AN: This is a divergence fic with the main perspective set to Taylor's. Unlike my preferred method of 'nuke the plot', this fic drifts from canon more slowly. So expect some scene repetition, as it takes time for the butterfly's flap to transform into a hurricane.

Rest assured, however, that I have no intention of retelling Worm's main story.

When reading this fic, basic knowledge of Worm through volume 1 is highly recommended. General knowledge of Worm and Fate/Stay Night (especially the UBW route) is suggested, but not required.

Rated: 'Mature' because it is not fucking Worm if I can't use fuck.

Chapter 1

I had always dreamed I could fly. Ever since I was a kid, I had wished to be a hero like Alexandria. To be able to roam the skies, go wherever I wanted. Freedom.

This was not that kind of flight.

I tumbled through the air, vomiting blood into my mask. The ribs on my right side creaked, rolling underneath my skin like broken sticks in a bag of flesh. What? My brain rebooted and desperately tried to make sense of the world.

Oh. I remembered now. Lung. Lung had been aiming for a bunch of kids. I tried to stop him. Emphasis on tried. The fight went wrong. He made it up to the roof. I shot at his face with my pepper spray.

The propellant combusted and the spray disintegrated.

Then Lung struck.

That was all I recalled before plowing bodily through the first floor window of a convenience store. My shoulders hit the metal frame dividing panes of glass. It held for an instant.

Crash! T-t-t-tink.

Glass fragments rained down, tinkling like Christmas bells. I hit smooth tile in an uncontrolled tumble, rolled two meters then slid a third. I slowed to a stop at the feet of an Asian woman. She had long, sleek black hair that reached her waist. For an infinite moment I admired her elegant, lady-like form. It was everything a tall, scrawny girl like me had always wished for.

Then her bright blue eyes widened in surprise.


I opened my mouth to shout a warning. A gurgling sound escaped as blood bubbled up from deep within my airways. My legs were numb. I could not feel a full half of my body. I babbled again, tears pooling in my eyes. Was this how I died? Killed by Lung on my first night out, dragging a shocked civilian with me?

I whimpered. An incredible sense of helplessness swept over me.

A deep roar sounded in the night. In my dull witted state, I had sent a swarm of cockroaches toward Lung's face. The dragon man swept them out of the sky with a wave of conjured fire. He seemed disoriented. Hurriedly, I redoubled my effort, striking at an angle in hope of drawing Lung's attention away from the convenience store.

With Lung still a human pyre, I did not have much hope it would work.

The woman jerked toward the broken window, her eyes narrowing into sudden slits. With one smooth motion she stooped, seized my arm, and dragged me into an aisle and out of sight.

"I have been spending too much time around Shirou," the woman muttered under her breath.

The brunette crouched over me and fumbled with her purse. Outside, Lung tore through my bugs with a whirlwind of fire. Whatever made him lose his bearings, he had them now. He lumbered toward the two of us and was certain to see the broken window of the convenience store. I gurgled again. Run. I struggled to convey my thoughts, but my body refused my instructions.

The black haired woman placed a small jewel over my chest then muttered a phrase in German. Light. My eyes blurred. I blinked, clearing my vision. For an instant, the Asian's arm glowed. The woman held her hand against my chest, offering a kind smile. Cool relief washed through me. Though, fogged up as my head was, I could not be sure that I was not seeing things.

I probably had a concussion.

Scratch that. I definitely had a concussion.


Lung hit the ground with earth splintering force. He was even bigger and badder than before. Eleven feet tall and shrouded in a haze of flame. The last remnants of his cloths clung to tree trunk thick legs in shreds that were little more than charcoaled embers. The rest of his skin was exposed. Except it was not so much skin as it was scales. The silvery, metallic armor wrapped Lung's flesh, shimmering in the fire light. His mouth opened, all four parts separating in a monstrous X.

The rows of teeth inside would have made an Eldritch horror proud.

"Gh... Gh...," I gurgled in panic.

The brunette glanced toward the sound, then promptly threw me over her shoulder as though I were a sack of potatoes.

I gurgled a hysterical laugh. In a sudden, silly thought, I remembered that this was exactly what the medical books said not to do with if someone had a broken back. I bet they were not thinking of this kind of situation when they said that.

"Ound oou," Lung growled, sounding more like an animal than a person.

The giant dragon-man stomped into the store, batting aside glass and metal. The Asian woman jolted forward, a sprinter bursting off the blocks. I grunted from the sudden impulse as we flashed across the aisles, tangential to the threat. We crossed Lung's view. The woman's free arm slung out, fingers poised as though she were a child pretending she had a play gun.

What she unleashed was very real.

The brunette's arm lit up with green circuits. A bulb of darkness formed at the tip. Rat-tat-tat. It was not so much a gun as a gatling. Flashes of darkness crossed the store, inky black in fluorescent light. The half aimed shots sawed through milk, boxes, cans, and bread. A dozen blasts ripped across Lung's chest, splashing like water on his scales. Two caught the gaps and tore away globs of flesh.

Lung jerked back with a howl, giving the Asian plenty of time to reach the back door.

If I had any doubt that the woman was a cape, what came next cleared that right up. Without slowing a single step, the woman lifted a leg and kicked. Bang! It was as though a cannon went off. One instant a steel door barred our path. The next, a folded metal plate was embedded deep inside the brick wall opposite our building.

The dark haired woman entered the alley and took a sharp left.

Lung ripped his way into convenience store, tearing though aisles with the finesse of a bulldozer. The fire alarm went off, drenching the building in a deluge of water.

Lung's fire went out.

He was vulnerable.

My head was suddenly clear. With all my will, I pulled. A river of bugs filled the room. I had not been idle while the Asian woman worked to save me. Ever since he wiped out my first swarm on the roofs, I had been gathering bugs. Hundreds of thousands of bugs.

I dropped the horde on Lung's head.

Insects poured from the building's ceiling tiles in a curtain of writhing, chitinous flesh. Tiny legs clutched at the the dragon man's scales, pulling themselves flush, searching for tiny gaps to scramble under. The water hurt as much as it helped. Though it cooled Lung's flame, it washed insects away by the thousand. But the ones that made it dug in. Pincers gnashed at Lung's eyes while fangs pierced his exposed flesh. A centipedes crawled into his nose, while other creatures wiggled their way into his ears.

Lung went mad.

The now thirteen foot dragon-man tore through the building's wall, flailing and roaring in rage. He exploded. The pillar of flame stretched higher than the roofs. The alley filled with blinding light, annihilating half my swarm in an instant.

The brunette suddenly twisted, the motion so fast my body jiggled with the motion. A lance of white hot pain speared into my upper neck. Sh-shink. A pair of swords flashed from the woman's hands and pierced clean through Lung's legs. Then with effortless motion, she danced down a side alley.

Behind us Lung was howling. When I reformed my swarm, I realized why. The Asian had turned his legs to stone. The furious beast clawed at his own limbs. Tearing them free from their entombment. Lung flopped to the ground, then unhesitantly pulled himself forward with his clawed hands as though he were a Hollywood horror.

The stubbed fragments of his legs were already regrowing.

In a fit of inspiration, I formed a hazy clone resembling the two off us and mimed it heading in the opposite direction. Lung tore after my bugs in pursuit.

Tilting her head, the woman slowed. Shifting her grip, she maneuvered my limp body into a more comfortable piggyback position.

"You okay back there?"

I blinked. Absently, I continued to tease Lung, drawing him further away. My tactic would not last for long. Sooner or later Lung would listen rather look.

Unable to speak, I fashioned nearby moths into a thumbs up.

The Asian woman accepted my message without question. "Now that I have a better grip, I am going to move a bit faster. Try to keep your neck stiff. Once I find somewhere safe to put you, I will outflank him."

Outflank Lung! Was she insane?

A tactic like that might have worked at the start of the fight. But Lung's power made him stronger the longer the battle dragged on. At this point, he was virtually invincible. In terms of strength, toughness, and regeneration he was greater than before. And though Lung was big, his strength scaled more quickly than his size, so he was faster too. Worse, if Parahumans Online was right, Lung would soon grow himself a pair of wings. If that happened, we were cooked.

My moths formed a thumbs down. Then I split the swarm and created three more downward thumbs for emphasis.

This was a very bad idea.

The brunette, apparently, did not give a shit. Reaching back, she gripped my head with her free hand. Then, in a maneuver that would have made a ninja blush, she jumped, ricocheting off the alley walls to land atop a roof three stories high.

And that, Lung, was how you climb a building.

A flare rippled through the night. Lung had found my first then my second bug clone and murdered them both. I formed a third and sent it skittering down another alley. Unfortunately, that game had come to an end. With a frustrated roar, the now fifteen foot tall monster stilled himself and used his ears.

Every cricket in a two block radius chirped.

When a dozen crickets sang it was loud. When several thousand worked together to make a cacophony the sound was deafening. The ringing was enough to make me wince. Lung slammed clawed hands over his hands over his ears and roared.

So much for super-hearing, I thought viciously.

The woman unslung me from her back and set my limp body against an air condition unit. Her arm glowed green.

"Wickeln mit wind," she chanted, sweeping her hand over me. The air wavered, shimmering as though warped by heat.

The Asian crouched at my side.

"Do you know where he is?"

I formed an arrow of moths that pointed in Lung's general direction. Then I drew the flight into the universal of symbol for 'No'.

The woman merely nodded. "Give me a moment, then draw him up."

And again, she ignored me. I was beginning to sense a pattern.

Unfortunately, we didn't have a moment. Wings burst from Lung's back. With a great lunge, Lung leapt from the alley. He rose into the darkened sky like a fiery comet. Lung twisted through the night, closer to a serpent than a man. His head angled, finding us in an instant.

The brunette opened fire.

It was impossible to see the black bullets against the darkened sky and I was not facing in the right direction besides. Instead, I felt them. The blasts cut through my swarm, causing insects to curdle at the merest touch. Whatever the attack was, it did not do more than piss Lung off. The monster surged forward, swimming through the air as he unleashed a brilliant jet of flame.

A searing deluge of fire hit the roof and rolled over in a radiant blaze. The heat pressed against my costume, heating my mask until it burned at the touch. I squinted against the light, half blind.

The brunette dodged with surprising grace. With a single bound, she crossed the gap between buildings. Another pulse of inky shots flashed through the night. This time I could see Lung clearly and watched as the bullets shattered on his scales.

Lung dropped to the roof. Clawed hands and feet smashed into the concrete, cutting deep grooves into the stone. I held my breath in terror. The dragon man was no more than ten feet from me. Frankly, I was shocked that he had not seen me already.

I guess luck had finally turned to my favor.

"Aiiihurrr," Lung roared.

The dragon breathed a wave of fire. The blaze twisted in mid air, spitting into a pair of streams before blanketing the opposite roof in a sea of red. If Lung thought that was enough to end the brunette he was mistaken. The woman answered with lance of primordial darkness. The atramentous shaft smashed into Lung's chest, tore clean through silvery scales, then exploded out the other side, taking a fist full of bloody flesh with it.

Lung growled, spread his wings, then-

… puked his guts out.

It was not fire. What Lung spat up was his actual lunch – stomach acid, wiggling insects and all. The dragon wobbled on his feet. It was only then that I realized how shaky he was.

A second dark lance ripped through the blaze. Lung dived to the side, tucking himself into a tight roll to evade the attack. My mind sharpened. He was scared. Why? I strained my eyes, trying to get a clearer glimpse. His prior wounds had already sealed themselves. Lung had nothing to worry about. The longer this fight dragged on, the stronger he would become.

He should have this one in the bag.

But he didn't.

The bugs. When the Asian's attack brushed by, my bugs curled up and died. I had mistaken the effect for something like decay. Instead, the effect was closer to a disease. Her attack did more than put holes in people. It made them sick.

And Lung's super healing did shit against illness.

If that was the case, all the poison my spiders had pumped into Lung at the start of the fight must have made his day a whole lot worse.

The combination had formed into a deadly decoction. Instead of getting faster, Lung was getting slower. If he was vomiting already, how many more hits like that could he take? One. Maybe two?

Lung came to the same conclusion. The dragon pressed himself against the ground, lowering his profile so he could not be hit. His claws tore into the roof, hewing away at the stone. He lifted a hand then drove it into rock. Standing anew, he raised the hunk of concrete that was almost ten feet wide. With jury rigged shield in place, the dragon charged the woman.

If he got close, it was over.

Better not let that happen then.

My swarm twisted. The closest to the Asian shifted into a broad arrow, indicating that she should circle around. Then I promptly threw the every last insect I could scrounge right into Lung's face.

There was no way my swarm could touch him. What they could do was die. Messily. Moths, roaches, and crickets hit a wall of fire then burst like popcorn. The flow was so thick, that the blaze in front of Lung turned into an opaque sheet of fire. The dragon growled in frustration, then swept the sky with white hot flames.

My bugs died by the thousands.

But the damage was done.

The Asian woman reached my roof just as Lung crossed over to hers. Lung turned. She turned. The brunette was faster. A third black spear blasted out, piercing through Lung's midsection. The dragon's guts detonated, bursting out through both ends. Lung howled with fury, then threw his impromptu shield.

The brunette rolled under the attack to stop in a stable firing position.

As the same time, Lung jumped across the gap. The dragon did not so much land as crash onto the roof. He rolled painfully over the concrete, scrambling with clawed feet to avoid the hole he cut earlier. He pulled himself upright, standing eighteen feet tall.

Then his wings wilted off.

The brunette observed the shaking dragon, arm held out as though it were a gun. Glowing green circuits criss-crossed her flesh. A giant orb of darkness was held in place at her finger tip, circles with strange writing surrounding.

It took me a second to realize why she was waiting. She was trying to decide whether Lung needed another shot.

Lung saw that as weakness and charged.

A black blast tore the dragon's arm clean off.

The final attack proved to much. Lung fell flat on his face. He vomited again. Dry heaves with minimal liquid. Scales fell from his skin like rain. He tried to stand. But faltered. He was getting smaller. Sixteen feet. Fifteen. Fourteen. His great girth vanished in seconds.

That sight removed the last of the Asian's worry. She all but strutted up to the fallen cape then arrogantly kicked him onto his back.

It was too far away to hear clearly, but I somehow picked up the gist of their conversation.

"...-ber you... ill... ou... kill... -amily... kill... -bout."

Lung spat threats at the woman. If she felt anything, she showed no sign of it. She glared down at the defeated warrior, her five-foot-six body towering over Lung's eight-foot frame.

"For- ... -rything."

Lung slumped. His shrinking body picked up speed. The last scales sloughed off his flesh while claws retracted into fingers. Lung's monstrous form was restored to that of a mere human.

I let out a breath of relief.

My eyes were immediately occluded by tears.

I was paralyzed. I could feel nothing in my legs or trunk. I could breath. I could move my arms. A little bit anyway, so there was that. As bad as that sounded, this was a world of parahumans. Injuries like mine could be fixed. But would Panacea have the time for a small time hero like me? Would I even survive long enough to see her? For all I knew, my insides had been turned into a sea of blood and I would die before reaching an emergency room.


A trio of massive animals hit the roof. The beasts were bigger than full sized cars. Muscles and bone protruded through skin, giving them the appearance of horror movie monsters. Slavering jaws hung wide, dripping with saliva.

I could almost imagine it sizzling when it hit the ground.

The few muscles I could move in my upper body tightened. I concentrated, pulling up what insects I could. I was short on fliers, having burned through most of them – literally – during the fight with Lung. I used what remained of my winged insects to transport as many of the creepy-crawlers onto the roof as was possible.

My rescuer turned, facing the intruders with a cautious patience.

A teenager in a white mask and silver coronet let out a low whistle, the alien-lizard-tiger thing adjusting underneath him. The creature maneuvered itself so that it and its brethren formed semi-circle around the fallen Lung.

"Holy shit. Is that Lung?"

The lithe, white masked teen leaned down from his mount and poked Lung's unconscious form with an ornate scepter. Bzzzt! Lung's body jumped in response, causing me to startle.

Was that a taser?

"Yep. He's out cold," said the teen as he straightened up.

"The fuck happened to him?"

Next to speak was a girl wearing a cheap, plastic rottweiler mask. She had a bulky frame, square, hardened and muscled. Unfortunate. She would never be a looker, but no one would accuse her of being fat.

"Blaster power, hits with physical wounds plus sickness. Top that off with bee stings, fire ants, and..." The third speaker, a blonde with long, windblown hair, trailed off. She twisted, scanning the area with her eyes. Her gaze swept the roof twice before stopping on me. Her lips twisted into a sudden, vulpine grin. "Oh. That's interesting."

"And you are?" the Asian asked, her voiced edged with irritation.

"Sorry about that. We didn't mean to ignore you, but it was hard overlook Lung with him lying on the ground like that."

The last of the quartet dismounted. He was a big man dressed in motorcycle leathers. His mask was full-faced and sculpted into the shape of a stylized skull. He offered the brunette a hand.

"I am Grue and those three are Regent, Bitch, and Tattletale," Grue introduced. "Oh, and don't worry about your identity. We will keep our mouths shut. With what you did here, you really saved us a lot of trouble."

The brunette's eyes narrowed. "This was your fight."

Grue winced. "Yeah. It was. We owe you one."

The blue eyed woman scrutinized Grue a moment longer.

"Rin," she said. Then she flipped her hair and headed over to me.

Grue reluctantly dropped his hand. He nudged Lung with his foot. "He going to die?"

"No, but his crotch might rot off," Tattletale said with a grin. She motioned toward the brunette with her head. "And Rin over there is worried about the second cape."

"Second cape?"

Grue and the others looked around confused. "Zerstreuen" Rin chanted while waving a glowing arm over me. The air wavered again. All at once, three pairs of eyes locked onto me.

Finally it dawned on me. I had been invisible. No wonder Lung had failed to notice.

"Stranger as well as Blaster," Grue muttered under his breath. The skull masked man stepped forward and held out a hand. "Grue."

I stared, not moving. I probably wouldn't have moved had I been able. And didn't that clear up any doubts I had that I was not a people person? There were probably not many out there that found themselves thinking, good thing I am paralyzed, cause otherwise I would embarrass myself by being shy.

Time to face the facts, I was never going to be the life of the party.

"She can't move, Grue. Class 5 Tetraplegia," Tattletale's head turned and the smile was wiped off her lips. "Cape inbound. We've got 1 minute."

Rin knelt at my side then scooped me onto her back. I used what little muscle control I had to hold myself in position. The brunette turned toward the others.

"You made me clean up your mess. Fix it."

Know how some girls can do that thing where they could sound all sickly sweet, while conveying gut wrenching anger? It was a gift I had never nurtured. Rin. She had it in spades.

"We'll provide a distraction," Grue answered. The skull masked man turned his gaze toward the others to confirm their agreement.

Tattletale flashed a smile while Regent gave a shrug in response. Bitch, folded her arms stubbornly. When the others glared at her, she turned her head dismissively.

"Do whatever the fuck you want," Bitch declared.

"Need a lift?" Grue offered, gesturing toward the alien monsters.

"She's not sitting on my fucking dogs."

Dogs? Those were dogs?

Nightmare made flesh, I would believe. Lovecraftian horrors, no questions asked. If I were exceptionally generous – and squinted – I might have accepted that the creatures were the result of a Tinker's effort to crossbreed a tiger and a lizard.

But dogs?

I stared in disbelief.

"Bitch...," Grue growled under his breath.

"I will be fine on my own," Rin said with chilling sweetness.

I swore I saw the other four shiver.

"Good luck then," Grue said. The darkly dressed man vaulted onto his mount then made a broad gesture toward his group. "We are the Undersiders. Look us up. We owe you one for this, and the Undersiders pay their dues. Don't forget it."

The alien monsters – dogs – turned and rushed out into the night. The creatures effortlessly bound across the gaps between buildings, flowing over the skyline as easily as a car navigated the streets. Rin moved in the opposite direction, crossing five roofs before descending into an alley below. It was not a smooth ride, but I gave her credit for making it a hell of lot less bumpy than when we were running from Lung.

Left in the silence, my thoughts turned inward. Paralysis. Panacea. My Dad. Tears filled my eyes a second time. Was I going to be a cripple for life? Was this it? The end of my story.

I tried to dismiss those feelings but given how shitty my life had been as of late it was a hard thing to do.

Caught up in my drama, I hardly noticed when Rin set me on the ground.

"Gh... Gh...," I gurgled.

I grimaced in frustration. Whatever had broken during the fall was still broken now. Come to think of it, I was starting to feel dizzy. Blood loss? I could breath, so it probably was not blood filling my lungs. Well, I hoped it was not blood flooding my lungs.

Now there was a cheery thought. If I died now, I would not have to explain what happened to my Dad.

Then my gut twisted. More tears. Losing Mom had all but broken my father. How would he deal with losing his daughter as well?

"Now what am I going to do with you?"

The woman tilted my chin up so that I was staring straight into her eyes. They were not the kindly, wide eyes of before, but narrowed slits that conveyed a conniving cunning. A chill swept over me. For the first time I realized that I didn't know anything about the woman standing in front of me.

"I have been looking for an opportunity to dissect a parahuman," Rin mused. Her lips quirked into an evil smile. Then the brunette sighed, her expression falling in lament. "But those two would never allow it. And I suppose Shirou would never let me do things by parts, so I am going to have to fix you up as well, as if I hadn't missed enough sleep already."

Rin's grumbling trailed off. Her eyes sharpened. "You owe me for this."

"Gh...," I noised in agreement.

My head felt foggy. I found myself staring into Rin's blue eyes. Such a brilliant blue. Clear as water and deeper than the ocean. They were beautiful eyes. The kind that you could sink into until they swallowed you whole.

It was only belatedly that I realized that eyes should not glow in the dark.

By then, I was already asleep.


My first breath brought comfort, dismissing the embers of dream. It had been a nasty one. Lung had caught up to me. But instead of being saved, I had lain helpless in the convenience store as he tore off my limbs one by one. The nightmare then transitioned to my funeral. Strangely, all the events had been mixed with memories of my Mom's. Dad had been there, so angry. He had yelled at my corpse, demanding to know why I had not told him. Why I had not joined the Wards.

I woke up feeling sick.

For the first few seconds I shook. Then I remembered. Lung. Rin. The convenience store. A plethora of questions assaulted me. What happened? How did I get back home? Was I paralyzed? My heart quivered at the last. For a moment my thoughts were frozen by horror.

Then I wiggled my toes.

The weight of the world dropped from my shoulders. I could feel my legs, feet, and waist. Suddenly, I could breath again. My future was open. It was only when freed from that terror that I knew the depths of my fear. I indulged in the relief. Stretching my legs, driving my fingers into my ribs just feel the pain.

The world felt fake.

I stared at the ceiling in a daze. Had it all been a dream? It made sense. More sense than waking up in my bed, uninjured. My memories of last night were almost too wild to be real. It was comforting to let myself think that it had all been an illusion.

But I could not quite believe it.

I curled up under my covers. I wanted to fall back to sleep. To hide from the world a moment longer. I almost did exactly that as I laid there for a long minute. Then I forced myself awake. I could hear the creak of the stairs as my Dad moved through the house. He had finished his shower, so either he was up early or I was up late. Reaching for my alarm clock, I twisted it so that I could read the red numbers.



My alarm was set to 6:30, so it should have gone off a full 15 minutes ago. Did I turn it off by accident? Doing so would be unusual, but not unheard of. Dismissing the thought, I pulled myself from my bed. I had cut class on Friday after a particularly bad encounter with Emma and Madison. Last thing I needed was to be gone for two days in a row.

I would worry about everything else later.

Pulling on my sweats, I descended the stairs drawn by the scent of bacon. Normally I would head out for my morning run before sitting down for breakfast. But seeing how my Dad had already settled in, I decided to join him at the table.

My Dad looked up when I entered, eyes wide as though he were surprised to see me. It was hard to tell from his normal expression, given how wide his thick glasses made his eyes seem big even in normal times.

"Hey kiddo, did I wake you up?"

I answered with a half hearted shrug and pulled up a chair. I snagged some bacon, adding it to french toast already on my plate. Dad had cooked extra as usual, even though he would rather I slept in. I loved him for that because I knew how much he hated my morning run.

Dad watched me for a moment, pouring me a glass of O.J. without my asking. As we both returned to our meal he spoke.

"You don't think you are going out running, do you?"

I gave a weak smile. I was glad he was concerned. More, I understood why. Brockton Bay was a nasty town at its best and while we did not live in the worst parts of it, we did not live in the best. Running, though, was one thing I would not give up. I had started running to get myself into shape for my cape career. It had quickly turned into a release. Just me, the streets, and the morning air. I needed that. To unwind. To escape the crap that was my life.

"Yeah. You know me. Got to stick to my routine, otherwise it will be impossible to keep it up later."

My Dad set down his fork with a clatter. That was my first clue he was taking things differently than normal.

"Taylor. You were up vomiting all night. The last thing you should be doing is running around," he scolded.

Vomiting? What the hell was he talking about? I had been expecting some soft pressure, but not this.

When had I stepped inside the Twilight Zone?

"No running today, Taylor. Go back to bed," he pressed. "I've already called the school to tell them you won't be in."

Warning sirens blared in my head.

I had not so much convinced myself that last night was a dream, as decided that I would ignore my questions until I was at least half awake. Now, the threat was more palpable. The clock? Forgetting to reset it was entirely plausible. Waking up in my bed and not knowing how I got there? Surreal as hell and a little scary, but I was pretty sure I had a concussion last night so maybe my memories got screwed.

This? This was fucking terrifying.

Okay. Time for a fact check. The last thing I recalled was getting slugged by Lung, dragged around by an Asian woman, and meeting with the Undersiders. After that. Nothing. So, what did it mean? There were several possibilities. First, it had been a dream and I was going nuts. Second, it was my Dad's head that was screwed and I was remembering everything right. Third-


The silence must have dragged on too long. I flicked my eyes across the room and found an old picture. It was of Mom and me. The two of us were standing in front of a great gorge. I must have been no older than ten, seeing as how my head barely reached my Mom's waist.

Looking at the picture breathed life into faded memories. Long drives. Hiking trails. Tents, fires and cold nights. Mom and Emma, back when things were good. The picture was not of our most monumental vacation. It was of our last big one. After that, work and the failing economy had eaten my Dad's life.

Then Mom died.

"Where was that?" I asked, gesturing toward the picture.

My Dad blinked. Looked. Removed his glasses, worried at the lenses, then looked again.

"Ah. The Black Canyon of the Gunnison." He paused for a bit, gazing at me as though searching for something. "Do you want to go there again?"

I released a sighed of relief. That scratched the worst possibility off the list. Dad had not been replaced by a pod person. His question though, left me hanging. The trip to the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park had been one we shared with Emma and Alan. The two of us had played together for days, running through the hills, staying up late in our shared room in the cabin.

Now those memories were tainted.

The thought of doing it again made my gut curdle. But, looking at my Dad, I could not help but think that he needed memories like that. Good memories. The kind we made back when Mom was alive.

And maybe, just maybe, the same was true for me.

"Yeah," I breathed. "I would like that."

"Next summer then?" my Dad half-said half-asked. He moved toward the sink and deposited his dishes. Hot water roared as he scrubbed them clean. He headed for the door as I finished up. "See you later kiddo. And take it easy, alright. You have missed enough days as it is. Don't make yourself sick by pushing too hard."

I gave him my best smile and lied through my teeth. "Don't worry. I will be good. I promise."

The door closed with a heavy thud. I waited until I heard his car pull away from the drive.

I rushed the basement stairs.

There were as many powers in this world as there were capes. Since my Dad remembered our shared vacation, I could be reasonably certain that he was not a Changer. That left a Master or a Stranger. The Protectorate had a slew of protocols for dealing with capes with human manipulating powers. Unfortunately, I did not know anything beyond the basics. Which was to say, I knew only that they had protocols.

What I did know was that Dad and I had contradicting sets of memories. I recalled a fight with Lung gone wrong. My Dad remembered me, sick with the flu, vomiting my guts up.

It was easy to assume that my memories were right. I knew better. Trusting myself was natural, but if crazy people questioned themselves more, they would be hell of a lot less crazy. I did not need faith. I needed evidence.

Thankfully, I had a good idea of what to check.

I burst into the basement and pulled out my costume from the coal chute.

My costume was a point of pride for me. I made it myself using spider silk woven by black widows. It might not be as good as a costume made by a professional outfitter, but I would challenge anyone to build a costume half as good on their own dime.

Needless to say, I knew everything about it.

It did not take long to find what I was looking for.

Scuff marks.

I had dyed my costume last Friday, so prior to the night out, it had been brand new. Any damage was proof my memories were real. The burns on my mask and splattered blood within sealed the deal. I was a bit surprised though how little damage there was. Lung had gotten a good, solid hit on me. After that, I had been smashed through a window a fair bit down.

And what did my costume have to show for it? A few darkened patches and a couple of frayed threads.

Damn did that make me feel good.

That elation lasted a bare second.


I had been hoping my memories were wrong for a good reason. Because, if they were right, that meant someone had brought me home, fiddled with my Dad's head, then dropped me off in my bed while leaving no one the wiser. Whoever it was knew my face, my name, and my address. Hell, they knew who my fucking Dad was.

My first night out and my civilian identity was already blown.

"Fuck," I said again for emphasis.


I stepped off the bus six blocks from Brockton Bay Central Library. I needed to run, but I did not want to do it in my neighborhood where my actions might get back to my Dad. However slim that chance might be. So I got off onto the sidewalks of the Brockton Bay's downtown and jogged my way toward the library.

There was a pleasant coolness to the morning air, and the streets were empty on account of the early hour. The roads here were busier than I was used to, but it was quiet enough. When I reached my destination I found myself regretting that I did not chose a drop off point twice as distant.

Nerves calmed, I stepped inside.

The Central Library was a throwback to the era when Brockton Bay had been a wealthy city on the rise. The front entrance consisted of tall ceilings and gothic pillars. Artwork adorned the halls giving the place an appearance too rich for Brockton Bay's downtown.

I headed up to the second floor, nodding to the middle aged woman in red jacket before taking one of the twenty computers set aside for public use. Because it was still early, I had the pick of the litter. I chose a PC in the back corner, far from prying eyes.

I had a number of things I wanted to research, but I started with the one weighting most heavily on my mind.

Master/Stranger protocols.

The Master/Stranger protocols were a strict set of regulations developed by the PRT. They handled the rules of engagement before, during, and after an encounter with a cape with mind bending powers. Over the years the PRT had encountered a broad range of mind influencing abilities from Nice Guy, to Heartbreaker, and of course the worst of them all, the Simurgh.

Reading their profiles did not help my nerves.

The PRT's stance on new human controlling capes was unequivocal. Isolation for one to seven days, brain scans, consultation with a cape psychologist, and possible review by a Protectorate Thinker. The PRT offered some of those resources to independent capes, no questions asked. Which was great, except I really did not want to explain to my Dad why I needed to stay overnight with the Protectorate.

Short of the PRT, the best suggestion I found was to keep a diary. There was a lot of debate as to the effectiveness, but a number of independent capes claimed that by comparing present behavior to past it was possible to tease out subtle Master influence. It sounded wishy-washy to me, but I jotted the idea down in my notebook.

Three seconds later, I wrote myself a warning myself to keep any diary encrypted.

Not having had much success on the Master/Stranger end of things, I turned my attention to something nearer and dearer to my heart. Navigating the PHO, I pulled up the latest events.

Welcome to the Parahumans Online Message board
You are currently logged in as: Guest

Topic: A dragon... slain?
In: Boards ► News ► Events ► America ► Brockton Bay

Bagrat (Original Poster) (Veteran Member) (The Guy in the Know)
Posted on April 1
1th, 2011:

In case you missed the fireworks, Armsmaster dragged in Lung last night. But interestingly enough, he is not taking credit for the take down. This has left it up to us to speculate as to the culprit. Was it the Undersiders? The E88? A new independent? The Undersiders were in the area, so the good money is on them, but I have my doubts.

Anyone know more?

(Showing page 1 of 3)

Reave (Verified PRT Agent) [Replied: April 11th]

The Undersiders had a showdown with Oni Lee half an hour prior, and they are known to have pulled a job on a casino run by the ABB. I think this one is open and shut.

Bruce Lao [Replied: April 11th]

Not sure I buy that. You really think a no-name team like the Undersiders could handle Lung?

WagTheDog [Replied: April 11th]

The Undersiders have Bitch/Hellhound. Don't underestimate her.

Bruce Lao [Replied: April 11th]

So... I looked up Hellhound's entry in the wiki... And you know what? I might be willing to bend on my prior statement. Still, I am not quite ready to believe the Undersiders pulled it off. This just feels too big for them. Know what I'm saying?

White Fairy (Veteran Member) [Replied: April 11th]

It wasn't the Undersiders. From the moment the first flare went up, I was out on my porch watching the firefight. The cape that took down Lung was an Asian woman. Waist length hair, red shirt, dark skirt.

XxVoid_CowboyxX [Replied: April 11th]

Pics or it didn't happen.

White Fairy (Veteran Member) [Replied: April 11th]

I was looking through my binoculars, but my boyfriend tried to shoot a video with his phone. Give me a minute and I will upload it.

Ninja Edit: And here it is.

Mac's DualRocket Propelled Grenades[Replied: April 11th]

While we are waiting on White Fairy, let's move on to the important question. Was she hot?

Bruce Lao [Replied: April 11th]

Smoking ;)

Chilldrizzle [Replied: April 11th]


End of Page. 1, 2, 3

Topic: A dragon... slain?
In: Boards ► News ► Events ► America ► Brockton Bay

(Showing page 2 of 3)

Mac's DualRocket Propelled Grenades[Replied: April 11th]

Ha. Ha. Ha.

Bruce Lao [Replied: April 11th]

Video Up.

White Fairy: Grainy as hell, but I guess it's best to stay a long way away from a fight like that.

Mac's DualRocket Propelled Grenades [Replied: April 11th]

Whoa! Look at those fireballs. Its like an live action flick. Honestly, I am surprised our cape made it out alive. But, shock of shockers, it was Lung who got his ass handed to him.

Maybe Lung will think twice before he tries to recruit the next gal?

XxVoid_CowboyxX [Replied: April 11th]

That video is obviously fake.

Reave (Verified PRT Agent) [Replied: April 11th]

Hard to see much between the shadows and pixelation, but at 2:17 Lung's fire blast gives us a good picture of the cape in question. Like White Fairy said: Long Hair. Red Shirt. Skirt. Can't tell any more detail than that. I'll try running her through the database and see what pops up.

Don't think I will have much luck though.

Bruce Lao [Replied: April 11th]

Reave, good catch at 2:17. We can see her clear as day.

WagTheDog[Replied: April 11th]

Uh, are we allowed to post that? Because that girl is definitely not in costume.

XxVoid_CowboyxX [Replied: April 11th]

Why is everyone ignoring that the video is a fake?

White Fairy (Veteran Member) [Replied: April 11th]

WagTheDog: Good question. I figured because the blur, it was fair game. But I will leave that decision to a higher authority. Mods?

XxVoid_CowboyxX: Are you an idiot? How on Earth would I cobble together a fake video in 4:30 hours?

Caliburn (Moderator) [Replied: April 11th]

Per the rules, no video or picture shall be displayed that unmasks a cape whose identity has not already been made publicly known. I have reviewed the linked video, weighed the contents, and deem it within acceptable bounds.

End of Page. 1, 2, 3

Topic: A dragon... slain?
In: Boards ► News ► Events ► America ► Brockton Bay

(Showing page 3 of 3)

Mac's DualRocket Propelled Grenades[Replied: April 11th]

So hath spoken the great Caliburn.

Char[Replied: April 11th]

Did anyone else notice the bugs? Because it got real creepy not long after Lung lit himself on fire.

Nondeceptive [Replied: April 11th]

Yeah. I know exactly what you are talking about Char. I was about three blocks away when the crickets started to sing. Scared the hell out of me. For a second I thought I was going to die.

Mac's DualRocket Propelled Grenades[Replied: April 11th]

Bugs? Bugs! Good going Char. Way to ruin my cute Asian cape fantasies.

Chilldrizzle [Replied: April 11th]

Ah, come on Mac, you know you love yourself some creepy Asian chick. All she needs to make your dream complete is a pretty smile and a bloody ax. =)

Reave (Verified PRT Agent) [Replied: April 11th]

Okay, new news. The PRT will be making an announcement at noon crediting two capes with the capture of Lung. Neither cape is known. The first cape is the Asian woman White Fairy spotted. The second is a new independent identified by witnesses at the scene.

No clear pics of either, so I would like to do a shout out for anyone with anything better than what White Fairy offered (see the video at 2:17). The PRT will pay a small cash reward for this, but only if you get them to me an hour before release.

Bruce Lao [Replied: April 11th]

Hear that Mac? Two capes. So you don't have to bug out on this one ;)

End of Page. 1, 2, 3

My heart beat fast as I closed the tab for the Brockton Bay forum. I had been noticed. Not just noticed, but credited with the defeat of Lung. Lung! Part of me wanted to stand up and screaming my victory right in the middle of the library. The other half was embarrassed that I got credit at all. Smiling uncontrollably, I poked around for information on Rin.

Nothing. Either Rin was as new as me, or she was unrecognizable in her civilian garb. Pulling information on the Undersiders was easier. Grue and Bitch had entire pages dedicated to them. Tattletale and Regent, however, drew blanks.

What I learned soured my mood. The Undersiders were a villain team and likely the 'kids' Lung had been hunting. But that did not keep me down for long, not after being recognized for helping take down Lung.


Okay, maybe I was a little too excited. Calming myself and flattening my expression before my smile ripped open my face, I started searching for any information on me.

As with Rin, nothing. There were a few mentions on the board about the cricket gambit I pulled, and some news about the convenience store, but nothing specifically about me. But somebody must have seen something, otherwise the PRT would not be naming me as a responsible cape.

Whoever the PRT's witness was, they were not posting on Parahumans Online.

I glanced at the clock. Six minutes past eleven. The computers around me were starting to fill up as the downtown lunch crowd claimed the library as a bastion of peace and quiet. I was about to get up when my final search turned up a thread buried deep in the connections forum.

Subject: R and Bug

Owe you one. Would like to repay the favor. Meet?


I stared at the message for a long while. Knowing that the Undersiders were villains, I was not sure I wanted to meet with them. But I desperately wanted to see Rin. I needed to know if she was a threat. She knew my identity. She had messed with my Dad. I wanted assurances.

Mostly, though, I wanted to thank her.

I had not forgotten that Rin had saved my life. Most likely, she had healed my wounds as well. I had unmasked her. So, it was only fair that she had unmasked me. And, as much as her use of Master powers crept me out, she was only trying to help when she dorked with my Dad's head.

I did not like it, but I could respect it.

And right now Tattletale was my best lead.

So I clicked on her name, chose 'send private message', and talked.


Tattletale had arranged for us to meet on a random rooftop near downtown. Before heading up, I checked the place out with my bugs. Tattletale, Grue, and Regent were gathered on top. I considered waiting until Rin showed, but I did not like hanging back like a coward. Becoming a cape was a chance to turn over a new leaf, to be a hero, to reclaim what I lost to Emma's bullying. So I squared my shoulders and climbed the fire escape.

Two guys and a girl. The Undersiders were out of costume – as indicated in their email. It was easy enough to pick out Tattletale. Her dirty blonde hair and loose braid were a dead giveaway. Separating Grue from Regent was a greater challenge. I never did get a good look at either of them last night. But if I were to guess, I would assume that Regent was the pretty boy with curls and Grue was mister strong, dark, and handsome.

Tattletale flashed a vulpine smile as I stepped into view. "That's one."

I folded my arms and glanced over the group. The Undersiders were relaxed and no one objected to me appearing in costume. Good. I was not going to risk a knife in my back for sharing my identity with villains.

"Rin was supposed to be here," I said, surprised by the evenness of my voice.

"Give them a few minutes," Tattletale said with a broad grin. "They are running a bit behind."

I raised a brow. Them? They? The gesture was wasted seeing as how it was hidden behind my mask. An uncomfortable silence settled between us as we waited. I found myself tapping my foot impatiently, half hoping that someone would start a conversation.

Grue took pity on me.

Stepping forward the dark skinned man offered a hand. "Brian," he introduced. "I was going to wait for Rin, but leaving you hanging felt awkward."

I banished last night's shyness and shook his hand. Brain had a firm grip.

"You can call me Bug for now, I guess," I said steadily, cursing myself for not having come up with a better name. "I take it Rin has a team?"

"Two others," Brian looked over his shoulder to where 'Tattletale' stood. "I didn't catch their names."

"They didn't give any," Tattletale answered.

I frowned then gestured toward the Undersiders. "The no-costume thing, payback for knowing Rin's identity?"

"That and a show of trust," Brian said genially. "It was my idea."

Regent's lips twisted into a half smile. "Brian didn't want to run you off like we did Spitfire."

My gaze flickered over the others, but my train of thought was aborted an instant later when a trio of new presences were picked by my bugs. My head turned toward the fire escape. Tattletale's turned at the same time. It made me wonder. Did she detect those three at the same moment as me? Or had she merely detected that I had detected them?

"They're here," Tattletale said.

Rin ascended the stairs flanked by her compatriots.

I never got a good look at Rin during the fight with Lung. Now, I could see her clearly. She was tall for an Asian girl, only one or two inches shorter than me. And beautiful. She had long, sleek, well kempt hair and the face of a model. Her short skirt, form fitting red blouse, and light makeup told me that she was one of those pretty girls. The kind that spent half an hour too long in the bathroom to make sure they looked perfect.

God it made me jealous.

If Rin was tall for an Asian, the man on her right was a giant. He stood half a head taller than me. His hair was cropped short. Red, with streaks of white. He had a lanky build with visible muscles. It was the body of someone who exercised regularly but never used equipment. Handsome, but not quite as good looking as Regent. Nor did he have the same rugged form as Brain.

Their third companion was an angel. Blonde hair, like spun gold, was tied up in a bun. She was tiny, almost fragile looking. Beautiful. She lacked incredible curves and dressed in a simple white shirt and knee length skirt. But everything she had was utterly perfect. She was otherworldly, ephemeral, like a faerie given form.

Not a single one of them was in costume.

It made me feel incredibly self conscious.

"And that's two." Tattletale's lips stretched into a dimpled smile that highlighted her lightly freckled face. "Pay up."


Regent slapped a wad of bills into Tattletale's open palm. His scowl twisted into a cruel smirk when Brian did the same a half second later.

"You bet on whether all of us would show?" I asked.

"No. Alec bet that neither group would come wearing costumes," Tattletale corrected, gesturing toward Regent. "Brian bet the opposite."

"And you bet that one group would and the other wouldn't," I finished with a nod.

I understood the logic behind it. Mathematically, Tattletale had a fifty percent chance of being right while 'Alec' and 'Brian' had only a one-in-four. But that was assuming all possible outcomes were equally probable. Personally, I would have been inclined to bet with Brian.

After all, the chance of me showing up in costume was close to a hundred percent, and I would have figured that Rin would be no different.

Brian corrected my assumption.

"No, Lisa bet that you would come in costume and Rin's group would not," Brain said with a deep scowl. "I thought it was a sucker's bet, but I should have known better than to go against Lisa."

Okay. I will admit, Tattletale – Lisa, I internally corrected – had made one hell of a ballsy-bet.

"Those three are different than us. They don't care about their civilian identity," Lisa explained. Then her vulpine grin grew wider. "No. That isn't right. It's more accurate to say, they never had a civilian identity in the first place."

Rin, who was watching the exchange with bored politeness, suddenly smirked. Her posture shifted, taking on the presence of someone who was altogether too pleased with themselves.

The short blonde leaned in close to the dark haired woman's ear. "It seems you are correct. She does have a good eye."

While Rin and the blonde made their exchange, the redhead set a gentle hand on my shoulder. I went stalk still. I resisted the urge to pull away, wanting to look tough rather than shy.

"Are you alright?" he asked.

I nodded stiffly.

"She should be, between that and the prana Saber lent," Rin answered with a dismissive flip of her hair. Her sharp gaze returned to the Undersiders. "You did not invite us here for small talk. Say your piece and I will say mine."

Brian took that as his cue to step forward. The black man favored everyone with a genial smile.

"We will get right to it, but first I want do some introductions. I am Brian and those two are Alec and Lisa. Rachel – Bitch when in costume – is a no show, but we can begin without her."

Brian gestured toward Rin, indicating she should continue.

The redhead was the first on Rin's side to move. He crossed the roof and took Brian's hand. "Shirou Emiya."

"Rin Tohsaka," Rin answered bluntly without moving from her spot.

The tiny blonde gave a slight, but chivalrous nod. "Saber."

Lisa jerked at the final introduction. Then a shark like grin spread on her lips.

"That is interesting. Your companions gave their real name, but you... you are using an alias," Lisa said. "I wonder why. A secret of some sort? Were you famous? Ah. But why? A criminal? No. Then why hide– Oh. Oh. Very interesting. You don't share your name because, if you gave it, no one would believe it."

Lisa smirked with satisfaction. I glanced at Saber expecting a dark expression given how Lisa had blabbered her secret. Saber's face, however, remained unperturbed. Brian, though, was far from pleased.

"We are here to make friends, Lisa," Brian warned.

A short silence fell. All eyes turned to me.

I was the odd man out. The only one in costume. The only one without a team. If I wanted to play the game, I had to reduce that distance. Take a risk. Was I willing to do that? Yes. Yes I was.

I reached back and gripped the buckles that held my mask in place. Loosening the straps, I pulled it free.

"Taylor Hebert."

I swept my eyes across the group, not knowing what I was expecting. Whatever it was, I did not see it. Of Rin's team, only Saber offered a solemn nod of acknowledgement. Lisa, she was smirking as though she had known this was coming from the start.

As for Alec? He boldly held out a palm toward Lisa and quipped, "Does this mean I get my money back?"

"Nice to meet you, Taylor," Brian said seriously. "Now then, seeing how everyone has been introduced, let's get to the meat of this meeting. The Undersiders owe you one for the help with Lung. So, to start, these are yours, no strings attached."

Lisa held out a pair of plastic lunchboxes. They were brightly colored and cheap. The box on the left had a picture of Alexandria, fist extended, flying through the air. The second depicted Legend floating over a cityscape.

"Saber," Rin commanded before I had time to react.

The short blonde stepped forward and coolly claimed the Alexandria lunchbox before returning to Rin's side. Rin popped open the box and thumbed through a wad of bills. My brows rose at the sight. Rin's heavy sigh showed that she was not half as impressed.

"I know," Brian placated. He seemed to have been caught off guard by Rin's reaction. "It's far less than you would expect from a job of that caliber, but depending on how this discussion goes you could see considerably more."

"It is not that she isn't grateful, it's that she spent more than twice that dealing with Lung," Lisa explained. She waggled the Legend lunchbox in my direction. "If you don't want it, I will be happy to keep it."

I bravely ventured forth and rescued Legend from Lisa's villainous clutches.

"Great, now that all that is settled, you have two choices. Or at least that was what I was planning on saying," Lisa said, her lips quirked in a knowing smile. "But you three came here with an offer of your own."

I faced Rin. Given how she had saved me last night, I had believed her a hero – creepy mind manipulations and dissection threats aside. So I was a little curious what she would want from a group of villains like the Undersiders.

Brian shared my thoughts. The dark man's expression went flat and faced Rin's team with folded arms.

"If you have a job for the Undersiders, then let's hear it."

"Before I begin, there is a question I need to ask. Lisa, was it? You are what the locals call a Thinker, correct?" Rin asked.

Locals? As far as I knew, the PRT designations were world wide. Was Rin from the CUI? If so, her English was impeccable and her accent all but eradicated. In fact, she sounded vaguely British.

Lisa smirked. "That's right. You could say that I have the power to read minds. Or maybe that I am inspired by divine truth."

A playful smile formed on Rin's lips, giving her the look of a cat that had found a particularly tasty mouse. "That kind of power would not work on Saber," she said with a twisted smile. "And if you had tried to read my mind, I would know."

Lisa's vulpine smile spread wider. She was clearly enjoying the exchange. "Then, if not that, I must be an oracle," she teased, spreading her arms helplessly.

Rin cupped her chin thoughtfully. "Possible, I suppose. But Gaia is not awake on this Earth and I have yet to meet a god, so pardon my doubts. Initially I had speculated that your power might be a form of clairvoyance or psychometry, but neither of those could explain the information you gathered in this meeting." Rin paused then turned toward the redhead at her side. "Shirou, what do you think?"

"Cold reading," Shirou answered with confidence. "She asks leading questions then uses micro-expressions to verify her deductions."

"Really? You are going with that?" Lisa asked, sounding amused.

"Do not underestimate Shirou. From his time with the Enforcers, he has gained extensive knowledge in the art of investigation and interrogation," Saber said firmly. She turned toward her companion. "Rin, it appears that approaching the Undersiders was the correct course on this matter. Though I still question the wisdom of involving a group of self described 'villains'."

Rin's eyes twitched. "Saber, are you implying that I might be wrong?" she asked sweetly.

"While I would never doubt the quality of your mind, I have found that your instincts leave much to be desired," Saber retorted, impervious to the lingering threat.

Shirou's lips quirked in an amused half smile.

"If you are done probing my team for information about their powers, I would like to know about this job you are offering," Brian said stiffly, shooting a dark glare at Lisa.

I watched Rin as well, interested in her answer. The Asian beauty finally tore her eyes from Saber, flipping her hair with a dissatisfied harrumph.

"Very well. Then let us get down to business. We are investigating an important matter. An infection of sorts," Rin answered. Her lips curled as she casually dropped her bombshell. "One that, if left unchecked, might spell not only the end this Earth, but all of them."


Dossier – Rin Tohsaka – Enforcer Unit 09: Squad Leader

Subject is designated: Friendly. Unauthorized confrontation will be punished per the rules described in Enforcer Codex Section 36-B.

Addendum: This threat assessment excludes Rin's Servant, Saber [Dossier – Saber – Enforcer Unit 09]. Saber is independently classified as an EX level threat.

Threat Assessment [A]
Strength: E
Endurance: E
Agility: D
Mana: A+
Luck: C
* Listed attributes are Servant class

Rin Tohsaka has incredible aptitude for the use of thaumaturgy in combat. She routinely executes C rank mysteries without incantation and has displayed the ability to perform B rank mysteries with a single line aria. Further, with the assistance of jewel craft, she has demonstrated the ability to execute multiple A rank mysteries, simultaneously [Beirut, October 23rd, 2009].

Rin's reinforcement is unusually refined. On repeated occasions she has shown low level, Servant class attributes. Her skill and strength have been proven sufficient to dispatch Dead Apostles in direct melee combat [Lampang, February 4th, 2010]. Extreme caution is recommended if approached.

Subject Background:
Rin Tohsaka is a seventh generation magus and the only known descendant of the Tohsaka family. She is noted for her victory in the Fifth Grail War and for her close ties with the Church.

Rin Tohsaka grew up in Fuyuki City and received instruction from her father Tokiome, then his apprentice Kirei Kotomine after his death. After winning the grail, Rin Tohsaka remained in Fuyuki City for one year in order to complete her education.

Rin moved to London and joined the Clock Tower May 31st, 2005. While there, she attended classes as a student accompanied by her apprentice Shirou Emiya [Dossier – Shirou Emiya – Enforcer Unit 09]. Rin's brilliance and ability quickly earned her the lauds from her professors, despite persistent bias due to her Japanese origin. Therefore, it came as a surprise when she left the Clock Tower and joined the Enforcers on July 7th, 2008.

After completing basic training, Rin promptly formed an independent Enforcer squad, Unit 09, despite having no missions on record. Her record as an Enforcer remains impeccable, with twenty-three dead apostles hunts completed in her first year alone. Rin participated in the successful disposal of the Twenty-sixth Dead Apostle Ancestor – Itet.

Rin was tapped for the Type-D investigation at Zelretch's request. No explanation was given. Research into Rin's connection to the Wizard Marshall remains outstanding.