Initial Author's Notes: This is a continuation of sorts, going from the end of the StrikerS anime. For the purposes of this fic, I will be ignoring the Force and Vivid manga storylines, as well as the Sound stages (the latter mainly because I haven't listened to them or seen a transcript). I may, however, incorporate aspect from then as I see fit. If you've watched all 3 anime series, you should be fine. Chapter 1 starts one year after the events of StrikerS.
"[This]" denotes telepathic communication.
[This] is just normal thought.
Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha Crisis
Prologue (8 years before Strikers)
Lines of almost incomprehensible data scrolled across the screen, to the tune of fingers dancing on musical keys. To the average person, the clickity-click might not have seemed musical; but to the Doctor, it may have been a virtual symphony, complete with a dazzling display of pyrotechnics waltzing across the holographic screens floating in front of him, in the form of data.
Doctor Jail Scaglietti may not have been a proper doctor, though he did posses numerous degrees in Biogenetics and Engineering, among others. He was most home in his labs, recovering the lost secrets of scientific technology. Forbidden, they told him... Magic civilization was the way to go, they said, as non-magical science was much too dangerous.
Too dangerous, indeed.
Behind him, the low rumble of bubbles and humming equipment let him know the incubation chambers were still running. His children would be be born soon, and he could begin to take revenge on all those who had looked down upon him; and the veritable wealth of data he had been provided, had finally allowed him his chance to remake the world in his image.
"I trust that it pleases you," an older feminine voice called out from the shadows.
Jail didn't bother to turn around. "Indeed, this information will help my plans a great deal." As a thought struck him, he paused and swiveled his chair to face the figure in the darkness. "But I must admit I am curious as to why you are giving me this data now."
"Consider it my way of repaying any debt I may owe you," the woman soothed.
"For the research on Project F that I provided you long ago?" the doctor asked, raising an eyebrow. "I didn't think you held many others that high in value."
The woman chortled. "If that is what you think, then it is up to you. I wouldn't think you would complain about what you are given."
"Ha, you have me there, my dear," Jail was forced to admit. "This will speed up my goals by at least ten-fold."
"If you must know more, I can tell you that the accomplishment of your goals will help accomplish mine as well," she offered cryptically. "And if that is all, I will be off. I have my own experiments to attend to."
Jail tapped a few keys on his translucent keyboard, and a large picture appeared flickered into existence. It was a still frame of a young woman with golden-blond hair in twin ponytails, wielding a black staff weapon, complete with an magical energy scythe at the tip.
"So you don't care what plans I may have for this one?" Jail teased, watching for a reaction.
The woman let loose a stronger laugh, echoing throughout the chamber. "By all means, if you can use her, be my guest. She has no more use to me."
Jail nodded in appreciation, watching as the woman formed her magic circle and teleported, then grinned and turned back to the screen. "Yes, I have great plans for you."
He lay back and stretched, staring at the ceiling. "And I wonder, just what plans you are concocting, my dear Precia?"
Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha Crisis
Chapter 1: Destiny Begins to Move Again
"...and we all miss you very much," Momoko Takamachi was saying, speaking from the recorded video letter Nanoha was watching on a floating screen as she headed to her next training session. "Your brother and sister couldn't be here due to an assignment, but they wanted me to let you know they are looking forward to seeing you again next time you visit. We're all proud of you and what you've accomplished, and we'll continue to support you as best as we can. Talk to you again soon!"
The letter froze on her mother's face, sitting on the couch next to her father, and Nanoha Takamachi couldn't help but smile. She couldn't ask for more supportive parents, which made her feel a bit guilty for not telling them about her daughter yet; she wondered how they'd react to Vivio, the circumstances of her birth, and what she had been through.
Nanoha sighed and mentally made a note to schedule another visit soon, and this time bring Vivio with her. She'd have to face the music sometime. Logically, she told her self that her parents would be supportive and happy to see Vivio, so why couldn't she suppress the worry she felt?
Pushing those thoughts aside for now, the Ace combat instructor refocused her mind to the coming task; teaching a basic magic training course to a bunch of newbies. She would have rather taught some more advanced courses, but Shamal had been adamantly against it, and everyone else had backed up the Belkan doctor. Nanoha's body hadn't fully recovered from the fight in the cradle and Shamal had told her that her magic power was down 8-10%, and may or may not recover. She was ordered to take it easy, even now, one year after the JS incident.
The basic instruction course was essentially the compromise that allowed her to still do what she loved, teach, but just at an easy beginner level for awhile. It was one of the pitfalls of being an older mage; the TSAB tended to recruit young, because the magic of children recovered faster and easier. As a mage aged, that recovery slowed down.
She half-smiled. "Well, time to greet the new recruits, eh Raging Heart?"
"Yes, my master," the device replied. Despite what the eggheads in the tech division might say about it being just an AI, Nanoha knew that it had a heart as much as any other living being. "You can do it!"
Coming to a stop at a closed door, Nanoha whispered a 'Thank you' to her device, then activated the automatic portal and stepped inside.
A motley crew of mixed genders and ages awaited her within, conversation filling the room from people arranged in random-sized groups. According to the attendance chart she had briefly looked at earlier, about 30 people had signed up, though to her eye it seemed like there might have been a few more than that. The various conversations taking place gradually died out as Nanoha walked in and up the couple of steps to the raised podium.
"Greetings to all of you," she began with a smile when the discussions had ceased, "and welcome to the Basic Mage Training Course. I'm Nanoha Takamachi, and I'll be your instructor; you can call me Nanoha. You're here to begin working with your magic, and perhaps to join one of the various services in the Bureau. Or maybe you just to find out what you're made of. There is no requirement to join the Bureau, of course, if you desire to just know how to use your powers better.
She gestured to the side. "To begin, take one of the training staves or spears against the wall, if you do not already have a device of your own. The staves are for Midchildian style magic-users, and the spears are for people who want to do a more modern Belkan melee style. You can switch halfway through the course if you find it's not for you, so don't feel too pressured about which to pick now. Depending on your skills, if you do choose to join the Bureau, we may make a more specialized device for you. Go grab your choice now!"
As the group made it's way over to the wall racks, Nanoha kept scanning the crowd, taking note of the faces and trying to get a general feel for each student. She froze as her eyes eventually locked onto one particular trainee; a short blonde-haired recruit about her own age, who was grinning back. The girl lifted one gloved fist, and pumped it once.
Nanoha, of course, knew who it was in instant: Arisa Bannings.
"You still look like you've seen a ghost, Nanoha-chan," Arisa smirked, leaning back in her chair.
The small outdoor cafe where the trio was gathered was one of Nanoha's favorites, due to the selection of drinks and frozen treats. The umbrella in the middle of the circular table shielding them from the bright sun kept the temperature at a pleasant degree when combined with the gentle, yet cool breeze.
"Give her a break, Arisa-chan!" Suzuka chided, setting her drink down. "After all, the entire surprise thing was your idea. Sneaking into the training course at the last moment so she wouldn't know that you'd be there."
Arisa laughed. "Well, it was payback for all those years ago, when she didn't tell us she had magic!"
Nanoha finally blinked and look down, cheeks turning red in embarrassment. "I said I was sorry! I explained that I didn't want to get you two involved, so you wouldn't get hurt." Her face came back up, good humor restored. "And not that I'm not happy to see you, but what are you two doing here on Mid-childa!"
"Well, I don't understand it much myself, but apparently we have some latent magical skill," Arisa replied, grinning. "Yuuno told us he felt it awhile ago, and was surprised because he didn't feel it before when he first met us as a ferret. He thinks it's because you have so much more than it hid ours, like the sun blocking out two light bulbs. Either that, or somehow your magic power leaked out and activated our core-thingys. Suzuka understands it better."
The purple-haired girl's smile belonged to one who was only too eager to impart her wisdom. "Arisa-chan has it mostly right. Our linker cores were probably like most humans on Earth: inactive. But because we spent so much time around you, Yuuno thought yours might have ignited ours, like one match lighting another. We don't have as much as you, though. Mine is limited to analyzing the composition of physical objects, while Arisa uses hers to amplify her speed and power in her martial arts."
Nanoha had, of course, read their files the instant the course had ended, after parting from Arisa and agreeing to meet up here. Apparently, Suzuka was apprenticing under Shari in the technical division, which made it a good fit since the purple-haired girl had always loved machines. Her magic skill was a bit more that simple analysis, but also remote activation to devices she had synced with earlier. She was almost a living microscope with a built-in remote control.
As for Arisa, Nanoha had known she had been taking martial arts for a long time, apparently having started not long after learning about the magical world on that Christmas after the Book of Darkness incident. While her magic gave her some good agility and strength, she also appeared to have somewhat of an affinity for earth-based magics, though it might not advance to the point of stronger spells. Her martial arts training was mostly limited to Karate and Tae-Kwon-Do, but it noted she had picked up a few other things from other styles here and there. Both of her friends were D rank at the moment, and the initial judgment was that neither would probably go higher than C or C+.
"You're here just to train your magic?" Nanoha asked, taking a sip of her drink, then added wryly, "And surprise me, of course."
Suzuka shook her head. "More than that. Apparently Earth is getting close to the point where the TSAB will make official contact, in the hopes of having it join as an administered world. It's technology is approaching a certain level. I don't quite understand it myself, but the TSAB worries about worlds that focus on pure technology, so at a certain point, they try to guide them toward magical civilization instead."
"Which brings me into it," Arisa continued, taking over for Suzuka. "As you know, my family owns a large technology company, and I'm officially a manager in it. Unofficially, I'm a representative and facilitator between my company and the Bureau. I help bring in new magical technologies. Unofficially, there has also been several other points of contact between the TSAB and Earth. Companies are offered the ability to produce magic technology in order to pressure governments into accepting administrated world status. A carrot approach, if you will." She stopped and smiled evilly. "I'm also here to report on the Bureau's training and recruitment practices, which means I'll be watching and studying you!"
Nanoha sweat-dropped. "Well, I hope I meet your approval..."
"Will we be able to meet up with Fate and Hayate?" Suzuka asked suddenly, changing the subject. "I was looking forward to surprising them, too. Other than you, Yuuno, and a few other officials, no one else knows we're here."
"Well, Fate is on assignment at the moment, and Hayate is currently busy in an army investigations unit," Nanoha explained, then thought quickly. "However, Fate's birthday is coming up in three weeks or so. How about we surprise her there, with a party at my house?"
Both girls eagerly agreed.
"Oh!" Susuka exclaimed suddenly. "We almost forgot the most important part!"
The pony-tailed girl raised an eyebrow. "Which is?"
Arisa and Suzuka both stood up, each taking one of Nanoha's hands, and then said together: "You have show us around!"
Nanoha sighed as the two girls dragged her away.
"[In position,]" Teana Lanster telepathically communicated to her partner late that night from where she knelt on a large stack of crates.
"[Roger,]" Fate Testerossa Harlaown replied. "[Remember the plan; I'll go in first to get their attention while you cover the back as you move up to support. The other Enforcers have the area encircled.]"
"[Acknowledged,]" the eager gun mage replied.
It almost didn't need to be said, as it had been their standard battle tactic for awhile now. Fate would use her speed and superior firepower to draw attention, and Tea would come in behind and take them out while their attention was diverted.
"Cross Mirage, scope mode," she spoke quietly.
"Scope mode activation," the device responded, form the telescope on top of her gun.
Looking through it, Tea could easily make out the warehouse, eventually settling on one of the lighted windows. The two agents had been tracking an illegal weapons and lost logia smuggling operation for a couple of weeks now now, and the results of that investigation finally led to this particular warehouse on the docks; and now was the time to strike. Switching detection modes to thermal, several distinctive red spots formed out of the greens and blues, easily letting her see the body heat of several individuals through the walls; there were approximately 20-30 in all, although one seemed to be much hotter than the rest. She was unable to ponder this further, however, as Fate let it be known that she was making her move.
Teana counted to five as Fate assaulted the entrance on the other side, then jumped down, heading for the warehouse, forming her second gun. Just as they expected, the large doors wedged open slightly and individuals began to escape from Fate's frontal assaultattack. With practiced ease, the gun mage began squeezing off practiced stun shots. The suspects tried to run and duck once they realized they were being fired upon, but they may as well have been standing still and holding bright neon bulls-eyes, to Teana's practiced sharpshooter eyes.
Eventually, the deluge of targets from the warehouse door dried up as the warehouse emptied. The rest were on the ground, knocked out, but they would be picked up by the waiting enforcer squad before they awoke. Cross Mirage informed her that she had only tagged about 15 individuals, which meant more were still inside.
Teana quickly made her way to the entrance, her back to the door just next to the crack. Taking a breath, she dove in and rolled, coming up to one knee with both guns spread out. Two men were hiding in a corner, staring at her in shock, but before they could run the gun mage had them both out cold with stun bullets. Confirming that the immediate area was devoid of additional personnel, the junior agent made her way farther inside, following the large row of crates.
"[Teana?]" came Fate's voice in her head. "[I'm dealing with a golem unit and a fire mage. I could use some backup.]"
"[I'm inside, almost there,]" Tea replied as she sprinted to the end of a row of crates, homing in on Fate's magic signal and the noise of of combat as it reverberated off the warehouse walls.
She knew Fate was in no real danger; if the skilled agent went all out they wouldn't stand a chance. But they wanted these people alive for questioning, and in her own way, Fate was arranging another opportunity for the junior agent to step up and get some more experience and on-the-job training.
The gun mage turned the corner and immediately spied her mentor and partner flying around high above, dodging the fireballs and the magic beam weaponry from the golem. It was the first time Tea had seen one live, outside of a few classified reports. Five meters high, it was essentially a magic-powered and armored suit, loaded with magic weaponry designed to augment a lower ranked mage's combat abilities. From what she had read of the research, it was one of the options being tested as a way to reinforce the front line mages as well as develop some countermeasures against AMF-equipped forces.
But why did these smugglers have a supposedly top secret prototype?
Teana put that thought aside for now, and took aim at the fire mage who was keeping Fate away with walls of fire and fireballs. Already, quite a bit of the warehouse was ablaze, and if she didn't take him out, the whole place would go down and all the evidence with it.
However, he either saw her or sensed her presence, because he turned around to look straight at her, grinning maliciously. Before Teana could fire, his flaming fists sent fireballs her direction. The gun mage sprinted sideways, changing ammo on the fly and firing, using explosive vacuum shots to dissipate the fireballs in midair. They traded a few volleys, seemingly evenly matched in firepower, but Teana had more training and experience. She found her opening, firing a stun bullet into the air that ricocheted off a crane hanging from the ceiling and striking the fire mage in the back of the head.
As Tea came to her feet, she saw Fate dive in sonic form and slash the legs of the golem with Bardiche's scythe form. Internal control wires severed, the golem began to tip over backwards. The pilot apparently panicked, as he opened the rear hatch to escape. Fate was there in an instant, holding it up so he wouldn't get squashed by his own unit. He got a nice lightning bind spell instead as he fell out and landed on the ground.
"Teana, behind you, stop him!" Fate called out suddenly.
The junior agent spun and spied another figure running up a set of metal stairs to a second story office section. Gathering her magic, Tea pointed her guns straight down and fired, using her flare shots as a booster to soar through the air and land on the steel platform in front of the office door. While she was still working on learning to fly, she had substituted a few workarounds like her gun-boosted leap; it used more magic than her grapple, but was also faster.
In one quick motion, Tea duplicated her earlier move and rolled through the office door coming up on one knee, guns covering the entire small and sparse office. The only things inside were a single file cabinet and couple of desks with computers, the skinny man with glasses standing behind one, hands up and clearly afraid.
"You are under arrest on suspicion of illegal smuggling of weapons and lost logia," Tea recited the rote arrest speech. "If you surrender you will be able to defend yourself in court. Disarm if you agree!"
"I'm not armed!" the suspect pleaded quickly. "I surrender! I surrender!"
Something didn't feel quite right to the junior agent, however; despite having just been caught, the man appeared far too nervous. Then she noted his eyes occasionally glance down at the computer, an older hardware model that could only be seen from one side.
"Crap!" Teana cursed as she leapt the desk delivering a chop to the back of the mans head that dropped him, while converting her guns back to card form. Her fears were confirmed.
"Cross Mirage, interface and abort deletion of files!" she commanded urgently, placing her device card on top of the computer.
"Yes, sir!" came the chipper response. "Interfacing... deletion canceled. Approximately 27% of data recovered."
Teana sighed. [Great job, Agent Lanster!] she told herself sarcastically. [Your hesitation could have cost us a lead.]
The door opened and Fate came in, and the fact that Bardiche had been returned to storage form on the back of Fate's hand, told Teana that the situation outside must have been under control, although mentor's next words confirmed it.
"The Enforcer squad is taking care of the cleanup," the senior agent informed her. "A couple escaped through a teleporter, but the coordinates of their destination were erased. What have you got here?"
"Sorry, I messed up," the junior agent replied glumly, gesturing towards the computer. "Most of the data was erased; we only got about a quarter of it."
Fate placed a hand on her shoulder and smiled. "You did good enough; you still expect too much of yourself sometimes. I let a couple escape through a teleporter as well. Humans aren't perfect!"
Cross Mirage beeped. "Important data discovered."
Both agents looked up as Cross Mirage projected a holographic screen that was scrolling through seemingly random data. To Teana, they appeared to be bits of communication logs, but eventually Cross Mirage stopped at a name, causing both women to inhale sharply.
Yuuno stood up and adjusted his pack, taking in the vista that greeted him.
He was on an almost uninhabited world, full of nature's beauty in the form of rolling forests, snowy mountains and expansive oceans and deserts. It was these kinds of worlds that he loved most, since not only did he love nature, but also because they held the best chance at hiding unknown ancient secrets, just waiting for an experienced archeologist to uncover.
He wasn't totally alone here, though; the main Scrya group was several kilometers away, which was just fine with him. The Scrya tribe was highly independent, and thus members would often disappear for random periods of time to search for artifacts and ruins, but teaming up for larger projects when something was uncovered. While he ran the Infinity Library, he still looked forward to going out on digs with his tribe, especially when their travels brought him to an area he had wanted to investigate for awhile.
He about to follow up on an earlier expedition that his tribe done done preliminary observations of last month: the ruins to his side. It wasn't much, seeing as how only the barest foundations some stone pillars and buildings were left; but if he was right, this was just the edge of the discovery. He figured the nearby mountain had once been a volcano and an eruption had covered the entire valley in molten lava. Over the years, it gradually became a series of ravines with a river running through it, which had slowly cut away the rock until it exposed part of this ancient village.
If his educated guess was accurate, there was more here than just that, however.
Yuuno took to the sky, surveying the area. If this was the edge of the city, then the center would have to be somewhere around the foothills of the extinct volcano; and it didn't take to long to find what he was looking for, gently descending into the ravine to take a closer look. A stream burst out of the canyon wall and flowed down the deep trench, passing into the forest beyond where it would eventually make its way to the ocean. But it was this point, where the water emerged from the rock, that he was most interested in.
Streams and rivers usually came from glaciers, but the nearest snow-capped mountains were kilometers away. As an archeologist, he knew most cities were built near water, which meant the city center had to have a connection with this stream, if it was here. Floating down to where it burst from the wall, he felt the entrance was just big enough for him to get inside and do some exploring.
Only he didn't get the chance.
Sensing the buildup of the attack just in time, Yuuno put up a Round Shield to block the enormous beam. Still, the sheer force pushed him backwards and left him breathing hard as the attack ended.
"Who are you?" he called out to the darkness. "Why did you attack me?"
The only response he received was another beam, and this time Yuuno angled his shield to deflect part of it, but while he was doing that, several smaller shots came at him from almost behind him. He put up another shield with his other hand, but he was pinned on two sides, but he knew this wasn't good; unknown attackers had him surrounded.
Acting quickly, Yuuno dove to the ravine floor, hoping to either escape from his unknown assailants or to draw them into a trap, almost wishing that he had more offensive combat ability for time times like this, but he made the best of what he had. While the shots kept coming at him, most were missing, or deflected by the shields he put up. Now he just needed an opportunity...
It came soon enough, as he made a sharp left turn around a ravine corner and stopped cold. Rapidly shifting to ferret form to limit his visibility as a target, he began preparing his bind spells, settling down to wait. Either his pursuers would shortly be coming around the corner after him, or he would have lost them totally; either way worked for him.
Minutes stretched on, with no sight nor sound of anything besides his own breathing that was slowing from the exertion. Yuuno began to relax, thinking he had actually lost them. If that was the case, he needed to get out of here before they came back. He figured flying out was too dangerous; he didn't want to become a target again, so that only left one option. Focusing on teleporting, Yuuno aimed to get back to the Scrya camp, but shortly realized he wasn't going anywhere.
[A barrier!] he growled internally, shifting back to human form. [Communication seems to be jammed, too. I should have expected that.]
Before he could debate his next course of action, several objects embedded themselves around the location where he stood, with a metallic ring. Reacting instinctively, Yuuno cast a full Steel Defense barrier an instant before the objects all exploded. Through the dust and debris kicked up, more beams and energy shots sought him out, and while his shield held, the ground didn't.
Yuuno cried out in surprise as the rock and dirt gave way beneath him, and the darkness and resulting rock avalanche swallowed him up.
As stated at the start, this takes place a year after StrikerS (so it's 0077), and going off the three TV series. Other details from booklets and sound stages may be incorporated as close as possible, but no guarantees.
One of my main goals when writing this fic, was a way to better understand the characters, relationships, terminology and such. Writing helps plant things more firmly in my mind, and as a fanfic writer, I love the challenge of trying to get my derivative creations as close to the real thing as possible. It's partly why continuation fanfics are my favorite.
Anyway, always looking for C&C (Comments and Criticism), as long as it's constructive, on this or any other fic. I"ll always go back and do edits as needed.