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Thread: [FSN x Notes] Sword Vector

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    ぷよ使い Puyo Mage fallacies's Avatar
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    [FSN x Notes] Sword Vector

    Summary: In an antique land at the border of the Apocalypse, Emiya journeys to seek the Sword of Beginnings. The vectors toward the Land of Steel align, and the stage for a final confrontation is set. A 'crossover' of FSN and the general Type-Moon setting, with use of the short novel, Notes. An addendum to Ol'Velsper's Eureka.



    Fragments

    o: Prologue - Khoros <-- (This Post)
    I: Coins for the Ferryman <-- (This Post)
    4: By the Root of the Blessing
    6: Agartha et Duat
    8: Whitechapel, 1888
    Io: Prometheus Unbound
    I2: In the Court of the Cups
    I5: Jormungandr
    I6: Cutting and Binding
    I7: Epilogue I of 2 - Diamonds & Clubs

    Concordance

    I: Notes & Timeline
    2: Alchemy & Thaumaturgy
    3: Geography & the End of Days
    4: The Things That Remain After the End
    5: Magic & the Nature of Reality



    O // Khoros
    (age of steel common) ref [email protected]

    It was in the abeyance of the planet's conceptual defenses that the desolation truly began.

    The immediate cause was the appearance of the atmospheric toxin known as 'grain' -- a class of miniscule particles bearing substantial mass, but no discernible molecular or atomic identity. Though chemically inert, their very presence in an environment propagated structural damage to the cells of living organisms by mechanical action.

    Deprived of a unifying consciousness, the ecosphere managed to persist for a time -- but as the average air saturation at sea level rose to exceed 1,999 units per cubic meter, a practical means of halting the onslaught of desertification ceased to exist. Topsoil biomatter was by the poison from the skies reduced to so much dust, and viable farmland gradually degraded past the point of salvage.

    This was the setting in which the Great War was fought.

    The conflict was, in essence, one of selection: Liberated from enforced servitude by their archetype and leader, the post-human slave races consolidated in alignment against humanity, vying for the extermination of their former masters in a zero-sum competition to secure access to dwindling resources.

    Their advantage lay ultimately not in their superior survivability; nor in the fact that humanity could match their innate functional endowments only by aid of technology -- it lay in their capacity to synchronize autoevolution across members of a given genotype, rendering obsolete the traditional advance of a species by death and procreation and genetic diversity.

    In the first place, it was not a war that 'humanity' could have won. The folk of the era strived by every means to see their progeny to the future, but absent of the supplies and stability to safely relocate off the planet, the only course was to fight -- and the passage of time came to demonstrate that light-based weaponry and other conventional military armaments simply weren't enough. Any advances in technology could be outmatched in a number of weeks, and the post-humans were more than capable of producing their own innovations.

    Faced with the near-certainty of extinction, the scientists of the late twenty-ninth century turned to the possibility of breaking the oldest taboo of genetic engineering -- supplanting the human genome with an artificial creation.

    The time for baseless pride was over, they argued. Mimicking the biological shifts that had permitted life to survive the Oxygen Catastrophe of the Precambrian era, 'grain' could be nullified as a toxin with relatively few genetic modifications; and physiologically inherent combat capabilities on par with the post-humans weren't beyond imagination. Given a choice between death and genomic eradication, the latter would at least grant the children of humanity a chance at survival. This was the only remaining salvation that the scientists could envision.

    The leaders of men considered the proposition at length, and by their grudging agreement, the race of the Liners were eventually allowed to come into existence -- forging by their feats the turn of the tide of war, and the dawn of what came to be called the Age of Steel. Such was the empirical reality that concluded the twilight of man, lived and cast by generations of bloodshed and objective certainty; a 'historical truth.'

    Behind the stage of the known histories, however, a very different story could be told:

    Somewhere in the deserts at the cradle of civilization, a murder was committed. A sacrifice was made to the oldest existing demiurgos.

    Always, the bones would remember.



    ~// Chapter Separator //~



    i // Where Flowers Are Born
    [email protected]

    The woods were dark and deep, and already he'd emptied the final clip to his silenced Smith & Wesson 422. Leaning his back against the base of a tree, he sighed softly.

    The assignment-specific orders he'd received stipulated that he was to exhibit his skills as minimally as possible -- but unexpectedly, tonight's opposition was of sufficient prominence that 'possibility' itself was beginning to run short. Stowing the semi-automatic in his shoulder holster, he drew a recently-acquired CRK Mark IV from a sheath on his leg.

    'Let it run until he breaks this, I guess,' he thought.

    Given the enemy's competence in frontal engagement, it was rather fortuitous that his presence suppression wasn't similarly immaculate. The gaping 'absence' that the man exuded was conspicuous; and one could locate him merely by taking note of the air displacement that he left in the slight breeze.

    From behind the tree, there was a clear sensation of approach: Three steps; two steps; one step -- pause.

    'He's found me again?'

    Efforts at presence manipulation subsided, and from within the tree, there crackled the noise of splitting wood. As the mass of the foliage tilted and descended to the earth, dagger met dagger with metallic sparks some ten meters away.

    Crossing the edge of the one-piece survival knife was an ornamental khanjar never intended for practical use. Its wielder, a bearded, overweight Arabic man, glared coldly.

    "I don't know who you are," he said, "but so as the blessing of Djibril extends, my protection of this place shall not yield."

    Abruptly, he pulled away and delivered a backhanded circular slash, cutting from the right. The survival knife was in position to block -- but, mirage-like, the fat man's body /shifted/, altering the trajectory of attack and delivering a hard throatwards thrust from below.

    Shallowly cut across its surface, a bone-white mask split in two, falling to the ground.

    "Takes a pretty big ego to compare yourself to an archangel," said Emiya, backing away defensively. "Knives aren't meant to go blade against blade like that, you know? Warps the metal too easily."

    In response, the man 'shifted' again, entering his range of defense in an indescribable movement. Barely able to avoid injury at a reaction time within human threshold, Emiya began to subtly reinforce his flesh.

    'Might be related to Kariya Kagetoki's 'Ukiyo?'' he thought, blocking the khanjar. 'Nanaya taijutsu had a similar technique, as well ...'

    It was, broadly speaking, the exploit of a sensory lapse known informally as 'Saccadic Elusion' -- the temporary 'suppression' of updates to object position within the perceptions of vertebrates and similar organisms, typically achieved by adopting patterns of irregular motion to escape the tracking of the eye. The flight behavior of the common fly had over millions of years evolved to take advantage of the mechanism as means to escape potential predators -- and here before him, it had been reenacted by human means as a martial arts technique.

    Despite himself, Emiya was suitably impressed -- but the technique held at least one critical failing that was immediately obvious: It was really only a 'problem' for opponents wholly dependent on vision.

    "You'll have to do better than that," he said, implementing conscious structural grasp.

    "And I will," said the fat man. "I won't make the mistake of underestimating you again."

    He tossed the khanjar at the Counter Guardian, who moved easily aside -- and fell to a duck when a jerk to the etherlite that linked the hilt to the man's left hand pulled it back toward Emiya's neck. The purpose of the attack was in truth merely to create a distraction, however. Catching the returning blade in his left hand, the fat man swung his right arm back as if to perform a punch.

    "Number Five," he said.

    Momentarily, a glowing thaumaturgical circle traced itself perpendicular to the ground, and he plunged his arm forward -- splashing through the surface. The appendage that emerged on the other side was not his own: A skeletal arm extended disproportionately forward, grasping in the palm of its clawed hand a transparent heart.

    "Delusional Heartbeat," he intoned.

    The claw enclosed the lump of flesh, tearing viscerally through the surface and crushing it in a burst of black fluid.

    Emiya staggered -- and then smiled.

    "Did you know?" he asked. "Curses and wishes are made of the same exact substance."




    [ Sword // Vector ]

    being an eschatology of Type-Moon in twenty fragments
    and an addendum to Ol'Velsper's Eureka

    by fallacies



    I // Charon at the Frontier
    [email protected]

    Some impressions of the town that Emiya had arrived at had been filtered into his consciousness in the hours preceding, but as usual, seeing it with his own two eyes was very different from merely being 'informed.' For a human settlement so close to enemy territory -- and so far into an Alaya Frontier -- the population felt surprisingly large. Probably, it was due to the low regional grain index.

    Cutting the steam turbine and letting the boat drift into the muddied waters of the river port, the smiling ferryman reached out with a prosthetic arm and opened his palm expectantly. He'd been paid in advance when they left Behdet earlier in the day, but Emiya saw no reason to deny him extra compensation for entering a militarily active zone; he pulled his wallet from his beige traveling mantle and tossed it underhanded.

    The surprised man fumbled a bit before catching it. Disbelieving his luck, he opened the wallet and removed the bills from within, holding them up in the twilight to confirm that they weren't counterfeits.

    "You must have made a mistake," said the man, looking to Emiya in bewilderment. "I am no highwayman."

    Emiya shook his head to the negative and leapt on to the stained brickwork of the docks.

    "Keep the money," he replied. "I won't be needing it anymore."



    II // Alaya Nemesis
    (overcount common) ref [email protected]

    One of the things he'd learned early on was that 'the laws of physics' weren't really as non-negotiable as scientists believed. The illusion of universality persisted only because, in general, 'something' was actively preventing humans from empirically confirming otherwise.

    If one were lucky, though, and bothered to look, lapses in the facade could occasionally be found -- locations and times where, figuratively, a tree falling in a forest truly didn't make a sound. The antiquated laws asserted during the Fifth War of Fuyuki -- so far removed from the sensibilities of the modern man -- had demonstrated to him well enough that optical camouflage could be attained merely by refracting light through a column of revolving wind. By the true weapon of the King of Heroes, moving air could be made to rend time and space itself to shreds.

    These weren't phenomena that twenty-first century science could have accounted for -- but only by miscomprehending the nature of science would one actually expect accountability.

    The power of the natural philosophies didn't lie in their capacity to accurately describe the workings of the world -- it lay in that the world itself could be made to conform locally to a consensual reality dictated by human understanding. Assuming any validity to the principles of evolution, this 'invasive' feature had likely emerged as an adaptive mechanism sometime in the prehistory of man, as a defense from threats to the species -- and it was by this force that entities designated with the status of 'phantasmal' were barred from interaction with the human domain; faded by gradation from the very realm of tangibility.

    In the end, even 'Gaia' was made to meet its conclusion.

    But like a system of antibodies, auto-immune processes could be turned upon an organism by a dysfunction -- and against the consequences of their own collective unconscious, humanity had little defense.

    Such was the advent of the Sixth.



    III // Widening Gyre
    [email protected]

    "Could've dropped me off a bit closer," he muttered to himself.

    Somewhat atypical of settlements on the warfront, the bazaar at early evening was dense with pedestrians, and Emiya's efforts not to draw attention to himself had left him plodding along at the less-than-expedient pace of the crowd. The ferrugination of his flesh had thankfully left him passable as a local on casual examination, as he might've otherwise spent hours being accosted on various fronts for his hypothetical wealth.

    [Perhaps you could show a bit more gratitude,] said a young, female voice. [We have given you your most conscious desire where our analogues have refused. Aswan was as near as we could place you.]

    The words weren't spoken in Arabic. Unquestionably, they had been uttered aloud, but the precise phonetic structures somehow slipped his mental grasp even as he listened, leaving only an impression of their meaning.

    Turning about, it took him a moment to locate the probable speaker -- a preteen girl with an amputated leg, slowly hobbling away from him with the aid of a crutch.

    [We have forcibly maintained this region as a Frontier for your convenience,] said a drunk-looking man seated on a bench nearby. [Our influence here is weak, but so too wane the operational faculties of the Hundred Breeds.]

    The surrounding townsfolk went on about their business without interruption, either because they couldn't be bothered to notice the alien quality of the language, or -- more likely -- because it had been blotted from their consciousness. Frowning, Emiya resumed his course, leaving the man to his bottle.

    "Can't be that weak if you're showing off a gimmick like this," he said, directing his words at no-one in particular. "What's wrong with communicating the usual way?"

    [It is no longer possible] said a street hawker as he passed. [Twelve kilometers south, we possessed sufficient primacy of jurisdiction to do so, but the same cannot be said here.] Standing in a doorway a short distance ahead, a woman breastfeeding an infant intoned, [We are too distant, and you've become far too distorted.]

    "Distorted," he scoffed. 'Deviation from common sense' was a description he could accept, but 'distorted?' Though he'd been described as such often enough, beyond seeming like a particularly adolescent term for 'uniqueness,' he'd never quite understood how it practically differed from possessing a conventional mental abnormality.

    While it was on some level repulsive to accede the King of Heroes as more than of dubious authority on the subject of human norms, if the Egregore were in fact affirming the suppositions the bastard had drawn in his forays into amateur psychoanalysis, Emiya knew better than to argue otherwise. It was almost the very definition of a losing battle.

    Entering a small, grassless lot, he replied, neutrally, "The way I am never posed a problem to you before."

    Alone at a chess table beneath the shade of a withered tree, an old man moved a black knight. Taking the white bishop from the board, he met Emiya's eyes.

    [When you were severed from your status as a terminal to our will,] he replied, [what remained of your essence was sufficiently deviated from the common sense of man that you could no longer rightly be called a human.]

    "What am I, then? Issues of mortality aside, I certainly feel human enough."

    [There was once a great man who predicted the inevitability of the Sixth's coming,] said a small boy, speaking to a pair of younger children in a sandlot. [Hoping to protect humanity, he entered into a contract with the Black Princess of the Apostles, and shed his flesh to become an idea -- a wish. Ironically, it is his existence that would be closest to your own. If at present you still perceive otherwise, it is an artifact of the familiar and banal, not yet succumbed to entropy.]

    The children that had been listening on turned their heads as one.

    [You are the curse that is called Unlimited Blade Works,] they said. [By your inhumanity shall mankind be delivered.]
    Last edited by fallacies; July 7th, 2013 at 07:20 PM.

  2. #2
    Reading your works is always an interesting experience, and Counter Guardian Emiya in the Land of Steel certainly is interesting. I will be eagerly watching this.

  3. #3
    Kyuubey Slayer Muramasa's Avatar
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    Another one? ...Damn it fallacies. You have a lot of great idea's running in your head. You have these wonderful plot settings and build up and... and then, for whatever reason, you just abandon them after three snippits or so.

    What am I supposed to say to this? This looks really good, but I know it's never going to come close to being completed.

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    Drunk Anime Is The True Path. Mattias's Avatar
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    So Emiya is the Wallachia of Notes. I wonder how he managed to slip his leash, in the first place. Kill Shirou? Or make sure that the Shirou who sold himself into the contract never existed?
    Binged All Of Gundam In 4 Years, 1 Week and All I Got Was This Stupid Mask

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  5. #5
    ぷよ使い Puyo Mage fallacies's Avatar
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    @ Mattias: In this setting, within the Grail War that Emiya experienced as Shirou, the Archer that was summoned was not Emiya. Cycling through iterations of the 5th War, in other words, was forever a fool's game.
    Last edited by fallacies; June 28th, 2013 at 05:01 PM.

  6. #6
    Sentimental Fool NewAgeOfPower's Avatar
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    Very good! However, I did note a minor flow of text issue that I'll point out once I get home (and to a proper keyboard)
    If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
    If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim,
    If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster;
    And treat those two impostors just the same,

    -Ruyard Kipling, "If"

    -)|(-

    My works [Updated June 21st, 2013]


    "From a dusky world with an ever-setting sun, a limitless rain of Ryougi Shiki streaked down from gargantuan gears set in the sky." Fate: Over 9000, my best Crack yet.

  7. #7
    Sentimental Fool NewAgeOfPower's Avatar
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    " but as the average air saturation at sea level rose to exceed 1,999 units per cubic meter, a practical means of halting the onslaught of desertification ceased to exist. Topsoil biomatter was by the poison from the skies reduced to so much dust, and viable farmland gradually degraded past the point of salvage."
    "Topsoil biomatter was by the poison from the skies reduced to so much dust, and viable farmland gradually degraded past the point of salvage." does not flow well at all. Consider writing "By the poison from the skies, topsoil biomatter was reduced to so much dust, and viable farmland gradually degraded past the point of salvage.

    Also, I recommend inserting "of grain" after "saturation".
    If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
    If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim,
    If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster;
    And treat those two impostors just the same,

    -Ruyard Kipling, "If"

    -)|(-

    My works [Updated June 21st, 2013]


    "From a dusky world with an ever-setting sun, a limitless rain of Ryougi Shiki streaked down from gargantuan gears set in the sky." Fate: Over 9000, my best Crack yet.

  8. #8
    ぷよ使い Puyo Mage fallacies's Avatar
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    @ NewAgeOfPower: I'll take that into consideration. Thank you.

    //

    Notes on Notes


    Wikia Entree: http://typemoon.wikia.com/wiki/Notes
    Full Text: http://www.blackss.org/moonlit/notes.htm

    Notes is a short story written by Kinoko Nasu in the mid-90's, published in an angel-themed doujin anthology titled Angel Voice. The setting is a post-apocalyptic world referred to by its inhabitants as [the Land of Steel] or [overcount 1,999], rendered nearly uninhabitable by the proliferation of a toxic substance known as [Grain], which fills the atmosphere.

    In the past, there was a massive global conflict between the two primate-descended races native to the planet:

    [Liners] -
    Humans who have been genetically modified to incorporate Grain as a basic component of their physiology, and thus made capable of surviving the harsh environments of the Land of Steel without special equipment; grain particles are crystallized within their bone marrow. Certain humans -- referred to as [Ether Liners] -- possess the capability to materialize weapons known as [Knight Arms] from the Grain stored in their bodies.

    [A-RAYs] -
    A class of post-human lifeform created by humans prior to the apocalypse as a slave race. As there exist a total of a hundred different 'species,' the A-RAYs are sometimes referred to as [the Hundred Breeds]. The majority possess humanoid bodies, but represent a genetic merging between primates and other organisms. Strictly speaking, 'breeds' with serial designations lower than 010 each hold only one member. The Queen of the A-RAY collective is Serial No. 001, [the Six Sisters].

    A-RAYs & other artificial lifeforms in this story:

    [Serial No. YA-01] - Prototype 1, 'Elizabeth' (1785)
    [Serial No. YA-02] - Prototype 2, 'Maria' (1887)
    [Serial No. YA-02-M] - Production Type, 'Jacqueline' (1953)
    [Serial No. YA-03] - One-Off Model, 'Victoria' (1888)
    [Serial No. YA-04] - Test Type (1996)

    [Serial No. RAY-001] - Archetype, 'Six Sisters' (2056)
    [Serial No. RAY-020] - Defense Type, 'Guardian Angel' (2070)
    [Serial No. RAY-028] - Assault Type, 'Chrysalis' (2072)

    Some centuries after the start of the war, a ceasefire was declared between the Liners and the A-RAYs due to the invasion and indiscriminate assault of titanic extra-terrestrial beings known as [Aristoteles], who seek apparently to annihilate all life within the Land of Steel:

    [Aristoteles] -
    Living weapons created as executors to the wills of the various celestial Counter Forces within the Solar System. As implied by their secondary name, [the Ultimate Ones], each is indeed the 'ultimate lifeform' of their homeworld. The inhabitants of the Land of Steel have designated them according to their worlds of origin -- and thus, the Aristoteles of Saturn would be known as [Type:Saturn], etc. Please note that it would be taxonomically incorrect to refer to generic extraterrestrials as Types, as the term is reserved for 'Ultimate Ones.'

    In the present day of Notes, Liners and A-RAYs have joined in alliance to combat the threat of the Aristoteles. The fate of the world is as-yet undefined.

    //

    World-Line Reference

    Independent chronologies are referred to as World-Lines. Within 'families' of World-Lines known as Attractor Fields, absolute inevitabilities referred to as Convergence Points exist. Iterations of Alaya within a given Attractor Field are capable of pooling Counter Guardians as a shared resource.

    World-Lines Within Attractor Field X, or [Overcount 1,999]:
    X.002491 - Emiya's Homeworld
    X.197428 - The World of [428]
    X.450122 - Encounter with The Nemesis of Neglect
    X.627895 - Tsukihime II Prologue (?)
    X.999999 - The Judgment of Neter-Khertet

    World-Lines Within Attractor Field Y, or [Age of Steel]:
    Y.000000 - Undetermined Fate

    Non-Applicable:
    ?.?????? - The Place Between Life And Death

    //

    Timeline (non-linear):

    BCE

    31920 (?) - As Far As Thought Can Reach

    CE

    1256 - Fall of Alamut; death of the Hundred Faced Hassan
    1328 - Alchemical academy established in Alexandria

    1782 - Address on Andrographic Theory at the Academy at Prague
    1785 - Prototype created at University of Ingolstadt
    1786 - Victor Frankenstein missing after family's murder
    1794 - Victor Frankenstein located in Arctic; dies of illness

    1818 - Mary Shelley publishes fictionalized account of Frankenstein's life
    1888 - Jack the Ripper murders in Whitechapel, London

    1952 - The Great Smog of London
    198X - [Mahou Tsukai no Yoru]
    1997 - 4th War of Fuyuki

    2007 - 5th War of Fuyuki; death of Matou Sakura
    2012 - Emiya Shirou receives degree from the University of Genoa
    201X - [Tsukihime II Prologue (?)]
    2056 - Atlas Genomics announces Refined Andrographic Yield

    23XX - The Death of Gaia
    286X - Steam-powered analytical engines gain popularity

    2909 - Present day
    Last edited by fallacies; June 30th, 2013 at 10:59 PM.

  9. #9
    ユカイツーカイマキデラさんはマキデララ ンドのプリン セスだぜ!? Ragnar's Avatar
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    Why would Wallachia be an Archer?
    Quote Originally Posted by mAc Chaos
    1) Everything leads to Sakura.
    2) Nothing stays on topic. See #1.
    3) People will spend 30 pages debating the number of hairs on Shirou's head. See #2.


  10. #10
    ぷよ使い Puyo Mage fallacies's Avatar
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    @ Ragnar: ?

    //

    IV
    // The Blessing of the Root
    (overcount common) ref [email protected]

    'The growth of an organism across the span of its life mirrors its evolutionary course.'

    The theory of recapitulation -- so paraphrased -- was popular across a variety of disciplines in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries: In its original biological formulation, anatomical shifts in the early embryonic growth of vertebrates were taken to trace changes through the organism's ancestral species. Education and anthropology held comparatively that the pre-logical mind of a young infant was in function and complexity equivalent to that of a savage in the state of nature; and that by extension, the various aboriginal peoples owed their 'primitive dispositions' to some arrest in their development of civilization, obstructing any gains toward the heights of 'evolutionary fitness' attained in Europe.

    This was, of course, a sort of magical thinking, where supposedly 'empirical' observations merely confirmed what an observer suspected in the first place -- much as in the 'laws of physics.'

    Though eighteenth century academic discourse generally held the temporal fitness of the Caucasian man to be fact, trust that the superiority of European genetics could endure unconditionally was neither unanimous nor unquestioning. By improvements to medicine, sanitation, and diet, a well-to-do gentleman of clean habits could expect to see a lifespan of half a century or more, but Europeans were ultimately no more immune to the infirmities of age and disease than men of other descent.

    If the stages of a life mirrored the path of a species' evolution, some wondered, was the converse true as well? Could inevitable decline and annihilation await beyond the prime that humanity had come into?

    It was with the intent to surpass such limitations that the alchemists of the Prague Association reinvigorated their investigation into the science of homunculus coining -- to reinvent humanity, and thereby exalt the realm of man unto the Kingdom of Heaven. In the small renaissance that precipitated, changes in the design of instruments and other methodological refinements permitted the crafting of such high-performance one-offs as Justeaze Lizrich von Einzbern -- models that clearly outstripped humanity in certain capacities of function and fitness.

    But in the order of nature, no prominence could persist without an equal and opposite cost. The will of Gaia exerted against the essence of every homunculus a constant pressure of erosion -- manifesting as early as the process of coining in an inexplicable accumulation of error. Differing from Apostles, the artificial beings were in general designed as standalone systems externally unsustained by anything akin to a thaumaturgical mystery -- and thus, termination of life processes couldn't be staved off by anything so convenient as the acquirement and payment of odic energy.

    Though homunculi that conformed to the capacities of man could remain operational for five decades or more, life expectancy was not an advantage that most high-performance models could relatively hold.

    In the autumn of 1782, a young Genovese graduate of the University of Ingolstadt reframed the problem before a panel of senior scholars in Prague:

    Gaia imposed restrictions upon any homunculus bearing functionality within the threshold of 'prominence,' but abilities justifiable under Newtonian mechanics could manifest in human prodigies without apparent provocation of sanction. Replication of mechanical prominence by clockwork automata similarly attracted no reprisal, suggesting that some qualitative difference existed between a wholly mechanistic implementation and achieving the same through the process of coining.

    Standard coining methodology entailed an abdication of control over the specific growth of the flesh. Details in augmentation that conferred capabilities beyond baseline humanity were left to the devices of a 'natural' ectogenesis along the impression of a manufactured soul -- a technique not unlike the casting of metal, popularly adopted owing to the poor grasp that late Roman alchemists possessed over the anatomical and medical sciences.

    Technical advances in modernity, the youth contended, went a ways toward invalidating the need to adhere to the practice. By the understanding of biological processes, manual fabrication of the corpus could in theory locate the capacity for mechanical prominence within the structure of the flesh itself. If there lay in coining some hidden excess that attracted the ire of the Counter Force, an answer might exist in dubbing a manufactured corpus of inherent prominence with a soul of no particular exception.

    The theory was received as sound overall, but as prior work with 'flesh golems' had been discontinued on account of repeated failures, its recommendation as a potential solution was met with skepticism. Still, the staff at the alchemical laboratories at Ingolstadt bore witness to the slow composition of a prototype to its tentative completion two years later -- the yield of a process its creator termed 'andrography,' or 'the mocking of humanity.'

    A visiting scholar invited to witness the prototype's activation commented, "Though the creature is waiflike and short of pneumatic, the immense care taken in the framing of her flesh is evident, and in stillness her form is quite pleasing to the eye. The illusion, however, is broken by even the slightest of movements, and in her bearing and countenance there exists a terrible, unearthly repulsiveness. I judge that this aberration was contrary to young Victor's expectations, as his manner throughout the evening's reception was rather strained."

    As proof of concept, the model aptly demonstrated attainment of mechanical prominence without reprise from the Counter Force. Its oddly grotesque form, however, was of sufficient affront to its creator that he chose to delay any formal presentation of his results indefinitely.

    For a subsequent year, he labored to adjust its cosmetic appearance toward a semblance of humanity -- but abruptly concluded the endeavor in the spring of 1786 without explanation. Requesting that his assistant decommission the prototype, he destroyed his notes and took leave of Ingolstadt on a sabbatical to his home in Geneva. It would come to be a permanent departure; and some time later, the laboratory staff would find the dismembered fragments of the prototype missing from their collections.

    In winter, the constabulary of the municipality of Satigny in Geneva found the man bloodied and collapsed in the snow, miles away from the country house they knew his family to maintain. The physician that examined his body believed initially that he'd been mauled by an animal, but observed on cleaning his wounds that the pattern of cuts and bruises across his skin appeared to be of human origin -- albeit, inflicted by a human of incredible strength.

    The officers that called in upon the man's home shortly thereafter came across a horrific scene -- for in the damaged entrance hall of the manor, the corpse of the man's pretty fiancee was torn and scattered across the hardwood floor. Elsewhere, the remains of his two younger siblings had been left in a similar condition, shredded without obvious use of a sharp instrument. Baffled and unable to make sense of the massacre, the constabulary resolved to question the man when he came to -- but come early morning the next day, he had vanished from the village without a trace.

    What follows is uncertain, but attending to the historically confirmable elements of the best-known account -- a highly inaccurate narrative delivered in the guise of fiction by its author, Mary Shelley -- after a decade or so of unspecific travel, the man was located again, retrieved from the frozen waters of the Arctic by an English sea captain named Robert Walton -- brother to a Margaret Walton Saville. Emaciated and ill of health, the man succumbed to pneumonia some days later, and was likely granted an ocean burial by the chaplain aboard as customary.

    No Robert Walton in fact existed in any British harbor documents between 1780 and 1810, but there was a Captain Roger James Wilford of the Royal British Navy -- an acquaintance to Mary Shelley's mother, Mary Wollstonecraft. In late 1794, the services of his ship, the HMS Pygmalion, were engaged by the Royal Society of London for an academic expedition into the Arctic Circle. Logs maintained by the Pygmalion's crew indicated that there was indeed a man found adrift and an ocean burial -- but no solid evidence of the occurrence otherwise existed.

    And while assuming the role of an Indian manservant to a supposed French debutante in 1888 -- almost a century later, at the height of Jack the Ripper's notoriety -- the Counter Guardian Emiya would in the impoverished quarter of Whitechapel in London encounter the man named Victor Frankenstein for the first time.

    As to the prematurely terminated magnum opus: Its completion would in the decades following its author's purported death become to the enterprise of alchemy a sort of secondary Holy Grail, after the Lapis Philosophorum and the fabled Aqua Vitae. Attempts at replication, however, would meet no significant success until the late twentieth century, with the introduction of genetic engineering.

    Thereon in 2056, the alchemists of the Atlas would announce the product of their first successful refinement to Frankenstein's andrography -- a virtually immortal post-human entity with a conceptual superstratum shared across six physical iterations.

    Dubbed the RAY-001, it would be the first of the artificial lifeforms collectively known as 'the Hundred Breeds.'



    V // Commedia
    [email protected]

    In Emiya's hand, a glass ampule of chemiluminescent solution formed with habitual promptness. Stepping into the portico, he threw it ahead of him, filling the space with a bright, bluish-green glow.

    "Another process that hasn't been invalidated, I guess," he said to himself. "The universe is terribly kind."

    Per the prevalent styles of the Egyptian antiquity, the entrance to the 'shrine' wasn't exceptionally ornate. Cut into the bare stone of a cliff face, it had been concealed behind the vestiges of a highly complex occulting boundary -- a faerie-crafted orbis alius by organization, but not one wholly formed of the standard nature-dependent interference. Owing to its heterogeneity, probably, exclusion from Alaya's jurisdiction was mostly intact even now, five or six centuries past the cessation of Gaia. Somewhat impressively, it didn't look as if Atlas or the A-RAYs that had supplanted them had ever taken note of the site's presence within their effective back yard.

    An inscription in archaic cuneiform was etched into the rectangular columns that framed the vestibule, bared now in sufficient luminosity that he could discern the details by unenhanced vision alone. He had never been much good with languages, but by crude, disharmonic sympathy to the history of the engraving -- nine-thousand three-hundred and forty-nine years of it -- he could roughly make out the message:

    'Through me runs the path among the lost, unto deliverance or suffering eternal. Before me were no things born but the undying, and without death shall I endure.'

    Sometimes, it felt as if terrible, melodramatic hyperbole sought him out at far greater frequency than intuitively probable outside of middle school.

    The stairs from the vestibule descended for a little more than two hundred meters, and with some regularity, Emiya retraced the ampule to toss down succeeding flights as he advanced. Though it was unnecessary for him to actually see by -- and would likely serve as a beacon to whatever active defenses remained -- he figured that if a problem actually arose, he could deal with it.

    Tonight, he didn't particularly feel like moping about in the darkness.

    Arriving at the base of the steps, he stood at the sole entryway to a spacious domed chamber -- the apex of a clearly artificial chasm that had been bored downwards through the desert bedrock. In the cast of the bluish-green light, the narrow ledge about the circumference had the look of brickwork, but structural analysis gave that the pattern of perpends were a purely decorative facade, chiseled into sandstone to convey the seeming of masonry. The surfaces of the hollow had all been cut of single solid of virgin stone.

    Emiya approached the periphery of the chasm and cast an ampule into the darkness experimentally, reinforcing his vision to follow its fall. The velocity made it difficult for him to catch much more than a glimpse of what lay beyond his immediate field of analysis, but he had the impression that the multitude of divine figures sculpted along the sides of the ledge continued all the way down -- at least past the four kilometer maximum of his vision.

    "I suppose she expects me to jump," he said, voice echoing. "Idiotic. Utterly idiotic."

    But the Egregore was by nature incapable of intentionally lying -- and she'd expressed an absolute certainty of the sword's location without any of the usual lawyering. Where else could it be but down?

    Emiya sighed.

    "Well, it's not like this'll kill me, right?"

    He stepped off the ledge.
    Last edited by fallacies; June 29th, 2013 at 11:13 AM.

  11. #11
    I have no idea what I'm talking about. Tyrnek's Avatar
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    I would just like to say that like this. A lot.

    Is Frankenstein --> A-RAY progression canon, or something you came up with?

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    ぷよ使い Puyo Mage fallacies's Avatar
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    @ Tyrnek: That progression is something Velsper came up with.

    //

    Notes on Thaumaturgy

    The notion of the [World Egg] in Type-Moon gives that any existing space can be understood as the 'jurisdiction' of a consciousness, which possesses within its own domain a 'divine' agency that dictates any applicable physics.

    [The World] as experienced by humans is permeated by two jurisdictions:

    [Gaia] -
    The consciousness of the planet, which defines 'the processes of nature,' and a 'natural law' that must be obeyed. Against violators of its will, it imposes the sanction of existential attrition, which must be paid in terms of spiritual substance. Note that 'the laws of nature' are nonidentical to what humans perceive as 'scientific fact.' Nature spirits, True Ancestors, and gods are [Gaia Terminals], or executors to the will of Gaia.

    [Alaya] -
    The shared unconscious of humanity, which actively defines the empirical reality that humans experience -- the expression of the laws of physics; the topography of space; and the boundaries of 'possibility.' Violations of Alaya's will are manipulated against by the imposition of subconscious directives -- but as the conscious agency of individuals cannot be eliminated, any unpreventable acts of violation meet sanction at the hands of executors known as [Counter Guardians]. In theory, all humans are sensory terminals to the mind of Alaya.

    Though responses against violation of 'law' by either consciousness are referred to as the action of the [Counter Force], Gaia and Alaya are separate and distinct entities with different objectives.

    In the absence of a strongly enforced jurisdiction, any entity would be capable of asserting changes to the environment. Under the jurisdiction of Gaia, this privilege is preserved only in a limited manner for use by Gaia Terminals, who can utilize [Divine Words] or the [Unified Language] to request phenomena materialization by Gaia; or, in the case of True Ancestors, the execution of [Marble Phantasms], which realize assorted phenomena by probability manipulation.

    Humans formerly possessed similar capabilities, but use of Divine Words and the Unified Language have been lost as of modern times for reasons unexplained. In the past two millennia, however, 'back doors' into the system of Gaia have been established. These contrivances, referred to as [Thaumaturgical Foundations], are Grand Rituals designed to force the compliance of Gaia in the realization of phenomenon at human request. Such a process constitutes the majority of what is known as [Modern Thaumaturgy], and is performed at the cost of the above-noted existential attrition -- which incurs a 'casting cost' to be paid in [Prana], the substance of the spirit.

    [Thaumaturgical Circuits] are the interface by which payment of prana is conducted between human magi and the various thaumaturgical foundations -- being high-volume circulation pathways within the human soul, intentionally 'enlarged' in the lineages of modern magi by generations of selective breeding. [Thaumaturgical Crests] are patterns of circuits artificially manipulated to more efficiently interface with particular foundations. In oversimplification, the strength of a spell cast by a mage is influenced by volume of transmitted prana and efficiency of interface.

    Modern thaumaturgy is incapable of producing phenomena defined by Alaya to be 'impossible.' Though capabilities beyond the dictates of human possibility are in fact fairly commonplace amongst Gaia Terminals, in humans, they are exceedingly rare. In the instance that a human possesses such a skill, it is referred to as a [True Magic]. Thaumaturgical foundations are said to represent True Magics that have somehow passed into the realm of possibility.

    //

    Notes on Alchemy

    The creed of the alchemical endeavor gives the 'completion' of the agency of man as the ultimate purpose of scholarly pursuit. In the Christian alchemical tradition, the rest of God upon the day of Sabbath was held consequently to be symbolic of an intentional 'imperfection' in Creation, and an 'imperfection' in the form of Man -- who, while made in the image of God, was unpossessed of any natural power over the forces of nature.

    Though subsequent scientific paradigms sometimes ridiculed the notion of the [Lapis Philosophorum] as an artifact of pseudoscience and primitive superstition, it was in fact non-specifically a literal substance capable of evoking material transmutation, but a general 'mechanism' by which humans could exert an agency comparable to the divine. In this sense, the scientific process was itself the very essence of the 'Stone' -- and attainment of the alchemical goal was a prospect no more and no less ridiculous than reaching 'technological singularity.' Conversion of lead to gold was at best a proof of concept misunderstood as the end of a means.

    In the setting of Type-Moon, alchemy is the science of thaumaturgy. The study of Occidental Alchemy is performed primarily at two institutions:

    [the Prague Association] -
    The bastion of traditionalist alchemical practice, which pertains to the manipulation of material existences and constructs within the spiritual superstratum. The transmutation of solids is a signature of the school, and the dynamic rendition of such as performed by Irisviel von Einzbern is thought to be a technique of immense difficulty -- akin to the animation of the [Golem of Prague].

    [the Academy at Atlas] -
    Also known as the [Giant's Pit]. An association of alchemists that bases its operations in Egypt and North Africa. In the late medieval period, it splintered from the Prague Association on philosophical differences, and dedicated its study to the transmutation of 'events' and 'phenomena.' Its founder, Zepia Eltnam Oberon, hoped to circumvent the calculated inevitability of the annihilation of man, and purposed his institution specifically to seek the aversion of an oncoming extinction event, which he referred to as 'the realization of the [Sixth Universal Law].'

    Note that, differing from standard thaumaturgy, alchemical transmutations are performed without reliance upon a Foundation. As an example, Irisviel von Einzbern's dynamic transmutation forces an alteration within a solid by brute-force manipulation of prana -- similar to the [Soul Digitalization] utilized by the [Wizards] of Fate/Extra. Further, possession of high volume prana circuits is not requisite to the use of the 'transmutation of phenomena' developed by the alchemists of Atlas.

    Artificial beings created through alchemy are referred to as [Homunculi]. Within the setting of Type-Moon, they are produced in a specific manner, which I have defined below for the purposes of this story:

    [Coining] -
    A technique by which an artificially fabricated soul is dubbed to a fertilized ovum in ectogenesis, propagating a process of growth wherein the topography of the soul's construction 'suggests' the features that emerge within the flesh -- similar to a mold used in the casting of metal. Due to the action of the Counter Force of Gaia, homunculi created in this manner possess a lifespan inversely proportional to their advantages over humanity, and relatedly accumulate physiological flaws.

    Frankenstein's [Andrography] is in the setting of this story considered a major revision to the coining process.
    Last edited by fallacies; June 29th, 2013 at 08:06 PM.

  13. #13
    Sentimental Fool NewAgeOfPower's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tyrnek View Post
    I would just like to say that like this. A lot.

    Is Frankenstein --> A-RAY progression canon, or something you came up with?
    I didn't see it in his published chapters. Are there more chapters up on, say, a BL thread or something?

    EDIT:

    Quote Originally Posted by fallacies View Post
    [Coining] -
    A technique by which an artificially fabricated soul is dubbed to a fertilized ovum in ectogenesis, propagating a process of growth wherein the topography of the soul's construction 'suggests' the features that emerge within the flesh -- similar to a mold used in the casting of metal. Due to the action of the Counter Force of Gaia, homunculi created in this manner possess a lifespan inversely proportional to their advantages over humanity, and relatedly accumulate physiological flaws.
    I believe you meant "rapidly accumulate physiological flaws."
    Last edited by NewAgeOfPower; June 30th, 2013 at 01:25 AM.
    If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
    If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim,
    If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster;
    And treat those two impostors just the same,

    -Ruyard Kipling, "If"

    -)|(-

    My works [Updated June 21st, 2013]


    "From a dusky world with an ever-setting sun, a limitless rain of Ryougi Shiki streaked down from gargantuan gears set in the sky." Fate: Over 9000, my best Crack yet.

  14. #14
    ぷよ使い Puyo Mage fallacies's Avatar
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    VI // Distant Utopia
    (overcount common) ref [email protected]

    Long, long ago, there was a king who sought to bring about a utopia.

    It had been delivered as prophecy that the awakening of a certain being would unite his people -- and so, pressed by the vague whisperings of the decline of his reign, the king committed the whole of his resources to make true the prediction, imagining that the glory of his progenitor's era might be restored.

    Divining by the allusions of ancient manuscripts that the prophecized one slumbered where once lay the country of the West Saxons, the king summoned the best of his knights and the most talented of his magi, and set out to contrive the conditions of the Second Advent. In his hubris, it escaped him that the texts he had consulted might have deviated from the drive of their original by cumulative error -- misrepresenting the nature of what he pursued.

    The portents he had taken as evidence of the messiah's slumber were not.

    The gargantuan spiritual impression upon which his magi had centered their ritual of regenesis was in fact a little more than a scar -- a tear in the Form of the world, which had extended into the past from the certainty of an inevitable future.

    In the first place, nothing could have come by his efforts; for in the time that he had embarked upon his endeavor, the prophecized one had yet to be even created.

    In disbelief and incomprehension at his error, Ortenrosse of the White Wing was struck down by the blades of his enemies -- the Sword of the White Princess and the Knight of Vengeance, who in collaboration capitalized upon his exposure to destroy him. By the time that Emiya had been called to render protection to the Black Princess of the Apostles, the key figures of the Ortenrosse Faction had been slain -- including four of the Twenty-Seven Ancestors.

    By some means, the Knight of Vengeance was able to locate Emiya in the chaos of the aftermath, just before the Egregore dispersed him to the mists.

    "I wanna know what it was that the old man was trying to bring back," said the Apostle, clutching his injured left arm. "You'd know, right? I mean, given what you are."

    "It's really none of your business," said Emiya. "Even if I told you, it wouldn't matter in the long run."

    "So there ain't any reason for you not to tell me, eh?"

    Emiya exhaled in exasperation and dismissed his swords.

    "The Dark Six is an Ancestor only in name," he replied. "In reality, it's the shadow cast by the independent operation of the First and Highest System. It could only ever 'unite' the Apostles through antagonism."

    The Knight of Vengeance wasn't so easily mollified.

    "You could be a little less cryptic, you know?" he said, frowning. "That sorta answer barely tells me anything at all."

    Against the glare of the setting sun, Emiya turned his eyes to what remained of the Aylesbury Industrial Park, still burning in the wake of disaster -- to the corpses strewn about the streets.

    "It's called the 'First and Highest System,'" he said, "because it's the foundation upon which the domain of humanity was built. The crystallized hopes of mankind are its essence."

    "Doesn't sound like such a bad thing."

    "The embodiment of the First System will someday become the one existence that Alaya can't countermand," he said. "And when that happens, the end of humanity will be guaranteed ..."



    VII // Interstitium
    [email protected]

    Lit by the circle of ampules that preceded him, the stern visages of nameless, forgotten divinities looked on as he fell head-first into the abyss.

    Alaya Frontiers were so-called because their extremities posed a definite spatial boundary to the activity of all existences operating in unconditional accordance to human law. The limitation had applied to him in his tenure as a Counter Guardian, and it was true now of the A-RAYs, whose biology maintained function solely by Alaya's realization of 'scientific understanding' as factual phenomenon -- much as with machines. It wasn't just because the A-RAYs would be hypothetically prevented from pursuing him that the Egregore had cut him off; it was because the artifact that he was to obtain had been placed outside the reach of any Counter Guardian -- past the Frontier, in a zone now void of Gaia's jurisdiction.

    To Emiya's mind, his demotion to 'independent contractor' wasn't worthy of complaint. If anything, the freedom would be of crucial importance in achieving the end that he so desired.

    Here -- as far outside the grasp of human perception as Mu and Atlantis -- acceleration by gravity had no need to approximate nine point eight meters per second per second. Gravitation in the absence of a local authority like Gaia or Alaya defaulted to manifestation as a feature of the Grand Reality Marble of the universe -- but by certain dispositions and sufficient force of will, one could play fast and loose with the specific expression of the physics. As such, by extruding his innate boundary partially into the environment, Emiya was able to zero the changes in his downwards velocity.

    Isolation and exile had never been of quite such practical utility.

    Uncharacteristically, the Egregore had omitted some of the particulars of the assignment in his 'briefing.' The architecture of the 'shrine,' for example, was frankly bewildering -- and not plainly in terms of scale. Emiya had fallen maybe three kilometers before giving up on anticipating the presence of any traps by structural analysis, and in the time that he'd kept up the effort, there hadn't been a single instance of repetition in the design and regalia of the statues lining the walls. The differences weren't of the level that they could be interpreted away as error of replication; sculpting had been performed with such attention to mathematical precision and anatomy that he could describe the variation only as intentional.

    What was the rationale to all this? Why expend the time and energy? It didn't look as if the shrine had been built to convenience any practice of worship that he could imagine; and sympathy to the history was profoundly uninformative. Was it merely some self-aggrandizing, masturbatory trip -- intended as a demonstration of 'skill' and 'cleverness' of the builder? Or was there something more to it? A message to be conveyed, perhaps? An execution of 'art?'

    Going at it from a different direction: A Gaia terminal had troubled itself to occult away an artifact that Emiya had never seen, using exotic protections that had held for the majority of the history of civilization. Given the complexity of the boundary field he'd come across, the effort clearly hadn't been non-significant -- but why bother hiding it at all in the first place? If the purpose were to keep the artifact out of human hands, it would've been easier simply to destroy it.

    And if indeed the 'shrine' had been built for the purpose of concealing the weapon, the gross inefficiency of it all escaped the bounds of Emiya's comprehension.

    A bit past seven kilometers, Emiya saw the choppy reflection of his lights on a fluid surface beneath the shaft, apparently of the viscosity of water. Angling his body slightly, he guided his fall toward one of the walls of the chasm, tracing forth the B'gnu-Thun -- a falcata of blood-blackened ice, of a complementary pair once borne by the tyrant of Hyperborea. Forcing the blade to generate a frozen adherence to a flat column of sandstone, he slowed his descent to a halt right as the chasm came to an end. The circle of ampules continued on their way downwards, dropping into the slow current of the water.

    Some five hundred meters below, the body of water that would've caught him was not a subterranean river, as he imagined. Provoked to a bioluminescence by the splashing down of the ampules, the glow of the algal bloom in the waters radiated outwards from where the surface had been disturbed, revealing the immediate section of a man-made waterway in eerie veluriyan light. The stark, colorless sands that the canal traversed extended further than he could see.

    Emiya flung his body to the nearest bank with a forceful swing, dropping the final distance into the mild slope of a dune. It was a softer landing than he might have expected; the grain of the sand was fine, more alike to the ashes of wood pulp than the earth of the Saharan ergs. Gaining his balance momentarily, he glanced upwards to the ceiling of the cavern, examining the splotches and clusters of luminous fungi that spanned the rock surface, star-like in their brilliance.

    "Fungal spores and toxic plankton and unhealthy amounts of air pressure," he said. "And yet somehow, it manages to be nearly pleasant."

    The light of the fungi overhead was bright enough to see by when the illumination of the canal finally died down. Backing off to the brick path at the edge of the bank, he kept his eyes toward the dunes. There wasn't anything in the water that he could discern other than plankton, and so he'd temporarily dismissed it as a potential source of threat. The 'desert,' however, was expansive enough that a common phantasmal predator could easily lurk without entering his field of analysis.

    Obtaining a means of mobility would probably be a good idea.

    "Let's see if I can do this, then."

    It was something that Emiya had wanted to try for a long time, but never had a chance to follow through with.

    The mysteries of a vast portion of his arsenal were simply rendered null in the environment of the End of Days -- either because their concept had basis in some thaumaturgical foundation previously engraved upon Gaia; or because they were faerie-crafted, or alternatively of divine make. By contrast, curse artifacts held origin in so-called human 'distortion,' and such weapons as the B'gnu-Thun could be reproduced with nearly complete faith to their original capabilities. It was unfortunate that none of ones he'd catalogued could be efficiently appropriated for vehicular purposes.

    As a workaround to the issue of nullification, reinstating the voided mysteries entailed a virtual emulation of natural law within Unlimited Blade Works -- but even in an established Frontier, the Alaya of the End would've countered his efforts with a force of attrition far more severe than the existential erosion that Gaia had once favored.

    With this one restriction removed, he could now attempt a technique that he'd never successfully performed:

    "Gaia Synthesis; Trace On."

    The system of nature was not something that he'd ever mapped, consciously or otherwise. If prior to the demise of Gaia he'd attempted to do so at any point, the likely outcome would've been the destruction of his cohesion as a personality, even without involvement of the Counter Force. Reverse-extrapolation of the laws required to operate specific instruments of nature interference, though -- that at least was in the realm of possibility; and a significantly more manageable feat than reenacting the full physics of Alaya.

    He had a feeling that he wasn't doing a very good job of it, though.

    The 'vehicle' he'd selected for the present task were the 'Wind-and-Fire Wheels' of the Chinese goddess Nezha -- a pair of bronze chakrams with blade-like projections, which would on rotation generate footrests of wind to support a reasonably acrobatic rider in flight. Measured against the noble phantasms that had come of the 726th Grail, the conceptual priority of Nezha's originals would've placed them at a rank of A++ -- a somewhat far cry from the barely C-ranked reproductions that drifted now at his chest.

    Clearly, there was something lacking in his comprehension of the relevant laws.

    He supposed that it wasn't too big of a concern, though. Poorly read thaumaturgists had in the past frequently misunderstood the degeneration of conceptual priority by 'banality of use' as a reduction of magnitude -- giving the erroneous example that a doubling of knowledgeable spellcasters might halve the 'size' of a given spell effect by simple division.

    The truth was somewhat less straightforward, as rank of priority was more accurately the relative capacity of a 'mystery' to override phenomena of greater proximity to 'human understanding'; or greater distance from the Akasha, per emanationism -- with events fully justified in the physics of Alaya as a theoretical zero-point, ever to be undermined. 'Mystery' was, of course, just a descriptor assigned to any spiritual-existential-conceptual superstratum unfamiliar or unrecognizable to Alaya in composition.

    As it happened, a C-ranked divine instrument was also of sufficient authority to overrule the default zero-point physics 'suggested' by the Grand Reality Marble within a silent zone.

    "No reason to fix it if it works, I guess," he said to himself. "Blade Reforge."

    Rapidly struck by silent, invisible blows, the chakrams deformed, combining and reshaping into the cast of a conventional mountain bike. Climbing on as the topographical alterations completed, he seating himself solidly upon the synthetic leather saddle, willing the bike to lift from the brick walkway and boost ahead along the course of the water.

    It was, he realized, not a single canal, but a network, fanning out radially across the subterranean desert like the lines on a circuit-board. Some distance on, the channel that he'd chosen to follow had merged into four others; and when a dozen river-gates of intricately carved alabaster had passed behind him, he finally caught sight of the central 'junction' -- a branching irrigation that fed into the lake-like moat of a looming acropolis.

    As in the shrine on the surface, the architecture had been cut whole from a single solid -- a mound of volcanic obsidian, identical in composition to the colorless sands that extended in every direction. Elephantine columns rose solitary from the surface of the waters, supporting a series of aerial walkways and ascending terraces; stone gardens inhabited by withered, skeletal trees, wholly depleted of life. Through the tapering bulks of a doublet of pylons, the ramp to the summit concluded at a wide hypostyle that enclosed an open suncourt. Beyond, there lay a palatial sanctuary -- lit from within by what appeared to be firelight through stone windows thinned to transparency.

    The Egregore hadn't supplied him with any landmarks by which to locate his destination -- and so, lacking a better lead, Emiya descended into the court to perform a cursory investigation of the environs. Temporarily ceasing implementation of the bike's mystery, he pulled it to a braking halt a short distance from the propylaea of the sanctuary complex, standing it against a convenient column.

    Several meters from the entrance, a distinct 'scent' abruptly impinged upon his awareness. It was faint enough that he nearly missed it altogether; and ducking aside entirely on instinct, he watched as a thrown knife narrowly missed his cheek -- sinking easily into an obsidian wall nearby. Reflexively tracing the Kanshou and Bakuya, he turned to the presence that had appeared behind him.

    In the courtyard -- pacing forward in a cloud of odic mist that hadn't been there a moment earlier -- there was a small albino girl outfitted in a skintight PVC ensemble that exposed far too much flesh. Staring at him impassively with unblinking, silver eyes, she raised an oversized serrated knife in a reverse grip.

    "For the sake of Father's dream," she said in monotone, "I beg that you submit to termination."

    Emiya shifted into a defensive stance, warily acknowledging his opponent:

    "Jack the Ripper."

    //

    Quote Originally Posted by NewAgeOfPower View Post
    I didn't see it in his published chapters. Are there more chapters up on, say, a BL thread or something?
    I'm not sure I follow what you mean by this?

  15. #15
    Sentimental Fool NewAgeOfPower's Avatar
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    I never saw Velsper's suggestion that A-Rays were based on Victor Frankenstein's first prototype, do you have source text?

    The post-edit was to point out one of your minor mistakes in the previous chapter.
    If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
    If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim,
    If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster;
    And treat those two impostors just the same,

    -Ruyard Kipling, "If"

    -)|(-

    My works [Updated June 21st, 2013]


    "From a dusky world with an ever-setting sun, a limitless rain of Ryougi Shiki streaked down from gargantuan gears set in the sky." Fate: Over 9000, my best Crack yet.

  16. #16
    ぷよ使い Puyo Mage fallacies's Avatar
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    @ NewAgeOfPower: As in, I spoke with Velsper about Eureka, and he suggested an idea like this.

    //

    Thaumaturgy in the End of Days

    The worlds of Fate/Extra and Notes are future iterations of Earth wherein the consciousness of Gaia has been terminated.

    In Fate/Extra, we're told that the process of Gaia's destruction 'began' at some point in the 1970's. The nameless hero who became Archer (Extra), though, was still somehow able to obtain Unlimited Blade Works in this world-line, despite having been a child in the 1990's. This suggests that an analogue of the 4th War of Fuyuki may have occurred; or that an operative Avalon was by unrelated means delivered to his body. In either case, Gaia may have retained limited functionality at least into the 90's.

    The history of the setting of Notes is comparatively less detailed, and it's only stated that a 'final warning' was delivered by Gaia unto humanity in the year 2000. What followed from there isn't specified -- but we do know that prior to its destruction, Gaia's protections shielded the Earth from the toxin known as [Grain], which permeates the vacuum of space. Owing to the nature of terrestrial life, the biosphere would've been able to persist for a time immediately following Gaia's demise -- but the descent of Grain to the surface of the planet resulted in the death of any species incapable of insulating themselves. Organisms possessed of such capabilities but dependent upon the biosphere for sustenance followed soon to extinction. It's unclear if Grain exists in the world of Fate/Extra.

    In the setting of this story, the death of Gaia occurred in the 24th century.

    To most practitioners of modern thaumaturgy, the primary impact of such an event would have been the collapse of the various [Thaumaturgical Foundations]. Being inherently systems dependent upon the function of Gaia to realize phenomenon, foundation-based magecraft would in Gaia's absence cease to operate, rendering moot most of the contrivances that Occidental magi had laboriously developed across the prior two millennia -- from [Thaumaturgical Crests] to [Mystic Codes] and, to a somewhat smaller extent, [Prana Circuits].

    Other existences justified upon the system of Gaia would have presumably faded as well -- or at the least experienced a sharp downgrade in functionality, given sufficient autonomy to resist immediate entropic annihilation. Such a 'decline' would have affected the vast majority of [Gaia Terminals], including nature spirits, gods, True Ancestors, and other classes of faeries. As artifacts along the lines of [Noble Phantasms] are predominantly 'Divine Instruments' empowered by Gaia, the function of their mysteries would've been permanently suspended.

    In Fate/Extra, the descendants of certain thaumaturgical lineages developed substitutes to foundation-based magecraft. Alchemical practice persisted unimpeded, and the prana circuits selectively bred into existence under the Occidental tradition were put to use in direct interface with the conceptual superstrata of digital devices -- a technique referred to as [Soul Digitalization], not far in principle from Irisviel von Einzbern's [Dynamic Transmutation], or the House Eltnam's use of [Etherlite]. Within the virtual space of the Serial Phantasm in Fate/Extra, the will of the Moon Cell Automaton served as a Counter Force against the use of this technique. Generally speaking, though, practitioners -- or [Wizards], as they named themselves -- gained the ability to semi-remotely subjugate electronics and other digital devices at will, and without significant resistance.

    Though the thaumaturgical allowances unwittingly provided by Gaia were eliminated in its death, the 'restrictions' that Gaia imposed were also removed. In this sense, [the End of Days] represents a world fertile with possibilities long denied by the jurisdiction of nature.

    More specifically:

    Other than referring to abnormal psychology, the word [Distortion] is in Type-Moon a descriptor for the 'impact' of 'a channel of perception that directly alters reality' -- or, in terms more relevant to the theory of the [World Egg], 'the process by which a conscious observer asserts unto a space the realities of their own perspective.'

    Though the Counter Forces actively manipulate against the emergence and realization of such a phenomenon, assertions beyond a certain threshold are simply 'permitted' -- effectively giving their origins free reign to establish jurisdiction as a Gaia-unjustified field of phenomenon. A human that effectuates an ego-syntonic distortion as a basic function of their perspective is referred to as a [Psychic]; a single instance of distortion that materializes as an ongoing phenomenon as a result of intense desire is referred to as a [Curse]; a curse that attains a level of self-sentience is referred to as a [Demon]. [Cursecraft], then, is the art of forging curses.

    Due to 'circumvention' of the laws of Gaia, psychics and practitioners of cursecraft do not, as such, experience a noticeable 'cost' in terms of prana in the process of realizing phenomenon (though other unrelated 'costs' do exist -- such as physical exhaustion, the breakdown of the mind, and loss of touch with reality). Comparatively, Unlimited Blade Works as utilized by the Counter Guardian Emiya is a 'high-level magecraft' that Gaia can 'crush.'

    Cursecraft is a psuedo-thaumaturgical technique that in theory permits costless realization of phenomenon without support from Gaia. However, the requirements of 'intensity' and 'perspective' prevent ease of distortion formulation. The alternative is to 'substantiate' a desire by imposing it as a 'formative' agent over matters within the existential superstratum -- ergo, giving 'substance' to a wish at the costly expenditure of prana. This less restrictive technique is referred to as [Wishcraft], and is the basis of the wish-granting component of [the 726th Grail].

    In the setting of this story, [Cursecraft] and [Wishcraft] have survived the destruction of Gaia, and along with the theoretical descendants of alchemy, they form the basis of a post-modern magecraft -- the thaumaturgy of the Era of Decline.

    Incidentally, within the Grand Reality Marble of the universe, a higher, inhuman system of phenomenon realization exists, which utilizes Grain as a basic unit of substance. The abilities eventually obtained by the A-RAYs and Ether Liners are a subset of this.

    //

    Locations in the World of Sword Vector

    [Alexandria] -
    Capital of the Archduchy of Alexandria, the primary territorial holding of the A-RAYs in North Africa. Once the site of [the Great Library] and [the Pharos], it was in 1328 chosen by Zepia Eltnam Oberon as the location of [the Academy at Atlas], one of the two most influential alchemical institutions. In 2056, Atlas Genomics presented its first RAY unit at an event within the city.

    [Aylesbury] -
    Originally, a countryside town in Buckinghamshire, England. In the decades leading up to the 2010's, V&V Industries -- a holding of the Apostle Ancestor known as Valery Fernand Vandelstam -- redeveloped the area as a general purpose industrial park. Circa 2015, the town was the site of an incident in which four of the Twenty-Seven Ancestors were eliminated in a single day. In the public understanding, the collateral damage came to be regarded as the result of a terrorist act -- and soon after, the industrial park was sold to Atlas Genomics. As of the 30th century, Aylesbury is referred to as 'The Imperial Capital' -- the seat of the Queen of the A-RAYs, and the center of collective A-RAY territorial holdings.

    [Behdet]
    Originally, the city of Edfu. As of the 30th century, it is the northernmost human metropolis in North-Eastern Africa -- some distance south of the war-front.

    [Duat] -
    In Egyptian mythology, a massive subterranean desert that connects the tombs of the dead with the flow of the river Nun. The souls of the deceased must overcome a series of trials as they journey along the river, outwitting the monstrous beings set by the gods to defend the river locks. Their destination is [the Palace of Neter-Khertet], where Osiris presides over [the Weighing of the Heart], and determines the fate of the deceased in afterlife.

    [Firdous e Bareen] -
    The name of a wondrous garden designed in the image of Eden, said to have once inhabited the walls of [the Fortress of Alamut] in Iran. It is said that when the Mongols took Alamut in 1256, the Garden was reconstructed with absolute precision in a fortress hidden in the mountains of Turkey.

    [Frontier Town] -
    A human settlement established along the Nile in the late 29th century, slightly south of the Egyptian war-front. As it stands within an Alaya Frontier, the physics of Alaya are incompletely realized -- preventing conventional A-RAY forces from invading the region. Though the native tongue of the township is Arabic, for reasons unknown, the inhabitants refer to the Frontier as the [Wilde Jagd], with appropriate Germanic pronunciation.

    [Funabashi Frontier] -
    An Alaya Frontier in the vicinity of Funabashi in Chiba, Japan. Purportedly, it was used in the 1980's as the site of a CIA-funded research facility for the development of prototypes to [the UA Virus] -- a Category A Bioterrorism Agent.

    [Fuyuki] -
    A city situated in Hyougo Prefecture, Japan. The site of a series of thaumaturgical conflicts to obtain the right to the 726th Grail, a Grand Ritual capable of granting wishes.

    [Geneva] -
    The birthplace and home of Victor Frankenstein, and the location of [CERN]. In the 30th century, it is the capital the A-RAY's territorial holdings in continental Europe.

    [Genoa] -
    A city in Italy.

    [the Grey City] -
    A human metropolis situated in a canyon on [the Western Continent]. In the late 29th century, following a sharp rise in the regional grain index, the majority of the population relocated to other settlements.

    [Hyperborea] -
    A land that once existed beyond the Arctic seas, in [the Blazing World]. Its people are said to have wrought by their wishes and curses a mighty tyrant to rule as their god and king. At the dawn of history, [the Managarmr] laid waste to the civilization there.

    [Ingolstadt] -
    A German city; the location of the the famous University of Ingolstadt, from which Victor Frankenstein graduated in 1781. Once, the University housed one of the most prominent alchemical laboratories outside the Prague Association and the Academy at Atlas. In the 26th century, the city was destroyed in a major conflict.

    [London] -
    Formerly, the capital of the United Kingdom, and the location of [the Clock Tower] -- the most prominent thaumaturgical association in Western Europe. In the late 19th century, the district of [Whitechapel] was terrorized by the serial killer popularly known as Jack the Ripper.

    [Prague] -
    The location of [the Prague Association] -- formerly, the most influential of the alchemical institutions in Europe, and the creators of the legendary Golem of Prague. In the 24th century, it became the target of a nuclear weapon, and was annihilated entirely. Though the region subsequently fell to the control of the A-RAYs, no efforts were made to resettle near ground zero. The surviving alchemists of the Prague school relocated to Rome.

    [Samarkand] -
    A city in Uzbekistan. In 1220, it was taken as a military foothold by Genghis Khan, and used to stage further campaigns within the Middle-Eastern region.

    [Sarnath] -
    Prehistorically situated near the modern city of Varanasi. The capital of the land of Mnar, where [the Auspicious One] first descended from the moon in his aspect as [Banahasta].

    [Tep-Pelin] -
    The 'oldest city,' born before the dawn of man. Situated in an unknown territory near [the Dead Sea].

    [????] -
    A 'space' beyond time, created between the domains of life and death by the Third Magician.

    [the Skycity of Unug-Kulaba]
    Prehistorically situated near the modern city of Samawah. A floating metropolis of the unknown antiquity, once regarded as the greatest city in the world. [The Grand Ziggurat] there was said to touch the heavens.

    [Village of the Diamond-Boned Kayin] -
    A village that once lay in the Sandseas of Egypt, inhabited by diamond-boned weaponsmiths of legendary skill. Its ruins were consumed eventually by the sands, and lost to the unknown territories beyond the domain of Alaya.

    [Waset of the Hundred Gates] -
    The city of Thebes. In the time before history, it was the capital of Egypt. As of the 30th century, it has become an uninhabited ruin -- being situated in hotly disputed territory.
    Last edited by fallacies; July 2nd, 2013 at 12:53 AM.

  17. #17
    ユカイツーカイマキデラさんはマキデララ ンドのプリン セスだぜ!? Ragnar's Avatar
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    Nevermind, I misread Mattias' comment.
    Quote Originally Posted by mAc Chaos
    1) Everything leads to Sakura.
    2) Nothing stays on topic. See #1.
    3) People will spend 30 pages debating the number of hairs on Shirou's head. See #2.


  18. #18
    ぷよ使い Puyo Mage fallacies's Avatar
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    VIII // Leviathan
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    The utility knife had been crafted in Newcastle five years earlier, mass-manufactured at an iron foundry owned by H.M. Forrester & Company. The owner, a girlish-looking boy of fifteen, had obtained it on money he'd earned as a plaything to an older man -- a wealthy, married importer whose proclivities ran toward the perverse.

    The edge had drawn blood before -- a lot of it; mostly that of the owner's employer, on request. Following every recreational use, great care was taken in servicing and maintenance. To the owner, this wasn't the primary reason for purchase, after all.

    For the three years since his mother had succumbed to syphilis, the blade had been entrenched in the fantasy of murder.

    Within the two-room flat that the owner shared with his older sister and father, the drywall behind his bedroom door was covered in countless plunging cuts. New additions were made on the nights when his father was unable to resist the drink, and his sister was forced to shield him from beatings. At the moaning cries and the creaking of the floorboards from the bedroom across the hall, the owner would ram the knife phallically into the white plaster, imagining it to be the rounded surface of his father's gut.

    What painted the metal was love and hatred -- the strange, polarized regard the owner held for his sister, who preserved his safety through a betrayal that she obviously enjoyed; the deep hostility that he felt toward his father, who hadn't ever been as fatherly and accepting as his employer; and most of all, an undying hatred for his own cowardice -- his inability to put an end to the suffering.

    It was a common knife, with a common enough coloration for the London of 1888. It also wasn't the weapon that Emiya had been attempting to locate.

    He opened his eyes and looked over the railing of the tea room balcony, observing as the knife's owner nodded and smiled demurely at the keeper of the confectionery shop across the street. Placing a small tin of sweetmeats into his handbag, the boy departed the establishment at an exaggeratedly feminine gait -- presumably to compensate for the leather leg band that strapped the sheathe of the knife beneath the long skirt of his dress.

    "You're brooding again," said his companion, holding a pudding fork to her lips.

    "This is how I always look."

    "In that case, you're being rather more 'you' than usual," she said, pouting. "Would you like to speak about it?"

    It wasn't actually a question. The look in her eyes was the one she got whenever she'd decided to push at a particular thread of conversation.

    "It's nothing, really," he replied. "Just some juvenile thinking unbecoming of someone at my age."

    "Your agitation's become increasingly obviously since our arrival. Clearly, it isn't just 'nothing.' Come. Sit down."

    It didn't seem as if she would let it go without argument -- and so, not wanting to trouble himself with the effort of resistance, he sat himself across from her as directed.

    "Well?" she asked.

    It was a good question. He rarely bothered these days to repackage his privately held opinions for the consumption of others, as there was hardly a need when he was alone. Put now to the task of formulating a verbalization, he was slightly at a loss.

    "Are you familiar with the notion of learned helplessness?" he asked, watching her pour her tea into a second cup.

    "Somewhat," she said, setting the cup into an emptied dish. "This is what's troubling you?"

    "If I were to speak of it lightly, yes."

    "There's something else to it, then?"

    "Fatigue, maybe," he said, letting the steam rise from his tea. "Put up every day with something that you dislike but can't change, and eventually it wears you down. You get to the point where you just don't feel like dealing with it anymore. It's the basic rule of occupational complaints."

    His companion frowned.

    "So ... you're dissatisfied with the way our dispatches are handled? Or what?"

    "We've been insinuated into this world-line for almost a month now," he said, switching to Japanese. "The disaster we're supposedly here to avert with hasn't manifested yet -- and since the Egregore lacks the authority to parse historical information from probable futures, evidence that it's going to happen at all is at best circumstantial." He dropped a cube of sugar into his tea. "In the meantime, the machinery of this city continues to grind its people into the dust with ten thousand myriad tragedies, and there's nothing substantial we can do for them without an explicit dispatch."

    "You know as well as I do that the Counter Force isn't endowed to perform intervention on such a level."

    "Certainly. But where it does act, we're merely called to perform endless slaughter -- and mostly of human targets. If as Counter Guardians we do indeed bring deliverance, it comes at the price of blood."

    At this, the blond girl looked almost offended.

    "You're saying that our actions prevent no suffering?" she asked, setting her cup on to its dish. "That we haven't actually liberated anyone from torture or genocide?"

    "I'm saying that there are a little more than five million people in this city right now, and that just the amount of human suffering that's accumulated here since our arrival most likely outweighs the total good that I've performed across the course of my life. Given such an environment, it's almost an inevitability that something like Jack the Ripper would have come into existence."

    There was no immediate response. Cutting a bite-sized morsel from the pastry on her plate, the girl lifted it into her mouth and slowly chewed. More mastication was applied than strictly necessary, but she finally swallowed -- looking to his face and meeting his eyes with royal sapphire.

    "I understand the problem now," she said. "And you're right. These thoughts /are/ rather unbecoming of someone your age."

    Content aside, the words managed somehow to be cordial and free of obvious negative intent; but though Emiya himself had acknowledged his immaturity, it rather irked him to hear it as an assessment from a theoretical peer and equal.

    "What is it that you've grasped, then?" he asked, careful to maintain the neutrality of his voice.

    "That you understand the role we play as that of a man charged with the unique capacity to clear an ocean of poison with a magic cup," she said. "Every fathom cleansed is a small victory for the fisherfolk ashore, but rather than looking toward the smiles behind you and feeling pride, you complain that the ocean is immense, and that the cup is far too small."

    Rigidly, Emiya sipped at his cooling Earl Grey. He could manage at times to forget that the person before him was anything more than a female coworker -- but her tendency to sermonize returned him always to the unpleasant reality that she was in fact a Catholic saint, and acted every bit the part when convenient.

    "If indeed the poison is inexhaustible, I don't see what's wrong with complaining about it," he replied.

    "You're asking that Alaya be omnipotent and omniscient -- that it serve as a Leviathanic paterfamilias, to the end of enabling human infantility. That just isn't how the world works."

    "And you're reducing all of this to absurd absolutes that I didn't call for," he said. "In any case, isn't that precisely what you believe of God?"

    It was a cheap shot, and Emiya regretted it immediately -- but his companion thankfully seemed no more perturbed or insulted.

    "I think," she said, calmly, "that you misunderstand the faith. Free will and human agency would have no place in a world where the Lord exercised paternalism to such a degree. The unending imperfections of the Creation are the love of a Father that trusts His children to their own devices. It was for the good of humanity that we were cast from Eden."

    This, Emiya realized, was the naive conviction of a saint willing to kill in the name of God: So long as someone might thereby benefit and attain deliverance, suffering and annihilation were completely permissible. It was an unblinking positivism for the fallacy that had given rise to his father's dilemma.

    And yet, for what differences lay in their philosophies, he had to admit merit in her critique that the paradise he sought required an omnipotent Leviathan; and that he was in essence speaking toward the denial of human agency. Surely, though, there existed somewhere a more effective method of saving mankind than what the Egregore currently employed ...

    Comprehending his wordlessness as acquiescence of a sort, the girl refilled the tea within his cup.

    "Really, you should forgive Alaya for being an existence only slightly less finite than we are," she said. "But first, I believe that you should forgive yourself."

    The sudden change of topic caught Emiya by surprise.

    "What are you talking about?" he asked. "What am I supposed to be forgiving myself for?"

    If she supplied an answer at all, it was lost to the mists.



    IX // Nemesis of Neglect
    [email protected]

    Evading and parrying a chain of swift attacks, Emiya began to feel that the 'offness' of the situation might have exceeded his original projections.

    Jack was more than a human, and less than an A-RAY -- or rather, more than an A-RAY, and less than a human. Were she a being entirely fabricated of law, she wouldn't have been able to maintain her operational integrity within a silent zone.

    The real question was: Why would someone like Jack the Ripper bother to announce herself and engage in frontal assault? Even if the failed ambush had betrayed her presence, continued use of guerrilla tactics would have better suited her capabilities; and the environment of the hypostyle was easily exploitable to such an end.

    There was something afoot, in other words -- and if indeed this anachronistic Jack shared any history with the one he'd executed, he had some ideas as to what.

    She had, after all, practically given it away with mention of her 'Father.'

    With as minimal a tell as he could manage, he reinforced his limbs and directed a heavy slash at her throat -- breaking her rhythm and pressing her to block with her daggers. For a child of her physique, Jack was irregularly strong, but the maximum force that she could exert was still only about sixty-five percent of Emiya's default. Overpowering her without too much difficulty, the blow lifted her from the floor, throwing her by several meters before she fell into a backwards roll to recover her footing.

    Denying her the luxury of reprieve, he tossed the Kanshou and Bakuya at her and traced another pair. The mystery that had permitted the lode blades to seek each other in flight had long since degenerated to mere magnetism, but aerodynamically, they were still viable as projectiles -- and even provided the archaic physics of the silent zone, the weapons had been part of him for long enough that he could intuitively arc their paths toward an intentional intersection within her torso.

    Preempting his anticipation, Jack leapt away and vanished, leaving the Kanshou and Bakuya to collide in empty space. Almost concurrently -- and far too late for him to formulate a faultless response -- his instincts warned him of a presence at his side; and undefended, the business end of a ceramic knife entered his left bicep, loosing his grip on the Bakuya. Withdrawing the knife and flicking it clean of blood, Jack retreated out of reach before he could cut her with the Kanshou.

    'Presence Dispersal,' he thought, eyeing the girl warily as she slowly circled.

    At the level of primary processes, humans and other beings of related descent discriminated objects by recognizing bodies of heightened existential prominence -- an unconscious, rudimentary representation of the world, referred to in Yogacara Buddhism as the Alaya-Vijnana or the Alaya-Shiki. It was only after the fact of discrimination that vision and hearing and the other senses were applied to construct a gestalt impression of the object within consciousness; but owing to the constant underlying operation of the Alaya-Shiki, a well-trained instinct could derive information by purely extrasensory means.

    There were a number of ways to escape detection by the Alaya-Shiki, though, and Jack the Ripper's signature ability was one of them -- a blurring out of her presence, attained by dispersing her spiritual structure to a mist-like consistency across a cubic kilometer of space. Consequently, the Jack of 1888 had been quite proficient in throwing off pursuit; and it seemed that the one who sought now to kill him had further refined the ability for combat applications, if the apparent teleportation were anything to go by. Her ambient odic noise was now actually able to block him from sympathizing with the history of her knives, or reading any air displacement.

    Disengaging the nociception in his left arm, Emiya permitted Unlimited Blade Works to run its course, temporarily clotting his wound with rust. Satisfied after testing his grip that the arm was still combat-worthy, he traced out another Bakuya and tauntingly held the blade in Jack's direction.

    "Wanna try that again?" he asked, increasing the sensitivity of his field of analysis.

    Without verbal reply, the girl broke into a flat forward sprint -- entering his reach in a matter of moments. He made to lay into her with a reinforced horizontal cut as before, but just as the blade would've gashed open her bare abdomen, she dissolved away like a mirage. This time, though, analysis gave sufficient forewarning; and he spun to deliver an upwards slash in the direction opposite.

    It wasn't of any use. Jack vanished again from his senses, and he shattered the Kanshou parrying a second attack from a blind spot at his right.

    "I still don't know how you're doing this," he said to the girl, backing himself against a column, "but I can at least defend myself now. Are we continuing, or are you showing me a new trick?"

    With a curl of her lip that Emiya couldn't interpret, Jack stepped away into the shade of a wall. Sheathing her knives, she grasped at the air with her left hand, and an antique lantern seemed to coagulate from out of the darkness. Sliding open the shutter, she quenched the blue flame of the candle within with her right hand.

    "The Mist," she intoned.

    The odic mist that he'd witnessed at Jack's arrival poured rapidly outwards from the lantern, obscuring the girl in a rolling cloud of thick, dirty white. Per its denial of analysis, it was quite clearly a variant to her Presence Dispersal -- but it wasn't until the gaseous body began to eat acidically at the Kanshou and Bakuya in the courtyard that he understood her intent.

    'She's converted it into a plundering field,' he observed.

    The Jack that he recalled possessed no such capability, but he'd seen bounded fields with similar features in the past -- the Gorgon Sisters' Blood-Fort Andromeda, for example, which he'd encountered at full deployment some decades ago during the Age of Divinities. Here, there was no thaumaturgy involved, divine or otherwise. It was a phenomenon attained purely by odic manipulation, and propagated with the spread of the mist.

    Given its composition, there were countermeasures available.

    "Trace On."

    The small metallic object that formed in Emiya's hand was a .30-06 Springfield rifle cartridge -- a replica of an 'Origin Bullet' once used by the assassin known as the Magus Killer.

    Though fashioned by means of late-modern magecraft, the bullet's operation as a component of a Mystic Code had been unfacilitated by any thaumaturgical foundation. Spellwork was applied in its creation only to whittle down the conceptual content to a nominally indissoluble unit -- which would on contact with a spiritual superstratum of a certain range of priority produce a curselike actualization. Versus Presence Dispersal alone, it might not have evoked an effect of lethal magnitude. The plundering field, however, was a different story.

    The bullet was a minimalist Conceptual Weapon -- but in carrying its cumulative history, it had become the manifest distillation of a life: all of the hopes and dreams and regrets of a man who could inevitably do nothing but sever and bind. Given an appropriate target, it would by nature gravitate to a justified application.

    Smiling a smile that bore no humor at all, Emiya flicked the bullet into the mist.

  19. #19
    Sentimental Fool NewAgeOfPower's Avatar
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    @Fallacies

    You are the first FF author to force me to expand my lexicon. I haven't had to look up a word in nearly 3 years.

    I understood egregore, but Nociception?!?!?

    Anyways, Counter Guardian Jeanne HNNNGGGGG.
    If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
    If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim,
    If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster;
    And treat those two impostors just the same,

    -Ruyard Kipling, "If"

    -)|(-

    My works [Updated June 21st, 2013]


    "From a dusky world with an ever-setting sun, a limitless rain of Ryougi Shiki streaked down from gargantuan gears set in the sky." Fate: Over 9000, my best Crack yet.

  20. #20
    I have no idea what I'm talking about. Tyrnek's Avatar
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    >:D Aw yiss.

    Also, I'd just like to say that I really appreciate your glossaries. They help me make sense of the otherwise incredibly messy place that is the Nasuverse.

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