”

    “The fool here is evidently you, Tesla!” the man called Edison bellowed. “Do you think you’re even qualified to look down on me, when my inventions are far superior to yours?!”

    “This is most amusing, Edison,” Tesla replied. “Even though you are intellectually inferior, I thought you were a fellow man of science! Do you think it befits a man of science to tell lies, to spout nonsense in broad daylight?”

    “Hah!” Edison roared. “Of course the words of the geniuses are deemed nothing more than nonsense to the Neanderthals. Evidently, words are useless to someone who cannot understand them! I will teach you with my fists the weight of my genius!”

    “If I may,” the figure in the tube said, interrupting the two moments before a brawl occurred. “I would like to clarify something I just overhead. You proclaim to be men of science, despite being summoned forth by what many would declare a magical process. Is that correct?”

    “Verily!” Edison and Tesla replied at the same time, then proceeded to shoot glares at each other.

    The man in the tube looked on at the two… things before him. They were certainly not human, nor were they anything that could be made by science. They were strange beings, brought into existence by an object that had the power to summon them to his side – all the way into the windowless building, that by right had no entrance or exit.

    That in itself, could be said to be a ‘miracle’. But was that truly all that it was?

    “Now then!” Edison said, apparently opting to ignore Tesla and his protests. “As the one who summoned us, I must ask! What is your purpose in summoning us here?”

    “As infuriating as it is, I agree with him for once,” Tesla affirmed. “You have surely summoned us via some form of magecraft, but from your choice of words you are decidedly also a man of science. What purpose could you have in bringing us forth into this era?”

    “Purpose, you say…” the man in the tube said. With a faint ‘beep’-ing sound, a screen lit up just outside his tube. Displayed on the screen was but a simple object, but what mattered was not its appearance.

    It was a golden cup, one that could have been excavated from some historical site and dusted off for display in a museum. There was nothing particularly remarkable about what was engraved on it, nor the myths that were connected to it. What was remarkable, however, were the possibilities that it promised.

    It was, after all, the Holy Grail.

    -

    “Haah, such misfortune…”

    Muttering those familiar words under his breath, Kamijou Touma trudged up the stairs of his apartment with a heavy heart.

    For him, misfortune was an everyday occurrence. Perhaps it was accurate to say that ‘misfortune’ was what was normal to him, since it occurred with such frequency that it could not even be considered a surprise anymore. To an extent, he had gotten used to it, but to be unlucky in just about everything he did was a pain he would rather do without.

    He had thought it would end with missing the morning bus. He had thought it would be enough with losing the bread he had fought for at lunch. He had assumed the heavens had had their fun when he dropped his wallet. And then Biri-Biri had fried his phone mid-call.

    “And Itsuwa sounded really flustered, too…” he muttered. “Something about a person called Amakusa Shirou appearing out of nowhere or something… It definitely sounds troublesome, so it’s probably best if I don’t get involved with it, right…?”

    … Hey, wait a minute, he thought. This means I’m definitely going to get roped up in it, right?! This is that sort of pattern again, isn’t it?!

    “N-no way, right…?” he chuckled feebly. “This Kamijou-san has already had enough action for five lifetimes, so please let me off already…”

    “Touma! Touma!”

    “Geh!”

    The voice of impending doom reached Touma’s ears as he stood frozen on the spot. Just a few steps ahead was his humble abode, but in it dwelled a perpetually hungry monster whose teeth were sharper than the sharpest knife. There was a tried-and-true way to appease said monster, but Touma had come home without groceries in hand, so that option was out the window.

    Which unfortunately meant he had two options: either let himself get bitten to death, or try the other tried-and-true method which had questionable odds of success.

    Naturally, being a man who bravely challenged the odds, Kamijou Touma got on his knees.

    “I’m sorry, Index-san! I have misplaced my wallet and as a result couldn’t-”

    “Oh dear, is something wrong?”

    As an unfamiliar voice entered his ears, Touma inadvertently stopped his apology and looked up in surprise. Running towards him with evident concern was a beautiful woman with blond hair, clad in what appeared to be some form of armor.

    “Are you okay?” she said kindly, kneeling down and examining his face. Right behind her, Touma could see that Index was evidently annoyed at the presence of this woman. Either that, or she was hungry (or quite possibly both).

    “E-er, yeah,” Touma replied, raising his head as he tried to consider his rare good luck for escaping certain death. Then he realized something. “Wait, did you just come out of my house?”

    “Oh, right! How rude of me!” the blonde woman said. “I was lost and Index-san here was kind enough to offer me shelter here until you returned. I presume you are Kamijou Touma-san, yes?”

    “Y-yeah, I am,” Touma said, unable to wrap his head around the situation. But all the same, he had a bad feeling that something troublesome was on the horizon. “Are you a friend of Index’s, then?”

    “Touma, Touma!” Index said, apparently tired of being ignored. “Listen to this! This woman claims to be a saint, you know! She said she’s here to find a mage who summoned here or something!”

    “Oh, no, I would never be so presumptuous to call myself a saint!” the woman said hastily. “But yes, I am in need of help finding a certain mage in this city. Index-san told me you have experience in these sorts of things, so I wished to seek your help. Would you please lend me your assistance?”

    “… You really should stop bringing strangers into my house,” Touma sighed at Index. Then, turning to the blonde, he added: “Well, you’ll have a hard time finding someone who knows anything about mages in this city, so I’ll help you out, but… I’m not that knowledgeable myself, you know?”

    “That’s alright,” the blonde replied, reaching out a hand. “Thank you for agreeing to help me, Kamijou-san.”

    “Sure thing, uh…” Touma replied, holding out his right hand for a handshake. “Now that I think about it, I haven’t gotten your name yet.”

    “Oh, that’s right! My Class is Ruler, but my True Name is-”

    “That’s the thing, Touma!” Index interrupted, just as Touma’s hand clasped onto the woman’s gauntlet. “She actually claims to be the real Joan-”

    With a loud tearing sound, the clothes on the woman burst apart.

    “… of arc…”

    First came the silence. Then came the shrill screams of a saint.

    Then finally, the screams of Kamijou Touma as tiny fangs sank into his skull.

    -

    “Ah, Ritsuka. You’re on time as always.”

    With the same good-natured smile on his face, Romani Archaman greeted the teenager as though it was just any other day. It was not the face befitting of the acting head of Chaldea, and certainly not the face of someone who was about to send humanity’s last Master into a dangerous mission.

    Nonetheless, he wore that expression on his face. Da Vinci had once pointed out that it was a valiant effort on his part, and that she was hardly opposed to non-geniuses like him trying their best.

    “Good morning, Senpai,” the Demi-Servant next to Romani greeted. She had short light purple hair, and a gaze which suggested she was ready to depart at a moment’s notice. “The preparations for an emergency Rayshift have just been completed.”

    “Well, ‘completed’ isn’t exactly the right word for it,” Romani said, scratching his head. “There’s something strange about the Singularity you’re going to this time. We can’t gauge just what time period it’s located in, or if it’s in an entirely isolated plane of existence. From the looks of it, it looks like it could either be a time just a few years before the present, or it could be a time a few years from now.”

    “Wait a minute,” Ritsuka protested. “But there’s supposed to be no future past-”

    “That’s right,” Romani nodded. “Which is why we cannot be sure if this is indeed a turning point for humanity, or if it’s some other unique Singularity in its own right. Regardless, it’s something we cannot ignore, so we’re counting on you two to investigate.

    “Understood,” Ritsuka answered. “So where will be going this time?”

    “The coordinates aren’t necessarily trustworthy, but they’re the best we have,” Romani shrugged. “But the best estimate we have… is that it’s an isolated area within the city of Tokyo.”

    -

    Just to clarify, this is a one-shot. There’re currently no plans to go beyond this, because my knowledge on Index is lacking (I’m only around 7 volumes or something into New Testament). This is a request made by a friend of mine who wanted me to mix FGO and Index for whatever reason, so it’s a ‘for fun’ sort of thing. Hope you had fun reading it at least, though!

  2. #2
    1. 2. 3. 4. We are cells at work! RoydGolden's Avatar
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    This was quite a fun read. Disappointed you won't be following it up. Presumably Jeanne's clothes were destroyed when Touma touched them because they're manifested from her spiritual energy like most Servants' armor, and thus qualify as magical in nature? Makes me wonder why her whole body didn't get destroyed a la Kazakiri then, given Servants are made entirely of magical energy. Unless she's still borrowing Laeticia's body like in Apocrypha​…

    These aren't really important questions given it's a one-shot, but I am curious how you'd try to address them if the story were ever continued.

  3. #3
    吸血鬼 Vampire Ausreford's Avatar
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    I'm glad you had fun with it! For Jeanne not getting destroyed, the way I wanted to approach it was that I wanted Touma to be unable to destroy Servants outright without touching their spirit origin directly. The other possible approach was that by being summoned into the Toaru universe, Jeanne would be affected by its rules, and hence Idol Theory would apply to her and make her a partial Saint (the original Jeanne would be a proper saint, but a Servant is only a copy so she's not a full blown one), thus preventing her from being completely destroyed.

    That was my thought process for the outline, and it could be either or both of those reasons to be honest. Regardless, that's the main reason why I had Jeanne be the one to approach Touma and not another Servant. Fun fact: in the original plan, Ritsuka and Mash would encounter Accelerator as a parallel to Touma being with Jeanne, so Mash doesn't really get to come into contact with Touma until much later too.

    In any case, hope that clarified some stuff!
    "It's not that I don't have common sense; I just choose to ignore it sometimes."

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  4. #4
    1. 2. 3. 4. We are cells at work! RoydGolden's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ausreford View Post
    I'm glad you had fun with it! For Jeanne not getting destroyed, the way I wanted to approach it was that I wanted Touma to be unable to destroy Servants outright without touching their spirit origin directly. The other possible approach was that by being summoned into the Toaru universe, Jeanne would be affected by its rules, and hence Idol Theory would apply to her and make her a partial Saint (the original Jeanne would be a proper saint, but a Servant is only a copy so she's not a full blown one), thus preventing her from being completely destroyed.

    That was my thought process for the outline, and it could be either or both of those reasons to be honest. Regardless, that's the main reason why I had Jeanne be the one to approach Touma and not another Servant. Fun fact: in the original plan, Ritsuka and Mash would encounter Accelerator as a parallel to Touma being with Jeanne, so Mash doesn't really get to come into contact with Touma until much later too.

    In any case, hope that clarified some stuff!
    That makes sense. Thanks.

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