Fate/first order derivative
This story generally follows the plot of the 2014 Fate/stay night [Unlimited Blade Works] anime. To be honest, though, my first introduction to the franchise wasn't through this or the original visual novel, but rather BlazingAzureCrow's fantastic Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works Abridged series on YouTube (starring YamatoSFX and xbubblemunkyx of SAO Abridged fame as Shirou and Sakura!), from which I intend to outright pillage as much characterization and jokes as possible. To the point that it's ambiguous in my mind whether or not this is a fanfic of the abridged series, the anime, the visual novel, or some strange blending of the three. Regardless, I highly recommend BurningAzureCrow's work to anyone reading this.
Rated Mature/16+ for frequent profanity. Reader discretion is advised.
⇒ be: tomasu tomonaga
Wow, not a great start! My condolences. There's just two things you need to know about me:
1. When I was three or four, I tried sticking a knife into an electrical outlet just to see how it worked. No idea how I survived. Got blown halfway across the room. I don't remember this myself, of course. I just heard it secondhand from my mom years after the fact. She said she had to rush in and stop me from trying it again.
2. I'm a high schooler, it's Friday night, and I'm sitting in my room, trying to figure out how calculus works on my own. Not for a class. Oh, no. This is for fun. Kind of.
And that's it. That's me in a nutshell. Well, okay - that, and I've clearly spent enough time reading imageboard stories and playing old text adventure games that it's infected my inner monologue. But that's more of a side detail.
You sure you don't want to choose again? Wouldn't blame you. Clearly, mistakes have been made.
⇒ more background plz
Fine, fine, if you insist. I'm sixteen, I live in Misaki Town outside Fuyuki, I'm in class 2B of Homurahara Academy, blah blah blah exposition exposition. Look, I'm boring. I know it, you know it. Don't ask me about me, ask me about something interesting.
⇒ so whatcha doing / why calculus
There we go, was that so hard? I'm trying to figure out calculus because these notes I got from my uncle seem to be using it. Seems to be calculating some kind of acceleration or change in potential, I guess? He rarely bothered defining his variables. It's pretty annoying! By which I mean maddening!
⇒ talk about uncle
Oh, Uncle Shin? My dad's older brother. He passed away about a year ago. I inherited a bunch of stuff from him - well, I say "inherited," but I really just grabbed it out of the trash after my mom threw it out. It's not like anyone else wanted it.
So Uncle Shin was a physicist and a tinkerer. Proudly called himself a "crackpot" - had a plaque on his wall and everything. (Saved that too. It's on my bookshelf, right between Dune and my TARDIS cookie jar.) Taught courses at the local community college, but his big passion was in these weird sensors and transmitters he put together out of whatever junk he could find. Really crazy stuff. Couldn't even begin to describe the wiring on this board in front of me, for instance. He seems to have deliberately crossed wires two or three times. They're even soldered together...
Anyway, his big theory was that using these sensors of his, he could detect this spectrum that's completely unknown to modern physics. Not anything electromagnetic - some kind of dark energy that no one else has ever noticed. He said that it could only be found in Fuyuki, though. For whatever reason, his sensors worked in this particular town and nowhere else.
So, anyway, yeah. That's my inheritance: a plaque, a bunch of dusty old machines, and a pile of handwritten notebooks I rescued from the incinerator. Still probably the most interesting thing in my life.
⇒ how did uncle shin die
Cancer. Look, can we not? I don't like thinking about it.
⇒ so why are you looking at this now
Because the notes say to. Okay, in more detail: this particular section I'm looking at seems to involve predicting some kind of... surge, I guess? At the end of it, there's a range of dates circled in red. Which includes this week.
So - in honor of Uncle Shin, I've set up the one sensor package I think I have all of and powered it up. Got the little scavenged radio dish sticking out of my window. Been waiting for three days now to see if any of the little lights come on. Once more sticking the knife into the electric socket that is the universe. This one's for you, Shin.
⇒ are you trying to get superpowers
... maybe. Or - I don't know. Minovsky particles. Faster-than-light travel. Flying car. I'd settle for a hoverboard, okay? It's a basic rule of science fiction: never ignore the crackpot inventor. Even if he can't reproduce his results. And a bunch of his notes are mixed in with porn.
Yeah, of course you'd ask about that. I'm... just gonna say it. For lack of better words... Uncle Shin was gay. He was really, extremely gay. And he had an active imagination, so I just have to grit my teeth and try to skip those parts and sometimes there's these little, um, diagrams and...
⇒ ok never mind
There's a reason I haven't been working too hard on decoding the cyphered parts, you know?
⇒ are you gay?
I don't... think so? I mean, my crushes - well, mainly crush singular - have all been girls. But I guess I can't count it out and you know what can we really change the subject now please? I'd like that very much thanks.
Look, I'm a nerd, okay? I have accepted that about myself. Sex and sexuality in general, girls, dating - that ain't my comfort zone, you know? That is in fact the exact opposite of my comfort zone. At least outside of my browser history. (Which is clean. Always. Hey, I live in a house with two parents and a sister. I know how to cover myself, aight? Aight.)
... Huh. That's weird.
⇒ what is
⇒ is it the machine
No, it's one of the houses way down the street. I think a firework just went off in the back yard or something? ... is that Shirou's place?
⇒ describe shirou
Shirou Emiya? I don't really know him that well. We're in the same year but in separate classes. This one time back in middle school, he stopped these other two kids from beating me up. Always kind of felt like I owe him for that...
⇒ he lives down the street and you don't know him
Do I sound like the type who gets out much? His house is pretty big. I guess his dad was rich or something, but he passed away a long time ago. Mom once told me the head of the local Yakuza keeps an eye on him - which sounds kind of metal, up until you realize all they really do around here is run mahjong parlors and telemarketing scams.
Okay, now I can hear a bunch of shouting. Some different voices. Something about... a bowl? Then a big flash of red light. Maybe he just has a DVD on really loud or something?...
⇒ probably none of your business
Yeah, I guess...
Oh. Oh wow. Machine. Machine is weird now.
⇒ describe machine
Other than the little radar dish, this one is about the size of... I don't know, an answering machine or a small cable box? It's not that big. That's why I took it. Half of it's a bunch of homemade circuit boards and the other's... well. He seems to have wired in a bunch of crystals of some sort? Plus there's the dry cell battery I have it hooked up to and a power switch and the lights, which are supposed to tell you what kind of energy is being picked up...
Okay, okay. I've seen a chart for this. I push my glasses back and flip through the old notebooks. Here it is... so that's one blue, three red, two green... No, wait. Other side around - two green, three red, one blue. Which means...
... "Z-energy"? The hell is "Z-energy"?
Have I seen that somewhere - anywhere - before? Can't remember. Hold on. Let me check the other notebook -
⇒ what happened
I... my hand... might've... might have just brushed one of the machine's wires. I think. Fell on the floor, chair and all...
⇒ are you okay
I think... back hurts... heart rate's up... head feels terrible... you know, when I said that thing about knifing the socket again, I didn't mean literally...
... bed sounds nice now I think. Yeah. Bed. Woo.
⇒ wait that is actually a super terrible idea
Yes yes yes I know don't worry. I'll go call for mom and go to the hospital in a second. Just gonna rest my eyes for a bit and then...
⇒ skip to next morning
... Okay. Not dead. Feeling better. That's good. Liking that. Try and keep that up, me.
⇒ get up
Limbs working. Legs. Hands. Fingers. Yes. No sign of any burns. All lights green. I guess I got away with it again?
⇒ do you have superpowers now
Let's check. Shirt off, look in the mirror - okay, defs not instantly jacked like Tony Macguire. Arms still noodly. Gut still... noticeable. (Don't get me wrong. I'm not fat. I wouldn't even say I'm pudgy, exactly. I'm just... there's some pudge, okay? Around the midsection. Pudge is a known issue here.)
Try clearing my mind and focusing my will. No sign of telekinesis. Or flight. Or laser eyes.
⇒ can you do the kamehameha wave
"Z-energy"... worth a shot. All right. Do the thing with the hands... focus my will... ka... may... ha...
Yeah, no. Not happening. Moving on.
⇒ check the machine
Ooh, good thought. Huh, okay. The lights are all out now. They're set up in a three-by-five grid, by the way, with each row a different color. No sign of green or red lights. Occasionally, the first blue light flickers. It does that sometimes. Don't know if that's just background radiation or one of those crossed wires or what.
⇒ look at clock
Ulp. Enough of this. Better get ready for school.
⇒ but it's saturday
Ha! Where do you think we are? This is Japan, son! We in school every - single - day of the motherfucking week! That's right. Free time is for the weak! We eat our tears for breakfast, you feel me? Ha HA!...
... but yeah no seriously it sucks super big-time hardcore. Even if Saturdays are technically just for clubs - but it's not like those aren't pretty much mandatory anyway. (My parents think I'm lazy 'cause I'm only in two.) Most schools in the country at least get Saturdays off and then have clubs on Sundays. But no, we can't have that here... Society would crumble! Chaos would reign! Won't someone think of the children!
... no, really, I mean it. Think of us. Please.
⇒ you gonna ask shirou what all that noise last night was about
You kidding? Remember what I said about girls and sex and how that wasn't in my wheelhouse? How about we just put people outside my wheelhouse. Conversations. The whole human race in general, really. How's that sound?
⇒ kind of sad tbh
Yeah, okay, let's rein in the emo a bit here. Main thing is, you were right before. It's his house. It's none of my business. Emiya doesn't owe me anything, you know?
⇒ skip forward one day
And now it's Economics class. Bleh. Needs more math and less despair.
⇒ so how did yesterday go
Fine. Same as usual. Robotics Club first, then Tabletop Gaming. Robotics was okay-ish - I dunno, there've been all these weird politics this year. Something about jockeying for Club President. I've mostly just used it as an excuse to mess around in the lab by myself while people argue. As for Gaming, our usual DM's out of town this week, which means it falls to Other Ichigo instead. He's... okay. He's just one of those gamemasters who thinks it's his job to kill the players however he can. Anyway, we got ambushed by goblins in a dungeon and then got slaughtered by the traps.
⇒ i don't know what that last part means
Then you're normal. Forget I said anything.
⇒ skip forward a few hours
Well, I guess the gods of education heard at least part of my complaint. Looks like school's getting called off early today. Not sure why, but hey, I ain't gonna question it.
Got my stuff packed up. Headin' home. Step out of the classroom door...
... step back in the classroom door...
So, um. Rin Tohsaka is coming up the hall. Storming, actually, might be more accurate. It looks like she's angry about something.
⇒ so what
Well, ah... remember back when I mentioned crush singular?
Look, it's dumb. I know it's dumb. I don't even know her. Like, at all. And everyone has a crush on Rin, anyway. Including some of the girls, I think. She's just, well, hot and smart and cute when she's mad - which is often. And she's got all this fight and drive and stuff. And her boobs are kinda -
⇒ yeah think i get the picture thanks
So anyway, I can't help but get all sweaty and nervous when she's around, in spite of myself. Honestly just keep hoping I'll just grow out of this and move on at some point. But it's been like this for two or three years now, so no luck yet.
⇒ that long huh
What can I say. My subconscious is a persistent motherfucker. Especially when it comes to goading me with the clearly unobtainable.
Anyway, so I stop and pretend to clean my glasses on my jacket. She stomps by me without a second glance. Did I look weird? I bet I looked weird. Shit.
⇒ skip forward one day
So here's something interesting I just heard about today. You know the old Foreigners Cemetery? Apparently there was some kind of gas leak early Saturday morning. Whole place got blowed up real good. I saw pictures online. We're talking about nothing left but a freaking crater. I'm sure they'll fix it up good as new though ha ha no they're totally gonna build some apartments there as soon as they finish clearing out the corpse bits. Bet you anything.
Anyway. I'm bored. And the Brat's home tonight. That makes it a real good time for me not to be.
⇒ the brat?
Teruko. My little sister. We... don't get along. At all.
Eh, it's pretty simple. She's the popular one, I'm not. You'd think that of the two of us, I'd be the frustrated one. But no. Point is, she's loud, she's obnoxious, and I can just tell she'll find some way to pick a fight tonight if I stick around. So walk? Walk sounds good.
⇒ so no onee-chan fetish huh
Blech. You just know all that shit's coming from a bunch of lonely virgin only-child edgelords online somewhere. Nothing against lonely virgins online, mind you - hi, pot! I'm kettle! - but let's face it, some of us wear it better than others.
⇒ also - teruko?
⇒ so teruko tomonaga
Yeah, our parents are big fans of alliteration. Can you tell?
⇒ walk past emiya's house
Sure, why not. Looks like all the lights are off. Guess he decided to call it an early night? - No, hold on a second. Looks like that's him down the block.
⇒ where is he headed
Dunno. Different direction than me, looks like. Works for me. I hate running into people unexpectedly. It's awkward, you know? Or worse yet, when we're heading in the same direction so it feels like I'm following or stalking them or something, but I'm not, and I'm wondering do I say something even if I don't really want to talk to them or...
⇒ ok ok i get it
⇒ so where are we going
For my part, I wander down to the shopping district. It's way too late for Lain's - they close early on Mondays - but I get a solid half-hour in at Sofmap, then I drop by the hardware store. Those places are my porn.
⇒ i thought porn was your porn
Well, yeah, but... I mean - it's an engineer thing, okay? Or future engineer. I can just spend hours staring at stuff, thinking about the projects I could do with it. Not just electronics, but light bulbs, garden tools, pretty much anything. (Except plumbing. Fuck that, man. That shit is witchcraft.) Not like I don't have a metric ton of stuff I haven't used / projects I haven't gotten around to yet back home, of course, but...
⇒ so you want to be an engineer
I guess, yeah? I mean, I like building stuff. And science, obviously. So why not go with that? Can't really see myself as much of a theorist, though. I prefer -
⇒ restart: iteration 2, day 1, early night
... what. Just. What.
⇒ what's going on
I'm... suddenly in my room again. Lying on the floor. Wearing... different clothes, or old clothes, I guess? Head hurts. Get up off the ground. There's Uncle Shin's machine. The notebooks on my desk. My little speaking clock...
⇒ look at clock
... no way. NO WAY.
I go to check my cellphone. But it's not in my pocket like it was five minutes ago - it's recharging by the door. Pick it up, flip it open - holy shit.
It's last Friday. The date says it's last Friday. Check the settings - yeah, the phone's getting the time direct from the cell tower. Holy fuck.
⇒ which means
Could I have just dreamed or hallucinated the last three days? Possible, I guess. But that doesn't feel right - my dreams generally aren't that detailed. And I can remember everything, nothing seems to be fading. Which means...
... time travel. Holy goddamn shit, time travel. Ha. Ha ha ha HA!
⇒ which is a big deal yeah
Are you kidding?! It's massive! I mean, I don't even know where to start. Let's go with... faster-than-light travel. This could be the secret to FTL. If you bend time, you bend space. That's Einstein for you. And that's just off the top of my head!
Uncle Shin invented a time machine. Holy shit. Holy shit!
But okay, calm down. This is science. Be a scientist about this. One-time weirdness - no matter how awesome - doesn't count. You have to be able to repeat it. So let's wait a few days. See if the same thing happens.
⇒ skip forward three days
⇒ restart: iteration 3, day 1, early night
Holy shit holy shit it works IT WORKS! And everything over the last few days was exactly the way I remembered! Same lessons at school, same goblin fight at gaming, same news, same everything. This is amazing.
⇒ what are the rules here
Okay, science hat on: the time loop effect appears to last approximately three days, from Friday night right after I got shocked by the detector until Monday at around the same time. (I'll have to get a more exact measure of the end point.) Also, I don't seem to be physically traveling back in time - just mentally. I drew something in magic marker on the back of my hand before I reset just now. There's no sign of it at present.
⇒ so quantum leap not timecop
Right. Information-only time travel. Still opens up the possibility of FTL communication, at least. Not too shabby.
Okay, one more time around. Let's see if I'll jump back if I'm in a different location other than in town.
⇒ skip forward three days
⇒ restart: iteration 4, day 1, early night
Alocality (is that a word?) of restart effect confirmed. This time, I deliberately trekked all the way into the city. Still wound up traveling back to Friday. The loop resets at 10:08 PM on Monday night, giving it a total length of - wait for it - seventy-three hours and thirty-seven minutes. (Ooh, symmetrical numbers. Noice.)
Okay, let's try exiting the effect now. The device doesn't really have an "off switch" per se, so I'll just disconnect it from the dry cell battery.
⇒ skip forward three days
⇒ restart: iteration 5, day 1, early night
Okay, that didn't work. Let's try disconnecting those crystal things. Maybe it's getting power from those somehow.
⇒ skip forward three days
⇒ restart: iteration 6, day 1, early night
Okay. Let's take some pictures and carefully dismantle the machine into its component parts...
⇒ skip forward three days
⇒ restart: iteration 7, day 1, early night
Okay, you know what, let's try burning it. Let's give that a whirl.
⇒ skip forward three days
⇒ restart: iteration 8, day 1, early night
⇒ seems like it's not the machine then
Gee, you think? Looks like I'm stuck in a self-perpetuating Murray loop.
⇒ murray loop?
As in Bill Murray. As in the movie Groundhog's Day. You have to remember that. We saw it on the flight to Hawaii?
⇒ asshole weatherman gets stuck repeating the same day over and over again
That's the one. I guess I should probably be naming the loop after the film's director or the writer or whoever. But I have no idea who those people are.
⇒ you and hollywood both
⇒ so how does that movie end
Um. He finally has one perfect day and sleeps with the hot producer lady. That breaks the loop.
⇒ who knew the spacetime continuum was so big on personal growth
Right? I guess the idea there is that there's some kind of deity or supernatural power or something in the background that curses the guy to make him learn a lesson. What the hell am I supposed to learn, then? I thought I was doing okay at the whole don't-be-an-offensive-asshole thing.
... am I supposed to seduce Rin to get out of this? That's... um. A thought. A terrifying, hilariously unlikely thought.
⇒ maybe table that one for now
Yeah, let's do that.
⇒ so what does that leave
I guess my only real clue is Uncle Shin's notebooks. Maybe there's some kind of documentation or a secret hint or something in there.
⇒ you said something about cyphers
Yeah. There's these big chunks of nonsense text throughout the notes that look like they're encrypted. Guess Shin felt paranoid about someone stealing his discoveries or something? Seems I'll have to try and break his code. Not to mention, I should probably reread everything that isn't encrypted super-carefully.
⇒ including the porn?
(sigh) Yes, including the porn. Even... bluh... the donkey story...
⇒ skip forward to: iteration 8, day 3
Tried telling family about the situation. It didn't help.
⇒ skip forward to: iteration 8, day 4, early night
⇒ not going well huh
No! No, it is not! There wasn't anything anywhere, so now I'm trying to crack the encrypted sections and it's Just. Not. Working.
⇒ what about the porn
THERE'S NOTHING IN THE PORN IT'S JUST PORN. And now it's in my brain and it was all for nothing and blaaaargh!
⇒ did you look online
Of course I looked online! I learned about frequency analysis and brute force techniques and all of that. I even asked for help in a few forums. Nothing! All people could tell me is that it doesn't look like a simple substitution or Vigenère cipher, whatever that means. And to make matters worse, I'm gonna lose all my work just as soon as -
⇒ restart: iteration 9, day 1, early night
⇒ chill dude
HOW am I supposed to CHILL?! I'm dealing with this completely unknown phenomenon with NO CLUES. I have NO IDEA what I'm supposed to frigging do! WORST. GROUNDHOG'S DAY. SEQUEL. EVER.
⇒ look out window
I'll compromise and put my head against it to try and cool it down. This is insane. It makes absolutely no sense. It's like I'm stuck in some game without a cheat code or a walkthrough or a hint system or anything, and I can't even turn off the computer and walk away. And why me? Is this just one of those cautionary "punish the scientist for playing in the domain of the gods" scenarios? Am I just supposed to stay like this until I go completely crazy?! Or -
... huh. Is that woman blonde?
... did that blonde woman just jump over a building?
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